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How to Change a Refrigerator Water Filter

How to change a refrigerator water filter

When it comes to refrigerator maintenance, many people don’t realize the importance of regularly changing their refrigerator water filter. In fact, it might very well be the most important refrigerator maintenance task. Like other water filters (e.g. Britta water pitcher), refrigerator water filters screen out contaminants making your drinking water and ice fresher and healthier. When it’s neglected, the contaminants build up in the filter, allowing bacteria to develop. If the filter gets backed up enough, it can restrict water flow and affect the performance of your ice maker system. For all of these reasons, it’s critical to know how to change a refrigerator water filter.

How Often to Change Your Water Filter

 

In general, you should change your water filter at least once every six months, but it can vary. For example, an individual with soft water won’t need to change it as often as a large family with hard water. Usage also matters. If you use filtered water regularly to feed pets or plants, you’ll probably want to change the filter more frequently.

 

Some refrigerator models have a warning light that lets you know that your filter needs changing. However, many don’t, so you’ll want to set a water filter replacement schedule. If there are warning signs before you’re scheduled to change it, such as funny tasting water and/or ice, check for mineral deposit build-up in the filter. It’s probably best to err on the side of caution in those situations.

How to Change a Refrigerator Water Filter

 

First of all, you need to locate the filter. Most refrigerators are designed with the filter located in the front refrigerator compartment or the base-grille. If you aren’t able to easily locate it, check your owner’s manual for help with your particular model. Then, identify whether it has a twist lock or a push button mechanism:

 

  • Twist Lock: Most refrigerators have this basic twist lock system. To remove, twist the filter counterclockwise and pull it out. To replace, twist it a quarter or half-turn clockwise. You should feel it lock in place.
  • Push Button: This mechanism is primarily found on Whirlpool & KitchenAid Base-Grilles. Push the button to the left of the filter to release it and pull it straight out. Remove the color-keyed cap from the end (if it has one), but don’t discard. Twist that cap on the end of the new filter and simply push the new filter in its slot until you hear a “click”.

Note: After installing your new filter, be sure to dispense about 2-3 gallons of water flush out the filter. Also, reset your filter change indicator if you have one.