How to Change a Refrigerator Water Filter

Posted by
John Woodard on December 08, 2023

Changing a refrigerator filter is a mundane task that many homeowners fail to perform, but it is essential in keeping your fridge water tasting and smelling clean. While different refrigerators offer various configurations for swapping out their filters, changing a fridge water filter is a simple and easy process. In this article, you can learn some answers to common questions about fridge filters and how to change them across various brands.

Do I need to change my refrigerator water filter?

Yes, a refrigerator water filter must be changed at its recommended frequency to effectively filter water. Fridge filters typically contain a combination of sediment and activated carbon filtration. The carbon in a fridge filter has adsorption properties that attract certain contaminants as they flow through the filter. Eventually, the carbon reaches its maximum capacity, and it can no longer trap any more contaminants. When a fridge filter is full of contaminants, it can release many at once into your water supply, making the water dirtier than it was before it passed through the filter. To avoid these contaminants from entering your fridge’s water, ensure you change it out at the recommended frequency.

Learn more: Do refrigerator filters really work? | Are refrigerator air filters necessary?

How often to change a refrigerator water filter

Most refrigerator water filters should be replaced once every six months. While this frequency is the norm, some refrigerators may use filters that should be changed more or less frequently than twice per year. If your household uses more water than an average family, this may also necessitate more frequent filter changes. Consult your refrigerator’s manual to ensure you are changing your fridge filter out as often as needed.

Learn more: How often to replace your refrigerator water filter

How to change a refrigerator water filter

Changing a refrigerator’s water filter is a simple task, but the process varies from fridge to fridge. Follow the below steps for a general explanation of how to change the water filter in your refrigerator. For a more detailed explanation of how to change a filter on specific refrigerator brands, continue reading below.

1.  Locate the filter.

In many cases, the refrigerator filter will be located somewhere above the top shelf of the fridge. However, in many Whirlpool refrigerators, the filter is located between the floor and the bottom of the fridge door. If you struggle to find the location of your fridge’s water filter, consult the manual of your specific model.

2.  Remove the filter cover.

Not all fridge water filters contain a cover, but if yours does, it must be removed before you can access the old filter. Simply turn the cover counterclockwise or hit its release button and slide the cover out.

3.  Remove the old filter.

Once the cover has been removed, you can remove the old filter from its compartment. Some fridges may require you to swing the cartridge out and then twist it, while others may simply need a counterclockwise twist to loosen the filter. To avoid damaging any pieces of the filter compartment, ensure you consult your filter’s installation instructions. If a cartridge is meant to pull straight out and you attempt to remove it with a twist, you could damage some plastic components that lock the filter in place.

4.  Install the new filter.

Now that the old filter is removed, you can insert the new filter into the empty compartment. The installation process should be identical to the removal process with the exception of the direction you twist. If you twisted the cartridge counterclockwise to remove it, twist the new filter clockwise when you install it.

5.  Reset the filter indicator

If your fridge has a filter change indicator light, you should reset it before flushing your filter. Most fridges have a reset button on the control panel that you can hold to reset the indicator.

6.  Flush the new filter.

You should always flush a new fridge filter to remove any excess carbon particles. Most fridge filter manufacturers recommend running between 3 to 5 gallons out of a new filter upon installation.

How to change an LG fridge water filter

Location: Top left corner

  1. Locate shut-off valve behind the fridge.
  2. Turn the valve clockwise to shut off the water. 
  3. Dispense remaining water from the fridge.
  4. Place a towel under the filter to absorb excess water.
  5. Locate the filter holder and press the sides to open it.
  6. Pivot the filter downward to remove it.
  7. Align the tabs of the new filter with those on the filter holder.
  8. Press and pivot the filter upward to insert.
  9. Close the filter holder.
  10. Turn the shut-off valve counterclockwise.
  11. Hold down the indicator light to reset it.
  12. Run water into a container for 5 minutes to flush the filter.

How to change a Samsung fridge water filter

Location: Back right corner

  1. Grab the base of the filter.
  2. Twist the filter counterclockwise to unlock it. 
  3. Remove the safety seal on the new filter.
  4. Line the filter up with the filter holder.
  5. Turn the new filter clockwise to lock it in place.

How to change a Kenmore Elite fridge water filter

Location: Upper left corner

  1. Place a towel under the filter to absorb excess water. 
  2. Turn the filter counterclockwise to unlock it.
  3. Remove the filter.
  4. Insert the new filter into the filter holder.
  5. Turn the filter clockwise to lock it in place.
  6. Hold down the filter change indicator button to reset. 
  7. Let water run into a container for 5 minutes to flush. 

How to change a Whirlpool fridge water filter

Location: Front base grille

  1. Locate the filter and rotate the cap counterclockwise.
  2. Turn the filter counterclockwise and slide it out. 
  3. Slide the cap off the end of the cartridge but do not discard it.
  4. Remove new filter from packaging and remove the cover from the O-rings.
  5. Slide the cap onto the new filter. 
  6. Insert the filter and cap into the grille.
  7. Rotate the cap clockwise to lock it in place.


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