PUR Water Filter Troubleshooting Ultimate Guide

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PUR offers a range of water filter solutions that are favored for their reliability and durability. But what if your PUR water filter isn’t filtering your water quickly enough? Or what if it isn’t filtering water at all?

Don’t be so quick to throw your filter away and leave PUR a bad review. There’s a good chance that your filter is encountering a problem that can be easily fixed.

In this guide, I’ve outlined some of the most common issues experienced with PUR water filters, and discussed how to solve these issues when possible.

📋 Types of PUR Filtration Systems

Faucet Systems

PUR’s faucet units are attached to the end of a kitchen faucet and provide filtered water on demand.

PUR Faucet System


PUR’s pitchers are standalone filters that use gravity filtration to gradually remove contaminants from water.

Pur Pitchers


PUR’s dispensers are larger than its pitchers and can produce bigger batches of filtered water in one go.

PUR Dispenser

📌 Causes of PUR Water Filter Slow Flow Rate

Let’s take a look at some of the common causes of a slow filtration rate in your PUR water filter, and how to fix them.

Filter Needs to Be Replaced

Perhaps the most obvious cause of a slow flow rate in a PUR filter is delayed replacement. Over the course of use, the filter will become gradually clogged with contaminants, making it more difficult for water to take an easy path through.

Your PUR water filter light will indicate when it’s time to replace your filter. It’s a good idea to have at least one spare filter on hand, ready to replace the existing filter when required. This means you won’t have to continue to use your filter while you wait for new filters to be mailed to you.

Here’s how often you should change your PUR water filter, depending on the filter type:

Filter ModelReplacement Schedule
PUR Basic faucet filterEvery 100 gallons, or 3 months
PUR MineralClear faucet filterEvery 100 gallons, or 3 months
PUR Basic filter pitcher/ dispenserEvery 40 gallons, or 60 days
PUR PLUS filter pitcher/ dispenserEvery 40 gallons, or 60 days

You can buy PUR replacement filters in multi-packs, which reduces the cost per filter and helps you save money in the long run.

Air Trapped in the Filter

Trapped air is a particularly common cause of slow filtration in PUR water filters. If you have a PUR faucet filter and your water flow is slow, you’re most likely dealing with air bubbles.

You can easily remove the trapped air from your PUR water filter cartridge. Just take the filter out of the filtration system and fill a large jar or glass with water. Place the filter into the water, making sure the entire filter is submerged.

Soaking filter into water

After letting the filter soak for a minimum of 15 minutes, remove it from the water and tap it gently on the side of your sink. Then turn on your cold water faucet and run it over the filter for up to 30 seconds, while holding the filter upright.

While your filter is removed, take the time to clean the area that holds the filter in your faucet or pitcher. Make sure any debris that could clog or damage the filter is wiped away.

Related: Cloudy water after filter change

Filter Not Flushed Before Use

It’s essential to flush your PUR filter before using it. Carbon particles inside the filter cartridge can become dislodged during manufacturing and shipping, which can affect the filter’s performance if not removed before use. These particles may show up as little black specs in your water.

It’s normal for some filter material to become loose during transport, which is why the majority of water filter manufacturers instruct customers to flush their filters before use.

It’s easy to flush your PUR filter. Here’s what to do, depending on the type of filter you own:

  • PUR faucet filters are the easiest to flush. After installing the filter, put it in a filtered position and switch on your cold water faucet. Run the faucet for 5 minutes to remove any sediment and air bubbles trapped in the filter.
  • For PUR filter pitchers and dispensers, place the filter in a bucket of cold water and leave it to soak for up to 15 minutes. Next, insert the filter into the pitcher and fill the top reservoir with water. Let it filter, then discard the water. Repeat at least once more to eliminate the lingering carbon particles.

Unit Installed Incorrectly

Finally, incorrectly installing your PUR water filter may affect flow rate. This can occur when you replace an old filter with a new one, and don’t twist or click the filter properly in place. Incorrect installation of the filter prevents water from being able to properly pass through the filter. You may also notice leaking in the space above the filter.

