Does Water Filter Quality Really Matter?

Learn about why quality matters when it comes to choosing a water filter for your home or office. Understand how different types of filters can reduce contaminants in your drinking water.

Does Water Filter Quality Really Matter?

When it comes to water filtration, it's important to understand that not all filters are created equal. Refrigerator water filters are certified to reduce different contaminants, ranging from chlorine and other impurities that affect taste, to cysts, heavy metals, pesticides, and even pharmaceuticals. The water supplied by your municipality is regularly tested and considered safe to drink, but it can still benefit from a filter in your refrigerator. If you have strangely tasting water in your area, then a filter may help.

But in most cases, it's not doing much. Refrigerator manufacturers would like you to think so, but there are replacement filters available that are fully compatible with your refrigerator and offer higher quality filtration for your drinking water at a lower cost. Take a look at the table below that compares OEM filters to comparable Second Nature offerings. While unexpected repairs and their costs are rarely fun, the only benefit of cheap fridge water filters is their lower initial cost.

Higher quality, performance and safety standards are benefits of original factory filters that we think are worthwhile for a higher cost. It's important to note that the water filter doesn't kill bacteria. Microbes can get trapped and flow into the water, and it's the bacteria trapped in the filter that should worry you. Consumer Reports contacted four refrigerator manufacturers to ask about water filter prices and got no answers.

Using the Refrigerator Filter Finder tool, you can follow the four step-by-step instructions to identify the correct replacement filter. You only select what you need once and it's automatically sent to you for each scheduled change of your refrigerator water filter. If your refrigerator has an indicator that tells you when to change the filter, you should reset it when you replace the filter. But before you freak out, here's everything you need to know about water filter jugs and how to know if you're using and protecting yourself properly.

We did the calculations and compared the costs of Brita and Pur pitcher and faucet filters with the costs of Samsung, LG, GE and Whirlpool refrigerator filters. So I bit the bullet, bought an off-brand filter (much cheaper than the manufacturer's brand) and changed it. Buying an OEM filter means that you will receive the exact filter that was part of your refrigerator at the time of purchase. Therefore, it is not surprising that some consumers try to find better-priced filters on the Internet, as they do with printer ink cartridges. The number one risk involved with drinking water purified by a refrigerator water filter is that often the refrigerator filter does not remove all contaminants from the water. Even if your refrigerator filter is doing enough work, if water gets back into the dispenser particles, anyone drinking that water can be at risk of contamination. According to the manufacturer's manuals, the carbon element will eventually stop filtering out unpleasant creatures that live in the water.

Most manufacturers recommend replacing the filter every six months, depending on water quality and usage. Customs and Border Protection seized more than 100,000 counterfeit water filters entering the country. For those of you who want to use a filter but want to find a more affordable one, we will guide you through the necessary steps to make sure that the filters you are considering are doing what you want them to do.