While water filtration systems like Brita are trusted to remove contaminants from water, it’s not always clear when the filter should be changed.

Poorly filtered water can be gross, especially if your filter is no longer working. The best pieces of knowledge to know how often you should change your water filter.

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How Long Do Brita Filters Last?

Brita water filters can last anywhere from 2 months to 4 months. Standard water filters last about 2 months or 40 gallons. They also make Longlast water filters which go three times as long. Other factors in length include the level of minerals in your water and how much water you drink.

We’ll investigate what factors go into how long a Brita filter can last. How does your water quality impact the length of a Brita filter service? Is it possible to save a few dollars and reuse a Brita filter?

We’ve considered our options for water filters before while dealing with nasty city water. Let our practical experience guide your knowledge of Brita water filters.

Related article: How To Test Your Water Softener In Seconds!

Do different Brita water filters have different service lengths?

As is fairly common in the water filtration industry, Brita does make different filters that last longer.

The Brita standard white filter can properly clean up about 40 gallons of water, which means that in most families it will last about 2 months.

The Brita Longlast filter triples that, and can get 120 gallons filtered in about 6 months – these filters are blue. The difference here is the structure of the water filter and pleats that can store more bad water contaminants.

Brita also has a gray Stream filter that lasts about 40 gallons, or 2 months as well. 

Another part of Brita’s line is a faucet filter system and water bottle filters. The base model filters 94 gallons, or about 4 months worth of water. 

How do I know when to change my filter?

Brita designs their water filters with either electronic or sticker indicators that will communicate the upcoming need to change a water filter, and the need to change right away.

Electronics indicators

The electronic indicators are easy to read. Brita designs their electronic indicators in a few ways.

Some pitchers that are meant to last up to 40 gallons have an indicator with three different lights for 40 gallons or more, 36-40 gallons, and anything under 36. The indicator light will light up when a certain number of gallons have been filtered. 

Brita designs these so that you don’t get abundance of  indicators, but still know when you haven’t come close to the end of your filter life yet.

Other filters don’t indicate the number of gallons, but instead show “Good”, “CHG SOON” for change soon, and “CHANGE” along with a reset button. While these are less predictable given the lack of gallon predictor, they still give you ample warning by at least a few days before filters become ineffective.

Your Brita filter could also include an indicator that uses green, yellow, and red lights to indicate 100%, 25%, and change now. 

Sticker Indicators

Sticker indicators are more instructions than real indicators – as they aren’t automatic.

These labels offer instructions on how long the filter is supposed to last, but only provide an abbreviated list of months that the user can circle with a marker to remind themselves when they put the filter in. Otherwise, sticker indicators don’t measure time or the number of gallons flowing through.

Email

Brita does have an email system that lets you choose which filters you are using, and will send you an email when it’s time to change the filter. 

If you are like us, and you are the kind of person who pours water while busy multitasking and doesn’t get a glimpse of the filter sticker or indicator – this could be perfect. 

The email also helps you order new filters through Brita. Note that Brita filters are also available in most grocery and department stores if you need one right away.

The water no longer fills

It’s possible for a filter to become so blocked that water cannot get through. If your filter is moving very slowly or not moving at all, the water might be trapped above the filter.

Cracked Filter

Another sign is that the reservoir fills up faster than normal – and doesn’t look as clean as it used to.

Filters can get cracked and allow water through too fast, so it might not get filtered at all. You should replace a cracked filter right away as it is probably not working.

Smell

Filters can take on a funky odor when overused. If your filter smells unusually bad, you might also want to test your water to see whats in it. Water shouldn’t smell bad!

Water tests

While the indicator itself should be reliable, consider testing your water for heavy metals and contaminants.

Do this before putting a filter into see what level you have before filtered water to see how the effectiveness of the filter drops. If the water test kit is showing a high level, a replacement is needed soon.

How do I reset a Brita filter?

Brita’s electronic indicators have a reset button on bottom to restart. The indicator systems are smart, but not enough smart enough to indicate a new filter. Pushing the button will return the indicator to the beginning. 

The button will often have an indicator about how long you need to push – like 3 to 5 seconds.

Sticker indicators should be replaced once they have been used enough to no longer be readable. You could start putting the year on the sticker indicator, but that could become sloppy.

What impacts the service length of a Brita filter?

The level of contaminants and minerals in your water can have an impact on Brita’s filter life. 

When thinking about the use of a water filter, one normally wants a water filter when their well or their city water doesn’t have good tasting water – or has unusually high amounts of contaminants.

Brita water filters are capable of removing and filtering lead, asbestos, chlorine, benzene, and other unpleasant materials. 

Unfortunately, if you have a lot of particles in your water, the Brita filter will fill up more quickly than average and require replacement more often. If you have well water, there may have a way to treat your well. 

City water might be a different story. In the case of both water methods, Brita water filters are a good addition to your kitchen if you don’t like the local water quality.

The amount of water you and your family drink also has a significant impact. If your family likes Brita filtered water, or drinks water more than milk, juice, or anything else, you’ll use filters faster. 

Do Brita filters remove bacteria?

Brita filters are designed to remove particles and minerals, but not bacteria. If there is an issue in your area with bacteria in the water – which we hope there is not, you should consider an alternate method of filtering your water.

Will my water taste bad when my Brita filter needs replacing?

At some point at the end of a filter’s life, the water will return to tasting as it does out of the tap. This means that the taste of your water will change when the filter itself is full or not working properly. 

A shift in taste will also usually be accompanied by any electronic indicator noting that the filter is going bad.

How do I replace a Brita water filter?

Brita water filters are quite easy to replace.

Pitcher water filters

Replacing the water filter on a pitcher is as simple as opening the top of the water pitcher where you would normally pour water in. Instead, reach in and turn the water filter to the left until it unlocks, then pull the old filter out.

Put the new filter in and twist right until it clicks.

Faucet mount water filters

Faucet mounts involve opening the canister that holds the water filter in place and pulling the filter out. The new filter can slide into place of the old one.

Water Bottle filters

Brita makes water bottles with built-in filters. 

Changing these is very similar to the water pitcher, only you unscrew the water bottle top, then the filter itself. Replace the filter by dropping a new one in and turning right until click.

Can I recycle Brita water filters?

You certainly can! Brita actually offers a unique recycling program

The biggest stipulation is their sites says they want at least 5 pounds worth of filters, which might be a task because their filters are not heavy

The best part about recycling is that the water filters are kept out of the landfill, and you do receive rewards points. The shipping labels are also free.

This program is ideal if you are a volume user and want to get something back while helping the planet.

Can I reuse Brita water filters?

Technically, you can. Here is an overview of the process. If you drink a lot of water and would prefer to avoid buying more filters, this could work. 

Renewing your filters is a little bit of work, but could certainly be done – and remain safe at the same time while getting the junk out of the filter.

Note that this process does not work on heavy metals like lead. You’ll want to get new filters for the purpose. 

Is drinking from a water filter that says “Change Needed” bad?

The water won’t taste as good as when the filter was fresh. The water will only have the contaminants already present in your current water, so it won’t necessarily be worse than the original.

Are Brita water filters appropriate for survival and camping situations?

If your main concern about water is bacteria then Brita is not your best option. Brita filters out metals, but not bacteria or parasites. 

There are lots of great water filters for bacteria available.  If the water at your lake just doesn’t taste good and there is no warning about bacteria in the water, a Brita filter might still be helpful for the purpose without being dangerous.

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