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APS TechNotes See all articles

When to change filters in a lab water system

Question :

I have an old Modulab Clinical Modular Water system that I inherited from another lab. I know that the filters were replaced 1 yr ago, but I am not sure what the time frame would be for another replacement. Are the filters good for 1 yr? 6 months? Any suggestions?? We are currently using the system to filter DI water to use in a lab marine aquarium.

Answer :

To give you a time frame wouldn't be honest.

There are up to four parameters you look at depending on what you are using the water for.

1. Ionic purity (18 megohm)
2, Organic Purity (TOC)
3. Bacterial Purity
4. Bacterial Endotoxins

Depending on what you use the water for would be the best determination of when to change them.

If you are doing inorganic or organic chemistry work, then you only need to change it when it no longer reaches and holds 18 megohm on the meter.

If you are doing organic chemistry then you would change it when you see high baseline on your HPLC or other instruments that you can see contamnination in the blanks or if you see problems in cell culture etc...

Bacteria is filtered out with a bacteria filter, but if you have excessive bacteria you will have high levels or organic contamination and pyrogens in the product water.

The proper way to really to know when to change filters is to look at the specification that was chosen on the water you are using and assure the water meets those parameters. That allows you to only change filters and sanitize as needed. This may require looking at the resistivity meter on the system, measuring Bacteria, Pyrogen and Total Organic Carbon levels if those parameters appear in your water specs.

  • Recomended Lab Water Specs

    The simple asnwer is that generally people change the filters and sanitize the system about 1 time per year unless the work is hypercritical. For cell culture and other critical work, usually this is done every 3 months.

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