How often should refrigerator water filter be replaced?

I'd replace when the water flow slows, the water has a different taste or the water appears cloudy. So much depends on the quality of water in your city. Ed
I'd be good with that but it's not good enough for the wife. She thinks the water can be bad even if it looks and tastes just fine to me
I have a 1 gallon countertop distiller. After distilling, I pour my water through a Zerowater pitcher for taste. I have 10 BPA-free plastic jugs that I pour my distilled/filtered water into afterwards. That's my setup. I did some experimenting years ago and this is what works best for me. When I see and smell the 'crud' in the bottom of my distiller after it finishes a gallon, I am happy I spent the money for it. The odor is horrible.

This way, I get water that reads zero ppm and my Zerowater pitcher filter lasts forever since the distilled water has 1 to 2ppm (extending the life of the filter due to less crud to filter) and my water tastes great. Also, when times are crazy and folks are snatching water off the shelves at stores in a panic, I'm at home doing business as usual. I fill up my 10 jugs and I'm good.

Sometimes I add a few drops of electrolytes to my water when I pour a glass and sometimes I don't. Just depends on how I feel and honestly, the taste is great without the electrolytes, but since I am fairly active, I use a few drops of electrolytes perhaps once or twice a day.

My tap water is pretty good measurement-wise ~35ppm cold and ~55ppm hot, but for me, it's wanting complete control over what goes into my body and the tap water filters and refrigerator filters don't cut it.

My fridge has a filter, but I don't bother with it since I do the distilling/filtering water.
Do you have a link to the distiller you use?
Here is the one I use:,aps,188&sr=8-4-spons&psc=1&spLa=ZW5jcnlwdGVkUXVhbGlmaWVyPUExRzQ0TUhTQ1UwODRVJmVuY3J5cHRlZElkPUEwMTg1ODgxMlJUNTZTN1FKRkk2WSZlbmNyeXB0ZWRBZElkPUEwNjIxMzU2MVBDSDE5NTZFWllYViZ3aWRnZXROYW1lPXNwX2F0ZiZhY3Rpb249Y2xpY2tSZWRpcmVjdCZkb05vdExvZ0NsaWNrPXRydWU=

I've had it for years at this point. Distilled hundred of gallons (perhaps over a thousand). I would estimate 20 to 30 gallons per month is what I distill. I bought it around 2015 or so. Still works reliably. I 'upgraded' the power cord to a 2ft 14 gauge cord (I had laying around) as opposed to what came with it (I believe it was a 6ft 16 or 18 gauge cord). That short gauge worked well to reduce clutter on the countertop and maybe it's in my head, but the cable seemed to shorten the duration of how long it takes to distill a gallon. I want to say it took about 5 to 5 hours, 30 minutes initially, and the duration was shorter after swapping out the cord.
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As for how I clean my distiller - after distilling 10 gallons or so in it, I pour enough (usually cheap) white vinegar in it to cover the bottom of it, put the top back on the distiller and let it sit for a day up to a week (sometimes longer if I'm traveling). Then I take a stainless steel scour pad and scrub the bottom of it. The crud comes out easily.

Every so often, I'll use Bar Keeper's Friend and a green nylon scour pad to deep clean it. Then follow up with washing it out with unscented dishwashing liquid after rinsing the BKF out.
Thanks. 5.5 hours @ 580 Watts just to distill a gallon of water, plus another thing to clean - not sure how I feel about that. Is that still cheaper than having to buy ZeroWater filters more frequently?
I had the distiller before I bought the Zerowater pitcher. I didn't quite like the taste of distilled alone, so I bought a Pur pitcher initially and didn't like the taste nor the TDS measurements. Then I tried Zerowater and was satisfied with the taste.

As for why I initially bought it, there were two reasons:
1) I used to buy distilled water by the gallon from local stores. It was distilled and had a few other processes done to it and I liked it. The local stores changed vendors and the water tasted metallic, so I needed to do something different.
2) I was starting to get a bit older and got tired of lugging water around and having to run to different stores based on what was happening with #1. I would only find good tasting distilled water when I went out of town and I didn't have time for that.

After buying the distiller, the convenience was worth any sort of expense on power consumption. I bought the 10 jugs so that I wouldn't have to worry about not having water available due to the time it takes to distill a gallon.
How often should the refrigerator water filter be replaced? The manufacturers say 6 months but I know they want to sell replacement filters. What is the "real" filter life span?
When taste or flow becomes an issue.. the fridge just runs off a programmed calendar.
I think this will vary wildly depending on where you are. One city's water can be vastly different than another's.

My (stupid) GE fridge mandates a change after a certain amount of time. The filters have an electronic tag on them and the fridge starts counting the days whenever it sees a new tag. At the end of the countdown, it shuts everything down until you replace it.

If your fridge will let you, go until you notice any restriction in the water flow, or if you don't have 'door water', when your ice cubes start to shrink or smell weird.
Whirlpool seems to have taken the opposite approach…. Simply opening and closing the filter door, which is incredibly easy to do on accident, resets it back to 100%.

I run mine till I notice a restriction in flow or weird smells/taste. We’re on a well and I think I’m coming up on 6 months for this filter? But we use it a lot.
I have a Maytag refrig and the "replace filter" light comes on at about 12 months. We are a two person household. That has been consistent since the fridge was new. Cost is around $15, so it is not a big deal for me. I could see 6 mos in a larger household.
The light on our LG comes on every 6 months.
My Whirlpool refrigerator shows a replace filter indicator probably every 3 months. I don't use the icemaker because it is so noisy and the cubes are small, I just use the filtered water for ice cube trays and to fill the coffee pot.
I write the date that I change the filter on it and change it every other time the display suggests that I do. There is a way to reset the warning light without changing the filter so I do that. I have not noticed a degradation in the taste by doubling the interval but don't want to push it beyond that.
6 months seems to be the standard. I cut one open a couple years ago and it was nothing but a chunk of charcoal....I guess it's supposed to absorb all the impurities?
When I bought my house 10 years ago this coming Oct. the previous owners left the refrigerator. If it has a filter which I assume it does since it's got an ice maker and water in the door it hasn't been changed since I bought the house. The water still looks clean and tastes fine. This is the first refrigerator that I suspect has a filter. Where are the filters located?
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I agree with others, if it starts to smell or taste funny. I don't have a frig that has the fancy stuff but with my Brita pitcher I smell it after it filters thru, when I start smelling chlorine is when I change it. I can also tell by the ice cubes, they will start to be more cloudy and start breaking in pieces rather than cubes.
I keep it simple. Change every July 1st and January 1st. All the water my wife and I drink come from the refrigerator as well as the Coffee for the coffee pot every morning.