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When it’s time to replace your refrigerator's water filter, it’s important to buy a replacement filter that is designed to work specifically with your fridge. But did you know off-brand and generic filters aren’t the only potential risk in buying a new water filter? Counterfeit water filters have made their way into Amazon and other marketplaces all over the country, and sometimes they’re so hard to distinguish from the real thing even experts can’t tell the difference.
They look the same as Genuine filters, and may even produce water that looks similar, but counterfeit water filters can cause countless problems with the quality of your water and even the function and maintenance of your refrigerator. Because they don’t contain enough (or any) of the filtering materials necessary to produce clean water, these fake water filters are letting contaminated water into any household that uses them.
Contaminants like lead, chlorine, viruses and bacteria require sophisticated filtration methods – like the three-step carbon filtration Frigidaire Genuine filters use – to remove and prevent any adverse effects or health risks. When a counterfeit filter claims to be the real thing, many families are unknowingly exposing themselves and loved ones to water that can cause serious health problems.
Water quality is the biggest threat with counterfeit filters, but because they aren’t manufactured tthe right specifications for your refrigerator, they can also do significant damage to your appliances. Your refrigerator is a complex system of parts designed to work together to function properly, so when you install a water filter that doesn’t fit right or isn’t made with the same to the same quality standards, it can cause damage to your refrigerator or leak water into your home.
Counterfeit filters fail to remove contaminants like lead, herbicides, pesticides, asbestos and pharmaceuticals. They could also damage your refrigerator in the event of a leak and violate the terms of your warranty, costing you more money in product repairs.
Unfortunately, it’s often almost impossible to spot most counterfeits with the naked eye. But there are a few things to examine when you suspect a water filter may not be the real thing:
Counterfeit water filters often weigh less than genuine water filters because they don’t contain the same amount of important filtering materials inside – like the carbon used in Frigidaire Genuine filters. Some counterfeits have been found to have nothing but newspaper inside!
Genuine water filters are NSF certified and have the symbol stamped on the product. Counterfeits may have a fake symbol or they may be missing a certification mark altogether.
While many counterfeits are packaged nearly identically to the real thing, many come in glossy or nicer looking packaging designed to trick you into trusting what’s inside.
Most people that end up with counterfeit water filters bought them because they were a fraction of the cost of a genuine filter. Genuine filters are tested and designed to meet NSF and manufacturer standards, so if you find something significantly cheaper than the brand-name alternative, there’s probably a reason.
Counterfeits aren’t just a problem manufacturers use to scare you into buying their products. The risks are real – from failing to provide your family with fresh, safe drinking water to severely damaging the appliances you rely on every day. And while there are some ways to try to spot counterfeit filters before it’s too late, the only foolproof way to guarantee you are getting the best water filter is to purchase directly from your manufacturer. Frigidaire Genuine water filters are available on Frigidaire.com, online and anywhere our refrigerators are sold.
To learn more about the risks of counterfeit water filters, visit www.filteritout.org.