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Why is My Brita Filter Slow (Not Working)?

Scott Winfield
Written by Scott Winfield
Last Updated on

Brita is a popular brand that’s well-known for its water pitchers.

These compact devices are easy to use, can fit in any refrigerator, and are pretty effective at filtering out the most common water contaminants.

However, they’re not perfect, and sometimes they can start working more slowly or stop working properly altogether. This can happen because you’re using the wrong Brita filter, you haven’t replaced it on time, there’s build-up in the filter that’s preventing it from working properly, or the filter you have is simply not capable of filtering everything it needs to from your water.

Brita Filters
Brita Filter

If you want to learn how to solve these issues, keep reading.

How to Tell if Your Filter Isn’t Working

There are several ways that you can check to see if your filter is working properly. You can start with the obvious one, trying the water, and then you can test it – either with a home testing kit or sending a sample to a lab.

Depending on the contaminants, the water that’s coming from the Brita filter might look cloudy, or it might have a strange taste or smell. These are all alarming indications that something is wrong and that the filter has stopped working properly.

Another way to tell if the water is purified is to fill a glass directly from the tap and then fill up the Brita pitcher from the same tap. Once the filtration process is done, you can pour yourself another glass of water from the pitcher and compare the taste and smell of the water.

If the glass of water you filled directly from the tap looks, tastes, and smells the same as the glass from the pitcher, the filter in the pitcher might have stopped working.

That being said, the most precise and accurate way of knowing if your filter is working is by testing the water, as many contaminants can’t be seen with the naked eye. You can test the water with a home water testing kit or by sending a sample to a professional lab.

However, sending a water sample off to a lab is costly, and if you’ve come to that point, then it might be easier and cheaper to buy a replacement filter for your pitcher straight away.

Possible Issues

There are a lot of issues that can affect the performance of these filters, as well as the pitchers themselves. And while we can’t hope to cover all of them, we’ll share the most common issues you might run into and how you can fix them.

Wrong Filter

Wrong Filter
Wrong Filter

Brita sells a lot of pitchers that come with a large variety of filters. A lot of their pitchers are compatible with a lot of filters, so different filters are going to be able to fit in the same pitcher slot. But not all are compatible, so be careful whether you have the right filter for your pitcher.

However, a more common issue than your filter not being compatible with the pitchers themselves is it not being suitable for your water.

For example, if your water contains mercury or copper, but the filter you got is for particulates and trichlorobenzene, it will not filter the water properly.

We’d recommend running a test on your water and finding out what contaminants you need to remove. Then go to the Brita site and check if the filter you have is the one you need for those specific contaminants.

In this situation, we recommend sending a water sample down to a professional testing lab since you’re looking for specific information that you might not get from standard home water testing kits.

Not Replacing the Filter

Not Replacing the Filter
Not Replacing the Filter

Brita pitchers have a little filter replacement indicator near the top. It’s green if the filter is still working properly, it turns yellow when the filter’s lifetime is close to expiring, and it’s red when it’s time to replace it.

The indicator works by calculating the number of times the lid of the pitcher has been opened. Essentially, whenever the lid is kept open for more than 5 seconds, the indicator assumes that you’ve filled up your pitcher again.

It then calculates the number of times the pitcher was filled and tells you the life expectancy of your filter based on how many gallons of water it filtered.

If the filter indicator is red, then the filter is probably expired, which is why the water isn’t purified. In this case, the solution is simple – just replace the filter, and everything will return to normal.

Low Pressure

Low Pressure
Low Pressure

If water seems to seep out of the filter more slowly than normal, the filter might be blocked by sediment or a buildup of minerals.

What you do in this situation is pour out the water from the pitcher, open the lid, and remove the filter, along with the filter container.

Put the filter under the tap for a second or two to wash off any residue or debris that might be clogging the filter. Then, take a sponge and gently clean the pitcher with a bit of dish soap and let it dry.

Next, take a toothbrush and clean the inside and outside of the filter container and the pitcher lid.

Once you’ve cleaned the parts and dried them out, put everything back together and test the flow. If the water flow is still stunted or slow, then the issue is in the filter itself, and you’ll need to replace it.

Low pressure might also be caused by the filter not being placed in the pitcher properly. If that’s the case, then all you need to do is remove it and place it back properly.

The Water

The Water
The Water

We’ve already mentioned something similar, but rather than using the wrong filter on certain contaminants, this section is about water contaminants that can’t be filtered by a Brita pitcher.

Certain contaminants are just too problematic for a basic filter like the Brita, and a certain ppm of sodium, lead, or other pollutants can’t be removed with this pitcher. This is especially true for water with hard minerals that requires a water softener specifically designed to handle calcium and magnesium.

What we’re trying to say is that you should check the rating of your pitcher and the quality of your water. If the water is too polluted, you’ll need a whole-house reverse osmosis filtration unit in order to purify it. At the very least, you’ll need something with a filter that’s a lot stronger than the Brita pitcher.


There are several reasons why your Brita filter might be slow or not working.

The first thing that you need to do is test your water and see if the filter can handle the contaminants in it.

The next thing that you need to check is whether you have the right filter for the job.

After that, you’ll want to ensure that the pitcher and the filter container are clean and that nothing is blocking the water flow.

And finally, you’ll want to ensure that your filter hasn’t expired and can still purify the water.

If you’ve checked all of that and the water still seems contaminated, then it’s probably time to change the filter.

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Scott Winfield
Scott Winfield
My name is Scott Winfield and researching and writing about water filters and other strategies to purify water has become my full time passion in recent years. I'm glad that you found our site and you can look forward to authoritative and well researched content here to help you get the best in water.
1 Comment
  1. My Brita Liquelli came with 3 filters, which I Dymo-labelled with numbers. Every night B4 bed, I take the day’s filter out, -shake it hard/fast downward, to remove whatever water remains, and put it in the fridge to dry. The next filter in order goes in. When I make my morning cuppa joe, I first shake the hell outta the filter, to make sure the particles are loose and separate.

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