With less-than-stellar tap water common throughout the U.S., water filters are a staple in millions of homes. They help create better-tasting water by filtering out unwanted minerals and contaminants. Although most people can’t tell the difference visually between filtered and unfiltered tap water, the difference in taste is noticeable.
Brita is one of the big names in the water filter industry, manufacturing various products to ensure you get great-tasting water. The design of these filters features a little indicator that tells you when it’s time to change the filter. So, how does it work?
How Do Brita Water Filters Work?
Brita offers several different water filters, including faucets, water bottles, streams, Longlast, and Standard filters. For the sake of this article, we’ll focus on the Longlast and Standard filters, commonly found in Brita’s water pitchers and dispensers.
The Standard white filters have a few different processes in place to filter water. Firstly, water flows into the filter, moving through a built-in mesh screen that removes black flecks. Next, activated carbon granules serve as a sponge to reduce mercury and chlorine taste and odors from the water.
In addition, ion exchange takes place. Ion Exchange Resin captures and removes copper, zinc, and cadmium.
With Brita’s Longlast filters, the mechanism is very similar. However, these filters feature a patented pleated material and active filtering agents in addition to the other filtration systems. These filters reduce and remove contaminants like lead, asbestos, and cadmium.
What Is The Brita Filter Indicator?
Brita filter indicators come in a few different varieties, each depending on the product. Here are the different types of Brita filter indicators:
- Pitchers with the max fill line indicators on both Standard and Longlast filters.
- Pitchers without the max fill line indicators on Standard and Longlast filters
- Sticker filter indicators
How Does A Brita Filter Work?
We’ll explain each of the individual filters and how it works specifically in the following sections. However, we’ll clear up a few common misconceptions before we get into that. The Brita filter indicator doesn’t tell you the actual condition of the filter. Instead, it calculates the amount of water in the container, the lid flips, and the amount of water poured out of the top.
The exact mechanisms depend on the particular indicator, which we’ll explain below.
How Do You Read A Brita Filter Indicator?
Each Brita filter indicator works slightly differently. However, as a general rule of thumb, green lights mean the filter is fresh, and red lights tell you it’s time to replace it.
How To Read A Brita Pitcher With A Max Fill Line
Brita pitchers with a max fill line signal you when you need to replace the filter. The indicator works when you open the lid for five to eight seconds. The total amount of time it takes depends on the size of the pitcher’s reservoir.
These filters work by tracking the number of times you fill the reservoir. When your filter is fresh, the indicator will blink green continuously. The indicator will display a red light when the filter reaches the end of its lifespan and maximum filtration capacity. At this point, it’s time to replace the filter.
How To Read A Brita Pitcher Without A Max Fill Line
Like the last filter, this Brita pitcher also lets you know when to change the filter. However, the activation process looks considerably different since it doesn’t have a max fill line.
This filter measures the quantities of water you pour into it. Every time you add water, the mechanism activates and measures the amount of water, but this time on eight fluid ounce pours.
Green blinking indicators let you know the filter is functioning normally, and a red light indicates it’s time to replace the filter.
Whether you buy a Brita filter for your pitcher with or without the line, the filter is the same. You can purchase Standard (white) filters or Longlast (blue) filters. The Standard filters can filter up to 40 gallons of water, while the Longlast filters can filter up to 120 gallons before they’re rendered useless.
How To Read A Brita Sticker Filter Indicator
Some Brita filters feature an indicator that allows you to gauge the right time to replace a worn-out filter. These sticker indicators work considerably different than the other two indicators.
Instead of measuring the water itself, it times the average water usage. Generally, it bases the timing estimates on roughly 11 glasses per household in a day.
How To Read Brita Smart Light Indicators
Brita Smart Lights feature three different indicator lights that let you know the status of the filter. Dispensers and pitchers with the Smart Light electronic indicator offer a quick and easy way to accurately tell the filter’s life status.
It works by tracking the time and volume measurement. An intelligent mechanism in the system records the amount of water flowing out of the pitcher or dispenser. The mechanism has a battery that enables it to do its job. Usually, the battery lasts roughly five years, as it deactivates when you’re not using it to conserve energy.
A green light, fading in and out three times, lets you know the cartridge is functioning normally. A yellow light, flashing three times, tells you the filter is on its way out, and a replacement filter will be necessary soon. A red light flashing six times means it’s time to change the filter, as it can no longer do its job.
