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How often to change water filter on fridge

So how often do people change water filters on fridges? In Melbourne where the water is pretty clean?
I have a fisher and paykel, I just learned that the warning light is time not sensor based and comes on after 6 months. I spoke to a sales person at good guys and he said every 2 years. I just purchased online and the sales rep there said you have to do it every 6 months (but she was getting me to bulk buy 4).

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What does the user manual say…is it a trigger based on a period (6 months) or a performance based change (colour, water flow, sensor etc)?

If you have the made and model, we might be able to find the online manual for you…

Why is there a filter on the fridge and what does it do? One story.

How do you know if your filter is not able to do it’s job?
Other than time the fridge as you note does not know how much water it has dispensed or the quality of the water going into the filter.

It is possible to measure the pressure loss across the filter and flow volume as a guide. A portable large volume water treatment facility does that and much more. A simple 6 month timer is far less expensive. The mentioned 6 month rule is likely very conservative to cover all.

Note:
We have filter systems on our tank water and work to 12 months. We do notice a loss of flow rate over time. Some filters are non bypassing and can withstand full water pressure if blocked. Most however collapse or bypass. I’d replace our filter if there is a noticeable fall in maximum flow rate.

Whether 6 months, or 12 months or longer is safe? We’ve gone longer knowing our drinking water has two stages of filtration and flow is ok. There are risks that things can lodge in your filter and breed. Chlorination is supposed to minimise the risk. A suspicion for reticulated water (in a previous lifetime) is that random events in the mains (cleaning, leaks etc) are most likely the greatest risk. You might like to cut a used filter open after what ever you think is a good time guess. If it has discolouration, slime or the water taste has changed prior, it might be the best you can do.

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Very good summary Mark. Thank you, our fridge only has ice, but I assume its the same principle. I’ll use your suggestion and open it up. The manual suggests that one symptom is ice clumping together, but also says that happens over time anyway.

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6 months, but I suspect that is the lowest common denominator model is Fisher and Paykel RF610A

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The manual states (pdf document)…

Water filter
All the water to your refrigerator is filtered to remove impurities through a cartridge located in a position of your choice outside the refrigerator. This will need changing approximately every 6 months.

â– â–  There is a replacement indicator icon on the control panel which will appear when the filter needs replacing. It will flash, as a reminder, when water is dispensed.

And

We recommend the water filter cartridge is replaced when the icon flashes. This will happen every 6 months.

It appears it is a period based trigger.

What are the risks of not changing…the main one will be microbiological. Filters remove particles from the water including fungi, bacteria, viruses, algae and others. Over time these can build up in a filter and microbes like algae, fungi and bacteria can release toxins which may go through the filter impacting on the consumer’s health. The microbes may also burst through the filter at concentrations which may cause issues. Even treated reticulated water contains microbes, but at levels which are significantly less than that which can impact on human health. The filter will trap these residual microbes from water treatment and their concentrations increase in the filters until such time that the population can cause health issues.

What are the risks based on living in Melbourne?..don’t know and F&P are likely to be conservative in relation to 6 months to ensure that the users of the fridge remain safe.

What would be an acceptable time frame for Melbourne?..how long is a piece of string…the answer is possible some time after 6 months. It could be close to six months or well after 6 months.

Notwithstanding this, if the fridge is under warranty (either manufacturer or the ACL consumer guarantee) and it fails becuase the filter was not replaced, this could be classed as misuse under the ACL and would be a warranty exception. This is something to consider.

If the fridge is out of warranty/consumer guarantee under the ACL, then the risk lies with you. If you wanted to take a risk, then the manual also provides information on how to reset the filter change indicator. How long is acceptable…this is something which may be impossible to answer,

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