Genuine (OEM) vs. Aftermarket
OEM filter is an acronym that stands for original equipment manufacturer. A product labeled as OEM or factory original means it has been made by, or officially authorized by, the company that manufactured the refrigerator’s original filter. An aftermarket product is a generic product made by a third-party manufacturer, designed to replace the factory original. An aftermarket fridge filter typically costs less than a genuine OEM filter.
Differences Between Genuine OEM and Aftermarket Filters
Depending on the type of refrigerator water filter, OEM and aftermarket filters may differ in water capacity, PSI range( pressure limiting range) , price and some certifications.
- Water capacity measures how many liters the fridge filter can clean before it needs to be changed. It can vary depending on brand and filter. When considering between an OEM and aftermarket filter, compare the gallon capacity to determine which filter may last longer when there is no much difference in price.
- PSI range measures the force at which water flows through your water pipes. PSI stands for pounds (of pressure) per square inch. Your refrigerator's water system functions within a specific PSI range. The water filter's PSI range must be compatible with refrigerator's range. Check your owner's manual for the water pressure or PSI range. It can vary between models and even between OEM and aftermarket fridge filters.
- Price differences between OEM and aftermarket filters are common. Typically, the aftermarket filter made by a third-party manufacturer costs less.
- NSF International tested and certified means a water filter has been tested by the NSF (National Sanitation Foundation) International for the reduction of various water contaminants. These may include - but are not limited to - chlorine, lead, microorganisms, turbidity and chemicals. OEM filters are often certified against Standard 42 for the reduction of chlorine and Standard 53 for the reduction of lead, turbidity, cysts (microorganisms) and chemicals. Aftermarket filters also receive NSF testing.
What Is the Water Quality Association?
The Water Quality Association (WQA) is a not-for-profit international trade association representing the residential, commercial and industrial water treatment industry. WQA maintains a close dialogue with other organizations representing different aspects of the water industry in order to best serve consumers, government officials, and industry members. WQA is a resource and information source, a voice for the industry, an educator for professionals, a laboratory for product testing, and a communicator to the public.
What Is Water Quality Improvement?
Water treatment, or conditioning, is the processing of water, by any means, to modify, enhance, or improve its quality or to meet a specific water quality need, desire, or set of standards. Water treatment involves disinfecting and purifying untreated ground and surface water. Water quality is important for health, and it is good for appliances, too!
Similarities Between OEM and Compatible Filters
Genuine OEM and aftermarket water filters typically share the same temperature range, water flow rate and capabilities for reducing contaminants from water.
- Temperature range is simply the range of water temperature for the filter's best performance.
- Water flow rate is the amount of time it takes the water to move through the refrigerator's system and then dispense into your glass. A water flow rate of 0.5 gallons per minute means the system can dispense one-half gallon of water within one minute.
- Contaminant reduction is a job all fridge filters, either OEM or aftermarket perform. Even a filter that isn't certified by an independent testing agency should still reduce impurities.
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