When we think about drinking water the first thing that comes to mind is safety. That’s why many households have taken the step to invest in filtration systems for their tap water. This investment, however, will bring about its own set of responsibilities, the main one being maintenance.
A water filter provides higher quality water and you want that quality to continue. To do that, the filtering device itself needs to function optimally and it thus requires regular checks and attention. For this reason, you need to implement some form of maintenance, and the right method depends on your device and what it filters.
Regularly Change Filter Cartridges
The best and easiest way to maintain your water filter is to keep up with changing filter cartridges. This is something that needs to be done because, in time, filtering efficiency decreases, as the cartridge itself is used. The degree of this regularity in changing filters depends on the cartridges used. Some have a lifespan of about 6 months while others need to be replaced as soon as 3 months.
It’s vital to keep an eye out for changes in water quality when using water filters as it’s a clear indicator that the cartridge is becoming less efficient. With shorter life spans for some of these cartridges, it can be highly beneficial to prepare beforehand and stock up on some extra filter cartridges. That way, even if surprised, you have the replacement on hand.
Sanitation and Reusability
Best practices suggest you throw away old used cartridges and dispose of them properly. In the majority of cases, this is true, but there are some cartridges that can be reused if they are correctly cleaned and sanitized. Sediment filters are one example that is often cleaned and reused more than once. Ceramic filters are another such filters that can be reused if thoroughly cleaned with running water.
In many cases of cleaning and reusing, you’ll most likely have to pay close attention to how the water quality shifts after cleaning. A reused cartridge won’t be as efficient as a new one. So if at any point after cleaning them, the quality drops, you should consider changing it even if it has been cleaned.
Cleaning the device itself is another best practice advice in correctly maintaining a water filtration system. Water filter pitchers are the usual example that falls under this maintenance necessity, as they require regular cleaning with every cartridge change. But the same principle can be applied to larger systems as well, especially when dealing with sedimentation. In-depth step-by-step guides on how to adequately clean water filters and cartridges can be found at: https://watermasterz.com/how-to-clean-reuse-water-filter/
Filter Cartridges – Compatibility and Quality
To ensure the proper functionality of your filter, it’s best to make sure you have cartridge replacements compatible with your system. In many circumstances, this may mean having to get filters from the same brand as the system, but that’s not always the case. Since there are cartridges that have a shorter life span than others, maintaining such a system can be costly.
But there are off-brand cartridges that will work for many filtering systems, you just need to make sure they are compatible on a mechanical level. For many such situations, quality becomes an issue, as some off-brand cartridges will not only exhibit worse quality but could affect the system as well.
Not only that but storing extra cartridges is also important. As much as possible keep your additional filter cartridges away from hot, moist, or dusty storage places, and keep them in their original packaging. All this is necessary so that they don’t get damaged in storage.
Maintenance by Type of Water Filter
Generally, all water filters require maintenance, but on a particular level, each device has its own set of maintenance needs. Depending on what you’re using, you may find yourself having to perform varying degrees of difficult maintenance procedures.
Activated Carbon System
Water filtering systems that use activated carbon are fairly straightforward when it comes to maintenance. Changing the filter cartridge after about 6 months, or 1 to 2 months if you use a pitcher, and cleaning the housing is all that is needed. Some prefer to keep the carbon cartridge for a whole year, which should be ok. Any more than that will start contaminating the water instead of cleaning it.
UV Light Filter
The lamp of a UV light is the main water cleaning medium and is also what undergoes the most maintenance with this system. The light itself doesn’t burn out it does solarize after about a year which decreases its effectiveness at cleaning water. This light usually needs replacing after this period of use.
A UV system also has a protective sleeve lined with quartz. Once a year, when the light is replaced, this sleeve can also be cleaned. Use a soft piece of cloth so as not to scratch it, in combination with some vinegar.
Reverse Osmosis System
This water filter system is one that has a few more particularities that need addressing. The water source should be shut down, and the system depressurized. Basic maintenance like changing cartridges is fairly easy even with a complex system like the RO.
Cleaning the inside of the housing is a little more difficult but somewhat necessary. Some unscented bleach or other safe sanitizing products should do the job splendidly.
Additional Basic Maintenance for Water Filters
When it comes to water filters it’s not just about cartridge replacements and cleaning the device. More complex water filters come with more layers and add-ons like a storage tank or separate tap mounted on the sink. These devices will need a little more attention in the form of changing O-rings, adding vaseline if needed, checking for leaks, drips, pipe integrity, and pump functionality.
Some water filtering systems may require a professional to undertake the task of cleaning them. Other smaller and simpler systems are reasonably easy to clean by oneself. It’s a given that you would want to maintain a water filtering device, as it was an investment, and water quality is important.