Maintenance & Care \ Refrigerators \ How to Replace a Refrigerator Water Filter

How to Replace a Refrigerator Water Filter

Refrigerators that come with water and ice dispensers offer great convenience, but the additional system may also mean more maintenance due to the need to change the filter regularly. The dispensers should always produce clean water and ice, and they typically depend on one or more water filters to keep the water supply tasting fresh at all times. That’s why the water filter needs regular changing, and luckily, you can do it yourself.

Know What You Have

No matter the type, you should typically change the water filter on your fridge about twice a year, especially if you use the water and ice dispensers frequently. If you notice that the ice or water has changed in quality, it would be advisable to change the filter outside the regular maintenance. Always consult your owner’s manual.
The vital information to know when changing the water filter is its type. Fridge filters can be twist-on or push-in. The twist-on type is, often, located at the front, behind the bottom grill, or inside and near the bottom. The push-in filter will typically be behind the bottom grill, in a drawer inside the fridge or the cooling compartment at the top.
A way to find a replacement is to bring the filter you’ve removed to the nearest hardware or home improvement store. Show the filter to a sales attendant or advisor there and they’ll recommend a suitable replacement. While you’re at it, it would be wise to purchase several at once – water filters may not have an expiration date, and this can save you a future trip.
Alternatively, you can typically just look up the make and model of your refrigerator and use that information to find the appropriate replacement filter online. Those who own a Whirlpool, Maytag, KitchenAid, JennAir, or Amana fridge can use this filter finder tool to find the right model.
Some brands, such as Everydrop™, offer a subscription program for your refrigerator’s water filter and have a new one sent to you at a fixed interval. Besides saving you the hassle of remembering when to order and swap out the filters, subscription programs often work on a subscribe and save basis, and can save you money off individual filter purchases.
water from fridge running into glass

How Replace Fridge Water Filter - Step by Step

Before you start, however, you should take some time to familiarize yourself with the few crucial details. Always check and follow your appliance and product use and care instructions before beginning, as it should be your primary source of information.

Depending on the filter and refrigerator you have, you may need to turn off the power for the refrigerator. If you own a Whirlpool, Maytag, Amana, or Jennair refrigerator, then you do not need to turn off the power. This is an essential safety step since you’re dealing with a water system in an electrical appliance. You won’t need to do anything to the water supply in most cases, but it’s best to consult the manual for advice. If you have an older model or a specific kind of refrigerator, it might be necessary to turn off the water supply.

Locate the filter as described above. If you’re unsure about the filter type, the location will also give you a clue. It’s most likely you’ll find the information about the filter type in the product specification or the user manual.

How this is done depends on the type of filter. Typically, for a twist-on filter, turn it counter-clockwise until it’s released and pull it out of the fridge. For the push-in type, you should push the button that releases the filter, after which you’ll be able to take it out. Alternatively, if there’s no button, you may need to push the filter down and it should be released. Consult the owner’s guide or production installation instructions.

Many modern refrigerators have systems in place that stop the flow of water as soon as the filter’s removed. However, to make sure there’s no spilling, hold the filter upright during the whole process and have a towel ready just in case. Should you notice an excess of water coming out, it’s best to have a shallow container prepared.

Once you have the new filter, remove the dust cap, if any, and install the cap from the old one. Pay attention not to damage the cap in any way during this step or the filter might not function normally. You might need to fill the new water filter with water, depending on the manufacturer and type. Whether you need to do so might be stated on the packaging or installation instructions.

To place the new filter, install it where the old one used to be. Typically, for a twist-on, ensure the filter is placed vertically, place it in the opening, and turn it clockwise. You may feel and hear when it clicks, so make sure not to tighten the filter too much. For push-on filters, simply align it properly and insert. If the filter has been installed properly, the button will pop up. Regardless of the type, this step should go without complications. Consult the owner’s guide or production installation instructions.

Make sure to run a generous amount of water through the newly-installed filter. This will help you determine if the filter’s working properly as well as clear any factory impurities. You’ll also see if you’ve installed the new water filter correctly by the absence of leaks. Generally, manufacturers recommend running between two and four gallons of water through the filter first.

If the type of filter you’re replacing doesn’t have a label to keep track of the next replacement time, check if your refrigerator has an indicator for the water filter. If there’s none, you should write down or otherwise mark the date of the replacement to be sure you don’t miss the next maintenance. You might make a note on the calendar on your phone or set the alarm to remind you.

Finally, if there is an indicator on the fridge, make sure to reset it. Some refrigerators will take care of this on their own, or you might need to input a particular command. For your specific brand and model, refer to the user manual to learn how to do that. If there’s a water filter indicator, don’t miss this step – it’s the best way to make sure your fridge is working for you in every way it can.

Clean Water Is Safe Water

The water and ice dispenser might seem like a novelty addition to your fridge. After all, the main function of the appliance is to keep your food and beverages fresh, cold, and unspoiled. However, if you use the dispenser a lot, it’s important to keep the water fed to it clean and safe. That’s why the water filter shouldn’t be disregarded, and regular maintenance is advised.
If you’ve forgotten to change the water filter on your fridge in the past, make sure not to do that in the future. Sometimes it’s even possible to taste the changing quality of the water and ice coming from your refrigerator, which should be reason enough to maintain the system properly.
Need help maintaining your refrigerator? Get quality service beyond the manufacturer's warranty from certified technicians. Learn more.
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