Sears Refrigerator side by side - water filter - scam?

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Yellow all, Wonder if anyone had the same experience. I have a sears side by side refrigerator I bought about three years ago. Paid around $1200 to $1300 for it. It works good but I don't understand the water filtration system thats on this unit. It has the filter at the bottom behind the grill. When you open the refrig. door , it has a bank of led's towards the top. One of them says its time to change the water filter. This happens about every six months. I just hit reset and it goes back to "good". I know this is nothing more than a programed chip telling that light to come on every six months. Here is what i don't get. I can take the water filter completely out of the unit and the water dispenser still works! and it does not leak in the recepticle the filter came out of. Now how in the hell is this filter, filtering any water? From my experience, When A water filter starts to "go bad" you will notice a decrease in flow the worst it gets. I've had the same filter in since I bought it and have not notice any reducing in flow or any difference in taste. (Sears wants about $40 for anew filter, but I see you can get them on the web for about $25.) I called Sears up one time to question them about this, and the lady said all she can do is send someone out on a service call to look at it. (which I would have to pay for). I've been waiting to run into a service guy out and about to cross examine him about this, but haven't run into any yet.) BTW( i have city water, which the taste issue wouldn't be as noticable probably). Has anyone else who has a sears side by side with a water filter noticed or experienced this situation? Water filter replacement is a big business. Thanks for any input!!
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harold balls wrote:

If you don't want filtered water then leave it out. There is a drip-proof valve that closes when the filter is removed. This is so you don't have to shut off the water supply and drain the lines in order to replace the filter. Mr. Coffee has been doing it for years, pull out the pot while its brewing and the flow stops. Isn't too complicated actually.
hvacrmedic
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You got it right on all the points, no argument from me.
Had to laugh when I saw some of the new faucet water filters that have the same type of light to tell you to change those too.
The cars are the same now. Lots of lights in dashboards go off at timed intervals WARNING the driver it's time to service something.
Lordy, how did we ever know when it was time to change a filter or drain oil or have the brakes checked in years gone by.
BTW if you think the water filters are a scam, take a look at home air cleaners nowadays.
Hooo boy $$$$$$$$$$$$$$ when that crap piece of 20 cent corrugated paper gets a bit dirty.,....but it's a "HEPA" filter <LOL>
oh,.......and don't even get me started on ink jet computer printers that you $20.00 to buy, but $70.00 each month for replacement ink. I'll save that rant for another post.
AMUN
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harold balls wrote:

I have one of those refrigerators. The filters do work. I can taste the difference. If I am not mistaken, your refrigerator is a Kenmore branded Whirlpool. You can get the filters at either Lowes or Home Depot with the Whirlpool brand and they are a little cheaper. I can't remember which store has them but one of them doesn't.
As far as things still working with the filter removed... there is obviously some kind of bypass valve in there.
And as far as the life of your filter... they are probably charcoal filters and they eventually reach their lifetime. Or, they can build up bacteria or whatever else. Do you really want to drink water that goes through a filter full of crud? Even if it doesn't clog up, you should still replace them periodically.
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Well, I would say there's a built in bypass valve. You wouldn't want water streaming out when you replaced the filter now would you? As for reduced flow, well that may be hard to tell considering the flow is prett reduced anyway to begin with. The light on the unit is based on the # of times the door is opened. Not very accurate I suppose, but then the application doesn't need it. If you don't want filtration, then take the filter out and leave it out. If you doubt that its working, cut the filter open.
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You may be fortunate and have very good water to start with. I could not get away so easily. OTOH, I'd not spend that much money on a locked in business like that. I have an in-line filter that I can change for about $10.
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I have one like that. I waited over a year to change it the first time. The new filter took 22 seconds to fill a 16 oz water bottle. The old filter took 45 seconds to fill the same water bottle.
I bought one Sears filter and didn't like the price so when the new filter needing replacing, I removed the refrigerator filter and added a pair of whole house water filters to the input line. I like changing them much better. $$
On Tue, 13 Sep 2005 18:11:06 -0400, harold balls

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filter light is based on 6 months or 300 gallons, whichever comes first
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My Whirlpool, which appears to have the same filter setup, didn't go off until nearly a year later.
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newer refrigerators are timed for 6 months, older ones for 12 months
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On Tue, 13 Sep 2005 18:11:06 -0400, harold balls

I suppose most of you guys are probably right, but it just seems a little fishy to me. The flow rate stays the same with the filter removed. It must have a by-pass built in. Maybe my water feeding it is pretty good to start with. I'm going to have to buy a new filter and then cut open the old one. This might tell me something. Thanks for all your input :)
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wrote:

Wait a second here?????
You take out the filter and leave the housing completely open and it still works fine ?
Or you pull out the filter media, put it back together without it and it still works ?
AMUN
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wrote:

