When Should I Replace My Reverse Osmosis Filters?

Replacing your reverse osmosis filters is essential for maintaining water quality. Depending on your filter type, the frequency can range from a few months to once a year. The most common types of reverse osmosis filters are sediment, carbon, and post-carbon filters. Sediment filters should be replaced every 3-6 months; carbon filters every 6-12 months, and post-carbon filters annually.

How Do Reverse Osmosis Filters Work?

How Do Reverse Osmosis Filters Work
Reverse Osmosis Filters Work

Reverse osmosis filtration systems work by forcing water through a semi-permeable membrane. This membrane is designed to remove impurities and contaminants from the water while simultaneously separating clean drinking water.

Why Should The Filters And Cartridges Be Replaced?

Why Should The Filters And Cartridges Be Replaced
Replaced Filters And Cartridges

Replacing filters and cartridges is essential to maintain the reverse osmosis system properly. The filters help to remove sediment, chlorine, and other contaminants from the water that passes through the system. Over time, they will become clogged with debris and minerals, which can reduce the effectiveness of the filtration process. When this happens, it is essential to replace the filters and cartridges.

Replacing them will help ensure your system remains efficient and effective in removing unwanted impurities from the water. It is also essential to ensure that you use the correct type of filter for the system, as different filters serve different purposes.

When Should I Replace My Reverse Osmosis Filters?

When Should I Replace My Reverse Osmosis Filters
Replace Reverse Osmosis Filters

It would be best to replace the filters in your reverse osmosis system every six months. This includes the sediment filter, prefilter, and postfilter. Your membrane should be replaced annually or after every 3000 gallons of water filtered through it. It’s essential to have regular maintenance for your system to ensure that your drinking water is safe and clean.

Which Cartridges Should Be Replaced And How Often?

Which Cartridges Should Be Replaced And How Often
Cartridges Should Be Replaced
  • Sediment Prefilter: This filter should be changed every 6 months regularly to ensure your reverse osmosis system continuously provides quality drinking water.
  • Reverse osmosis membrane: The reverse osmosis membrane must be replaced at least every 24 months. This is because it can become clogged over time and decrease filtration performance. It’s important to replace the membrane as soon as possible when you notice any signs of reduced water flow or an increase in TDS (total dissolved solids) in your water.
  • Carbon prefilter: The carbon prefilter should be replaced once every 6 to 12 months, depending on the amount of sediment and chlorine in your water supply. The purpose of the carbon pre-filter is to reduce chlorine taste and odor and other contaminants such as lead, mercury, VOCs, and THMs from the water.
  • Carbon post-filters: Carbon post-filters remove chlorine, pesticides, and other contaminants from the water. However, they can become clogged with impurities over time, reducing their effectiveness. Replacing these filters every 12 months is essential for optimal system performance.

Should I Replace My Reverse Osmosis Filters By A Professional?

In general, hiring a professional for filter replacement is always advisable. This ensures the job is done correctly and all components are replaced as necessary. It also eliminates potential risks associated with improper installation or usage of reverse osmosis filters. Most manufacturers recommend replacing the filters annually or every 6-12 months to ensure optimal performance, depending on the specific model. If you notice any signs of reduced performance from your reverse osmosis filters, it is recommended that you replace them sooner.

Signs Your Ro Water Filter Isn’t Working

  • Decrease Water Pressure: Decreasing water pressure is one of the signs that your reverse osmosis filter needs to be replaced. If your water pressure has decreased significantly, it could be a sign of clogged filters or other blockages in the system.
  • Bad Taste: If the taste of your water changes, it could be a sign that you need to replace your reverse osmosis filters. If the water tastes bad, has an odd odor, or comes out cloudy or discolored, the filters can no longer purify and filter your water correctly.
  • System Always Running: Monitoring your reverse osmosis system and ensuring it is always running correctly is important. Over time, the filters can become clogged and must be replaced to ensure the system works efficiently.
  • Discoloration: Pay attention to the color of your water after it has been filtered through a reverse osmosis system. If you notice that the water is discolored, this could indicate that your filters need replacing. Discoloration can occur for several reasons, such as trapped sediment or mineral composition changes. To make sure your water is safe to consume, it’s essential to replace any filters that are producing discolored water.
  • Unpleasant odor: If you notice that your water has an unpleasant odor, that is often a sign that it’s time to replace the filters in your reverse osmosis system. Odors can be due to bacteria or other organic matter left behind by worn-out filters. Replacing them with new and clean ones will help reduce the odors.

How To Ensure Filters Are Being Replaced On Time?

The best way to ensure filters are being replaced on time is to log the reverse osmosis system’s installation date, replacement dates, and other maintenance dates. You can also set reminders or alarms on your phone or calendar, so you don’t forget when to replace your filters. Additionally, if your reverse osmosis system has a filter life indicator, use it to remind you when the filters need to be replaced. This can help ensure you replace your filters on time and that your water is always safe for consumption.

What If It’s Still Less Than A Year, And The Filters Already Show Problems?

In this case, most likely, the membranes may have been exposed to high chlorine levels or other contaminants. If that’s the case, replacing them as soon as possible is essential to maintain optimal performance and water quality. You should also ensure all necessary maintenance procedures, such as flushing tanks, are followed. That way, you can avoid future problems and ensure your reverse osmosis system remains efficient. Replacing the membrane filters at least every two years, regardless of performance, is recommended.


What happens if you do not change reverse osmosis filters?

What happens if you do not change reverse osmosis filters
Change reverse osmosis filters

Over time, the filters will become clogged with contaminants, reducing water flow and lowering water quality. Leaving reverse osmosis filters unchanged can lead to decreased efficiency and costly repairs.

How much is the cartridge replacement?

Cartridge replacement typically costs between $20 and $50, depending on the type of filter.

Is it better to use a sedimentation filter before the RO water purifier?

Is it better to use a sedimentation filter before the RO water purifier
sedimentation filter

Yes, a sedimentation filter should be used before a reverse osmosis purifier. The sedimentation filter will help to remove particles, such as silt, sand, and dirt, that can clog the membrane of an RO water purifier. This will help your system run more efficiently and reduce the need for you to replace your reverse osmosis filters.

How long do I run my new filter before drinking the water?

It is important to flush your reverse osmosis filter before using it. You should run the water through the system for several minutes until clear, chlorine-free water flows out. Depending on the type of filter, this could take anywhere from 10 minutes up to an hour .


Replacing your reverse osmosis filter is essential for the health and safety of you and your family. In general, it’s a good idea to replace the filters every 6-12 months. However, if you experience any problems with water pressure or taste, you should investigate sooner rather than later to ensure everything works properly. If you need help, many resources can assist you in diagnosing the issue and replacing your filters. A little preventative maintenance goes a long way to ensure safe drinking water for your family.

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