Most modern refrigerators feature water dispensers, ice makers, or both. Before the water is dispensed to the user, it is first run through a filter in order to ensure that it is safe, healthy, and tastes great. However, these filters degrade over time, and they will need to be replaced regularly; most commonly, every 6 months.
How Water Filters Work
Generally, a water filter contains a chamber of activated charcoal. Activated charcoal is charcoal that has been specifically treated (usually through heating) to improve its ability to absorb materials.
When the refrigerator control board calls for water, an inlet valve allows water to enter the refrigerator tubing, which then leads it to the filter. The water is pushed in the filter housing, where it passes through the microscopic holes in the activated charcoal block. When this happens, any pollutants or imperfections are trapped within the charcoal, while clean water comes out the other side. This is known as physical filtration.
The activated charcoal also performs an action known as chemical filtration. Certain smaller contaminants that are too small to be trapped by the pores in the charcoal are eliminated through chemical reactions. Lead and other heavy metals are eliminated using this process.
Whether using physical or chemical filtration, activated carbon becomes much less effective the longer it is being used. The holes become clogged, and the chemical reactions become less effective, making the water less safe to drink. On average, the usefulness of an activated carbon water filter begins to degrade after around 6 months of use, so you should make sure it is replaced bi-annually.
The Importance of Genuine Water Filters
Not all water filters are created equally. While a genuine, NSF Certified water filter is guaranteed to meet certain standards of filtration, other filters may not reach this threshold. Off-brand or uncertified water filters may contain inferior absorption mediums, which could allow harmful materials like lead, pesticides, and pharmaceuticals to enter your drinking water and ice. Be sure when purchasing a filter to check for the NSF Certification brand.
Find the Right Water Filter for Your Refrigerator With Repair Clinic
Repair Clinic offers the best selection of genuine certified water filters for your appliance. Simply enter your model number into the Repair Clinic.com search bar to find the filter that fits your refrigerator perfectly. You can also find millions of other replacement parts for appliance, outdoor power equipment, and heating and cooling products. Visit our Repair Help section to find videos, articles, and other information to help you keep your appliances running great!