How to Install the Filter on a Drinkwell Pet Fountain

Drinkwell pet fountains are the result of an observant veterinarian and pet lover who noticed her pet cat, Buckwheat, enjoyed running water more than that in his bowl. Since the creation of the original fountain, the Drinkwell line has added several creative models to suit all types of pets and owners. Charcoal filters are available in almost all models; the filters help purify the water and create a cleaner, better tasting water for your pet. Nearly all models follow the same procedure for filter changing.

Border Collie dog paddles in the Tartagine river in Corsica
Drinkwell fountains help simulate the water in running streams.
credit: joningall/iStock/Getty Images

Types of Filters

There are two types of charcoal filters for Drinkwell fountains: the high-capacity filters and original filters. Original filters have two segments that divide and distribute the charcoal through the water. The high-capacity filter has six compartments to more thoroughly filter your pet's drinking water. Both require changing every two to four weeks to maintain great tasting, purified water for your cat or dog. Drinkwell also has round charcoal filters, small, mesh-like pod filters and foam filters for different fountain models.

Standard Filters

The high-capacity and original charcoal filters are compatible with the following Drinkwell pet fountains: Original, Platinum, Big Dog, Multi-Tier, Outdoor Dog, Mini, Everflow and Zen. Unplug the fountain and remove the housing lid by lifting it up. Remove the housing lid, dump out the old water and remove the filter housing if equipped. Remove the old filter by pulling it out of the slot. Clean the machine according to your model's instructions. Rinse the new filter under cool water and stick it into the slot with the narrow side pointing down and the black side facing the spout side. Push it all the way down into the filter compartment.

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Foam Filters

As of 2014, Drinkwell has five models that don't use these filters: Avalon, Pagoda, Lotus, 360 Stainless Steel and 360 Plastic. The Lotus model has a D-shaped foam filter that fits around the pump. Unplug the machine before starting. Lift up the top dish on the Lotus, remove the housing and empty out all the water. Turn the entire fountain over and unscrew the nut on the bottom. Lift up the intake tub and grab the plastic, white cord-pass-through tube and lift it to find the hole in the bottom of the bowl. Pull out the electric cord until it is separate from the fountain to separate the filter and pump from the rest of the internal parts. Lift the pump from the previous filter. Clean all the fountain parts -- aside from the foam filter -- with warm water and regular dish soap. Place the pump in the D-shaped hole of the new filter with the cord lying on top and reassemble the fountain for use.

Avalon and Pagoda

Remove the towers of the Avalon and Pagoda models. Take off the rubber grommet by pulling it straight down. Remove the white, conical filter housing that sits on top of the pump, open it and remove the charcoal filter. Rinse the new charcoal filter with cool water and place it into the housing with the larger side facing down. Find the small raised post that houses the cord and remove the rubber cap. Dump the water from the fountain. Remove the pump by firmly pulling it up to release the suction cups; clean the machine and then place the pump into the D-shaped hole of the new filter, making sure the cord for the pump rests gently over the top of the filter. Reassemble the fountain. Fill the fountain by pouring new, fresh water directly into the bowl.

Drinkwell 360 Fountains

The 360 Fountains have yet another type of filter; these filters are small, pod-like filters. Unplug the fountain and disconnect the inline plug. Remove the flow-control cap and spout ring from the filter housing and set them aside. Pull the two-prong cord clips away from the bottom of the bowl and set them aside. Next, remove the filter housing; this may be difficult, so try gently twisting the housing back and forth to pull it out. Remove the cone and pump, then dump and clean the machine. To change the filter, unscrew the filter housing cap. Pull out the old filter by gently pulling on the tab; rinse the new filter under cool water and push it into the filter housing with the tab facing up. Screw on the filter housing cap and reassemble the fountain.