Full house cartridge filters - life span?


We have a rural cabin with a well, which unfortunately taps a pretty mean iron vein. Our tap water had significant metallic taste and water would eventually leave a pink residue as the iron oxidized. It is potable, just not pleasant.
I plumbed in a whole-house filter that runs water from our pressure tank through a large cartridge filter before hitting our pipes. We have been using a larger pore carbon filter for the unit (options include just particle filters, down to tiny pore options). The resulting water is clear, tastes and smells great.
We can get to this cabin only on weekends, and I have noted that we get about 6 weeks of decent filtering from a cartridge before it needs changing. We do have a tap filter on the kitchen sink for drinking water, but I prefer to keep the iron out of the hto water tank and faucets where possible.
So my question is: When we leave the place for 4-5 days at a time, is it better to leave the filter cartridge in place, or remove it until we return. The first choice would leave it sitting in iron rich water, possibly clogging it up. The second allows it to dry out, but perhaps also letting the iron "set" in the filter pores.
We asked the place where we buy filters, and their "tech" saild it really didn't matter for that lenfth of time. But for $65 a pop for the cartridges, I'd like to see if we can get as much use from them as possible.
Anybody been down this road and have any first hand info to share?
Tnx
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My experience with water filters is: buy the 2 for $4 ones at Walmart and change them once a month. We do that with 2 people 5 cows and 50 trees pulling on the water supply. The setup I finally ended up with was 4 filters, 2 pair in parallel. That makes for 2 that get change monthly and 2 that get changed 2 times a year. You can get by with a lot cheaper filter if you strain it twice.
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Same boat here. I'm in a rural area and have well water, but unfiltered it has a lot of metals in it. I also have the pink residue that you mentioned.
I have a whole-house filter, and have been using filters that are supposed to last for 6 months, but I can taste a difference in the water after 4-6 weeks.
For me, the 2 for $4 filters from Wally World last about a week. I get the ones from Lowes that are more like 2 for $12; I figured that $12 for 2 or 3 months isn't horrible.
I had a very feasible solution presented to me a few weeks that I intend to try, and it may help you, too. The suggestion was to buy a water heater and connect it to the cold pipes, but don't hook up the heating elements. This way, the tub will fill with water, and all of the heavy elements will sink to the bottom while the pipes pull from the top! I use the same logic when I change the water in my fish tanks, so this seems like a good long-term solution for a few hundred dollars (or less).
To answer your actual question, though, I would think that removing the filters would give them more life, but I've never been in your position so I can't be sure.
HTH,
Jason
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That would likely work well, you are essentially making a home brew sand filter. I have a commercial sand filter as my primary. You have to set up a schedule for purging it, but with the capacity of a water heater, that could be quite a while. My sand filter holds about 2 gallons, and needs flushed weekly for top efficiency. I got tired of doing it manually and put a motorized valve on a timer to take care of that. i tried several sprinkler valves, but none could handle the chunks & soon failed.
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gwandsh wrote:

I only use a sediment filter and with just wife and I living here change every 6 months. Carbon will absorb tastes and odors but will not last as long if impurity level is high. The carbon will not remove iron and if main concern is drinking and cooking water, you could just rely on tap filter. I have a friend with cabin with same situation and he does not filter water but brings in spring water from on site spring for drinking. See no reason to remove filter when water is not running.
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wrote Re Full house cartridge filters - life span?:

Six weeks seems very short to me. Is it possible that you have a toilet leak that is allowing a lot of water to pass through the filter while you are gone?

How about installing a shut-off valve at the outlet from the pressure tank and leave the cartridge in place?
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Thanks to all. To summarize a few responses:
We have tried sediment filters, but our main purpose was to remove smell and taste from the water supply. For some reason this seems to greatly reduce the suspended iron in the water, although technically carbon filters don't do a lot for disolved metals. The sediment filters plugged up in a few weeks, but certainly are a lot cheapter than the carbon ones.
When we leave the place, we often have sprinklers on a timer, so indeed I have set up a set of valves to bypass the filter. In that case the water comes straight from the pressure tank to the pipes for the outside taps. The sprinklers need the full pressure, and I see no reason to filter that water.
I hadn't considered adding another filter in-line with the current one. Not sure about 2 for $4 filters - the ones I use are about 24" high and 6" diameter, is that what Wally World is offering?
As for a full-on filter system, we also considered that. The place is remote enough that our visits are sparse in the winter, and we do not keep it heated. Any water system addition would need to be dead easy to drain and maintain, which is why we have avoided one of the more permanent filtering options.
So far it seems folks think it is fine to leave them in place during absences. Interesting stuff.
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wrote:

I might tend to agree with the tech. But, I'm sure the manufacturer will give the correct answer. Iron ions are not likely to clog a filter. Allowing a water filter to dry out numerous times may damage it.
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