What Contaminants Do Refrigerator Filters Remove Anyway?

In this blog you will learn these important points about refrigerator filters and more:

Fridge filters can only remove chlorine from the water.
The filters can’t remove lead, chromium-6, and other contaminants found in Chicago water.
You will likely need a stronger filter to give your home the protection it needs.
Homeowners should get their water tested and talk to an expert to determine the right filter for them.

Do Refrigerator Filters Do Enough? The Answer Depends on What’s in Your Water!

Stop us if you’ve had this thought before.

You’re in your kitchen and would like a drink of water. So, you use the dispenser in your fridge to pour yourself a glass. As you take a sip, the thought hits you: How do I know this water is clean?

It’s a disconcerting thought to be sure. But it’s also an important question to ask. After all, many people buy a fridge with a built-in water dispenser and take it for granted that it dispenses clean water.

But how effective are refrigerator filters anyway?

The truth is a refrigerator water filter can only do so much, and there are certain contaminants it simply cannot remove. Therefore, many households will need more than just fridge filters to protect their health.

Read on to learn what a refrigerator filter can and cannot do and what steps you should take to protect your health!

What Does a Refrigerator Filter Do?

What is a refrigerator filter? A fridge filter is a simple carbon filter that treats the drinking water dispensed from a refrigerator.

Typically, refrigerator filters have NSF 42 certification, which means they can only remove chlorine from water and help with the smell and taste.

Getting rid of chlorine is certainly a valuable function since most drinking water is treated with chlorine. However, many households in our region have other contaminants to worry about besides chlorine.

Image of a person’s hand replacing a refrigerator filter
A refrigerator filter can only do so much when it comes to treating your water.


What Can’t a Fridge Filter Do?

There are many contaminants a refrigerator water filter simply cannot remove. Two of the most prominent pollutants on that list are lead and chromium-6. Both of these contaminants are threats for households in the Chicago region.

There is still a lot of lead contamination in Chicago water because of the many lead service lines in the city. And even as the city has tried to replace those lines, it has only made the problem worse.

Chromium-6 gained fame as the contaminant at the center of the lawsuit in the film Erin Brockovich. Years later, it continues to cause problems as companies dump waste containing the pollutant into Lake Michigan.

Properly filtering contaminants like these requires more power than a fridge filter can offer. Instead, we would recommend a more capable filter, such as an NSF 58 certified reverse osmosis system.

Besides lacking the ability to remove certain contaminants, refrigerator filters also can’t protect your whole house. The water in your sinks and showers also contains these contaminants and requires a high level of filtration as well. For this reason, a whole house filter will be a much better option for homes with highly contaminated water.

Fridge filters are also small and can clog easily because of their size. A larger system won’t clog nearly as much, making it less expensive and less of a hassle to maintain.

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All these reasons make it clear that you shouldn’t just settle for a fridge filter. Instead, we’d recommend doing your research to find out if you need more.

What Should I Do to Protect My Health?

There are a few key steps all homeowners should take when determining the right filter for their home:

Step 1: Get Your Water Tested

The only way to know that you have the necessary level of filtration in your home is to determine what type of water you’re dealing with.

A water test will show you what contaminants are in your drinking water. Using this information, you can make an informed decision about the right filter for your situation.

Step 2: Talk to a professional

We realize that most homeowners aren’t water treatment experts. Because of this, picking a filter can often be overwhelming when they do it on their own.

For this reason, we would recommend consulting a professional before choosing a filter.

The expert can look at the results of your water test and match you with the right type of filter for your situation.

Image of a white reverse osmosis water filter on a yellow background
A water treatment expert can help you find the perfect filtration option for your home.


Step 3: Shop for Quality

It could be that a fridge filter is all you need. But we’re guessing a more powerful filter will get you the results you’re looking for.

In that case, finding a quality filter will be very important for you. So, don’t just settle for the first filter that comes your way. Instead, ask the water treatment expert to point you to the higher quality models on the market.

By choosing a trustworthy filter, you will set your family up for a healthy life of enjoying your filter.

Need More Than Just a Refrigerator Filter?

If you’re worried that your fridge filter may not be cutting it, we want to help ease those fears! We offer water testing, expert advice from clean water experts, and a wide selection of NSF certified water filters. Let us help you get the healthy drinking water you need!

We install water filters in Barrington, IL and the greater Chicagoland region. Give us a call today at 847-382-7800 for a free consultation!

Interested in a Water Softener System for Your Home?

You don’t have to live with a dry, itchy scalp and brittle hair anymore! It would be our pleasure to help you find the right water softener to make your showers enjoyable again.

Please give us a call at (847) 382-7800 or visit our water softener page to learn more.

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