The Carbon Filter Conundrum: When to Replace and Why

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Written By Mary Katherine
I’m John, the person behind the aquahow blog. I love to investigate water conditions and ways of building water filters. Mostly for my aquariums and home use.

Carbon water filters don’t last a lifetime. Changing them on time is necessary to avoid drinking harmful water that can lead to several health issues from long-time practice.

What Happens If You Don’t Replace Carbon Filter?

If you don’t change the carbon filter once it is expired or exceeds its capacity, it will fail to remove contaminants from the water and may make the water more polluted by releasing certain pollutants.

Using an older carbon filter will lead to several issues. The followings are the consequences you will face.

Bad Water Taste

An expired carbon filter will fail to remove a significant amount of floating sediment in the water.

As a result, the water will not taste as good as it used to.

Also, its smell may feel odd, unlike before.

Minimal Contaminants Absorption

Carbon filters have pores that work like a sponge to attract sediments and chlorine.

However, once it exceeds the maximum absorption threshold, it can’t absorb anymore.

It will fail to purify water, resulting in unfiltered water.

Contaminants’ Accumulation

An old carbon filter will build up various types of contaminants and substances over time.

The filter may look rotten. You may see color modification too.

In some cases, it will result in leakage issues.

Reduced Water Pressure

Expired carbon water filters don’t have the natural workflow to function smoothly.

The water filter will struggle to pass a sufficient amount of water to pass through the filtering system, unlike before.

As a result, it will take more time to filter a certain amount of water.

Consumptions of Harmful Chemicals

If your primary water source is not highly reliable, it may contain some harmful chemicals.

An old carbon filter may fail to remove such chemicals because they are removed from the first layer of the water filter.

Its ineffectiveness prevents it perform such mandatory jobs.  

When Is The Best Time To Change the Carbon Filter?

Carbon filters need to be replaced after a certain period. It is always best to follow the manufacturer’s recommendation to change the filter.

But, some factors will determine how long you can use a carbon filter.

Carbon Filter Quality

The lifespan of a carbon filter can be anywhere from 4 months to 12 months.

It will vary depending on their type, using frequency, and water contamination.

However, cheap quality filters require early replacement than high-quality ones.

Contaminants’ Volume

If your main water has too much contaminant, it is necessary to change the water filter regularly.

The adsorbate will develop quickly. This increases the importance of quick replacement.

Water Filtering Amount

How much water does your family need every day?

It depends on the number of family members in the home.

The more water the carbon filters purify every day, the quicker you need to change it.

Signs for Changing a Carbon Water Filter

  • Blinking of the indicator light
  • Blocked water filter
  • Bad or smelly water taste
  • Slower water filtering
  • Contaminants build-up

Final Thoughts

Changing the carbon filter on time to drink safe and clean water is essential. Otherwise, you may end up having different health issues from drinking contaminated water for a long time.  

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