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What Happens If You Don’t Change Your Refrigerator Water Filter?

Let’s face it, a refrigerator water filter doesn’t get as much credit as it’s due. Think about it for a moment: it removes various impurities, allowing you access to clean, pure, and fresh water whenever you need it. I guess that if they were human, most filters would hand in their notice- so much for lack of appreciation!

Usually, such filters require replacement every once in a while. So, what is likely to happen if you don’t change your refrigerator’s filter? Well, at first, you’ll likely not notice any difference. But, as time wears on, a lot can happen, including damage to your fridge. And oh, your water quality will also decline, putting your family’s health at risk.

As you’ve noted, a lot can go wrong, and usually does, if you neglect your refrigerator’s water filter. Here is a breakdown of a few things that can happen and what you can do to prevent them.

1. Scaling 

Have you ever noticed a white, chalky substance inside your refrigerator’s water dispenser? If so, chances are you need a new fridge water filter. Failing to replace it can lead to a buildup of scale or deposits. Besides, scaling can cause clogging and other problems. So, why does this happen?

Generally, the water that enters your fridge is full of impurities, including minerals like calcium and magnesium. Over time, these minerals can buildup on the inner walls of your fridge’s water system, causing scaling or deposit buildup, especially if you fail to swap out your filter on schedule.

2. Cloudy Ice Cubes

The buildup of minerals may also affect your ice machine, making it less effective as time passes. You’ll also notice that your ice cubes have a cloudy appearance.

Well, as your filter’s capacity to do its job decreases, more dissolved minerals will make their way past it. Unlike pure water that appears clear when frozen, water with a high mineral content gives your frozen cubes the characteristic cloudy look. Simply put, your ice maker ends up being less effective.

3. Change in Taste

Mineral buildup tends to affect your water’s flavor, giving it an earthy, grainy, or mineral taste due to algae remnants or other impurities that make it past your filter. Thus, replacing your fridge water filter can help prevent this problem and keep your refrigerator’s water tasting fresh and clean.

4. Health Risk

The impact of failing to replace your fridge’s water filter on your family’s health cannot be overstated. Over time, the filter will become clogged with contaminants, bacteria, and other harmful microorganisms.

These impurities can then pass into your water supply, where they can pose a serious health risk. In addition, a dirty filter can lead to poor air quality in your fridge, as it will allow mold and mildew to increase.

Why Filter Replacement is A Necessity

Changing your refrigerator filter eliminates contaminants from the water system. Plus, it can extend the life of your refrigerator, improve water flow, and prevent other issues related to contaminated water.

Most importantly, regularly replacing your filter protects your family’s health, as they don’t end up consuming harmful pollutants in your water supply system. And while most manufacturers recommend replacing your refrigerator filter once every six months, this may vary due to a few variables, including:

  • The quality of your water supply- if your water is ‘rich in minerals,’ you may need to swap out your filter earlier.
  • Frequency of using the water or your fridge’s integrated features.
  • Your fridge manufacturer- some manufacturers suggest that you replace your filter every three months instead of the standard six.
  • Quality of your filter- while name-brand filters are the go-to option for some people, compatible yet high-quality and budget-friendly filters are available.

Modern refrigerators sport an indicator light, which lets you know when a filter replacement is due. But if yours doesn’t, a safe bet would be to stick to your manufacturer’s recommendation. And if you’re unsure of the process of making the swap, it’s advisable to seek help from a knowledgeable technician.

Plus, even if you’re behind schedule, it won’t hurt to replace the filter to avoid ‘unsavory’ consequences (pun intended). That way, you can kiss weird-tasting water goodbye.

Ultimately, you have the final say on when you need to change your fridge’s water filter. But truth be told, if you make a significant investment in a fridge sporting a dispensing function, wouldn’t it be a smart choice to safeguard it? Don’t let the prices discourage you. You can find quality and reliable after-market options from various retailers without breaking the bank.

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