The Dangers of Neglecting Your Water Filter: Can You Get Sick?

Yes! If you do not change your water filter regularly, you may be at risk of drinking water that is contaminated with impurities, which can lead to illness.

Drinking filtered water is a solid guarantee that you get clean, tasty water. When you buy a water filter, most companies will tell you to change it every four months. It is important to regularly change the water filter in your home to ensure that the water you and your family are drinking is safe and clean.

Water filters help to remove impurities and contaminants from your tap water, and over time, they can become clogged and less effective at removing these substances.

If you employ an old filter, you risk consuming contaminated water. According to research, aged filters create a favorable habitat for the creation of microbes, implying that germs will most probably pollute the water.

Replace your water filter according to the supplier’s directions to prevent yourself and your family from health issues.

Can You Get Sick From Not Changing Water Filter?

The simple answer is YES. To reduce the risk of illness, it is important to change your water filter according to the manufacturer’s recommended schedule.

This will help to ensure that the water you and your family are drinking is as clean and safe as possible. If you are unsure of when to change your water filter, you can consult the manufacturer’s instructions or consult a plumbing professional for guidance.

Side Effects of an Old Water Filter

It may appear that replacing your water filter every four months is expensive and needless. However, when you contemplate the repercussions of using an outdated water filter, you will be glad you replaced it on time. Here are some side effects of not replacing your filter on time-

Mineral growth.

Minerals are essential for optimal health and nutrition. But, if ingested in abundance, the minerals might cause various health problems. For example, mineral accumulation might lead to kidney stones, significantly affecting your quality of life.

Water filters often capture these minerals; if they are not replaced on time, the extra minerals in the filter may infiltrate your drinking water.

Malfunctioning filter.

Water filters, like all artificial items, have an expiry date. When your filter passes its expiration date, it will no more function adequately. A malfunctioning filter will not effectively filter pollutants from water. You may even feel a difference in the flavor and color of the water.

Contaminant growth.

The mineral accumulation in the water filter is not the only one; the filter will also have pollutant buildup. It might include bacteria or dissolved particles in the water. As these impurities accumulate, they may enter the water, defeating the goal of having a water filter in the initial instance.

Drop in water flow.

The older your water filter, the more prone it is to clog. It is primarily related to pollutant accumulation and severe danger to water quality in and of itself. A blocked filter reduces the inflow volume of water and forces you to contend with a lack of pressure, which may be pretty inconvenient.

Build Up of Harmful Substances in Old Water Filter

Old water filters lose their workability over time. Thus, they fail to filter out harmful contaminants from water, and we consume them without realizing it. Here are the pollutants that can build up in old water filters-


Excessive mercury amounts can harm a growing baby by causing kidney and neurological damage. On average, mercury levels in water cannot cause significant health problems. Still, a filter removes the chance of any health problems caused by mercury.


Lead typically gets into the water from old lead water pipes. It can cause physical, behavioral, and neurological problems in adults and children. Using a water filter decreases the amount of lead in drinking water substantially.


Even though chlorine disinfects drinking water and serves a function in your water supply, large quantities of this component might give your water a chemical taste. It may even burn a little in some people’s throats. As a result, chlorine concentrations in the water supply should always be kept as low as possible.


Asbestos, found mainly in shielding and building materials, can enter the water through various channels, including pipe degradation, toxic pollution, and air pollution. Asbestos may lead to multiple health problems, including tuberculosis and emphysema.


Pathogens include viruses, bacteria, and parasites that may enter your drinking water in various ways. These harmful substances predispose you to aquatic infections, which are incredibly prevalent.


Because of improper waste storage and leakage, nuclear pollutants, industrial wastes, and toxins might enter your drinking water. The production of energy and the generation of radioactive waste can pollute your sewer system with nuclear waste. Drugs and clinical waste can also end up in your drinking water, causing various health problems.

Flammable natural substances.

Biofertilizers, termites, and pesticides are all included in this one phrase. Because they can infiltrate the water sources while traveling from the provider to your house, it is critical to have a good filter in place to remove these toxins.

