Caring for the Water Filter in Your Fridge: At-home Chores and When to Call the Pros

Like many cities, the water in Cincinnati can carry a chemical taste when unfiltered. That’s why many refrigerators that dispense water have a filter built-in to remove the taste.

But did you know you need to change those filters regularly so your fridge can filter your ice and drinking water? Without regular replacement, your fridge may start producing funny-tasting ice and water. Learn how to perform a fridge water filter replacement to keep your drinking water tasting its best.

How to Find the Water Filter for Your Fridge

Filters are usually located inside the fridge or freezer, often near the ice maker or the portion of the door with the water dispenser. It may be in a drawer or small plastic housing with a cover or door. Check the side and back walls for a plastic housing, and if you can’t find it, check your owner’s manual. You should be able to access the filter without tools, as the housing is meant to be opened semi-regularly for you to change the filter.

Where to Buy Fridge Water Filters

You can get your refrigerator water filter replacements from your local hardware store, online stores, or most stores that sell large appliances like refrigerators. You can shop everywhere from specialized filter shops to general box stores.

How to Change a Fridge Water Filter

It’s easy to change a fridge water filter. All you should need is a replacement filter and you’re ready to go.

  1. Locate the water filter housing (see above). Place a towel underneath it to catch any drips of water.

  2. If your fridge has a filter release button, press it to remove the filter. Without a button, try turning the filter one-quarter-turn counterclockwise. If your filter doesn’t turn, a spring may hold it in place. Push in on the filter itself to release the mechanism. You may have to be firm, but you should never need to force your filter out of its housing.

  3. (Optional) Take the cap off the old filter if it has one. Put it on the replacement filter.

  4. Insert the new filter, pushing it into place (for a button- or push-release filter) or giving it a quarter-turn clockwise (for screwed-in filters).

  5. Inspect your used filter for clogs or unpleasant smells. These are signs that you need to change your filter more frequently.

If your filter is not easily accessible inside your fridge, it may be underneath or on the back of the appliance. In that case, let professionals handle the refrigerator water filter replacement since it requires specialized skills and more tools.

Pro Tip: certain modern refrigerators, especially GE refrigerators, require a branded filter or filter bypass with the correct RFID chip to continue working. They won’t run with a generic brand.

How Often to Change a Fridge Water Filter

With regular use, you should change your water filter about once every six months. If you notice your ice or water tasting bad, change the filter every four or five months. With heavy daily use, your system will reach its filtering capacity much faster.

Can I Use My Refrigerator Without the Water Filter?

Yes, it’s possible to remove the filter in your fridge. However, some models require a refrigerator bypass plug to skip the filtration step. We don’t recommend removing your filter since it can lead to a chemical taste in your water or even broken parts in your fridge. If you use your water dispenser or ice maker infrequently, you may leave out the filter, especially if you have a whole-house filter installed that feeds into your fridge.

Get Your Refrigerator Water Line Installed by the Plumbing Pros

If you want a fridge with a water line for drinking and ice-making installed, you’ll need a dedicated line to supply water to the appliance. The expert plumbers at Benjamin Franklin Plumbing of Cincinnati can install and replace water lines so your fridge can dispense water and ice whenever needed or repair a broken line that you already have. Whether it’s a plumbing emergency or a scheduled installation, call us at (513) 813-4992. Or you can book online today.