How To Change A ZeroWater Filter

Once you notice a sudden change in the taste of your water, or a hike in the TDS level, that’s a sign that it’s time for a filter change. Now, there’s no reason to dread the process of changing your ZeroWater filter. It is as seamless as a replacement procedure can be.

To change your ZeroWater filter in any filtration system, disassemble the filtration system, remove the old filter by turning it anticlockwise from its base, remove the packaging and blue cap from the new filter, and install by turning it clockwise from its base until there’s a complete seal.

ZeroWater has different filtration systems like the pitcher, dispenser, shower head water filter cartridge, and the faucet filters. In this article you’ll learn how to change the ZeroWater filter in each system, how often you should replace your filter, and how to clean your ZeroWater filter. You’ll also find out how the ZeroWater system works and why you might notice some gold beads in ZeroWater pitchers or dispensers.

How to change filter in a ZeroWater pitcher or dispenser

This filter change method works for ZeroWater pitchers and dispensers.

  1. Disassemble your pitcher by removing the lid and water reservoir.
  2. Untwist the old filter from the bottom of the reservoir by turning it anticlockwise, and discard it. You can recycle the used filter through ZeroWater’s recycling form (a downloadable document) and save some money on subsequent replacements.
  3. Twist in your new filter from the bottom of the reservoir in a clockwise direction, and tighten it firmly for a complete seal. If there’s water leaking between the silicone ring and the reservoir, the filter isn’t screwed in tightly.
  4. Return the reservoir into the pitcher and fill it up with cold water.
  5. Replace the lid and allow the filter to produce pure and sparkling water for your consumption.

Note that the ZeroWater filter for pitchers and dispensers is ready to use once you’ve removed the packaging material and the blue cap on top of it.

Also, do not try and install your ZeroWater filter from the top of the reservoir.

How to change the filter in ExtremeLife ZeroWater faucet mount

In the faucet mounts, you’re getting filtered water directly from your faucet and not through a pitcher or dispenser. To change the filter in these systems:

  1. First, detach the filter housing by turning the swivel collar in a clockwise direction.
  2. Remove the old filter from the housing by turning anticlockwise.
  3. Insert the new filter into the housing by turning clockwise
  4. Then, replace the filter housing on the faucet by turning the collar in a counter-clockwise direction to tighten it to the faucet threads.
  5. Turn on the water, pull the valve stem, and flush the new filter for 5 minutes.
  6. Use the valve stem to access filtered water.

How to change the filter cartridge in a ZeroWater shower filtration system

  1. Remove the shower head by turning it anticlockwise.
  2. Take it off the shower pipe
  3. Unscrew the filter from the head in a counterclockwise direction and take out the old cartridge
  4. Place the new cartridge (it drops in easily) and screw in the top half of the shower filter to the bottom half.
  5. Make sure it’s sealed tightly to prevent any leakages.

If you encounter any difficulty in the replacement of any of these filters, consult the manufacturer’s instructions for more details.

How the ZeroWater filter works

The ZeroWater filter system is a patented five-stage filter. Each filtration stage removes different types of impurities from your water.

  • The first stage removes solids like dust, dirt and rust.
  • The second filtration stage removes more suspended solids from the water.
  • The third stage in the ZeroWater filter takes care of organic water pollutants like herbicides, pesticides, and mercury.
  • The fourth removes inorganic contaminants like metallic ions and replaces them with beneficial ions.
  • The fifth stage holds resin in place and removes any residual suspended solids.

These stages are a combination of filter screen, foam distributor, activated carbon and oxidation alloy, ion exchange resin, and ultra-fine screen and non-woven membrane technology.

The work done by these filters mean that they will get worn out, eventually, and will need to be replaced. That’s only a small price to pay to enjoy refreshing and healthy water in your household.

Check out our article to learn more about how ZeroWater filter removes bacteria and viruses from your water.

How often should you change your ZeroWater filter?

