Replacing your shower filter cartridge is important to ensure water purity. Over time, the cartridge becomes saturated with the contaminants it filters out, reducing efficiency. Regular replacement guarantees you continue to get clean, soft water free from harmful substances, improving skin and hair health and reducing potential risks to your health.
The shower filter cartridge replacement frequency depends on the product specifications and your water usage. However, a general rule of thumb is every 6 to 12 months. Some filters may require a cartridge replacement every 4-6 months. High usage or poor water quality may require more frequent changes. Always refer to the manufacturer’s guidelines to ensure optimal filtration performance.
Filter Replacement Time by Brand
- Aquasana: Every 6 months
- Culligan: Every 6 months
- Sprite: Every 6 to 12 months
- WaterChef: Every 6 months
- Berkey: Every 12 months
- Rainshow’r: Every 6 to 9 months
- Aquabliss: Every 6 months
- Barclay’s Buys: Every 4 to 6 months
- PureAction: Every 6 to 8 months
- Luxsego: Every 4 to 6 months
How to Replace Shower Head Filter Cartridge?
Here are the general steps for replacing a shower head filter cartridge.
Turn Off Water Supply: This prevents water from coming out while replacing the filter.
Remove Shower Head: Depending on your model, you might need to unscrew the shower head from the water supply pipe or unscrew a part of the shower head to access the filter. Use a wrench if necessary, but be careful not to damage the shower head.
Remove the Old Filter Cartridge: Once you’ve opened the shower head or filter housing, you should be able to see the filter. Pull it out and discard it.
Insert the New Filter Cartridge: Take your new filter cartridge and insert it into the shower head or filter housing. It should fit snugly. Make sure you’re installing it in the correct orientation; some filters might have a specific way they need to be inserted.
Reattach the Shower Head: Reattach the shower head or filter housing once the new filter is in place. Ensure everything is tight and secure to prevent leaks.
Turn Water Supply Back On: Turn the water back on after reassembling everything. You might want to run the water for a few minutes to remove any carbon dust or other residue from the new filter.
Remember, it’s always best to follow the specific instructions for your shower head model as provided by the manufacturer.
Signs that Show Your Shower Filter Needs Replacement
Reduced Water Flow
Over time, as the filter collects impurities, it can become clogged, reducing the water pressure from your shower head.
Changes in Water Quality
If you notice a change in the smell or clarity of the water, it may be a sign that the filter is no longer effectively removing contaminants.
Skin and Hair Changes
If you start experiencing drier skin and hair, or other skin irritations, your filter might no longer effectively remove chlorine and other harmful substances.
Change in Water Taste
While not everyone drinks shower water, a change in the taste can indicate the filter is no longer working as it should.
Past the Replacement Date
If it’s been more than the manufacturer’s recommended replacement period (usually 6-12 months), it’s time to change the filter, even if you haven’t noticed any other signs.
Discoloration or Rust on the Filter
This can indicate a buildup of contaminants and signifies that the filter should be replaced.
Drawbacks of Not Changing Shower Filter on Time
Poor Water Quality: An expired filter will no longer effectively remove contaminants, such as chlorine, heavy metals, and bacteria, leading to poor water quality, which may affect your health.
Skin and Hair Damage: The chemicals and minerals in unfiltered water can damage your skin and hair over time, leading to dryness, irritation, and dullness.
Increased Health Risks: Prolonged exposure to certain contaminants, like chlorine and heavy metals, could increase health risks, particularly respiratory issues and certain types of cancer.
Reduced Water Pressure: Over time, the filter can become clogged with impurities, leading to reduced water pressure, which can significantly downgrade your shower experience.
Shortened Filter Life: Ignoring the recommended replacement schedule might cause the filter to degrade or become so saturated with contaminants that it might fail prematurely.
Increased Maintenance Costs: A clogged or degraded filter can strain your shower system and plumbing, leading to potential damage and increased maintenance costs.
Factors that Affect the Life of a Shower Head Filter
If your water supply contains many contaminants, minerals, or chlorine, your filter will quickly fill up and degrade. The poorer the water quality, the shorter the filter’s lifespan.
Hard water contains high levels of minerals such as calcium and magnesium. These minerals can build up in the filter, causing it to become less effective more quickly. Soft water, on the other hand, can prolong the filter’s life.
The more often you shower, the more water the filter needs to clean. High usage will naturally cause the filter to fill with contaminants more quickly, reducing its effective life.
Not all shower filters are created equal. Some are designed and built better than others. Higher-quality filters tend to last longer, even under the same conditions as lower-quality ones.
Regularly cleaning the shower head and surrounding areas can prevent excess buildup and debris from entering the filter, helping it to function optimally for a longer time.
Hot water can potentially degrade the filter material more quickly than cold water. If you frequently take hot showers, your filter might not last as long.
Tips to Extend Shower Filter Life
Regular Cleaning: Regularly cleaning your shower head can prevent excess buildup, which can clog the filter.
Avoid High Temperatures: Frequently using very hot water can degrade the filter more quickly. Try using warm water instead to prolong filter life.
Install a Water Softener: If you have hard water, installing a water softener can reduce the mineral content in your water, reducing the burden on your shower filter and extending its life.
Proper Installation: Ensuring the filter is properly installed according to the manufacturer’s instructions can prevent issues that might shorten its lifespan.
Pre-filtering: Consider a whole-house filtration system if your water quality is poor. This can remove significant contaminants before the water reaches your shower filter, extending its life.
Limit Shower Length: The less water the filter processes, the longer it will last. By reducing your shower time, you can extend the filter’s lifespan.
Can Water Testing Help Extend Shower Filter’s Life?
Yes, water testing can indeed help extend your shower filter’s life. By testing your water, you can identify what contaminants are present and in what quantities. This information can help you choose a filter specifically designed to handle those contaminants, improving its efficiency and lifespan.
Additionally, regular testing can alert you to any changes in your water quality, allowing you to adjust your filter maintenance schedule accordingly and ensure you replace the filter only when necessary, potentially extending its life.