In recent years, concerns about the quality of our drinking water supply have become more and more prevalent, and as a result we’ve become more aware of—and grateful for—the water filters that are included with refrigerators’ water dispensers.
While these water filters offer the convenience of chilled, filtered water in our kitchens, replacing the factory model filter when it wears out can leave us scratching our heads. Because refrigerator manufacturers have proprietary filter designs, finding a replacement filter that’s the right fit can be a challenge.
When you do find a filter that fits your appliance, remember that not all filters are the same. Some will simply reduce chlorine and improve taste, while other filters will also remove harmful contaminants, such as heavy metals, pesticides, and even pharmaceuticals.
This guide will review the features that shoppers will want to consider when selecting the best refrigerator water filter for their needs.
Determining which water filter model is compatible with your refrigerator is just one step in the decision-making process of selecting a replacement filter. The contaminants the product removes and the filter’s lifespan are other important factors to consider.
First and foremost, the water filter needs to fit in the refrigerator. Fridge filters are by no means universal. Due to the wide variety of connection types in refrigerators, most filters are only compatible with one or two refrigerator manufacturers.
There are a few ways to determine which filters are compatible with a refrigerator; the easiest method is to remove the old filter and check the model number. A quick check of the fridge’s user manual (or the manufacturer’s website) should yield the information you seek. One last option is to check the water filter manufacturer’s web page, where you should find a list of refrigerator brands and model numbers along with the filters that fit them.
NSF Testing and Verification
NSF International is a nonprofit organization that tests and certifies consumer products to ensure compliance with certain standards for performance, safety, and quality. One of their areas of specialty is testing products in the water industry, among them refrigerator water filters. The organization uses a series of different classifications to test refrigerator water filters to certify what they can do.
- NSF 42: Any water filter worth its salt will have, at the very least, an NSF 42 certification. Filters with an NSF 42 rating will reduce impurities such as chlorine while improving taste and odor.
- NSF 53: Filters with this rating can remove a broader range of contaminants that cause health problems, including arsenic, mercury, radon, and asbestos, among many others.
- NSF 401: Filters with an NSF 401 rating can remove certain harmful chemicals in drinking water, including prescription and over-the-counter drugs, herbicides, pesticides, and other chemicals, such as detergents.
Although these certifications help determine how effective filters are, they aren’t perfect. One filter may have an NSF 53 rating, but the number and type of heavy metals it can remove may differ from another NSF 53-rated filter. For this reason, it’s crucial to research the filters carefully and check the contaminants they do and do not remove before making a purchase.
The last thing one wants is to buy a water filter and find that it adds harmful chemicals to the water that is being filtered. In addition to the above certifications, there are additional NSF certifications you’ll find on water filters’ labels. These certifications show that the filters themselves do not use certain toxic materials in their construction.
- A filter with an NSF 372 rating will not leach lead into the water.
- An NSF 61 rating is broader, indicating that the filter will not leach toxic chemicals into the water.
Most refrigerator filters fit into a compartment inside the refrigerator and are quick and easy to install. They either plug into a socket and lock into place when the cover is closed or twist-lock into a receptacle. This simple installation design allows the user to change the filter easily, without leaving the refrigerator door open for a long period of time.
While changing the filter is an easy process, readying it for use is a bit more time consuming. The last step of installation for most filters is a process that involves running 4 gallons or more of water through the filter before it’s suitable for use. This is done to flush out bits inside the filter that may have come loose during shipping. This can be a tedious process, and one that requires numerous trips back and forth to the sink to drain water.
Most refrigerator water filters last for about six months before wearing out. For the average family of four, this amounts to 200 and 300 gallons of filtered water. While water filters can be expensive, many manufacturers package them in bundles of two or more at more affordable per-unit rates. Buying water filters in bulk is an excellent money-saving strategy for keeping the water in the fridge fresh.
Pursafet ‘s refrigerator water filters are manufactured under ISO9001 standard facility and are compatible with most branded refrigerators, such as Whirlpool, Samsung, LG, GE, Frigidiare and Bosch. We are dedicated to provide customers with premium quality products.