How Often Should I Replace My Brita Filter?
According to the manufacturer, you should replace your Brita filter roughly every two months. Even if the lights indicate the current filter is still good, you should change the filter routinely. After you switch out the filter, make sure you reset the indicator.
Try to avoid resetting the indicator without changing the filter, as the system cannot accurately measure or filter the water. If you continually reset the indicator without changing the filter, the filter won’t be able to filter out contaminants.
Depending on the severity of your water supply contamination with pollutants or minerals, you may get sick from drinking the water. The material in the filter itself isn’t harmful, but when it cannot do its job, you may end up with bacteria and other toxic substances in your drinking water.
How To Reset A Brita Filter Indicator
Each time you replace your Brita filter, make sure you reset the indicator to let the system know it has a fresh filter. If you install a Standard filter (white), reset the indicator by pressing the STATUS button and holding it down. Hold the button for two seconds, then release.
After releasing the button, all lights will blink a single time simultaneously. Then, the light next to STANDARD FILTER will blink three times. This lets you know that the Standard filter mode has been selected.
If you’re replacing the filter with a Longlast filter (blue), press the STATUS button and hold it down. Hold the button for six seconds. Wait until the green light next to LONGLAST+ FILTER blinks three times by itself. Once the light flashes, the Longlast mode has been selected.
In the event, you accidentally select the incorrect mode, simply repeat the steps necessary to achieve the proper filter setting. You’ll know the correct mode is in place when the right lights blink.
To reset a pitcher without a Max Fill Line, press the RESET button (might be a STATUS button on some models) below the lights on the indicator. Once the green light blinks, release the button.
How To Ensure Accurate Tracking With A Brita Filter
Since Brita’s tracking mechanism doesn’t actually measure the filter itself, it’s essential to do the right things to help the system track accurately. Brita offers a few tips and tricks to help your device accurately track your water filtration, including:
- Open the fill lid completely when filling the reservoir. When you add water, fill it all the way to the provided “Max Fill” line (as applicable). Close the fill lid entirely once you’re done.
- Don’t keep the Fill Lid open for more than five seconds if you’re not adding water. Only keep the lid open when you’re actively filling the reservoir, filling it completely to the Max Fill line.
- Wait until the reservoir is empty before refilling. The temptation to fill the reservoir again when it hasn’t emptied all the way may be strong, but try to resist the urge. Filling a partially-filled reservoir can mess with your system’s tracking, so try to avoid doing this.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How Long Is A Brita Filter’s Shelf Life?
If you have a few Brita filters that have been sitting on the shelf for a while, you can probably still use them. Their shelf life is technically indefinite as long as the little pouch is still sealed and intact. Keep extra Brita filters in their sealed bag and in a cool, dry place until you’re ready to use them.
Brita recommends soaking older filters (filters older than a year old) for about 15 minutes before using them. The filters are fine as long as they are in a sealed pouch, but they can dry out over time. So, soak it for a few minutes, then pop it into the dispenser or pitcher.
How Long Do Brita Filters Last?
Generally, Brita filters last about two months. However, the frequency at which you need to change the filter depends on the traffic in your home. If you have a big family or use the filter in a busy office, you may have to change the filter more frequently.
Even if you don’t use the filter enough to cause the lights to change quickly, Brita recommends changing the filter every two months.
What Do I Do If The Indicator Lights Aren’t Working?
Sometimes, you may notice that the indicator lights on your filter aren’t working correctly. If you have an LED indicator with lights, simply press and hold the RESET button for five to ten seconds.
The green, yellow, and red lights should blink simultaneously. Continue to hold the button until the lights stop flashing. If you’re having difficulty pressing and holding the button, use a capped pen to apply pressure.
Once you’re done, make sure the indicator is working by pouring a glass of water. If everything checks out, the light should blink green.
If you have an older model, press the RESET button for about five seconds. You can determine if your indicator is working by pushing the STATUS button at any time.
Do I Need To Flush My Brita Filter Before Using It?
Yes, before using your Standard, Longlast+, or Stream filter, flush it with cold water for about fifteen seconds. Then, install the new filter in its place.
With Standard and Longlast+ filters, discard your first three containers worth of filtered water. You may notice carbon dust in these first few fillings, which is completely normal.