Does Your Whole House Water Filter Gets Dirty Fast? Here’s What You Need to Do

whole house water filter gets dirty fast

Are you having issues with why the whole house water filter gets dirty fast? Many homeowners struggle with the same problem. A water filter ensures your family drinks safe and clean water. It can be challenging to keep up with frequent maintenance and cleaning when the filter gets clogged.

Many homeowners replace their whole house water filter every 6-12 months. This is because these filters are constantly exposed to sediment and particles that come through water lines. Additionally, these filters cannot remove specific contaminants unless replaced regularly.

While replacing a whole house water filter may seem costly, the cost of not doing so can be much higher in the long run. This article will provide an overview of why the whole house water filter gets dirty quickly and how to prevent them. You’ll learn what’s in your water and how to keep your filter clean for a long time.

Whole House Water Filter Gets Dirty Fast: Why Do Water Filters Get Dirty?

Whole-house water filters capture impurities, and as a result, they become clogged with dirt.

As liquids pass through the fibers, particles adhere to the material until the filter takes on the same shade as the sediment.

You should switch out the cartridge before it becomes blocked with debris, but not until it has captured dirt.

The regular cartridge filter will usually function for 6-9 months, whereas jumbo or extended-life filters may have a lifespan of 12 months.

Whole House Water Filter Gets Dirty Fast: How Can You Tell When It’s Time to Replace the Filter?

It can be hard to determine when to switch out a water filter system for the whole house. Manufacturers can provide an approximate time frame. However, replacing it before the suggested date is not beneficial. Conversely, water quality can be in danger if you don’t switch it out promptly.

If your filtration system doesn’t have a built-in pressure monitor, it can be challenging to know when it needs servicing. Most of the time, the first sign of a problem will be low water pressure. Color changes can give clues, but contaminants such as iron and manganese can discolor sediment cartridges within a few days.

When water filters become clogged with pollutants, the water pressure decreases, and the shower weakens. If you wait to replace the filter, there is a risk that your drinking water could be contaminated.

You can prevent water pressure from dropping by installing a pressure gauge before and after a filter system. This will replace the filter cartridges before the pressure plummets. With time, you’ll recognize when the pressure is too high and when it’s cost-efficient to carry out maintenance.

Reasons Why Whole House Water Filter Gets Dirty Fast


If the filter in your entire home’s water system is becoming clogged quickly, there are likely multiple issues. Evaluate all possibilities that apply to your particular case. Keep inspecting after locating an issue.

Now comes the 6 reasons why whole house water filter gets dirty fast: 

Well & Plumbing Problems

The life expectancy of a well is definite. A pressure tank, for instance, typically has 15 years lifespan, after which it may have sludge. Moreover, if the well pump breaks down, it could draw dirt and particles into the water filtration system.

If heavy rainfall or flooding occurs, the cartridges in a good system can become dirty. Similarly, the pump may bring up more sediment than normal when there is high temperature. Nevertheless, when the rain stops and the temperature cools, the water quality should return to normal.

If there is a breach in your plumbing system, unwanted particles, such as dust and impurities, infiltrate your water source. If your water filter becomes dark, it could signify that microorganisms such as mold or germs have entered the system.

Low Micron Rating

Filters consist of tiny openings equal to one millionth of a meter. It’s calculated in microns. This will result in clean water.

A large micron filter will not get dirty quickly if you don’t require a high-efficiency model to eliminate microscopic particles.

On the other hand, if you need a high-efficiency filter, use a higher micron rating with a reverse osmosis system installed beneath the sink. This will free the filter cartridge from dirt and give you crystal-clear water.

Water Quality & Usage

The water source purity determines the lifespan of a filter. The more it’s utilized, the quicker it gets dirty.

If your water filter is used to strain the water with a large amount of sediment, your filter won’t remain functional for a long period. For instance, if your son’s softball team is using your shower after practice, your home filter will become blocked faster.

Pressure Tank Replacement

A pressure tank should be swapped out every 15 years. However, this timeline may vary depending on the water supply. If the pressure tank has exceeded the replacement time frame, this could cause an abundance of dirt in the water. So, it’s best to seek advice from an expert.

Consider incorporating enhancements to your plumbing system that could extend the life of your tank, such as a pressure valve and an air volume regulation system.

Water You Are Using

Are you living by yourself or sharing your home with other people? You may be using a great deal of water, which would explain why the whole house water filter gets dirty fast.

Remember that the projected filter lifespan is based on average water usage. If your water usage exceeds the average, change the filters more often.

Heavy Rain Or Drought

Abrupt fluctuations in the climate can also create difficulties. Both torrential rain and lack of rain can harm your well. In this case, the water levels will be higher or lower than normal, which isn’t ideal for the pump’s and other components’ best functioning.

