A person’s hand installing a genuine Frigidaire filter in their refrigerator.

Could Your Water Filter Be A Counterfeit?

Your discount filter could be working against you

When it’s time to replace your refrigerator's water filter, it’s important to buy a replacement filter that is designed to work specifically with your fridge. But did you know off-brand and generic filters aren’t the only potential risk in buying a new water filter? The risks that face your water quality and safety go beyond what's in your city's water supply. Counterfeit water filters have made their way into online marketplaces all over the world, and sometimes it's hard to tell the difference at first glance. But counterfeits are not the same as the real thing. Read our helpful guide so you can ensure you're getting a genuine filter for your fridge.

What are the dangers of counterfeit filters?

They look the same as Genuine filters, and may even produce water that looks the same, but counterfeit water filters are not the same. In fact, they usually do more harm than good to your water. Contaminants like lead and chlorine require specialized technology like the three-step carbon filtration that Frigidaire Genuine filters use, to filter them out. Counterfeit filters don't contain enough - if any - of the filtering materials necessary to keep them out of your water.  

Beyond the risk to your water, counterfeit filters can do serious damage to your appliance. Your refrigerator is a complex system of parts designed to work together, so when you add a counterfeit part that doesn't fit, it can cause water to leak into your home, or worse. When a counterfeit filter claims to be the real thing, many families are unknowingly exposing themselves to water that's not been filtered to quality standards. 




Better-made fakes can be nearly impossible to spot from the exterior, even for experts. But there are a few things to watch out for if you suspect a filter may not be the real thing.


Counterfeit water filters often weigh less than genuine water filters because they don’t contain as much of the important filtering materials inside – like activated carbon used in Frigidaire Genuine filters. Some counterfeits have been found to have nothing but newspaper inside!


Genuine water filters are independently certified by NSF or IAPMO R&T and have the symbol stamped on the package.


Counterfeits are designed to look nearly identical to the real thing, often coming in glossy or nicer looking packaging designed to trick you into trusting what’s inside.


Most people that end up with counterfeit water filters bought them because they cost less than a genuine filter. Genuine filters are tested and designed to meet NSF and manufacturer standards, so if you find something significantly cheaper than the brand-name alternative, there’s probably a reason.


If you're buying online, be on the lookout for up-to-date packaging, enriched product information, and performance data sheets. If the page doesn't have any of those, you're probably looking at a counterfeit.


 Look closely at any images. Counterfeits tend to have grainy or pixelated pictures. Also, check for discolored or faded text, as that might be another sign you're not looking at the real thing.



Counterfeits aren’t just a problem manufacturers use to scare you into buying their products. The risks are real – from failing to properly filter your family's water to potentially damaging your appliance and your investment. Buy direct from authorized sellers to be sure you're getting the real thing. Frigidaire Genuine water filters are available on Frigidaire.com,  and anywhere our refrigerators are sold.

To learn more about the risks of counterfeit water filters, visit www.filteritout.org.

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