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When Should I Change a Zero Water Filter? Tips, Facts, & FAQ


There is something nice about a glass of cold, filtered water. ZeroWater filters do an excellent job using ion-exchange technology versus the average filter that uses activated carbon for filtration.

But when should you change the filter? There’s no real one-size-fits-all answer for when to change the filter. Clues that it’s time to change the filter are a changing flavor of the water and high readings of total dissolved solids (TDS) on your TDS water quality meter.

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How Does a ZeroWater Filter Work?

Unlike other filters on the market, ZeroWater uses a proprietary five-stage ion exchange filtration process. As the water passes through the five levels of filtration, more and more contaminants are taken out of the water.

The five stages are:
  • Coarse filter screen: The initial coarse filter screen takes out the common contaminants of tap water like rust, dirt, or dust.
  • Foam distributor: Any suspended solids that aren’t caught in the coarse filter are removed by the foam distributor.
  • Activated carbon: The carbon removes organic contaminants like Mercury, Chlorine, or pesticides, and it also prevents bacteria growth.
  • Dual ion exchange: The ion exchange resin is where the magic happens. This part of the process removes unwanted metals from your water.
  • Ultra-fine filter screen: If any solids make it through the other four stages, this last screen should catch them.

When to Change the ZeroWater Filter

Checking your water regularly with the TDS water quality tool is the best and most accurate way to know if the filter is still good. You should be getting a reading of 006 or lower with the meter. If you’re not, it’s time to replace the filter.

Another way to tell if your filter needs to be replaced is by the changing flavor of the water. When the filter can no longer remove the solids, you’ll begin noticing a fishy taste in the water. And if you’re tasting a lemon-like flavor, the ion exchange resins are no longer working as they should be.

How Long Should a ZeroWater Filter Last?

There’s no one-size-fits-all answer for how long your filter should last. It depends primarily on two different factors: your family’s water consumption and the tap water TDS levels.

As a rule, if TDS levels are between 002 and 050, you can expect to get around 40 gallons or more of filtered water. However, with TDS levels like 301–400, you will only get up to 15 gallons of clean water.

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Replacing a ZeroWater Filter

Changing the filter is a simple process and only takes a couple of minutes:

  • Take the water pitcher apart and clean it if you want.
  • Open a new filter—you may notice condensation on the filter. Don’t worry, this is normal.
  • Twist the new filter into place from below. Ensure that it’s tight enough to form a seal.
  • Fill up the pitcher with cold water and allow it to pass through the filter.
  • Have a glass of clean, filtered water.

Note: unlike many other filters on the market, ZeroWater filters don’t need to be rinsed, soaked, or prepared in any way before using.

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Closing Thoughts

If your tap water has high TDS levels and your family drinks a lot of water, a ZeroWater filtration system can be an expensive option. However, most people consider it a small price to pay for the clean water offers.


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