How Long Does a Water Filter Last? (What You Should Know)

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Most water filters last only 6 months before needing replacement. Don’t waste your money buying expensive bottled water.

Instead, invest in a high-quality water filtration system that will last longer and save you hundreds of dollars over the course of a year.

I’ll walk you through all types of water filtration systems available and tell you exactly how long they should last.

How Long Does a Water Filter Last

How Long Do Water Filters Last?

There are four main types of water filtrations systems available today. Each one offers a unique combination of benefits and drawbacks.

You’ll find that there isn’t really any single best option. But if you’re willing to pay a little extra, you can get a water filtration system with a lifetime warranty.

I’m going to walk you through the top four options and tell you exactly how they work. Then I’ll share my personal recommendation for the top choice.

How Long Do Water Filters Last in The Refrigerator?

Water filters should be replaced every 6 months if you have a fridge with an ice maker or every 1 year if you have a fridge without an ice maker.

Refrigerator filters are usually made up of silver or copper. Silver is great for killing bacteria, while copper kills off germs and viruses.

Cartridge filters are best for families with young children because they’re easier and cheaper to install than pleated ones.

However, water filters are usually installed inside the water supply lines that lead into fridges. They’re easy to replace and maintain.

They’re recommended for households with older children and adults because they’re easier to install and maintain than larger systems.

But they’re better able to kill off bacteria and viruses than cartridge filters.

How Long Do Brita Water Filters Last?

Brita filters last longer if you use them less frequently. You should change your Brita filter every six months or so. But if you use your Brita regularly, you may only need to change it once every year or two.

A Brita filter works by passing water through tiny holes in its plastic housing. These holes allow small particles to pass through, but large particles remain trapped inside. Over time, the holes become clogged with dirt and debris, reducing the effectiveness of the filter.

To keep your Brita working properly, you should change it every 6 months or so. However, if you use your Brittas regularly, you may only require changing it once per year or two.

Below are the most common types of Brita filters and when you should expect to change them.

  • Standard Brita Filter: 40 gallons or every 2 months.
  • Longlast+ Brita Filter: 120 gallons or every 6 months.
  • Brita Steam Filter: 40 gallons or every 2 months.
  • Brita Faucet Filter: 100 gallons or every 4 months.
  • Brita Bottle Filter: 40 gallons or every 2 months.

How Long Do Water Filters Last In Jugs?

Usually, water filter pitcher jugs every two month or 40 gallons, whichever come first. But you should still follow those guidelines because filters that clog with particulate matter simply stop working.

To avoid this problem, you should change your water filter regularly. And since water filters last longer in jugs than in bottles, you might want to consider buying a jug instead of a bottle.

How Long Do Sink Water Filters Last?

Sink water filters should be checked regularly to ensure that they’re working properly. You should change your sink filter every six months or after it reaches its recommended lifespan.

Your standard under-the-counter sink water filter should last between 6 and 12 months. But if you live in a hot climate where chlorine levels are high, you may need to replace your filter sooner.

To determine how long your sink filter lasts, simply count the number of days since you installed it. Then divide that number by 30 to find out how many weeks it’s lasted. After that, multiply the result by 2 to find out how many months it’s lasted.

For example, if you install your sink filter on January 1st, and it lasts 10 weeks, then it’s lasted 3 months. Multiply that by two to find out that it’s lasted 6 months.

Here are some guidelines for changing and monitoring filters:

  • Filters used in commercial settings should be changed every 4 to 6 months.
  • Filters in residential settings should be changed every 6 to 12 months.
  • Reverse osmosis, membranes, and additional alkaliser only need to be changed every 2 years or 4 years, respectively.

How Long Does A Whole House Water Filter System Last?

A whole house water filter system lasts for the length of time that you specify. You can select any combination of pre-, carbon- and post-filters that work well for your needs.

For example, if you only drink bottled water, then you might only need a pre-filter. But if you regularly cook with tap water, then you may need a post-filter. And if you live in an area where there’s lots of sediment in your water, then you may want to consider using a carbon filter.

Whole house water filters come in different capacities, which can give you more affordable products or increase the lifespan of your filters. The capacity of water filtres is rated by how much volume of water they can process before requiring replacement. For instance, one filter could be listed as processing 100,000 gallons of filtered water in its lifetime.

