What Are the Different Types of Water Filter Cartridges?

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Types of Water Filter Cartridges

Every household appreciates and loves using and drinking clean water. However, the water supplied in the taps are usually hard and contain contaminants. Interestingly though, you can still provide your family clean and healthy water.

Simply invest in a system that helps filter the tap water to prevent the possible effects of hard water. To achieve this, you can install a water filtration system in your house that has a water filter cartridge. But what is a water filter cartridge? What are the various types available? Keep reading to find out.

What is a Water Filter Cartridge?

If the water supplied in your area is hard, then there is a possibility you have invested in a water filter. Your installation of such a water filtering system allows you to enjoy using filtered water in your house. Additionally, every type or brand of water filter has a specific filter cartridge or filter media used.

A water filter cartridge is a most important component in a water filter system responsible for removing different particles, contaminants, harmful chemicals, and bacteria from tap water and ensuring that filtered water is safe for drinking.

Furthermore, filter cartridges reduce or remove contaminants present in the hard water. This means that a water filter cartridge plays an important role in your water filter.

Types of Water Filter Cartridges

Nowadays, water filtration systems are complex and very effective than before. Therefore, it is not a surprise to find one system containing various filtration chambers located separately. For filtration systems that undergo multiple stages, different types of water filter cartridges are used in the canisters.

Since each type of filter is designed to get rid of a specific compound from your tap water, you can be sure to have purified drinking water for your house. The following are some of the various types of water filter cartridges;

  1. Sediment Water Filter Cartridges

Sediment Water Filter Cartridges

No doubt you would not want to gulp down a glass of water with sand and dirt, would you? Therefore, a sediment filter comes in handy to help remove such substances from your water. These types of water filter cartridges are the first filters in the systems with multiple stages.

A sediment water filter cartridge removes the sand and dirt particles from your drinking water. Furthermore, a sediment filter gets rid of silt, rust, scale among others. Normally, the filtering size of a sediment filter is one micron.

Therefore, it is unable to get rid of bacteria, chemicals, or microscopic organisms. However, if the substance in question is in the form of solid particles and bigger than one micron, this type of filter will remove it. Importantly, these filters need regular replacement so that they do not interfere with the taste of water and the efficiency of the water filtration system.

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  1. Ceramic Water Filter Cartridges

Ceramic Water Filter Cartridges

Ceramic water filters are unique and as the name reflects, made by ceramic clay. The cartridges used in these filters are positively charged and can attract bacteria. When the bacteria contact the ceramic, the silver lining in the filter releases metal ions that are positively charged.

The positively charged metal ions are responsible for the destruction of bacteria. An added advantage to ceramic filters is the fact that they last for a longer period compared to other filter cartridges.

This is because there are no contaminants or deposits that pass through them. However, these filters perform no other function in filtering particles other than removing bacteria. Importantly, their outside should be washed regularly.

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  1. Reverse Osmosis Filter Cartridges

Reverse Osmosis Filter Cartridges

Reverse Osmosis System is an advanced technology to filter tap water. The cartridges used in RO water filters are porous to get rid of salts and reduce bacteria. Furthermore, they remove minerals from the water. Therefore, some people think such water is not ideal for drinking.

But there is a detailed study on how RO systems work and is it safe to drink RO water that must be read before making a wise decision.

The water produced by these filter cartridges is ideal for bathing, laundry, and even for drinking. Such water helps in the removal of stains. Also, these filter cartridges are capable of filtering the smallest of particles in water.

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  1. Ultra Violet Water Filter Lamps

Ultra Violet Water Filter Lamps

In the UV water filters, water does not pass through. The ultraviolet filter cartridge is in the form of a lightbulb/lamp that’s fitted inside a canister. The purpose of this filter is to kill bacteria and microorganisms. How? The lightbulb exposes the bacteria and microorganisms to UV light.

Once they are exposed to UV light, their DNA is destroyed. Additionally, the lightbulbs stay on always and their lifespan is measured in terms of hours used.

Therefore, if you want to destroy fungi, salmonella, algae, and any other form of virus and bacteria from your water, you can use a UV water filter cartridge.

