Pur Water Filter Leaking: Top 9 Causes & Solutions

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Got a leaking PUR water filter? We’ve shared the top causes and how to fix them in this guide.

Note: this article shares solutions for PUR faucet filters and PUR filter pitchers.

📌 Key Takeaways:

  • There are a number of different types of PUR water filters, including several variations of the PUR faucet filter and the PUR water filter pitcher.
  • Common causes of a leaking PUR water filter include a filter that’s not tight enough, an incorrectly installed filter, debris in the filter housing, O-ring issues, and more.
  • You can fix a leaking PUR filter by re-installing the filter, tightening the filter, checking the o-rings, flushing the filter, and more.

🤔 Why Is My PUR Filter Leaking? 9 Causes & Solutions

Let’s take a look at the 9 most likely causes of leaking in a PUR filter – and how to solve them.

1) Overtightened/Undertightened Filter

An undertightened or overtightened filter is one of the most common reasons why your PUR water filter might be leaking.

For faucet filters: If you didn’t hear the filter click into place, water will be able to leak around the filter cartridge, preventing proper filtration. If the filter is too tight (i.e. if you continue to tighten the filter after you hear it click into place), you might get the same issue.

For a PUR filter pitcher: If the filter isn’t tight enough, water might bypass the filter media and leak straight into the reservoir.

The Solution: Tighten The Filter Correctly

The solution here is to make sure your PUR water filter is properly tightened, but not overtightened. Remove the filter and screw it again counterclockwise until you hear it click in place.

Reassemble and attach pur faucet filtration system after cleaning

2) Incorrectly Installed Filter

Even if undertightening or overtightening isn’t the issue, you might have another problem with the filter installation. If you’ve never installed the filter before, you might not know what proper installation should look and feel like.

The Solution: Install The Filter Properly

The best way to rectify an issue with an incorrectly installed filter is to reinstall the filter using the proper technique.

For a faucet PUR water filter:

  1. Remove your faucet’s washer and aerator (tip: use a wrench or jar opener if the aerator is stuck).
  2. Choose the right adapter (included in your package) to fit your faucet and screw it on. Tighten, then attach the washer.
  3. Unpackage the faucet filter and take off the removable filter cover. Check that the O-ring is in place and slot the filter cartridge into the center of the housing, then replace the cover.
  4. Click the faucet filter onto your tap or fasten it in place, holding it level with the PUR logo facing you and turning the mounting nut counterclockwise to tighten it.

For a PUR pitcher filter:

  1. Soak the filter in cold water for 15 minutes. Flush under cold running tap water for 15 seconds, then put it to one side.
  2. Wash the pitcher in hot, soapy water, then allow to air-dry.
  3. Remove the pour tray from the filter and insert the filter into the bottom, twisting clockwise to lock it in place (you will hear a click).
Pur plus water filter pitcher installation

3) Debris In The Filter Housing

Debris in the filter housing could block the flow of water through the filter, causing it to leak out of the outside. You’re most likely to get this issue in filter cartridges that have threaded housings, where debris can get stuck between the threads.

The Solution: Clean The Filter Housing

You should be able to easily resolve this issue by cleaning the filter housing threads.

For PUR faucet filters: Unscrew the filter and wash the housing in warm, soapy water. Use a sponge or a toothbrush to clean between the filter threads. Rinse with cold water, then dry thoroughly.

For pitcher PUR filters: Empty the pitcher and remove the lid and pour tray. Take the filter out of the tray and put it to one side. Wash the housing in hot, soapy water and use a sponge or toothbrush to remove the grime. Run cold water over the housing to clean it, then dry thoroughly.

Cleaning pur plus faucet filter housing

4) O-Ring Issues

This issue is specifically related to PUR faucet filters.

The O-ring has an important job in a PUR water filter system. It acts as a rubber seal, preventing air or water from escaping out of the filter housing.

However, if your O-ring is incorrectly placed, cracked, worn, or caked with debris, it could result in a leaking filter.

The Solution: Clean Or Replace The O-Ring

If the O-ring is improperly fitted, try slotting it into place correctly to prevent a leaking seal. Make sure to handle the O-ring gently to prevent damage.

If you notice that the O-ring is dirty, carefully clean it under cold running water. Or, if the O-ring is cracked, worn, or otherwise damaged, contact PUR and enquire about buying replacement O-rings online.

It might make more sense to buy a whole new filter, which comes with a new O-ring, if it’s nearly at the end of its lifespan anyway.

5) Pouring Too Early

This problem is specific to PUR water filters in the pitcher models.

You will need to wait for all the water to filter out of the pouring tray and into the filtered water reservoir before you pour from the spout.