Your ZeroWater filtration system has a set of instructions that tells you when and how often to change the filter. This usually falls between a period of two months and six months. 

The life of your ZeroWater filter depends on your household consumption of water, the type of impurities in your water, and the kind of system you’re using. These usually determine how hard the ZeroWater filter is working, and how easily it will wear out. It may require that you change your ZeroWater filter more frequently than the recommended time.

Some signs to look out for in your ZeroWater filter system include acidic taste of the filtered water, fish-like smell of the ZeroWater, sediments in the filtered water, and TDS reading above 006.

Water Purification Guide has more information about how your ZeroWater filter can start to smell like fish available here.

There’s mostly always a TDS meter that comes with ZeroWater pitchers and dispensers so you can take the readings regularly. Once you notice these abnormalities, regardless of how long you’ve been using the filter, you know that it’s due for a change.

What happens if you don’t change your ZeroWater filter

The ZeroWater filter is expected to accumulate impurities over time.

If you don’t change it as recommended, there will be an inevitable build up of gunk in your filtration system. It will get clogged which will cause the water flow rate to decrease, and the water acidity sometimes accompanied by a foul smell would also increase.

Most importantly, you’ll be exposing yourself to contaminants and possible health complications the longer you consume or use such unclean water.

Change your ZeroWater filter at the recommended period or as soon as you notice unusual properties in the filtered water.

Do you need to rinse a ZeroWater filter?

Unlike most filtration systems, ZeroWater filters for pitchers and dispensers do not need to be rinsed, soaked or flushed before use. If you’re washing or rinsing anything before adding the new filter, it should be your pitcher or dispenser.

For the ExtremeLife faucet mount filter (links to ZeroWater website), you’ll need to flush the new filter for about five minutes after replacement.

How to clean a ZeroWater filter

It is good practice to clean your filtration system or device – the pitcher or dispenser – when you want to change the filter. Note that you’re not washing the filter itself, you’re replacing it with a new one.

  • After disassembling the device, wash with a soft sponge, warm water and liquid soap.
  • Rinse thoroughly until there are no signs of soap on the pitcher or dispenser
  • Dry with a paper towel or allow to air dry, and then attach your new filter as explained earlier.

You might have heard of unscrewing your ZeroWater filter with a small wrench to check for clogging, and then poking tiny holes in the filter using tweezers or needles to let water pass through.

There’s also other misinformation like washing the ZeroWater filter with a mild cleaning solution, or a mixture of baking soda and lemon juice to deal with chemical clogging.

These procedures are not recommended because using a wrench, and needles or tweezers on the filter could cause damage to the ZeroWater filter mechanism and render it completely useless. 

Also, using chemical solutions like soap or soda on the filter could negatively impact the taste of your water after you may have successfully replaced it. Either way, you are going to worsen the water filtering capabilities of your ZeroWater filter by doing any of these.

It is normal for the efficiency of ZeroWater filters to depreciate over time. Afterall, they are working to remove different levels of impurities from your water. The best and safest way to handle the change in efficiency is to replace the old one with a new filter.

What are the gold beads in my ZeroWater?

The ZeroWater filter uses activated carbon and ion exchange resin technology to produce pure water as explained earlier. The ion exchange resins are usually present as gold, amber, orange, or yellow beads in the ZeroWater filter. They are responsible for removing inorganic contaminants from your water.

If you find the resin beads rising to the top of your pitcher, it means that the carbon in the filter is dried up and/or that there is a high pressure stream of water that hits the top of the filter.


Overtime, your ZeroWater filter gets used up and needs to be changed. This is because of how much impurities it has removed to provide pure and healthy water for your household. 

The filter changing process is straightforward and requires zero technical knowledge. We hope this article has provided you with all the information you need to replace your ZeroWater filter.

Russell Singleton

Russell has a Bachelor of Science (Environmental and Marine Geoscience) with Class I Honors. He is currently completing his doctorate in science and is passionate about all earth processes, especially isotope geochemistry and paleohydrology.

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