I can take the filter completely out of the housing and the water dispenser works like filter was in there. The flow rate out of the dispenser is the same with or without the filter in. So, something molded on the end of the filter appearently engages the bypass valve when you put the filter in the housing. Water comes out of the filter when I have it in my hand. My whole point about this was this light that comes on every six months telling you to chnage the filter. If you do not notice any reduction in flow or how the water taste. then there is no need to change this filter, no matter what that light says. Thats what the scam is. That is not some hi-tech filter thats going to remove every contaminant there is. When the filter starts going bad you will notice it. After 3 and 1/2 years mine appearently has not reached this point. good day.
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wrote:

still
Okay, that was what I thought I read the first time.
And as you point out, if the filter "media" isn't dirty there is no reason why having it in there or not will make any difference. If there is nothing to "filter out" a filter can last indefinitely.
Having the warning light on a "door open cycle', or even a "days in use" is just plain dumb, other than from a "let's sell needless parts" design by the manufacturers.
But they can offer it as a selling feature too. The item with the most blinking lights, gets sold first. Or even a fridge with a filter built in may sell better than one that doesn't have any filter. Even to those who have clean water to begin with.
But lets also take into consideration the "idiot consumer" factor. If a light NEVER came on, and the filter was plugged solid, some idiot would be ripping the manufacturer apart for selling a filter that they don't know when to change. Of course using a simple flow metering valve would be best, but might cost an extra ten cents per unit to manufacture. ;)
And then there are the ones who need the filter only for it's charcoal taste/odor component (if it has it) eg, those who take one glass of water every three years, and then complain it tastes or smells like plastic after sitting in the lines. When a simpler fix would be to use it once in a while to keep the water fresh.
As I stated earlier these "warnings" built in to products now are getting common.
Cars are loaded with them. (do you really need a light to come on to tell you the gas is getting low , right beside the needle that points to "E" ?) similar lights come on to let you know it's time to check brakes, tune ups, oil changes whether they really need service or not etc.
And even computer printers tell you to replace ink, often when there is plenty left.
Even flashlight batteries have little testers built on that often lie as to the capacity left
AMUN
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Our softener works for hard water and I put an in-line filter above the fridge that has a filter as well. Owners manual says it will work with filter removed. Light hasn't lit for the 5 years we've had it. In-line gets annual changing.
On Thu, 15 Sep 2005 06:17:33 -0400, harold balls

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WRONG! After a while the filter builds up contaminants. All that bad stuff that you are getting rid of in the water ends up stuck in the filter and all the water you drink is then being filtered not only by the filter, but all those contaminants. They can also start to be a nice bacteria / scum pool after awhile. But, if you want to drink through a used sweat sock because you are too cheap to replace the filter now and then then go ahead.
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On Thu 15 Sep 2005 03:17:33a, harold balls wrote in alt.home.repair:

There's no scam, fuzznuts.
The type of filter you're describing is just an activated charcoal filter to improve water taste. It is not particulate filter which can possibly cause a slow down in flow if filled with particulates.
If you don't notice a change in water taste, then don't change it. The properties of activated charcoal do limit its effective life. Normally it holds up well for a year. The manufacturer is being conservative with 6 months. Higher use can, of course, shorten its effective life.
The manufacturer is probably using an elapsed time circuit because it's cheaper. Ideally, they would use a volume meter to determine how many gallons of water has been used. There is an optimal maximum of gallons where the filter will be effective. A volume meter/circuit would definitely cost more.
It's the same deal with the Brita water pitchers. There is a resettable timer on the lid that cycles after 1 month to indicate when to change the filter. Usage is based on an "average" volume of water. There is, however, a notation in the instructions stating how many pitcher refills one should be able to use before changing the filter.
Do what you want, but it is not a scam. I bet there is a similar statement in the refrigerator operating instructions, if you bothered to read them.
--
Wayne Boatwright **
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On 15 Sep 2005 13:41:24 +0200, Wayne Boatwright

Wayne, not to be argumentive but from this website: http://www.fridgefilters.com/whirlpool-water-filters-4396508.html Whirlpool 4396508 Filter Life
The Whirlpool 4396508 Filter should be replaced:
Every 6 months or When the filter change indicator light comes on or If the refrigerator has not been used for more than two weeks (for instance, during a move) or If you notice a decrease in the flow of water or objectionable tastes in the water or ice.
The above statement seems to indicate that the above filter can get plugged up to the point of effecting water flow. This would probably go along with noticing a bad taste. The view i'm leaning to is that unless you see a reduction in flow rate or notice a change in taste, there is no need to replace the filter. Money is not an issue. If User wants to replace his filter whenever that little light tells him its time to do so, more power to him. It will keep the economy moving. Good day
fuzznuts
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There is also the possibility of bacteria buildup. If money is not an issue, why play with a potential health issue? There are many variables depending on your water, but I'd rather play it on the safe side. Do as you think is right for your family.
--
Ed
http://pages.cthome.net/edhome/




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wrote:

Looking at this quote from a website, i'm starting to think wayne & user are right. http://www.cyber-nook.com/water/Solutions.html
Activated carbon filter cartridges will, over time, become less effective at reducing contaminants as the pores clog with particles (slowing water flow) and the adsorptive surfaces in the pores become filled with contaminants (typically not affecting flow rate). There is often no noticeable indication that a carbon filter is no longer removing contaminants, so it is important to replace the cartridge according to the manufacturer's instructions. The overall water quality (turbidity or presence of other contaminants) also affects the capacity of activated carbon to adsorb a specific contaminant.
By this above statement this guy is saying that an AC filter can lose all of its filtration properties and still not clog up or show loss of flow. You would think that if this were the case you would tell by a difference in taste. Bacteria is another issue and one to be concerned about. When I started this thread, I should of worded the subject different, and not used the word "scam". I thought this was just another manufacturers recommendation to do something at a certain time thats not really neccessary. Alot of them do it . My water Filter status light has three settings. Good, order and replace. All they are using to determine this a timer chip. When the replace light comes on they are inferring that the filter is "bad" which is probably not the case. Somewhat misleading but probably not a scam. As one responder noted, some people need these kind of guidance. Good day
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