What are the running costs for water filters?

Short story | Full story | Conclusion

  • More expensive reverse osmosis filtration systems will remove over 90% of contaminants; active carbon filters around 70% of contaminants

  • Filters will need replacing every 3-6 months, depending on demand and the base quality of your water supply

  • The most cost-effective way to ensure your filtration system stays in optimum condition is to join our popular quarterly, six monthly or annual subscription service

  • You’ll save £££ on servicing and replacement filters by being on an SJWS subscription – one-off call outs and buying filters as you go are way more expensive than being on subscription

If you have filtered water in your home, the filters will need servicing and replacing from time to time.

If you have a reverse osmosis filtration system, it can be a good idea to disinfect it, to ensure bacteria doesn’t build up in the tank and tubes that sit in line after the main filtration process. The RO filter will remove bacteria, although this could gradually reappear in the tank and tubes after that stage.

For a household of four or more, the filters will need changing every 3 to 6 months. If there are only one or two people living in the property and demand is lower, the filters could last up to 12 months. If really all depends on water quality coming into the property and the amount of water consumed.

For reverse osmosis filtration, you are likely to need to the services of a technician to maintain and replace them. The cheapest way to budget for running costs is to join our peace-of-mind subscription service, as this could save you between £35 – £100 on call out charges and salt tablets – depending upon your water usage.

The full story

It makes huge sense to have filtered drinking water in your home, to drink in the property, to take to work or when you just out and about. And make sure you carry your water in non-plastic bottles.

It is recommended that you drink 3-4 litres of water every day.

The quantity of the water is important, but the quality of the water you drink is equally significant – hence the need for an efficient water filtration system. As you might expect, there are associated running costs with filters but, be assured, the filters we sell are designed to be affordable and long-lasting.

The cost of new drinking filter systems can range in price from £149.00 for a standard carbon AquaTaste Drinking Water Filter, to just over £1000. The price points increase based on the brand, the amount of contaminants removed and whether the system is a newer tankless model, for example £745 for a top-of-the range Ero 385 EcoWater Reverse Osmosis (RO) Drinking Water System and remineralisation.

Generally speaking, the more you pay, the better the quality of your filtered water. RO filters are effective at removing well-over 90% of all contaminants in the mains water – hence they tend to be more expensive. On the other hand, Aquataste carbon filters are less expensive – flushing away nearer to 70% of the impurities in the mains supply (still a decent percentage).

Either way, this is a whole lot better than drinking unfiltered tap water.

How long will my water filter last before it needs replacing?

The short answer is that the more water you consume and the extent of the contamination in the water, the more frequently the filters will need changing.

High demand RO filters will need changing every 3–6 months or so. This would equate to a household of four plus occupants. With lower demand, say for a couple or those living alone, the filters could last up to 12 months before they would need replacing.

The life expectancy of the membranes within the filters will vary. If you have a water softener, they could last for up to five years due to the reduced wear and tear (main cause of damage is scale). Whereas, if you don’t have a water softener, the membranes will need replacing every one to two years, due to the heavier usage and scale.

The Value of taking out an Annual Subscription

The most cost-effective way to ensure that your filters remain in good working order is to ensure they are properly maintained and replaced when necessary.

You should be able to replace the active carbon filters yourself – but we will do this for you, if you would prefer our assistance. Or we can give you a demonstration, so you know for future reference.

The RO filters are a little more complicated and often will require the services of a trained technician to fit and replace.

To make this as cost effective as possible, we would recommend that you take out an annual subscription. If you are an existing water softener customer, you may well already be on an annual service and maintenance contract and we can maintain your softener and filters at the same time.

If you don’t currently have a water softener, but do have an RO water filtration system, the annual subscription for RO sanitisation is £95.00 plus £20 for the tablets. Without a subscription, there is a £120.00 call out charge plus £25 for the tablets.

The membranes cost £100-150 to replace depending on the system you choose.

Other than that, there really shouldn’t be any other costs. Even so, it’s still a small price to pay for the health benefits and peace of mind that filtered water provides.


It’s impossible to put a price on the value of being able to have filtered drinking water at your disposal 24/7. Given the known (and unknown) contaminants in the mains water supply, no one should be in any doubt that unfiltered tap water comes with plenty of known health risks.

It would be great if the mains supply was free from the wide variety of nasties that are floating around in it. But this doesn’t look like things will change for the better any time soon.

For this reason, it should always be your aim to consume filtered drinking water – as much and as often as possible.
Yes, filters do have running costs – but they are certainly not exorbitant in the general scheme of things. What would you pay for Sky, Amazon, Netflix or a meal out even at an average restaurant, for instance? The answer is about the same as the annual cost of maintaining the filters that will provide your household with high quality drinking water 24/7.

At Scott Jenkins Water Softeners, we sell a comprehensive range of water filters and filtration systems, to suit your budgetary requirements. Operating throughout West Sussex, East Sussex, Surrey, Hampshire, Dorset and Greater London, many of our customers find the best way to manage their filtered drinking water requirements is to take an annual service charge with us. To find out which filters and payment structure works best for you, call SJ Water Softeners on 01243 607494 or via email: scott@sjbs.info