How Often Should I Change My Whole Home and Drinking Water Filters?

One critical step after purchasing your water filter.

By: Alyssa Scavetta

You’ve done your homework, talked with a plumber, budgeted it all out, and now you’re taking the final step: purchasing a water filter. The rest is pretty easy. You put the filter in and it does the hard work: capturing contaminants before they cause your family harm.

However, there is a critical, ongoing step to ensure your water filter continues to do its job long after install: you must change your water filters.

Why filters need to be changed

Now you might wonder why filters need to be replaced. It’s simple, really. If you don’t replace your water filter, contaminants will clog the filter, leaving no room to capture any other chemicals or particles, which will then flow out along with the water.

"If you don’t replace the cartridge in your filter, contaminants will clog the filter, leaving no room to capture any other chemicals or particles, which will then flow out along with the water.”

This can also mean that your filter becomes a petri dish past its expiration date, acting as a bed for bacteria to grow and multiply. Imagine drinking that with your post-workout dinner.

As you rush to figure out when you bought your filter and when you should be replacing the cartridge, it is important to first know which system you have.

Determining which filtration system you have

With a wide variety of filters on the market, it’s important to note that not all replacement schedules are the same. Now, we can only speak for Aquasana, but even within our own product line, make sure you know exactly which filtration system you have before you purchase a replacement filter.

How often water filters need to be replaced

Whole house

First, there are several different types of filters involved in a whole house system including the pre-filter, main filter, and post-filter, plus you may have some optional add-ons that also need maintenance.

Let’s start with the pre-filter:

  1. 20" Pre-Filter:This is the standard pre-filter included with all of our Rhino® whole house systems. Replace it every 2 months.
  2. Low Maintenance Pre-Filter: This is our enhanced pre-filter for our whole house systems that lasts three times longer than our 20" Pre-Filter. Replace it every 6 months.
  3. OptimH2O® Pre-Filter: Designed specifically for the OptimH2O® Whole House System, this pre-filter should be replaced every 6 months.

Then, take a look at your main filter, as it has its own replacement schedule as well:

  1. Rhino® and Rhino® Max Flow tanks: The main filter should be replaced every 10 years or 1,000,000 gallons.
  2. Rhino® Chloramines and Rhino® Chloramines Max Flow tanks: The main filter should be replaced every 10 years or 1,000,000 gallons.
  3. Rhino® Well Water with UV: The main filter should be replaced every 5 years or 500,000 gallons.
  4. OptimH2O®: The main filter should be replaced every 12 months or 100,000 -- Whichever comes first.

When it comes to your post-filter, Aquasana uses the same 10" Post-Filter across all of our whole house systems and these should be replaced every 6 months.

Lastly, if you have any add-ons to your whole house system, like a UV light or water conditioner, don’t forget those need maintenance too.

If you’re using our Salt-Free Water Conditioner, we recommend you replace your tank every 10 years or 1,000,000 gallons.

The Aquasana UV lamp is also a popular addition for many whole house users that helps protect homeowners from bacteria and water-boil warnings. We recommend that you replace your UV lamp every 12 months.

Under sink water filters

Because under sink water filters are much smaller than whole house systems, they need to be replaced more frequently. Here’s how that breaks down:

  1. Claryum® 2-Stage: Replace every 6 months or 500 gallons.
  2. Claryum® 3-Stage: Replace every 6 months or 600 gallons.
  3. Claryum® 3-Stage Max Flow: Replace every 6 months or 800 gallons.
  4. Claryum® Direct Connect: Replace every 6 months or every 784 gallons.
  5. OptimH2O® Reverse Osmosis + Claryum®:


Claryum® Direct Connect

Easy to install, fast-flowing filter connects directly to your existing faucet to reduce 78 contaminants.

Countertop water filters

Our most compact and no installation filter is our countertop filter system, the Clean Water Machine. The filter will need to be replaced every 6 months and can be swapped out in a matter of minutes.

Shower filters

Our SimplySoft™ coconut shell carbon and Copper-Zinc (KDF) media filtration reduces 90% of chlorine for a cleaner, healthier shower experience. Aquasana’s shower filter replacement cartridges also last approximately six months.

Get replacement filters auto-shipped when you need them

A dirty filter can become a source of bacteria and mold, and can eventually cause your system to stop working altogether. That’s why we started Water for Life® — our filtration subscription service.

Water for Life® will keep track of when it’s time to change your filters and will ship a new batch to your door when you need it. The benefits of Water for Life® include:

  • Auto-delivery when it’s time to replace your filters
  • 15% off the price of replacement filters
  • Free shipping
  • Extended warranty — free replacement parts any time you need them
  • No contract required

To get started with Water for Life®, simply add a product to your cart using the red Water for Life® button, or reach out to one of our Water Experts at 866-662-6885 or

Replacing your water filters means you’ll have access to clean, healthy water again and again. Gone are the days where drinking water means you’re also drinking the contaminants you’ve worked so hard to remove — finally, you can drink with confidence.