Last Updated on September 19, 2021 by Michael
Brita Filter Indicator, How Does It Work?
The Brita filter indicator serves the purpose of telling you whether or not your Brita pitcher filter requires replacement.
In other words, it serves the purpose of showing you how much potency your Brita pitcher filter still has. If the indicator gives you green light flashes, it means that your filter still has proper potency.
If it gives you a yellow light, this means that your filter will need to be replaced soon. And if it gives you red blinks, it means that your filter has already lost its potency. It, therefore, means that the filter requires immediate replacement.
The importance of filter potency in a Brita pitcher
As we have already observed, the indicator serves the purpose of telling you when you need to replace the filter. This is to say that it gives you an indication as to how much potency your filter still has.
The question that arises is as to why you need to keep tabs on your filter’s potency.
In other words, why do you need an indicator to tell you how much potency your pitcher’s filter still has? To answer that question, you need to understand the role that the Brita pitcher serves.
And as it turns out, the main role served by the pitcher is that of removing contaminants from water. The contaminants in question include disease-causing pathogens (like bacteria). They also include potentially harmful chemicals.
The way in which the pitcher is able to remove those things is through its filter. The filter traps the contaminants: even the smallest ones at the microscopic level.
But as it keeps on trapping contaminants from water, the filter keeps on clogging up. Its ability (“potency”) to entrap keeps on declining.
It eventually gets to a point where it is unable to trap anything. Or it gets to a level where its ability to trap contaminants is unacceptably low. That is the point at which the filter requires replacing.
If you use a Brita pitcher whose filter potency has declined too much, you could end up consuming contaminated water. Using such a pitcher is as good as taking the water directly from the source.
Because its filter has lost its power to trap contaminants, it simply lets them pass through. To put it differently, a Brita pitcher’s usefulness depends wholly on its filter’s potency.
The challenge of monitoring Brita pitcher filter potency
Having understood the importance of filter potency, the question that arises is as to how you can monitor it. That, in other words, is a question as to how you can tell how much potency the filter still has. It is also a question as to how you can tell when it requires replacing.
Unfortunately, filter potency is not the sort of thing you can monitor properly using your bare eyes. So the option of opening up the pitcher and checking the filter with your own eyes is not really open.
You also wouldn’t want to wait until you start seeing impurities in the water. That is until you start seeing impurities in water, to know that you need to replace the filter.
By the time you are seeing impurities in water, you would probably have already consumed lots of nasty stuff.
It is in order to deal with this challenge that Brita came up with the filter indicator. It is able to keep close tabs on the filter’s usage, and thereafter tell you when the filter’s potency declines.
Older Brita pitchers used to come with sticker indicators. Those are indicators on which you would jot down (with a pen) the dates when you replaced the filters.
You then work out when the next filter replacement would be. That is because these filters are supposed to work for a certain number of days/months before needing replacement. But there were problems with such sticker indicators.
Firstly, it is very easy to forget to update the sticker after changing the filter.
Secondly, it is easy to forget about the next date of filter change indicated on the sticker. That is because the stickers are unable to grab attention properly. It is because of these problems that the electronic filter indicators were developed.
The three-color codes are given by the Brita filter indicator
The Brita filter indicator communicates with you through three lights: green, yellow, and red.
Greenlight indicates that your filter is working as it should. It indicates that the filter inside the pitcher still has proper potency to remove contaminants from water.
From it, you can get peace of mind: knowing the water you are getting from your pitcher is properly purified. You see the said green light whenever you pour water from a Brita pitcher whose filter is still potent.
That is under a system where, whenever you pour water from the pitcher, the green light flashes three times.
The yellow light indicates that your filter’s potency has declined to a point where it needs to be replaced soon. Once you see the yellow light, you need to start shopping for a replacement filter immediately.
Depending on the manner in which you use the pitcher, it could be a matter of days to red light. That is to say, it could be a matter of days before the filter loses potency wholly.
The red light indicates that your filter’s potency has declined completely. The filter has lost its ability to remove contaminants from water.
You therefore can no longer continue to rely on it to purify your water. You need to replace it urgently or run the risk of continuing to take contaminated water. Ideally, you should avoid allowing your Brita filter to get to the level of giving the red light signal.
You should make a point of replacing the filter while the indicator is still yellow. But if you ignore the yellow light, the filter loses power completely, and you eventually get to the red light. How does the Brita filter indicator work?
