How Long Do RO Filters Last

How Long Do RO Filters Last
How Long Do RO Filters Last

RO filters have gained traction over the past couple of years and are now a popular water decontamination option in many homes. These treatment systems effectively do away with debris, chemicals, harmful metals, and illness-causing pathogens by holding on to them and not allowing them to seep through the filters.

Over time, the trapped contaminants clog the RO membranes. This compromises the quality of water which is a good enough reason to understand how often to change RO filters.       

But before getting to know how long do RO filters last, let’s find out why cartridge replacement is of the utmost importance.

Why Should You Change Filters And Cartridges? 

The main reason you should change RO filters on time is to maintain high water quality.

When the cartridge soaks up in dirt it loses its purification efficiency and some toxins will go through untrapped. Additionally, some of the trapped impurities may be dislodged into the drinking water, contaminating it. 

Such instances put you and your family at risk of water-related illness and may expose you to life-threatening conditions that result from the consumption of heavy metals and deadly chemicals that may have seeped into the water. And it is only by replacing the cartridges that you can continually enjoy crystal clear water.  

How Often Should You Change RO Filters

So, how often do you change RO filters?

RO filter replacement frequency has various moving parts and mainly depends on usage, your water contamination levels, and the manufacturer's instructions. 

But ideally, osmosis systems manufacturers recommend changing them bi-annually. 

However, some companies will advise that you replace them after dispensing a certain amount of water. In this case, filters on a commercial purification system will need to be changed more regularly compared to their residential counterparts. 

How to Know that Your RO Filters Should be Changed?

Such variables on when should RO filters be changed leave many homeowners wondering whether to wait for six months to undertake replacements or do it sooner.

If you are in such a predicament, the good news is, there are signs to watch out for to know how often change reverse osmosis filter.

The tell-tale signs include:

  • Decrease in flow rate

Once gunked up with debris, chemicals, pathogens, and other harmful toxins, a reverse osmosis cartridge will not work optimally. The impurities will cover the tiny holes on the cartridges, restricting water flow. 

  • Turbidity and particles in your cup

When you dispense water into a cup and notice particles or cloudiness, this indicates that either the cartridge is dislodging dirt into the water or particles are moving past the cartridge untrapped. Either way, immediate cartridge replacement is of the essence.   

  • Unpleasant taste or smell

A properly functioning RO system will eliminate any foul smells and tastes in water. They will also perform an outstanding job eliminating chloramines that are responsible for the bleach-like taste that many people do not like.   

So, if you noticed any unpleasant tastes or smells, you can be sure that the cartridges are allowing chemicals, gases, and probably heavy metals through. Thus, they need to be swapped out even if you have used the cartridges for less than six months.

Who Can Help You to Change the Filter?

When replacing your whole house water filtration system’s cartridges, you will need to do it yourself or call a professional. There is no right and wrong approach but it will depend on your preference and the system’s complexity.

Below we share the pros and cons of both replacement approaches, which will help you pick the right one for you. 

Do It With Master

The benefit of seeking the services of a cartridge replacement expert include:

  • Proven expertise

A professional has probably been in the water treatment industry for a while and they understand the intricacies of handling filtration systems. By hiring them, you rest assured they will replace and install the cartridge as expected.

Additionally, they will be able to address any queries you have and even advise you on the best system to properly address your water problem. Thus, your family can enjoy pure water throughout the house. 

On the flipside…

  • Professionals are expensive

Of course, you will need to part with a couple of dollars to access the services of an expert. 

Do It by Yourself

Good news for DIYers!

You can actually swap out your old cartridge for a new one.

A notable advantage of doing it yourself is:

  • No need to pay for external services

Replacing RO cartridges is not as complex as it initially seems. The system comes with a wrench that will come in handy during the installation and unistallation processes, eliminating the need to hire an expert.

Also, in case you need to purchase replacement cartridges, you can easily order the one perfect for your system at Filterway, and have it shipped to you in no time.

However, replacing cartridges by yourself becomes a tough-nut-to crack when you are using a complex RO system with multiple filtration stages and you have no prior knowledge of how the system operates. Luckily, the units will often have an operating manual that will guide you step by step on how to undertake the entire process. 

Also, you can check out how-to videos on Youtube or the company’s website to familiarize yourself with the replacement procedures.    


Hopefully, you now comprehend how often you should change reverse osmosis filter and the signs that indicate an overused water filter. Failure to conduct prompt replacements puts your family at risk of water-borne diseases and exposure to harmful toxins. 

When you replace reverse osmosis filters, it’s also essential to change all the cartridges. Doing so ensures all filters are operating at optimal conditions, allowing you to hydrate healthily and keeping your loved ones safe. 

Do you still have questions regarding how long RO cartridges last? Filterway is here to help.

We are renowned experts in the filtration industry, selling high-quality RO and refrigerator cartridges. We understand a vast number of treatment solutions and can offer invaluable advice as to the working life of your system’s filters, based on your home’s water consumption and the impurities present.

Contact us today for more information.