In many of their newer refrigerator models (see full list below), Whirlpool is selling a proprietary PUR filter system (filter part number W10295370) that is advertised as providing 6-months of service with a key feature being the removal of chlorine flavor.
This claim by Whirlpool is used as a selling point to overstate the “savings” a customer might have by filtering their water instead of buying bottled water.
In reality, the Whirlpool PUR filter is inadequately sized to offer the length of service that Whirlpool promises. With real-world use, chlorine flavor will return to the water in about one month (based on actual user experience). So, the annual cost of filters could be as high as $480 per year (if purchased once per month at $40 per filter). Or, $400 per year if purchased in 3-packs. In 20 years, you could spend $9,600 on water filters. That’s a hefty price to pay for some drinking water.
A Better Water Purification Choice From PUR
The filters offered by Whirlpool under the PUR brand name are similar in size, appearance, and design as other PUR filters that PUR correctly rates as offering one-month of service. So, a better water filtration system would be the PUR 18 Cup Dispenser with One Pitcher Filter DS-1800Z [Buy] or the PUR oval water pitcher. The filters for PUR water pitchers and other dispensers can be purchased at a cost of about $5 each in a 4-pack costing about $20 (shown below). [Buy]
Following the Example of Inkjet Printer Manufacturers
Inkjet printer manufacturers are notorious for overstating the lifespan and economical performance of their products, and then overcharging for replacements. It seems that Whirlpool is following the example of inkjet printer manufacturers by increasing their ongoing profits through price gouging with overpriced water filters. To make it worse, they are using a well recognized and trusted brand like PUR.
Customer Service Provides Misinformation and Blame Shifting
When speaking with a Whirlpool customer service agent, we were told that the filter isn’t the problem. Instead, the problem is with the water-line used during installation. In other words, Whirlpool accepts no responsibility for the problem. They state that copper tubing or PEX tubing would not produce a chlorine flavor.
“The customer service representative actually told me that had I used copper tubing or PEX tubing, my water wouldn’t have a chlorine flavor to it. They wouldn’t accept the fact that the filter was to blame.” ~ Another Disappointed Customer
Of course, simple logic and common sense would indicate otherwise. When first installed, the Whirlpool PUR filter works. There is no chlorine flavor. Over time, the chlorine flavor returns. If the connecting hose was the problem, as can be the case with some plastics, there would be a plastic flavor during the initial use period and over time that plastic flavor would diminish. According to a government research study on PEX tubing and chlorine, the PEX tubing is susceptible to cracking. The study states, “the basic mechanism of chlorine attack on PEX materials appears to be … Rapid chlorine oxidation of the inner pipe wall. … Once sufficient oxidation and degradation of the inner wall occurs a combination of degradation induced and applied stresses on the inner pipe surface causes micro-cracks to form in the degraded inner layer.” [source]
Our recommendation is that you not use the water from your refrigerator, but instead use a PUR filter system as recommended above. Alternatively, you can replace your refrigerator filter once every six-months as rated, but use the PUR pitcher for your drinking water to remove the chlorine flavor. The 18-cup dispenser model is shown below.
Effected Models of Whirlpool Refrigerators
Below is a listing of the effected models of Whirlpool refrigerators. These units rely on this underperforming and over-priced water filter system.
Refrigerator Models Effected (Side-by-Side)
- WSF26C3EXW (White 26 cu. ft. side-by-side model)
Refrigerator Models Effected (Bottom Freezer)
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