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  1. Electrolyzed Alkaline Water Filter Cartridges

Electrolyzed Alkaline Water Filter Cartridges

This type of filter cartridge uses a magnetic process and is ideal for water with high mineral concentrations. With that huge amount of minerals in your tap water, this type of filter will be effective.

The filter operates in a way that it first filters the water then produces magnetic fields. The magnetic field produced separates the alkaline from acidic minerals in the water.

The result of this filter is the production of safe water for drinking. Additionally, the water produced has minerals, so many people love to drink alkaline water.

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  1. Carbon Filter Cartridge

Carbon Filter Cartridge

One of the cheapest ways to remove contaminants and toxins from water is using carbon filters. They are made with charcoal and help in getting rid of chlorine, among other chemicals.

Therefore, if you have an activated carbon filter cartridge, you can help do away with bad tastes and strange odors from your water. Nonetheless, carbon filters do not destroy hard water’s mineral content, which is beneficial for the body.

Still, their installation is not complicated. However, these filters do not get rid of salts, sediments, and minerals.

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When Should You Replace Your Water Filter Cartridge?

When Should You Replace Your Water Filter Cartridge

Whenever you purchase a water filter system, you will get clear and detailed instructions from the manufacturer informing you how often you should change the water filter cartridges.

Also, the type of cartridge determines how frequently it should be changed. Normally, though, you should change your water filter cartridge after every three to six months.

In case you forget to make the replacement or the last time you did so, worry no more. Your water filter presents a sign that can tell you it is high time you changed the cartridge. Below are some of the indicators of a need for replacement of your water filter cartridge;

  1. Reduced rate of flow

You occasionally use the water in your filter which flows normally and suddenly there is a drop in the rate of flow. Well, this might be a sign for you to change the cartridge.

When the water flows slower than it should, it means there is a huge build-up of contaminants in the cartridge. After some time, the contaminants which have build up in the filter media may cause clogging in the cartridges.

What are the results? It becomes difficult for water to pass through the media, hence lowering its flow rate. Therefore, when you notice a decrease in the rate of water flowing through your filter system, there could be some clogging and you might as well need to replace the water filter cartridge.

  1. Weird taste

You take a glass of tap water to drink but get a weird taste. What could be the problem? The issue could be that the filter cartridge is holding lots of contaminants. Therefore, the effects are experienced in the different tastes of your water.

Therefore, if you notice such a change in the taste of your drinking water, it could be a sign that your filter media needs a replacement. Go ahead and change it then taste the water to confirm if there is a difference in the taste.

However, in some cases, such sudden changes in the taste of drinking water can be due to other issues. So, if you notice such bad taste in water, take action to make your water filter function properly as it is supposed to.

  1. Weird odor

Feeling thirsty, you grab a glass then pour yourself some drinking water. Sadly, you are hit by a strange smell from the water. What could be wrong? You wonder. Once again, it might be an indicator of the need for a replacement for your water filter cartridge.

The contaminants in the hard water might have accumulated in the filter media to give rise to the strange smell. Importantly, such a bad smell of water can be due to other conditions. However, if the strange odor disappears upon changing the cartridge, then that could have been the problem.

Additionally, you can experience the above signs in your cartridge even before the replacement period indicated by the manufacturer. Therefore, be ready to reschedule the dates depending on the system’s quality.

Furthermore, those whose tap waters have more impurities require more frequent replacements than those who have lesser contaminants in their tap waters.

Nonetheless, if you constantly forget about the due dates for cartridge replacement, you can sign up for programs that remind you of replacement dates. Once you do this, you get notified via email that it is almost time to do the replacement.


Having clean and pure water in a household is very beneficial. Water filters help individuals get rid of contaminants and have safer water for drinking.

Additionally, there are various filter cartridges discussed that help in getting rid of chemicals, contaminants, and other substances present in water. Moreover, they should be replaced after a certain period, depending on the type and quality of the system.

Last update on 2022-09-25 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Jeremy Lee is a researcher and part-time blogger who has a passion to discover cutting-edge technologies related to water filtration. He knows the importance of purified water in our lives and started this blog aiming to provide the best product reviews, buying guides, and other useful information related to water. When not working, he loves to spend time with his beloved wife and two kids.