If you’re enduring a time of low rainfall, the only option is to be patient. And, if the dry spell is lengthy, consider lowering the strength of the water pump to mitigate the situation.

So, these were the reasons why the whole house water filter gets dirty fast.

Solutions: Whole House Water Filter Gets Dirty Fast


If you have noticed one or more of the above-mentioned issues, look at some of the following solutions. Always speak to a specialist if you intend to carry out anything that could damage your plumbing system!

Here comes the 9 solutions to whole house water filter gets dirty fast issue: 

Test Your Water

Have you checked the purity of your water lately? It’s possible that the water you have is not as clean as it should be. 

This can lead to fast deterioration and short lifespan of the filtration system. Now, all you can do is to be more diligent about replacing your filters in the future.

Choose A Bigger Filter

Not all whole-house water filters are the same, so changing to a higher-quality model could be the solution if issues arise. 

I suggest you purchase only the NSF-approved filters. Products bearing the NSF seal have undergone independent testing by industry professionals and are assured of meeting their stated specifications.

Filter price may not necessarily indicate its quality. Most companies producing filters also offer substitute cartridges, so it’s best to avoid inferior filters and opt for a well-known brand.

If you have observed an increase in water consumption, a bigger filtration system might be the solution. Upgrading from a 10-inch cartridge to a 20-inch one will double your water filtering capability. This will also reduce the maintenance and the upgrade cost wouldn’t be more than $100.

Try To Flush

If you have recently had any project introducing pollutants into your well, try to remove your filter and clean the entire system.

You can full flush the system and resolve issues. If the problem persists, you could face additional water supply issues.

Add Larger-Micron Filter

Suppose the water analysis indicates surplus impurities. In that case, pre-filter installation catches some extra pollutants before they make their way to the major whole-house filter.

A bigger micron rating filter delays the filter’s obstruction. Nevertheless, this may cause more pollutants to reach your drinking water unless you implement multiple filtering steps.

Keep A Maintenance Calendar

Cartridges need a financial outlay. You might experience the illusion that you just replaced the filter recently, even though it was 3 months ago.

Before investing heavily in a new water filtration system, keep a record of when the filter was last substituted. Put a reminder on the calendar or a strip of tape on the filter unit to track how long the cartridges last. 

Try A Spin-Down Filter

If there is highly contaminated water from your source, a spin-down filter can be reused. It sounds more suitable than an entire-house system that uses one-time-use cartridges. These filters can be cleared as frequently as needed and will cost nothing.

Have Your Well Inspected

Although it is not likely that there is something wrong with your well, having an inspection is a cost-effective way to eliminate the possibility of any underlying issues.

I suggest you hire a professional to inspect your well every 5 years. The expert can ensure the drinking water quality. While homeowners can test some water elements, contractors are more likely to diagnose and resolve most issues.

Install A Centrifugal Sand Separator

If you are facing difficulty with dirt in your water, investing in a centrifugal sand separator can be a cost-effective solution. It will stop dirt and sand from clogging the filter. In addition, it’ll protect other pieces of a water filter from being worn away by friction.

Have Issues Repaired

More pollutants can enter the water supply. I recommend hiring a professional to fix the water line problem. If you don’t have repair knowledge and trying to repair it yourself, it can further harm your plumbing system. 

So, here are the solutions to the whole house water filter gets dirty fast!

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) On Whole House Water Filter Gets Dirty Fast

1. Why does my water filter turn brown?

Large quantities of iron or rust is a frequent source of water discoloration. This can make your whole house water filter turn brown and alter the water’s taste, aroma, and look.

2. Why does my water filter get dirty so fast?

As time progresses, the filter accumulates pollutants and particles, which can eventually cause it to stop. The efficacy of a water filter can be maintained by simply replacing it based on its type.

3. How often should you change a whole house water filter?

Installing a whole house water filter system may be more expensive. You can change a whole house water filter for an entire house every 3-6 months.

4. How long should you run water through a new filter?

Place the new filter into its holder and rotate it to the right to secure it. Depress the filter change indicator & switch to reset it. Allow water to run into a receptacle for 5 minutes to flush it.

Summary: Whole House Water Filter Gets Dirty Fast


When the running cost of a whole-house water filter accumulates, it can be disheartening.

The best way to ensure the longevity of your whole house water filters is to keep tabs on how often you use the filter and ensure that the system is properly maintained and serviced.

While the life expectancy of a well is definite, a pressure tank usually contains a life span of 15 years or more. If the pump breaks down, this can draw all dirt into the system, leading to clogged cartridges over time.

You can also change the filter regularly and keep tabs on how often you use the filter. When in doubt, contact your water utility company for more information about when it’s time for replacements.

I hope this article on the whole house water filter gets dirty fast sounds helpful!

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