How Often to Change a Well Water Filter (+ When)

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Well water filters need constant monitoring since well water is prone to heavy contamination.

Depending on the quality of your well water, you may need to change your filter more or less frequently.

We’ll go over how often to change a well water filter and when the best time to do so is.

Key Takeaways

  • Generally, a well water filter should be changed every 3 to 12 months.
  • If your water is discolored, has a strange taste or odor, or your water pressure drops, it may be time to change filters.
  • Tip: Checking your manufacturer’s recommendations can help.

Schedule: How Often to Replace a Well Water Filter Typically

The replacement schedule of a well water filter varies depending on several factors, but a good rule of thumb is to check your manufacturer’s recommendations.

Generally, a whole house well water filter must be changed every 3 to 12 months.

Factors That Influence How Long a Well Water Filter Lasts

There are three primary factors that affect how often you need to replace your well water filter: the quality of your well water, the type of filter you’re using, and how much water you use.

Filter Type

Each type of whole house well water filter has a different lifespan. Some filters last only a few months, while others can last up to a year plus. Here is a rundown of the different filters and their average lifespans:

whole house water filter cartridges of different sizes

1. Sediment Filters

This is the most common type of filter used in well water systems. They remove particulates like sand, dirt, and rust from your water. Depending on the quality of your well water, sediment filters will need to be replaced every 3 to 12 months.

2. Iron Filters

Iron filters can last up to 12 months depending on the amount of ferrous iron dissolved in your water. Besides, this filter type can also trap manganese and sulfur.

3. Activated Carbon Filters

Activated carbon filters remove chlorine, chemicals, and other contaminants from your water. These filters typically need to be replaced around every 12 months.

4. KDF Filters

KDF filters use redox reactions to remove stuff like heavy metals from your water – think lead. They also prevent the growth of bacteria. KDF filters usually last about 1 (2) year.

5. Reverse Osmosis Filters

Reverse osmosis systems work by forcing water through a semipermeable membrane, leaving any contaminants behind. They often deploy multiple filter stages that have different replacement schedules.

6. Ultraviolet (UV) Light Filters

UV light filters use ultraviolet light to kill bacteria and viruses in your water. UV bulbs typically need to be replaced every 12 months.

7. Ultrafiltration

This type of filter uses a very fine membrane to remove even the tiniest of contaminants. On average, these filters last 6 months to 2 years.

Well Water Quality

While there are recommended replacement schedules for every filter, your overall well water quality can influence the lifespan, too.

Water quality is determined by the concentration of contaminants and other impurities in the water. If your water quality is exceptionally poor, you may need to replace your filters earlier than recommended.

Recent Well Work

If you have made any recent repairs or changes to your well, your water quality may be affected. Sediment or other materials may have seeped in during work, so it’s important to have your well flushed and/or tested afterwards.

Pressure Tank Replacement

If you have a pressure tank that stores your well water, it will eventually need to be replaced.

During the replacement process, there’s a chance for debris ending up in your plumbing system. This debris will likely cause your well water filter to clog quicker than normal.

Drought or Rain

Drought can cause your well water to become more concentrated with contaminants since there’s less water to dilute them. On the other hand, rainwater can wash new contaminants into your well. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends having your water tested immediately after natural occurrences like these.

Water Usage

The amount of water you use also affects how often your filter needs to be replaced. If you live in a house with multiple people and have high water usage, your filter will need to be replaced more frequently.

Well Water Filters That Don’t Require Replacement

Technically speaking, there are no filters that don’t need at least some form of replacement. Even if you have a well water filter advertised as “maintenance-free,” it will still need some level of regular care.

The good news is that there are well water filters that can last several years before their lifespan ends, like carbon-based filters using large tanks.

What Happens If You Don’t Change Your Whole House Well Water Filter on Time?

If you wait too long before changing your whole house well water filter, you could start to see some consequences throughout your home.

  • Your water pressure may decrease, and you might notice that your water isn’t as clean as it used to be.
  • You might also see more sediment in your clothing after washing them.
  • Not changing your filter can also lead to bigger problems down the road. A dirty filter is much less effective at removing contaminants, which means they can build up in your home’s water supply. This could lead to serious health problems for you and your family if you drink or use the water for cooking.

brown whole house water filter

Can I Change the Water Filter on My Well Myself?

Yes, it’s possible to change a well water filter by yourself. Your manufacturer’s manual usually provides instructions on how to replace water filters, so it’s important to follow these to avoid any damage to the system.

That being said, if you’re not comfortable changing the filter on your own, you can always hire a professional to do it for you.

How to Change a Well Water Filter

Changing a home well water filter is a lot simpler than it sounds.

  1. Start by shutting off the water to your home from the main water shut-off valve.
  2. Locate the well water filter housing unit.
  3. Once you’ve found the housing unit, open it up and remove the old filter. Make sure to dispose of it properly.
  4. Take the new filter and insert it into the housing unit, ensuring it’s seated correctly.
  5. Close the housing unit and turn the main water shut-off valve back on.
  6. Turn on all the faucets in your home to bleed out any air in the lines and to check for leaks.

And that’s it! You’ve successfully changed your well water filter.

How Long Does a Well Water Filter Last When Not Used?

Water filters that have not been used often have no expiry. However, if you used a water filter once and left it unused for a long time, contaminants may have already accumulated in the filter. This is why it’s important to change it even when you haven’t used it for a while.

How to Know When It’s Time to Replace a Well Water Filter

Aside from the recommended schedule, several physical signs indicate when your well water filter needs to be changed.

  • One way to know when it’s time to replace a well filter is by checking the pressure gauge (if you have one). If the pressure drops below the normal range, it’s probably time to change your filter.
  • Another way to tell if it’s time to replace your filter is by looking at the water itself. If the water looks cloudy or discolored, that’s a sign that the filter is no longer doing its job effectively.
  • You should also watch for strange tastes or smells in your water. If you notice anything off, then it’s time to replace the filter.
  • Some filtration systems have an indicator light that will let you know when it’s time to replace. If your system has this feature, be sure to monitor it frequently.

If you have any questions about how often to replace a well water filter please don’t hesitate to leave a comment below!

About the Author Alexandra Uta

Alex is a content writer with an affinity for research and a methodical attention to detail. Since 2020, she has fully immersed herself into the home water treatment industry only to become an expert herself. Alex has been using water filters and similar products for years which has gained her lots of hands-on experience.
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