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Change Your Charcoal Water Filters Regularly

June 08, 2022 8 min read

Bacteria, heavy metals, and other toxins can contaminate water supplies. Charcoal filters are standard water filtration technology available in various shapes and sizes. You can connect charcoal water filters to a water faucet, used in fridge water filters, housed in the cover of a water carafe, and utilised in under-sink filtering systems. The terms "carbon for filters" and "charcoal for filters" are interchangeable. Carbon filters can help with some water issues, but they can exacerbate others.


For many years, activated carbon (AC) filtering has been utilised to solve water problems. Activated carbon eliminates chlorine and various other pollutants from the water fast and effectively. Chlorine, silt, SOCs, and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are best removed from water using carbon filters. You can't remove minerals, salts, and dissolved inorganic substances with them. Carbon filters are typically found as part of a larger water filtering system. The oxidation of RO system membranes can be irreversible if chlorine is not handled.



Charcoal water filters are many procedures used in water treatment to remove impurities such as organic compounds and odor-causing contaminants. It's frequently used to make drinking water more acceptable.

Activated charcoal filter technology has improved over time. The activated carbon market is expected to rise in the coming years, with the treatment process driving the development, while the COVID-19 pandemic has thrown some doubt into market predictions.

Because it easily adsorbs chlorine, synthetic organic pollutants, PFAS, compounds that change taste and smell, and occurring naturally organic compounds, activated carbon is frequently used in potable water applications. This filter is expected to grow as contamination and pollution become worst, most especially in developing countries.

Activated carbon filters aren't the same as regular water filters. Instead, they are made up of minute solid black porous sponge or black beads processed to improve its ability to trap pollutants selectively. First, heat, steam, or chemicals are pumped into the carbon, causing millions of microscopic pores to form, gradually increasing the scoped area. This procedure increases the amount of pores in the charcoal. It allows it to trap and absorb a larger range of contaminants, making it a more efficient filter media.

Since each carbon particle does have a large surface area, it exposes impurities to the active sites in the filtration process to the fullest extent practicable, allowing for the absorption/removal of more pollutants. The surface area of one pound of an activated charcoal filter is over 100 acres.

This and other outstanding activated carbon features make it an effective adsorption medium for removing pollutants from water. It's also utilised in the manufacture of respiratory masks and air conditioning systems, and exhaust fans to release aromas such as smoke and animal odour.


To understand why your carbon filter needs replacement, you must first understand how activated charcoal filters remove pollutants from water. Adsorption is the term for this process (please don't confuse it with absorption). When a sponge absorbs water, the water enters the sponge's holes. When contaminants like chlorine adsorb on carbon, ion, chlorine molecules, or atoms create a film on the charcoal. It's known as an adsorbate. That's why your activated charcoal filters should be replaced regularly.

There is so much room on the carbon for the adsorbate to gather. The carbon can't do its job effectively once the pollution coating has coated all of that space. If an activated carbon filter is kept in place for too long, it may release certain contaminants in favour of others highly attracted to the adsorption site. That's why it's critical to replace your filter constantly.


The answer to the issue of why you should update your carbon filter is simple. When it comes to replacing the filter, stuff can get tricky.

There are different factors to consider when determining how long a charcoal water filter can survive before needing to be replaced. These factors include:

  • Amount of Contaminants: If a filtration method removes a lot of pollutants out of the water, it will need to be replaced more frequently. The adsorbate will accumulate faster, requiring more frequent filter replacement.
  • Quality: High-quality, well-manufactured activated charcoal will last longer than shoddy, low-cost filters.
  • Volume of Water Filtered: A weekly filter that treats 100 gallons of fresh water has a longer lifespan than a weekly filter that treats 500 gallons of water.
  • Manual Instructions: The maker of your activated charcoal water filter will offer you a recommendation as to how often you must replace it. This advice is an excellent starting point. However, your usage habits will determine how long the filter lasts before it needs replacement.



While the lifespan of your filter varies depending on how often it is used, there are a few indicators that it's time to change it. You won't have a visible hint of when to replace activated carbon filters; the only signs will be the smell, taste, and (possibly) pressure. It's necessary to replace the filter if the water filters develop an undesirable odour or flavour. Water pressure may be reduced as a result of a clogged filter.

However, it's essential not to wait till these symptoms emerge before seeking medical help. Instead, plan to replace your old filters with new ones frequently and keep to it. If you're confused about when to replace your filter, talk to your maker and give them a rundown of your usage patterns. It will lead you in the right direction.


Activated carbon filters use the adsorption process to purify water. As the water flows through the activated charcoal, it absorbs the pollutants in the water like a sponge with a wide surface area. Said, activated carbon attracts and holds particular contaminants in the pores of its surface area by exerting a magnetic-like pull on them.