To install a PUR faucet filter:

  1. Unscrew the threaded mounting nut to remove the filter
  2. Twist off the back cover
  3. Insert the water filter
  4. Twist on the back cover
  5. Attach the filter back onto your faucet

To install a PUR pitcher filter:

  1. Place the filter inside the pour tray
  2. Push down on the filter and twist it clockwise to slot it in place

Related: PUR water filter leaking: Top Causes & Solutions

Low Water Pressure

If you’re using a PUR faucet filter, low water pressure can reduce the filtration rate and slow filter flow when you run cool water from your faucet.

PUR faucet filters rely on water pressure to force water through the filter. Increasing your water pressure may be as simple as making sure your faucet is fully opened to allow for a steady stream of water to pass through.

Low Water Pressure

High Water Pressure

High water pressure can be an even bigger issue for PUR faucet water filters. High water pressure can cause aeration, producing air bubbles that get into the filter and reduce flow rate.

You can remove air bubbles from your filter manually – just soak it in a jug of water for around 15 minutes, then put it under running tap water in the upright position for about 30 seconds.

If your water pressure is too high when opening your faucet fully, make sure to only open it around halfway to prevent aeration. Your water should flow smoothly and steadily, without any noticeable sputters or air bubbles.

Blockage in the Filter Housing

A blockage in the filter housing is usually caused by trapped sediment, and is most common in PUR water filters that require screwing into place.

It’s possible for debris to collect in the casing threads. Because PUR faucet filter units are designed with either external or internal threading, it’s more likely for these filter units to experience housing blockages. That’s not to say that a blockage couldn’t occur on another type of PUR water filter, though.

When you replace your water filter cartridge, make sure to inspect and clean the housing. Pay particular attention to the housing threads and check that there is no trapped dirt before installing a new filter.

Filter is Clogged with Sediment

Sediment like dirt, dust, rust and sand can be damaging to PUR water filters, and can cause the filter media to become clogged at a faster rate.

Clogged Filter

Typically, when a filter becomes clogged with sediment, the flow rate will slow gradually (though more quickly than it would with water with a lower sediment content). However, if your water is especially high in sediment – to the extent that you can see it when you turn on your faucet – you may notice a sudden decrease in your system’s filtration performance.

PUR filters are designed to remove sediment from water. But if your water has a particularly high sediment content, you’d benefit from installing a separate filter to remove the larger sediment before you use your PUR water filter. This will mean that your filter gets clogged at a slower rate, and you’ll get more use out of it before it needs replacing.

PUR water filter pitchers use gravity filtration, which makes them more likely to slow down significantly if water sediment content is high. Keep in mind that PUR pitcher filters usually take up to 15 minutes to filter a jug of water. Any longer than this suggests that your water may be sediment-heavy.

You can check whether your water is high in sediment by filling a glass with water and leaving it for up to an hour. In this time, any sediment in the water will sink to the bottom of the glass. If you notice a layer of sediment, you should consider using a sediment pre-filter.

Scale Buildup in Filter

It’s not just sediment that can cause problems in the filter media. Calcium and magnesium, two minerals that cause scale, may also affect flow rate in PUR filters.

Magnesium and calcium occur naturally in water across the US. If you have hard water – i.e. a greater quantity of minerals per gallon (measured in grains per gallon) – this could affect your PUR filter’s filtration rate.

Calcium Buildup

Hardness minerals can form limescale over time. This scale is white, crusty and chalky, and very difficult to clean. The more these minerals build up, the more damage they’ll do to your filtration device.

You’ll need to change your filter more frequently if you have high water hardness. Alternatively, consider installing a water softener to remove hardness minerals before they can damage your PUR water filter.

Hot Water Damage

All of PUR’s filters are designed to produce filtered drinking water, and are suitable for cool water only. If you run hot water through any PUR filter, you’ll damage the media and cause one of several issues.

You may notice that your filter is performing really slowly due to heat damage. Conversely, it might also be really fast, because the hot water has created holes that allow water and contaminants to flow through.

The PUR faucet filters shouldn’t be used with water above 100˚F (38˚C), while the PUR water filter pitchers and dispensers shouldn’t be used with water warmer than 82°F (28°C).

🤔 Why Is My PUR Water Filter Light Not Working?

If your PUR tap water filter light isn’t working, it might simply be in sleep mode. In this case, when you perform a filter change, just press and hold the reset button for 5 seconds.

How to Reset PUR Water Filter Light

To reset your filter, press and hold the reset button until the light flashes green.

