Periodic maintenance

See also: Time between maintenance: filter element replacement.

  • Consumers anticipate the need for periodic device maintenance, accept the costs involved, and correctly service their devices in a timely manner when needed.
  • Fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) (liquids and tablets): monthly replacement interval.
  • Filter elements and other consumables:
    • Best: consumable elements should have a minimum replacement interval of at least one year.
    • Better: consumable elements need to be replaced every five to six months.
    • Good: consumable elements need to be replaced every three to four months.

Key indicators

  • Periodic maintenance or replacement frequencies are acceptable to users.
  • A reliable and nearby supply of consumables, product parts, and replacements as well as technicians for routine repair, maintenance, and problems.
  • The need for maintenance or replacement components is clearly communicated to the user.
  • Periodic maintenance is quick, simple (minimal number of steps), and requires little or no assistance.
  • The ratio between purchase price and recurring costs is acceptable to consumers.
  • Users are provided with a true estimate of operating costs.
  • Ideally, users are offered means to dispose of, recycle, or return used components.

Notes and exceptions

  • As maintenance indicators, flow limiters are preferred to shutoff devices, which may trigger product abandonment.
  • Different consumer segments indicate different preferences for the ratio between purchase price and recurring costs.
  • Limit the number of components that require periodic replacement or maintenance and ensure all maintenance items have the same replacement frequency (e.g., pre-filters and filter elements are replaced as a unit).
  • Disposal of spent filter elements does not add risk of contact with toxins.

Supporting evidence

A piece of cloth draped over a water filter.

The device design should allow effective, local solutions if replacement parts are not readily available. Here, a family uses a piece of cloth instead of the original equipment manufacturer pre-filter. Photo: PATH.