The dissolved contaminants move from the liquid to the most appealing locations in the pore channels. Since the attraction of the carbon surface is way stronger than the attractive forces that hold the impurities dissolved in the fluid, the contaminants are absorbed. The filtered water then moves onto the next stage of filtering, if there is one.

Chlorine and other contaminants that do not cling to carbon are removed using a chemical reaction by activated carbon filters. The chlorine molecules are chemically altered by activated catalytic carbon, which will be more reactive than ordinary carbon, and converted into a chloride.


Activated charcoal water treatment is primarily utilised for two objectives, which act in very distinct ways.

Removing of Chlorine

You may remove chlorine from activated carbon with little deterioration or impact on the carbon. Dechlorination is a fast process that requires high flow rates. This process, however, requires a wide surface area, and compounds in the water will quickly block the carbon pores. The activated carbon filter will eventually need to be replaced since its capability to dechlorinate the water will gradually deteriorate. Reactivation of spent carbon is possible. However, you must only apply reactivated filters in waste-water treatment systems.

AC has a cheap maintenance cost and is almost "fail safe" once installed, one of its advantages. One disadvantage is that, by removing chlorine from the upper layer of the medium, the AC provides a moist environment that encourages bacterial growth and multiplication. When carbon is employed as a reverse osmosis pretreatment in clinical uses, bacteria might pose problems.

Removing of Organic Matter

Inside an activated carbon filter holds chemicals and organic particles as water runs through it through a process known as "adsorption." Five important factors influence the adsorption process:

  1. activated carbon's physical properties
  2. carbon source's chemical composition
  3. contaminant's chemical composition and concentration.
  4. pH and temperature of the water
  5. the duration of the water's exposure to the activated carbon filter



Limited Filtering

Carbon filters effectively remove organic molecules that give water a foul taste and odour. Carbon filters have the disadvantage of not filtering out heavy metals, fluoride, germs, or microbes present in the water. Experts estimate that there are over 300 contaminants in Australia's tap water. The truth that charcoal filters have a limited life and need replacement frequently adds to the difficulty.

Water Flush Time

Another issue with carbon filtration is the length of time water must be in touch with the filter for it to be effective. Most countertop carbon filtration devices don't give the water filter adequate time to remove contaminants. The filtering is more effective the more the water stays in the filter media.


Charcoal water filters can house microorganisms. Some pollutants are trapped by carbon filters, whereas others stick to the surface of the charcoal. When water is poured through a saturated filter, it doesn't filter efficiently, allowing microorganisms to enter the water. Bacteria grow on the surface of the charcoal filter if not replaced frequently enough, eventually filling the entire surface.

Depending on the size and carbon unit, every filter cartridge has a servicing cycle. You can measure the servicing process in either gallons or months. In either case, it's critical to replace the filter regularly to maintain proper water filtering.

Replacement Contaminants

Replacement carbon filters aren't all created equal. A non-certified filter cartridge could be inferior to the carbon filter manufacturer of the filtering device. Using low-quality replacements can reduce the carbon filter unit's performance and may introduce contaminants into the drinking water. If the carbon replacement hasn't been thoroughly checked for material safety, it may introduce pollutants from its materials.


Point of Entry

POE filters are connected to your home's main water line. They purify the water before it reaches the water dispensers in your homes, such as taps, toilets, bathrooms, kitchens, and laundry. A whole-house water filter is the most prevalent type of POE system. Whole-house filters filter out potential contaminants before they reach your faucets and are eaten or absorbed by the skin while cleaning, bathing, or showering.

Point of Use

Don't confuse POU water filters with POE systems, even though they produce comparable outcomes and are usually cheaper. POU filters are single-use filters that purify water where it is used, usually beneath the counter in the kitchen or the bathroom.

The most frequent form of POU system is reverse osmosis. Both filtration systems can remove impurities from water such as lead, copper, fluoride, arsenic, aluminium, chlorine, herbicides, chloramine, pesticides, and a variety of other toxins. They're ideal if you wish to treat water at certain taps throughout your home. Furthermore, they fit under almost any size sink and offer 75 gallons of treated water each day to your home.

Awesome Activated Carbon Filter Sachet


Water filters with active carbon are a safe and effective way to improve your water's taste, appearance, and odour. It removes a wide spectrum of toxins via catalytic reduction or adsorption, providing you with an herbicide, pesticide, and other dangerous chemical-free water.

Do you want to purchase a drinking water filter with charcoal for your home? Check out what Awesome Water Filters offer you here in Australia! We offer activated carbon filter sachets, 8-Stage KDF Water Filter with activated carbon, distillers, and purifiers (you can add charcoal water filters).