The main components of the Brita filter indicator
Inside the Brita, the filter indicator is LED lights. It is these lights that flash, to give you the three color codes. The system apparently draws its power from a small battery inside it.
Because it only flashes these lights when water is poured out, its power usage is rather low. That is why it is capable of being viably powered via a small battery.
You also have to keep it in mind that the LED lights in question consume very little power.
Besides the LED lights and the battery, the indicator of course also contains a sensor. It is this sensor that is responsible for keeping tabs on the filter’s usage. It is also this sensor that is responsible for alerting you when you need to replace the filter.
How the Brita filter indicator detects filter potency
There are two mechanisms through which the indicator detects filter potency. The first is through the passage of time. The filters in question are meant to work for a certain period of time, after which they lose their potency.
Therefore the indicator is able to take note of when you replace/install the filter. Then it starts counting time from that point in time. As the time when the filter is expected to have started losing its potency approaches, it changes color. It starts giving you the yellow light signal: indicating that you should prepare for a filter change.
Thereafter once the amount of time that the filter is expected to remain useful lapses, the indicator changes color further. It turns red: telling you to replace the filter immediately.
The other mechanism through which the Brita filter indicator detects filter potency is that of tracking water usage. This, in other words, is about checking how much water passes through it.
Apparently, the sensor in the filter indicator is able to detect when the pitcher is tilted/opened, and for how long. It then works out how much water pours out within that duration of time. It is then subtracted from the total number of gallons that the filter can purify before losing its potency.
Once the gallons that have passed through the filter reach a certain number, the indicator gives the yellow light. This is to indicate that it is nearing the end of its usable life. Eventually, once the gallons that have passed exceed those for which the filter was made, it gives the red light. This is to indicate that it has lost its potency completely, and requires urgent replacement.
How to replace the Brita pitcher filter
Once the Brita filter indicator gives you a yellow or red light signal, you should start thinking of replacing it. But how exactly do you go about replacing the filter? Well, you will notice that in your Brita pitcher reservoir, there is a notch where the filter should go.
The filter itself has a groove, which should lock into the said notch. So yours then is to simply align the filter’s groove with the pitcher’s notch.
Then once the filter gets into the proper spot, you will need to press it firmly, until it locks in.
Of course, before undertaking the filter replacement, it is important to first subject the pitcher to some washing. So what you need to wash are all the components of the pitcher: including its reservoir and its lid.
The most ideal way to go about this sort of washing is using a mild soap. Just ensure that you clean it properly, before replacing the filter.
The filter to requires rinsing, before installation. So you can get it under a faucet, and allow water to run through it for a number of seconds.
It is only after washing the pitcher and rinsing the new filter that you can proceed to install it. The actual installation, as we have seen, is fairly simple.
It is just a matter of getting the filter groove to go into the pitcher reservoir’s notch. Then you lock it in – by way of firming pressing it.
Once the filter is in place, you need to fill the pitcher up with cold water. Just fill it to capacity. But don’t consume that first water. Discard it. Fill the pitcher up with cold water for a second time. Again, fill it to capacity.
Then pour that water out as well. You can thereafter start drinking the water passing through the filter after. But you have to understand that although you will have changed the filter, the indicator won’t “know” the fact. So you have to reset it, for it to take note of the filter change. Only then can it start counting time towards the next time you need to replace the filter.
How to reset your Brita filter indicator
After replacing the filter, you will need to reset the indicator so that it can start counting time afresh. The goal here is to get it to take note of the time you have installed the new filter.
It can then start counting down towards the next filter replacement. Resetting the filter indicator is simple. It is just a matter of pressing the status button for a couple of seconds to start a new count.
So you identify the status button on the pitcher. Then you hold it in for two or so seconds. This should reset the indicator’s time counter.
How to check if your Brita filter indicator is working
The simplest way to check if your filter indicator is working is simply by pouring water from the pitcher. The moment you pour water from the pitcher, the green light should blink (if the filter is still fully potent).
Otherwise, it should give you the yellow or red lights. But what if you pour out a glass of water, and the light doesn’t blink at all? In that case, it could mean that there is a problem.
How to deal with a Brita filter indicator that is not working
The simplest way to deal with a filter indicator that is not working is by pressing the “reset” button firmly. So you need to press that button for 5-10 seconds: until all the lights blink together.
To put it differently, you press that button, until you see the green, red and yellow lights blinking altogether. Thereafter, the filter indicator should start working as it should.