How Often Should You Change An Iron Filter?

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Installing an iron filter in your home can help keep your water supply safe and free from contaminants like iron. But how often should you change your iron filter to ensure its effectiveness?

This article will provide an overview of the factors to consider when determining how often you should change your iron filter and the benefits of doing so.

Key Takeaway
  • Iron filters work in a multi-stage process, including oxidation, filtration, and backwash.
  • Changing your iron filter every 6-12 months is recommended for optimum performance.
  • However, if you notice a change in taste or odor quality from your water – it’s time to change your iron filter.

What Are Iron Filters and How Do They Work?

Iron is a common element found in rocks, soil, and groundwater, and it can make its way into your tap water. Consuming high levels of iron can be harmful to your health, so it’s essential to have an efficient iron filtration system installed in your home. 

Iron filters work in a multi-stage process, including oxidation, filtration, and backwash. The purpose of each stage is to effectively remove the various types of iron that can contaminate your water supply.

water filtration system


The first stage of the process involves oxidation. Any dissolved or ferrous iron in your water will be converted into insoluble ferric iron. A special media bed inside the filter tank creates a reaction between oxygen and water, which causes the ferric iron particles to form larger clumps that can be easily filtered out.


The second stage of this process is filtration. Here, the large clumps of ferric iron are removed from the water supply by passing through a specialized filter medium within the tank. This material captures even tiny particles of contaminants that could not be removed during oxidation.


Finally, during backwash, any trapped particles are rinsed out of the filter so that it can effectively remove iron from incoming water.

Filtration process: Backwashing

How Often Should You Replace Your Iron Filter Cartridge?

Iron filter cartridges trap iron particles, preventing them from entering your home’s plumbing system. However, these filters can become clogged over time and lose effectiveness. Knowing when to replace your iron filter cartridge is crucial in ensuring safe and clean water.

But how long do these iron filters last? Typically, the lifespan of an iron filter cartridge depends on various factors such as the level of iron concentration in your water supply and the amount of usage your filtration system experiences.

As a rule of thumb, most manufacturers recommend replacing your cartridge every 6-12 months for optimum performance. However, if you notice a decrease in water pressure or a change in tap water – this may indicate that it’s time for a replacement.

How to Change Iron Filter Cartridge?

As a vital filtration system component, the filter cartridge is responsible for capturing and removing iron and other impurities from your water. Changing it regularly is crucial to maintain optimal performance and ensure clean drinking water.

Start by turning off your water supply valve to change the iron filter cartridge.

  • Then, turn off the power source to avoid any electrical hazards.
  • Next, locate the housing unit that contains your current filter cartridge.
  • Use a wrench or pliers to loosen and remove the housing unit’s cap before carefully pulling out the old cartridge.
  • Once you have removed the old cartridge, inspect it for any signs of damage or wear before disposing it properly.
  • Then insert a new filter into its place and reattach any necessary components in reverse order of their removals.
Replacement Multi-Pure MP880SB Filter

Factors that Affect the Life of Iron Filter Cartridge

Here are some factors that affect the lifespan of an iron filter cartridge:

Water Quality

The quality of water is one of the most important factors that affect the life of an iron filter cartridge. Iron filter cartridges are designed to remove impurities like iron, manganese, and other sediments from the water. Over time, these impurities accumulate in the filter and reduce its effectiveness. This is why it’s important to do home or laboraory testing for iron so that you can maintain a high level of water quality. This will ensure that your filter remains effective for as long as possible.

Water usage

Water usage is another factor that affects the lifespan of an iron filter cartridge. If your water has high iron levels or other contaminants, your filter must work harder to purify it. This means you may need to replace your cartridge more frequently than someone with cleaner water.

It’s important to monitor how often you use your filter and monitor its performance regularly. Doing so will help you determine when it’s time for a replacement.

Drought or Rain

During drought, sediment and debris in your water supply may increase significantly. This can cause your iron filter cartridge to become clogged more quickly than usual, reducing its effectiveness and potentially causing damage to your entire water filtration system.

On the other hand, during periods of heavy rain or flooding, the amount of bacteria and organic matter in your water supply may also increase, which can similarly impact the longevity and efficiency of your iron filter cartridge.


It is recommended to replace your cartridge every 6-12 months. However, if you notice a decrease in water pressure or a change in your water’s taste or odor quality, this is a sign that it’s time to change your iron filter. The replacement frequency depends on the water quality, water usage, and the level of iron in the water. This should be periodically tested to ensure it doesn’t exceed safe levels. If neglected, an iron filter can become clogged or damaged and risk your family’s health.

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