If this doesn’t work, you could be dealing with a stuck reset button. To fix this issue, follow the below instructions:

For vertical faucet filters, take out the filter then put it back into the system. Use your finger to manually reset the button if it’s stuck in. Make sure to change an old filter every 3 months, resetting the filter change button each time.

For horizontal faucet filters, remove the filter, then wipe the unit’s threading thoroughly before slotting the filter back into the system. Again, make sure to change the filter when it reaches the end of its filter life.

🙋 Why is My PUR Water Filter Blinking Red after Filter Change?

Your filter light should flash red when it’s time for you to replace a filter with a new one.

If your filter light is still blinking red after you’ve replaced the filter, it could be an indication that there is debris in the filter. Try cleaning out the casing and trying again.

  • 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.

16 thoughts on “PUR Water Filter Troubleshooting Ultimate Guide”

  1. Avatar for Laura Shallcross

    Just replaced my pur genuine water pitcher filter and the water is coming out black. I rinsed it for 15 seconds per the instructions on filter pack and my pitcher, but the water is real slow coming out and black……not sediments. This is my 6th filter replacement and have had no previous problems. HELP, I switched to the Pur water pitcher from Culligan water machine and love it but this has me concerned.

    1. Avatar for Laura Shallcross

      What you describe sounds like carbon fine washout. Nothing to be concerned about. I’d recommend removing the filter cartridge and rinsing it under running water some more. Shake & rinse until the water runs clear.

  2. Avatar for Laura Shallcross

    Hello, I just replaced a blue PUR filter with a white Maxion PUR filter and the water comes out very forcefully and splashes all over. I have never had this problem before, but I have also never used the white Maxion filters before. I bought four Maxion Model RF-3375 filters through the Walmart website and have a horizontal faucet mount. They look like genuine PUR filters in a PUR box but does not say PUR on the filters, just some Patent info. I reseated the filter a couple of times and the same thing is happening. I have doubts that the water is being filtered at all. Any ideas as to what is happening? Thank you.

    1. Avatar for Laura Shallcross

      Hey Nick, thanks for your comment. This sounds like it could be a pressure issue. What is the water pressure like coming out of the faucet without filtering? Have you tried running less water through the filter so that its at a lower pressure?

  3. Avatar for Laura Shallcross

    We just got a new Pur faucet filter (the horizontal one) and it filters great. The problem is, when we shut off the filter and return to the main flow of water, the filter dribbles and drips for almost a minute after. Any remedy for that? The old, vertical one dripped for a few seconds then stopped. We kinda miss the old days!

    1. Avatar for Laura Shallcross

      Dripping when you switch between filtered and unfiltered is common, but as you mentioned dripping for a an entire minute is excessive. Sounds like an issue with a gasket or internal component. Have you reached out to PUR about this yet?

  4. Avatar for Laura Shallcross

    water comes out from under the cartridge filter. I have two flows of water-front faucet and from underneath the cartride housing. Do I need to replace the unit?

    1. Avatar for Laura Shallcross

      So when you turn the water on, water comes from both the filtered and unfiltered spouts at the same time, no matter which way the switch is flipped?

  5. Avatar for Laura Shallcross

    I just received my replacement filter for my PUR Faucet water purifier. I installed it properly and the water is coming out way to fast and with a water tester it is all over the map. Going up and down. The water flow was slower with the original filter. Anyone got any ideas on what to do? TY

    1. Avatar for Laura Shallcross

      Sounds like the filter is functioning as it should. PUR’s recent filter reformulation focuses on faster filtration, so what you are experiencing is expected.

      You mentioned you are using a water tester – does this mean you are using a TDS meter to measure dissolved solids?

    2. Avatar for Laura Shallcross

      I am also having this issue. The problem is the filter is not being held down and is being lifted up by the water pressure at the bottom of the filter. It then completely bypasses the filter. You can see this by opening it and pressing it back down. It will likely do this again, I have not found a solution yet…

  6. Avatar for Laura Shallcross

    I have a PUR water dispenser and the spigot where the water comes out if us leaking..How can I stop the water constantly leaking?

    1. Avatar for Laura Shallcross

      There may be an issue with the gasket, or a crack in the spigot itself. Have you reached out to PUR to see if they can send you a new spigot?

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