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How Long Do Water Filters Last?

By Jeff Wise July 27, 2022

Approximately 40% of Americans use some sort of water filtration system. There are a number of reasons why this is the case, including poor tap water quality and taste preference.

For example, homeowners that rely on a well for their water source often use a filter due to a dislike for the  taste as well as the threat of contaminants in the water.

However, choosing the right water filter for your lifestyle can be difficult. There are many different options, and you might even be wondering how long does a water filter last.

The cost-effectiveness of a filtration system can play a big role in choosing the system for you and your family. 

In this article you will learn more about water filters and how long a water filter can last.

Keep reading to learn more about water filtration systems and how they can benefit you.

How Long Do Water Filters Last?

Water Filters for Your Whole House

There is a wide variety of water filtration systems to choose from, each with their own advantages and drawbacks. 

There are a few differences between water filters, the main two being where in the process the water is filtered and the process used for filtering the water.

Below are a few of the different types of water filters that you might encounter.

 Whole House Water Filters

These kinds of water filters are the most expansive in terms of reach. As their name suggests, these filters connect to your main water line and filter water as it enters your home.

This means that the water filtered through these systems reach your washer, bathroom, kitchen, and anywhere else that you might have water going out.

These kinds of filters tend to be some of the most expensive out there, costing on the low end $1000, and on the higher end up to $3000.

Typically these water filters will have a Gallon Per Minute (GPM) rate of around 8, though that can find some with a higher or lower rate.

Reverse Osmosis Systems

A reverse osmosis water filtration system is a different kind of filtration system that can be installed either at the point of entry to your home, as a whole house system, or at point of use, such as at a tap.

The difference with reverse osmosis is in how the water is filtered. 

Since reverse osmosis filters can be either for your whole house or for one specific area of your home, the cost can vary widely.

For the point of use filters, the  cost is typically around $150 up to just over $1000.

For the whole house system the cost is typically close to the non reverse osmosis whole house filters, around $1500.

More Common Water Filter Systems

While the whole house and reverse osmosis systems work perfectly for some households, not everyone wants or needs a system that works for their entire home.

Below are a few of the options available for someone looking for purification systems for drinking water.

Under Sink Water Filters

Under sink water filters are among some of the more affordable and popular water filtration systems.

Costing on average between $250 and $400, these systems are installed into your plumbing system connecting to your kitchen sink. 

Typically under sink water filters will have a GPM of at least 5, though some will have more. 

Water Pitcher Filter

Another very popular option for filtering water is a water pitcher with a filter on it. These are typically the cheapest options for someone looking for filtered water.

On average, water pitchers cost around $25. However, the cost of replacing filters for water pitchers can add up, as these will need to be changed frequently, which will be touched on in the next section. 

The Berkey Option

Another great option when considering a water filtration system is the Berkey Water Filter. This water filter is a little bit like the water pitcher system, but at a much higher quality as well as quantity.

These filters use a gravity filtration system to filter out 99% of contaminants while leaving beneficial minerals.

The Berkey water filter system comes in multiple sizes, including a water bottle option. The water bottle is $46, while the larger containers, which start at 1.5 gallons and go up to 6 gallons, start at around $345. 

How Long Does a Water Filter Last? 

Water filters can last different lengths of time typically based on the amount of gallons they filter.

The best way to measure how long a filter should last  should then be determined by how much water is filtered through them and not in terms of months.

For whole house water filters, they will typically last at the longest about 12 months, or 10,000 gallons.

The cost to replace the cartridges is relatively inexpensive, around $50 on average for a multipack.

Reverse osmosis systems can last for a relatively long time, up to about 2 years.

The cost for replacing these filters is about $20 to $50. These systems can filter about the same amount as the regular whole house filters. 

Under the sink water filters last a much shorter time, about 3-9 months, before needing to be replaced.

These filters can process a few hundred to a thousand gallons before needing to be replaced.

The cost for replacing these filters is typically around $20 to $60 depending on brand and how many cartridges are in a pack.

Water pitchers will tend to be the filtration systems that you find yourself replacing more often than the others.

These systems you should be replacing every 1 to 4 months. The typical cost for these replacements can be about $12 to $60 depending again on brand and size of the pack.

The Berkey is a great option for your water filtration system.

This system can filter up to 6000 gallons per filter, giving you a cost effective way to drink clean and filtered water. The cost for the replacement filters is $166 for the Black Berkey filter.

Find the Right Choice for Your Family

If you've been wondering how long does a water filter last, this article has touched some of the most common filters and their longevity. There are many different options out there when it comes to choosing a water filtration system, and you need to make sure you find the right one for your family.

Berkey water filters are a great choice and can help you save money in the long run. For more information or to find the right Berkey filter for you, check out your options today.


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