Pouring too early could cause water from the pour tray to leak out of the top of the pitcher. It’ll also increase the likelihood of filtered and unfiltered water mixing, affecting the quality of the filtered water.

The Solution: Wait For The Pour Tray To Empty

To prevent leaking caused by incorrect pouring from the pitcher, simply make sure to only use the pitcher when all the water has left the pour tray.

If you want access to water faster, add a smaller amount of unfiltered water to the pour tray. It’ll take less time for a smaller volume of water to be filtered.

Pur plus water filter pitcher on a closer look

6) Hot Water Damage

Hot water damage could also be a reason why your PUR water filter is leaking. This is especially likely in PUR faucet filters, where it’s all too easy to accidentally send hot water through your filter from the faucet.

PUR water filters shouldn’t be used with hot water because the heat could damage the bonds in the filter media, causing leaking and possibly even causing trapped contaminants to be released.

The Solution: Only Use Cold Water In The Filter

The solution, in this case, is to never use your PUR water filter with hot water. The PUR faucet filter models shouldn’t be used with water hotter than 100˚F (38˚C), and the PUR pitcher filter models shouldn’t be used with a higher water temperature than 82°F (28°C).

If the damage has already been done, you’ll need to replace the cartridge in your filter unit.

7) High Water Pressure

Similarly, high water pressure may damage your filter, putting stress on the filter weave inside the cartridge and breaking the bonds.

The Solution: Don’t Switch On Your Faucet All The Way

If you suspect that high water pressure has resulted in water leaking from your filter, make sure to only switch your tap on around three-quarters of the way.

Again, if your filter is already damaged by high water pressure, it’s much easier to buy a filter replacement than to attempt a repair.

Pur faucet mount filters and replacement cartridges

8) Old, Worn, Or Damaged Filter

A clogged filter or a worn-out filter will usually produce a slow water flow. If you leave the filter for too long, however, water flow might seem slightly restored. Why? Because holes will form in the filter media, causing water to leak through without being properly filtered.

The Solution: Replace The Filter

To ensure that only filtered water is produced by your PUR water filter, make sure to replace the filter regularly. Your PUR water filter light will indicate when a filter change is needed:

  • A green light indicates that the water filter is still working well
  • A yellow light tells you that the filter will soon need to be replaced
  • A red light tells you to replace the filter

If you don’t want to rely on your indicator light, make a note in your calendar of when a new water filter is needed.

Keep in mind that filter indicator lights are time-based, so if your tap water has a high TDS reading and you’ve noticed a slow flow before the indicator light turns red, you might need to replace the filter early.

Light indicator of pur plus 11 cup pitcher

9) Ill-Fitting Adapter

This is a problem that’s specific to PUR faucet water filters.

There are two sets of adapters that come with a PUR faucet filter unit: A and B adapters, which are for faucets with external threads; and C and D faucets, which are for faucets with internal threads.

If you install the filter on your faucet with the wrong adapter, water will leak out from the connection between the faucet and the filter unit.

You might also install an adapter when you don’t need one at all. It’s best to try installing the filter with no adapter first, and if you can’t get a good fit, try one of the included adapters.

The Solution: Choose The Right Adapter (Or No Adapter)

To fix water leaks in a PUR water filter caused by an ill-fitting adapter, go back to the drawing board and look carefully at all the adapters provided. Pick the adapter that matches the threaded end of your faucet.

Make sure the rubber washer is properly fitted in the adaptor and that the washer and adapter are firmly tightened inside the filter (but don’t use tools, as this may result in over-tightening).

Also check that you’ve removed the existing washer on your faucet. You only need to use one washer: the plastic washer that comes with the new adapter.

PUR offers a few additional faucet adapters on request, so contact customer service if none of the provided adapters are right for your faucet.

📑 In Summary

A leaking PUR filter is annoying, but it doesn’t usually mean you should throw out the entire system and start again. In most cases, you should be able to fix a leak by reinstalling the filter, flushing the filter or cleaning out the filter housing, or – at most – replacing the filter cartridge with a new one.

The worst-case scenario is that the filter housing or another component of the system itself (not the filter cartridge) is damaged or broken. In that case, reach out to PUR if you’re still within your warranty. If the damage was caused by normal wear and tear and not a careless action on your part (such as dropping the filter), you may be eligible for a free replacement.

  • Laura Shallcross
    Senior Editor

    Laura is a passionate residential water treatment journalist who holds an undergraduate degree in Print Journalism and a master’s degree in Creative Writing. Over a span of 5 years she's written on a range of topics including water softening, well water treatment, and purification processes.

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