Category Archives: Well Water

Is The Safety Of My Fridge Water Impacted By Floods?

Flood Waters Impact Drinking Water SafetySeveral parts of the country, including our home state of Minnesota, have recently been deluged by rainstorms leading to significant issues with flooding. Part of the coverage related to this flooding, including stories published in both Minnesota and Missouri, has centered on the impact flood waters have on the safety of local drinking water.

This leads to perhaps the most important question of all, and one that we’ve heard from some FridgeFilters.com customers, is my drinking water safe?

In answering this question, we first need to determine where the drinking water dispensed by your fridge first originates from.

If your water comes from your municipality, ie ‘city water,’ the answer is very likely ‘yes.’ In the event of any contamination issues with local drinking water, cities will issue a boil water alert or advisory. Fortunately, most municipalities are quite good at being overly cautious in issuing these alerts if there is even a small chance of bacteria entering into a water supply (ie due to a sudden loss of water pressure or work on a water main.)

That said, there are notable recent exceptions, in both Portland, Oregon and Wake Forest, North Carolina where alerts were not issued quickly enough – leading to some residents reporting sickness and nausea.WellSafe Well Water Test Kit

The lesson that can be taken from this is that if there is ever a question on the safety of your municipal water, or worse, an ‘off’ taste or odor – boiling water prior to consuming or drinking only bottled water is advisable until a test can be conducted. Affordable DIY water test kits, available on our site here, can provide much of the data you need to make an initial determination.

If your fridge water originates from a private well, the issue is a little bit more involved, simply because every private well is different.

The stories linked to at the top of this post discuss the primary issue with well water safety as it relates to flooding: flood waters carry with them any number of contaminants, impurities and pathogens. As flood waters transform into run-off, they can quickly infiltrate wells, carrying all of these impurities with them.

If the water dispensed by your fridge is contaminated with pathogenic impurities, and face only the carbon filter in your fridge prior to pouring into your glass, these pathogens will still be present – for the simple reason that carbon filters are typically not designed to reduce bacteria.

Our advice for anyone living in flooded areas is this:

-          If you are a city water user, monitor the water news or reports in your area closely. Boil water alerts will typically be communicated through major news outlets.

-          If you are a well water user, test your water with a DIY well water kit as soon as possible. Even if your water test indicates that it is safe, our recommendation is still to flush your filtration systems and replace any filters in your home after all flood waters have subsided, to reduce any risk of being exposed to pathogens that may be trapped somewhere in your filters or system.

-          If there is even the smallest question related to the safety of your water, or any off flavor or odors, boil your water or use bottled water until a test can be completed. Alerting a rep from your local water company to your concerns may help expedite a formal lab test.

We also invite you to contact us directly with any additional questions at 1-800-683-8353 or to leave a question via a comment below.

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How Often Should I Replace My Fridge Filter If I Use Well Water?

Modern Kitchen Using Well WaterWhether you order a fridge filter from Maytag, Whirlpool, GE or Tier1, you will undoubtedly see some note on the filter box or packaging instructing you to replace it once about every six months.

Of course, the six months is just a guideline that can be adjusted based on your ‘water quality and usage.’

Water usage is fairly easy to wrap your head around.  If you have a larger family or household, you’ll use more water, which will naturally decrease the lifespan of your fridge filter.  Water quality, on the other hand is a bit more complex of a variable.  Especially for well water users.

Well Water Users Face Uniquely Personal Challenges With Sediment & Water Quality

Maytag UKF8001 Refrigerator Water Filter
Fridge filters, like the Maytag UKF8001 are primarily designed to reduce contaminants that impact taste and odor, and can become clogged with heavy sediment common in well water

Unlike their counterparts that use municipal or city water, well water users typically experience far more issues with sediment, ranging from dirt, to sand, to silt.

Carbon filters, which all fridge filters are, help to reduce taste and odor issues – primarily from chlorine – which is typically not an issue with well water.

Further, these filters can actually clog quite easily when filtering different types of sediment, leading to everything from gritty water to slow pouring.

To answer the question posed above, your fridge filter may only effectively perform for half of its life expectancy if you are a well water user, think three months, instead of six.

This is simply an educated guess, though, as water quality issues will vary from well to well.   But the bottom-line is that as a well water user, you can expect to go through about twice as many fridge filters – and pay twice as much – as those that live in the city and use a municipal water supply.  Unless, of course,  you implement some type of complementary solution.

Extend The Life Of Your Fridge Filter By Ensuring Sediment Never Gets To It

Culligan HD-950 Whole House Water Filtration System
Culligan HD-950 Whole House Water Filter

Fortunately, our online store offers solutions that can help to extend the life of your fridge filter and improve your water quality by ensuring sediment never makes it further than your water line.

Your first option would be to purchase and install a whole house water filtration system, including the three Culligan models we offer.  These systems connect easily to your water line, and once in place, will capture greater than 90% of virtually all types of sediment. Installation of a whole house system does more than just extend the life of your fridge filter.  Once installed, this system will help to improve the quality of your drinking water – from every tap – while also helping to reduce the risk of sediment corrosion inside your appliances.

Better yet, each of our whole house water filtration product pages include detailed instructions, ensuring that you don’t have to be MacGyver to get them properly installed.

Omnipure Q5505 Inline Water Filter
Omnipure Q5505 Inline Water Filter

Another option would be to install an inline sediment filter.  These filters will attach directly to your water line and can be installed outside your fridge, ahead of its carbon filter.  This is a more surgical option for water filtration, and depending upon the inline filter you choose, can also be more affordable than the whole house filters presented above.

If you go with this route for sediment reduction, please note that not all inline water filters are created equal, meaning not all will reduce sediment.  A few inline water filters we can direct you to if you are looking to reduce sediment include the Aqua-Pure AP717, the OmniFilter R200 and the Omnipure Q5505 (pictured.)

Connect With Us For More Information or Solutions

If you are a well water user experiencing water quality issues that are significantly reducing the lifespan of your fridge filter, and are looking for additional information, products or solutions not discussed here, please feel free to call our customer service team at 1-800-683-8353.  You may also leave a question via a comment below.

We invite you to like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter or +1 us on Google+ to be the first to learn about exclusive deals and new products.

Are you a veteran, currently serving in the Armed Forces, or are you placing an order on behalf of a veteran or soldier?

Use the discount code ‘SOLDIER’ at checkout to take 10% off your entire order at FridgeFilters.com!