Dangers of Not Changing Refrigerator Water Filter

A refrigerator water filter allows purified water to get to the fridge water dispenser and the ice maker. But despite its crucial role, most people often overlook the filter when cleaning their fridges. And that makes you wonder if there are any dangers of not changing the refrigerator water filter.

Failure to change your refrigerator water filter enables harmful contaminants to get into your filtered water. As a result, you risk your health. Besides, the impurities alter the water taste, clog your refrigerator, create cloudy ice cubes, and enable molds to grow.

What is a Refrigerator Water Filter?

It is a tool that captures all contaminants and particles from the water flowing through your fridge. These impurities include minerals, microorganisms, chemicals, and solid particles.

The captured contaminants remain held up in the water filter. And as time goes by, they start to build up, causing harm.

For that reason, it is advisable to replace your refrigerator water filter after every six months. That way, you get to maintain its effectiveness in purifying water.

Dangers of Not Changing Refrigerator Water Filter

A grimy or dirty refrigerator water filter can yield the following dangers if you don’t replace it:

1. Allows Harmful Contaminants into the Filtered Water

When a refrigerator water filter is due for a replacement, it becomes weak and less effective. As a result, the filter may fail to capture all the impurities from water. You risk contracting waterborne diseases if you drink water that contains these impurities.

2. High Mineral Concentration in the Filtered Water

The refrigerator water filter traps all the unwanted minerals from tap water. It only allows a useful amount to pass through.

These minerals excessively build up in your water filter over time. Therefore, they start to leak into your purified water, increasing the mineral concentration.

Some minerals like iron are beneficial to your health if consumed in small quantities. However, ingesting these minerals in large amounts can lead to severe illnesses and even death.

3. Change in Water Taste and Odor

Nothing is more annoying than drinking filtered water with an unpleasant taste and smell. And you may continue to experience this as long as you don’t change your fridge filter. 

A change in water taste is a clear signal that your water filter can longer capture minerals, chemicals, and impurities from your water.

Chemicals like chlorine make your filtered water have a chemical-like smell. Impurities and bacteria also lead to unusual water odors.

4. Exposure to Dangerous Chemicals, Microbes, and Heavy Metals

A worn-out and dirty refrigerator water filter exposes you to all sorts of health risks. Some of the impurities you risk drinking include:

  • Excessive chlorine
  • Arsenic
  • Chromium
  • Asbestos
  • Pesticides
  • Barium
  • Cysts
  • Lead
  • Nitrites and Nitrates 
  • Cadmium
  • Radium
  • Pathogens
  • Mercury

5. Clogging of the Refrigerator Water Filter

All these materials and contaminants trapped in the water filter can clog it over time. You may notice a reduction in water pressure and water flow. With time, the situation may worsen, blocking the water flow completely.

Besides, these clogs can negatively affect the entire performance of your refrigerator system. The materials can further accumulate in the ice machine, causing severe damage to the components. These negative impacts reduce the durability of your refrigerator.

6. Unclear Ice

Decent and clear ice cubes come from clean water. But water with impurities and chemicals only makes cloudy and unclear ice cubes. Thus, if your refrigerator’s water filter is giving you unclear ice cubes, replace it with a new one without fail.

7. Mold Growth 

Failure to change your refrigerator water filter in time creates room for molds to grow. The mineral deposits make it conducive for mold growth, especially if you live in a humid area.

Molds alter the taste of your filtered water, making it awful. Moreover, they expose you to illnesses like diarrhea, headache, and sinus problems.

How to Install a New Refrigerator Water Filter

If you are wondering how to substitute your old refrigerator water filter with a new one, here is how to go about it:

  1. Ensure that you acquire the correct colored cap and filter number for the fridge.
  2. Take out the filter’s cap and locate the holder at your fridge’s bottom.
  3. Pull out the old water filter and use a dry cloth to wipe off excess water from the floor.
  4. Lock the bottom cap on your new fridge filter and slide it inside the holder. When the filter is locked in place correctly, you will hear a click sound.
  5. Allow your dispenser to run to make the filter active. Your fridge may produce a loud pressure sound. Do not panic if that happens.

Note: Make it a habit to change your fridge filter every six months. With that, you will always get clean filtered water.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Do I need a refrigerator water filter if I have reverse osmosis?

A. There is no need to use a water filter during reverse osmosis. Experts recommend that you remove the water filter from the fridge. Then, fix the by-pass plug.

Q. Can I use my refrigerator without the water filter?

A. Some refrigerators cannot function without a water filter. But there are those fridges that work well with no filters.

Q. How often must I change the water filter in my refrigerator?

A. It all depends on several factors, like the tap water quality and refrigerator model. Manufacturers also give recommendations on how often you can change the water filter. In most cases, it is between 3-6 months.

Q. Do you need to replace the refrigerator air filter?

A. Yes. It helps your fridge dispenser and icemaker to function well. Besides, it is the best way to keep your family safe by drinking purified water.

Q. How long can you go without changing the refrigerator water filter?

It depends on the refrigerator’s brand and model. But generally, you should not exceed six months.

Q. How soon can I drink water after changing the fridge filter?

A. It is advisable you flush the fridge filter with clean water for a few minutes before drinking your first glass. Most manufacturers advise that you allow 3-5 water gallons to run through your water filter. After this, it is safe to drink your filtered water.

Final Thoughts 

To avoid the dangers of not changing the refrigerator water filter, always ensure you replace your water filter as recommended. Through that, you will keep your family safe while drinking clean and quality water. Besides, it will help boost the lifespan of your fridge, making it serve you longer.

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