September 19, 2022

Can my refrigerator water filter help protect me from Covid-19?

By Lyle Weischwill
Introduction image for article on how your fridge filter can help keep you safe from COVID-19.
Introduction image for article on how your fridge filter can help keep you safe from COVID-19.

Heightened concerns about the resurgence of Covid-19 in 2022 leads us to leave no stone unturned when looking for additional ways to protect ourselves from getting the virus or suffering severe adverse effects of Covid-19 infection.

Keeping your refrigerator water filter fresh can help you stay in peak physical condition so your immune system can successfully fight against infection.

Complications from illnesses and infections caused by drinking unsafe water from your refrigerator compromises your body’s ability to protect you from Covid-19 infection. Also, symptoms of Covid-19 infection can be more dangerous when you’re not in peak physical condition.

Can Covid-19 be transmitted through drinking water?

In the World Health Organization’s 2020 guidance on Water, sanitation, hygiene, and waste management for COVID-19, the WHO acknowledges that the presence of the virus in untreated drinking water is possible even though it hasn’t been detected in drinking-water supplies. There is at least one documented incident of detecting traces of the virus in a river located in northern Italy during the peak of the epidemic. The source was suspected to be through raw, untreated sewage released into the river.

According to the WHO, “Other coronaviruses have not been detected in surface or groundwater sources and thus the risk coronaviruses pose to drinking-water supplies is low.” The EPA (United States Environmental Protection Agency) says “Americans can continue to use and drink water from their tap as usual.” The risk of getting Covid-19 through drinking tap water is low based on current evidence. The EPA enforces drinking water regulations that require treatment at public water supply systems to remove or kill pathogens, including viruses such as Covid-19.

Essentially, transmission of Covid-19 through drinking water is nearly impossible at this time. The main routes of virus transmission are through exposure to respiratory droplets or direct contact with an infected person.

Because there’s almost no chance at all that that you can be exposed to Covid-19 through the water going into your refrigerator, you don’t have to worry about whether your refrigerator water filter will filter out the Covid virus.

How can my refrigerator water filter help me fight Covid-19?

Although your refrigerator water filter isn’t a factor in preventing you from getting Covid-19, thoroughly filtering the tap water going through your refrigerator can help protect you from illnesses and health problems that could inhibit your body’s ability to fight off the virus if you do catch it.

The National Science Foundation (NSF) lists these harmful tap water impurities that can pose health risks:

  • Organic chemicals -- Consuming high levels of organic chemicals in drinking water can cause kidney damage, liver disease, circulatory system problems, nervous system disorders, and reproductive system failures.

  • Lead — Harmful lead exposure can cause neurological, behavioral and health problems in children and adults.

  • Microorganisms — Microorganisms include bacteria, viruses, and parasites. Consuming microorganisms in drinking water can cause gastrointestinal illnesses and infections. Nitrate and Nitrite -- Once taken into the body, nitrates are converted into nitrites. High levels of nitrate and nitrite are most serious for infants. High levels of nitrate/nitrite in drinking water can cause methemoglobinemia or "blue baby syndrome". These substances reduce the blood's ability to carry oxygen. This acute condition can occur rapidly over a period of days. Symptoms include shortness of breath and blueness of the skin. Infants below six months who drink unfiltered tap water with high levels of nitrate can become seriously ill.

  • Flouride -- Excessive consumption of fluoride can cause skeletal fluorosis, a condition characterized by pain and tenderness of bones and joints. Excess consumption of fluoride during formative period of tooth enamel may cause dental fluorosis, tooth discoloration and/or pitting of teeth.

  • Heavy metals — Heavy metals include arsenic, antimony, cadmium, chromium, copper, lead, selenium and many more. Consuming high levels of heavy metals in water increases the risk of acute and chronic toxicity, liver disease, kidney failure, intestinal damage, anemia, and cancer.

Using an NSF certified refrigerator water filter reduces harmful impurities in the water flowing through your refrigerator.

Help keep your family safe and healthy by replacing your refrigerator’s water filter regularly.

Many water filters need to be changed every 6 months. The next time you buy a replacement filter from Sears PartsDirect, just click the button that sets you up on a 6-month subscription plan with free shipping to help keep your fridge’s water filter fresh.

Repair guides for bottom-mount refrigerators

How to replace a flipper mullion on a French-door refrigerator

If the flipper mullion breaks or its heater quits working, replace it in 15 minutes using these 4 easy steps.

Repair difficulty
Time required
 15 minutes or less
How to replace a door gasket in a French-door refrigerator

The door gasket, often called a door seal, seals the gap around the door to keep the cold air in and the warm air out. Replace a worn or damaged door gasket by following these steps.

Repair difficulty
Time required
 15 minutes or less
July 20, 2015
By Lyle Weischwill
How to replace a refrigerator thermistor

The thermistor senses the temperature inside the refrigerator. If the actual temperature and the temperature you set are different, the thermistor could be the problem. You can replace a refrigerator thermistor by following these simple instructions.

Repair difficulty
Time required
 15 minutes or less

Articles and videos for bottom-mount refrigerators

October 23, 2022

Why do I need a water filter in my fridge?

By Lyle Weischwill

Find out why it's important to filter the water that goes through your fridge.

June 24, 2022

How to replace Whirlpool refrigerator water filter EDR1RXD1 (EveryDrop Type 1)

By Lyle Weischwill

Learn how to replace the Whirlpool EveryDrop 1 refrigerator water filter.

June 2, 2022

How to Remove a GE French Door Refrigerator Flipper Mullion

By Lyle Weischwill

Learn how to replace the flipper mullion on a GE French door refrigerator.