How Long Will a Standard Water Filtration Last?

Depending on the brand and kind of filter, water filters can last anywhere from 3 to 7 months. On average, filters used in industrial environments have a longer lifespan than those used in domestic settings.

However, there are occasional exclusions, so check the supplier guidelines for your brand to find the actual shelf life. 

In addition, the amount of water filtered impacts how long the filtration system lasts. Residential water filters, in general, need to be replaced after filtering 50-100 bottles of water. As a result, bigger homes may need to change their filters faster than smaller families.

Signs Your Water Filter Needs to be Changed

Please adhere to the company’s stated deadlines. However, there may be times when you have to replace your filter sooner than the brand recommends. For example, if you notice an odor in your water, it might be due to a failing or outdated filter that has to be replaced. 

A drop in water pressure is another indicator of an old or malfunctioning filter. You may also check the visual indication on your water filter, usually on filters with transparent containers, to see whether the filter is filthy.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQS)

Is it likely to get sick by consuming water from a contaminated filter?

Ingesting germs that develop in water can make you sick. The filter will no longer be capable of preventing microorganisms from reaching your drinking water as it worsens. Bacteria reproduce as they grow, especially if the carbon level is already significant. As a consequence of the microbial strain, you may become pretty unwell.

Can water filters be a source of bacteria?

Germs cannot bond to the carbon filter. Thus, they either flow through or become trapped in the filter. Fortunately, most tap water has already been treated to eliminate potentially hazardous germs. However, if you don’t change your filter regularly, it might become a fertile habitat for any bacteria developing.

What if I drink water from a faulty filter?

Using an old filter makes you afraid of drinking dirty water. Based on research, old filters provide an ideal environment for the growth of bacteria, suggesting that bacteria would most likely contaminate the water.

How can you tell whether the water you’re drinking makes you sick?

Drinkable water should preferably be transparent and bland. If tap water tastes rusty, stinks nasty, or appears hazy, it may indicate the existence of dangerous chemicals.

How long do bacteria take to develop in a water filter?

After about one week of usage at room temperature and 4 degrees C, bacterial counts in the fresh filtrate were more significant than in tap water in 5 of 7 filters tested in the laboratory, indicating growth or biofilm development in the filter material.

Why should you avoid drinking tap water?

Hazardous ions may be present in your tap water. If you become poisoned, you may feel neuron injury, dysentery, loss of memory, or muscular pains. You are poisoned with lead. Some older water systems were built using lead plumbing.

What are the indications and indicators of coliform bacteria?

The majority of coliform bacteria are not dangerous. Some, on the other hand, can make you sick. An individual exposed to these germs may have nausea, vomiting, fever, or diarrhea. These germs are hazardous to children and the elderly.

Is refrigerator-filtered water healthy?

The prominence of microbial such as legionella and campylobacter, which impact your health and the purity of water, is one of the dangers of drinking water filtered by a refrigerator. Fridges aren’t usually as sanitary as they need to be.

Is bottled water more sanitary than tap water?

Although bottled water is more costly than tap water, it is not always safer. In truth, bottled and tap water may contain trace quantities of pollutants. Moreover, unlike tap water, bottled water quality is not controlled by the authorities.

How long will a refrigerator water filter last?

Fridge water filters are one of the most successful and budget-friendly methods to guarantee your family is consuming clean, fresh-tasting water. Still, you must replace them every six months. Several possibilities exist after six months: Your filter is more prone to become clogged with pollutants.


Because older water filters become clogged over time and lose their capacity to filter out germs, not updating your water filter might make you sick. Water filters also operate by collecting pollutants in the water. 

These contaminants accumulate in the filter with time. Assume you keep using it after the termination date. In such a situation, there’s a reasonable probability it’ll start leaking into the water. You may suffer catastrophic consequences if you do not update your water filter. Such as:

  • Excess growth of minerals.
  • Malfunction of the filter.
  • Growth of contaminant.
  • Drop in water flow.