On average, whole-house water filters will last for the following periods of time:

  1. Pre-Filter: 3-6 months
  2. Carbon Filter: 1 year
  3. Post-Filter: 1 year

If you are tired of the unpleasant taste or smell in your drinking water, contact Varsity Home Services in New York. Our expert technicians will help you set up a FREE consultation and quote for our whole-house water filtration services. Call us today or fill out our online request form to get started right now!

How Long Does A Zero Water Filter Last?

ZeroWater recommends replacing your water filter every 3-4 months. But if you’re using a ZeroWater pitcher, you should expect to get between 20 and 40 gallons of clean water from your filter before it needs to be replaced.

This is because the filter in a ZeroWater pitcher is capable of treating up to 40 gallons of water. You may only get 20, 15, or even 10 gallons of clean water from this filter before reaching the end of its lifespan.

So how long does a zero water filter last? Well, it depends on how frequently you use it. If you use it once per day, then you should replace it after about 30 days. If you use it twice per week, then you should replace your filter after about 60 days. And if you use it daily, then you should replace the filter after about 90 days. 

How Long Does A Reverse Osmosis Filter Last?

A reverse osmosis filter lasts anywhere between 10-15 years if it’s regularly maintained. But regular maintenance isn’t enough. You also need to replace the cartridge every year and inspect the parts for any problems.

Some parts may wear out (such as storage tanks, and tubing) over time. This is natural since air and moisture will slowly react with fittings, pipes, tanks, housings, and other parts of the RO system.

The reaction might cause leaks or cracks which might allow bacteria or impurities to enter your drinking water.

So if you want to keep your reverse osmosis filter working well for a long time, you need to maintain it properly. And that means replacing the cartridge every year and inspecting the parts for any problems.

How Long Do Water Filter Cartridges Last?

Well, it depends on how often you use your water filtration systems. But generally speaking, it takes approximately six months for a non-carbon-filters to lose its effectiveness.

And it takes approximately 12 months for a carbon-based filter to lose its effectiveness.

But remember, it’s important to change your filters every year. Otherwise, you risk damaging your water filtration equipment.

How Long Does a Water Filter Last When Not Used?

Water filters last longer when they’re stored properly. You should store your water filter in a place where it won’t be exposed to direct sunlight. And you shouldn’t leave it sitting in a hot room either. Instead, keep it in a cool, dark place where it can stay nice and moist.

After a week, you can move it to a drawer in the heated part of the house. But don’t forget to change the water every day.

Why do water filters only last 6 months?

Water filters only last six months. Why? Because they’re made of plastic. Plastic doesn’t last forever. And if you think about it, why would anyone expect a water filter to last any longer than six months?

Plastic water filters are cheap, convenient, and easy to install. But they’re not meant to last long term. You shouldn’t expect a water filter to work well after six months or a year.

So how long does a water filter actually last? Well, it depends on how hard you treat it. If you run your tap water through a regular water filter, then it probably won’t last more than six months. But if you run your tap water through a reverse osmosis system, then it might last several years.

But regardless of whether you use a standard water filter or a reverse osmosis water filter, you still need to change your water filter every six months. Otherwise, you risk contaminating your drinking water.  


Do I need to change the water filter every 6 months?

Over a period of years, these contaminants gradually collect inside the filters, reducing their ability to perform their function and causing them to clog up. To remove these impurities from the system, you need to replace the filters.

What is the lifespan of a water filter?

Replacement of commercial filters should occur every four to six months; replacement of residential filters should occur every six to twelve months.

Alkaline water filtration systems, reverse osmosis systems, and additional alkalizing agents need to be changed every two years or four years, respectively.

How do you know when a water filter needs replacing?

You should check your water filter regularly to ensure it is functioning correctly. Water filters remove impure substances from the tap and bottled water.

They also help prevent bacterial growth and illness. When you notice any change in taste or color, replace your filter immediately.

How often should you replace the water filter?

For residential water filtration systems, it is recommended to replace your filter once per season, or when you notice a decrease in flow rate.

What happens if you drink water from an old filter?

If you continue to use the old filter, it might not be able to get rid of enough bacteria from your drinking water. According to a recent German study, the number of microorganisms in water decreases by up to 90% when you switch to the new filter.


Water filters are an essential part of any home. They remove impurities from water, keeping it safe to drink.

However, when you buy a filter, you need to understand how long it lasts. This information will help you decide what kind of filter you need and how long water filters last.

Joanna G. Lackey

Hi, I'm Joanna, a writer freelance writer who specializes in topics about health and nutrition. I live in the Pacific Northwest with my husband and three children. I'm a mom to two dogs and a cat. I love reading, writing, and taking photos.