How Often Should You Change Your Sediment Water Filter? A Comprehensive Guide

Clean water is important, whether it’s for bathing, cooking, or drinking. Unfiltered water will almost always have some impurities, which’s why filtration systems are so much in demand.

There are tons of filtration units available. You can decide on the correct filters by determining the type of contaminants.

Does your water contain sediments of sand, silt, and organic matter of various sizes? If so, a sediment filter is your best bet for these times of contaminants.

In general, sediment and other filters have definite lifespans – the time for the filter to function effectively. After the lifespan, the sediment filter no longer removes these particles from the water, or at least not as effectively as before.

If you’re wondering How often you should change your sediment water filter, this article will provide you with an answer. It will also highlight their lifespan, along with other related information.

Overview of Sediment Water Filters

Sediment filters are similar to other filters, containing a filtration layer where water passes through. However, the filter media have a specific pore size and structure that makes it possible to block the deposits.

The filter removes sand, silt, organic matter, clay, and dirt. With these types of impurities, the typical size of a sediment filter is 5 microns.

Types of Sediment Filters

Types of Sediment Filters

The composition of sediment filters varies based on the structure of its cartridge and the materials used. It’s why sediment filters are classified into different types?

Here are a few:

  • Melt-blown sediment filters: Sometimes called spun polypropylene filters, with their layered fibers making the inner part of the cartridge denser than the outer part. The graduated fiber layers make it ideal for removing particles of varying sizes.
  • Pleated sediment filters: The filter can hold a lot of dirt which is not seen in the other types, due to the many pleats in the filter. Pleated sediment filter cartridges have thin sheets of filter materials which can be polyester or polypropylene.
  • String wound filters: This filter type combines the previous two with its string wrapped around a core, creating a graded filter density. It is made from polypropylene, polyester, or cotton. The graded density filter makes it ideal for removing finer particulates from the water.
  • Spin-down filters: This filter’s working principle uses centrifugal force to hold impurities. It works by spinning the water in a chamber at great speed, separating particles of higher density than water. Unlike most other filters, spin-downs do not use cartridges.
  • Backwashing filters: This is a unique filter with its system set to flush the deposit trapped in the filter periodically. This way, the filter media doesn’t clog and lasts for longer.

Factors Affecting Sediment Filter Lifespan

Factors Affecting Sediment Filter Lifespan

Before discovering the lifespan of your sediment filter, it’s important that you understand the factors that can influence its lifespan.

Here the some of the factors:

1. Water Quality

The quality of water entering the house is the primary factor that will affect the lifespan of your filter. The water quality is often tied to the water source, with private wells often carrying a lot of sediments, especially after heavy rainfall or during a drastic change in the well’s water level.

You can determine the water quality entering your home from a water test. Where there are a lot of particulates in the water, the sediment filter’s lifespan will be negatively affected.

2. Sediment Filter Quality

Filters are never of the same quality, and brands will typically use different materials and levels of manufacturing. This difference in the quality of the filter means their strength and durability will vary. The size will also affect how long it lasts, as smaller micron filters have shorter lifespans.

3. Water Usage

First, determine how much water you use daily to make sense of this factor. Remember that the number of persons in the house and their activities significantly affect the daily water usage. If you use a lot of water daily, your sediment filter’s lifespan will be much less than normal.

4. Old Plumbing And Water Fixtures

Not all the deposits in the water come from the water source. A considerable percentage can be from rusted or old plumbing and other water fixtures like pressure tanks.

Organic matter is typically deposited along the pipes. But these deposits increase over time and may start breaking into the water and your filter. The effective period is reduced with more sediments than usual entering the filter.

How Often Should I Change my Sediment Filter?

Now to the all-important thought on everyone’s mind: how often should you change your sediment filter? The general answer for sediment filters with cartridges would be every three to twelve months. However, spin-down filters use centrifugal force to remove particles in the water in place of a cartridge.

Since spin-downs do not use cartridges, they do not need to be replaced. Simply flushing the system to remove contaminants will keep it going. Even though backwashing filters use cartridges, their auto-cleaning mechanism means they can last considerably longer before requiring a replacement filter.

Manufacturers provides information on an average filter’s lifespan. The lifespan varies depending on the brand you choose. However, some manufacturers exaggerate the numbers, so you should only use their figures as a guide rather than a rule.

To get a more specific sediment valid period, consider the different factors affecting the sediment and the manufacturer’s rating.

Signs Your Sediment Filter is Past Its Lifespan

Signs Your Sediment Filter is Past its Lifespan

It can sometimes be challenging to know when the filter is no longer effective, even though there are always signs. if you miss these signs, contaminated water can escape the filter.

Here are some of the indications you need to check:

1. Change in Appearance, Taste, And Odor of Water

There’s no better way to know that your filter is no longer effective than by using physical and relative cues like color, taste, and odor. So when you notice any of these changes, it is a massive indication that the sediment filter is no longer working to its capacity and may need changing.

2. Water Flow Rate

Generally, filters reduce the flow rate of the water leaving the nozzle; however, only slightly. It’s because the water spends some time getting cleaned in the filter unit. As a new sediment filter blocks particles from passing through, they are deposited on the cartridge.

The cartridge will get blocked with particles with time, especially after its lifespan elapses. When the system is blocked, the flow of water is drastically affected. So if you notice a sudden change in the water speed from outlets in your house, that filter may be past it.

3. Staining

Some organic matter has staining abilities; when the filter is past its lifespan, it can no longer remove these impurities. They then come into your house and stain surfaces they touch. So check sinks, clothes, and utensils for stain marks indicating the filter is old.

Ways to Prolong Your Sediment Filter’s Lifespan

Ways to Prolong Your Sediment Filter’s Lifespan

You’ve seen how short the lifespan of a sediment filter is, especially with added pressure on it.

Here are factors that can prolong its valuable time and save you the costs of replacement:

1. Cleaning And Maintenance

It is possible to clean water filters when slightly blocked – by so doing, you increase their lifespan. Cleaning the filtration unit is also a surefire way to reduce the sediments in the system and keep it clear.

2. Adjust Water Usage

Using too much water puts too much pressure on the sediment filter. By adjusting your water usage, the filter cleans less water, extending its lifespan. Reduce unnecessary activities with water.

3. Install Pre-Filter Systems

Pre-filter systems are attached to the main water line entering the house before any filtration system. They can reduce the sediments in the water before they reach the sediment filter. Installing these systems in your home will reduce the impurities your filter has to remove.


Follow this section if you want to see tough but common questions about sediment filters’ lifespan and their answers.

How long does an unused sediment filter last?

An unused sediment filter kept in a dry and secure location has no expiry date. It will remain as new till it is exposed to moisture. 

Why should I replace my sediment filter?

Sediment filters lose their effectiveness with time. If you don’t replace the filters after using them for a long time, impurities will block its pores. As a result, water from passing through the media. In some cases, contaminants will escape the filter and enter your cup.

Can you clean a sediment filter?

Materials like soap and water, bleach, and vinegar can clean dirt from the filter media and the chamber.

Which type of sediment filter lasts the longest?

Spin-down filters do not use cartridges, so they don’t have to be replaced. They can last longer than normal filters. Self-cleaning sediment filters like backwashing also have a long lifespan.


You must install a sediment filter to enjoy clean water from a water source with many particles. These filters typically have a lifespan and need to be replaced after. A sediment filter’s average lasting timeframe is three to twelve months, with certain factors affecting its longevity.