When you’re searching for a new refrigerator, you’ll come across a number of models that feature filtered water dispensers. These units contain an internal water filter that drinking water passes through before it is dispensed into your glass. But how effective are these fridge filters at removing contaminants from your drinking water? Today we’re going to examine that question by talking about how fridge filters work, some of the biggest problems with fridge filters and whether or not you can rely on a fridge filter as your sole source of water filtration!
How do fridge water filters work?
Most refrigerators with filters use activated carbon media to treat the water that passes through them. Carbon filtration is an effective method of water treatment that relies on a process called “adsorption.” When contaminants pass through the filter, they are attracted to the carbon media and pulled out of the water.
The important thing to know about carbon filtration as it relates to refrigerators is that larger media are more effective than smaller media, because the larger surface area will provide more space for contaminants to stick to and water will be in contact with the media for a longer period of time.
Common problems with fridge filters
- The carbon media is too small. As we mentioned above, the effectiveness of carbon filters is directly related to the size of the media. Refrigerators do not have enough space to use large carbon media, so they are not nearly as effective at removing contaminants as a standalone point-of-use or whole house carbon filtration system.
- The carbon media is cheap. The primary focus of refrigerator manufacturers is to keep your food cold, not provide you with the best quality water possible. As a result, many brands of refrigerators use cheap carbon media that is only partially effective at removing contaminants from your water. In addition, these cheaper media require frequent changing and maintenance.
- They only filter the water at one tap. A fridge filter can only treat the water that it dispenses. If you want filtered water at any of your home’s sinks or showers, where filtered water is equally as important, you’d have to install a separate point-of-use or whole house system.
Should you rely on a fridge filter as your sole source of water filtration?
If all you care about is improving the taste and smell of your home’s drinking water, a fridge filter might meet your needs. But even when it comes to improving aesthetic qualities, a standalone filtration system will perform much better.
If you are concerned at all about the health of your drinking water, you should not rely on a fridge filter as your sole source of water filtration. The media used in standalone point-of-use and whole house filtration systems are much bigger and of better quality, and they will be able to remove tiny contaminants that affect the health of you and your family, which most fridge filters cannot do.
If you have any questions about fridge water filters, or if you’d like a water system serviced or installed in your home, contact EPA Water, your water softener and water filtration system dealer in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. We provide service all over Eastern Pennsylvania and New Jersey, including towns like Doylestown, Macungie and Malvern, PA.
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