The easiest way to enjoy cool, crisp filtered water is to install a water filter in your fridge. But refrigerator water filters are only a good long-term water filtration solution if you replace the filters every 6-or-so months.
In this quick guide, we’ve shared step-by-step how to change a water filter in your fridge.
📌 Key Takeaways
- Most refrigerator water filters are found inside the fridge, in the top corner, or at the back of the fridge, beneath the grille.
- To change a refrigerator water filter, lift up the filter door or push the button to eject the filter, then discard the filter and replace it with a new one.
- Most refrigerator filters should be changed once every 6 months.
Table of Contents
📖 How to Change a Fridge Filter: Step By Step
Here are the steps you should take to remove an old filter, and install a replacement filter, in your fridge.
Step 1: Identify The Filter Location
💡 There are two possible locations for a fridge water filter:
- Inside your fridge, in one of the top corners, above the top shelf
- At the bottom-back of your fridge, underneath the base grille
You might also find your fridge filter housing inside the refrigerator door or between your bottom crisper drawers, depending on your fridge design.
If you’ve checked the obvious locations and you can’t find your filter, consult your user manual or contact the manufacturer.
Step 2: Remove The Old Filter
Once you’ve found your old filter’s location, it’s time to remove the filter.
Different types of filters have slightly different designs, which affects how the filter can be removed.
Fridge water filters in the upper-right corner of the fridge can usually be twisted out of the filter housing.
You may need to remove the top shelf if it’s preventing you from properly opening the water filter cover to allow the filter to be removed.
The filter tab is usually found on the bottom of the cover. Simply pull the tab to open the filter housing. If the tab points outwards, push the tab to pull the cover down.
Then push the “eject” button to remove the filter from the water filter cover, or twist the cartridge counterclockwise in the filter slot to remove it.
If you have a filter in the base grille of your fridge, it’s probably a push-in filter.
To remove this filter, lift the filter cover and push the “eject” button. The filter will pop out. You might need to remove the filter cap by turning the cap clockwise first.
We’ve shared more detailed instructions on how to remove an old refrigerator water filter, depending on the filter type, in this guide. 👈
Step 3: Install The New Filter
To install a new filter in your refrigerator, simply do the opposite of what you did to remove the old water filter.
For a filter in the upper right corner of your refrigerator interior
Open the new filter and slot the filter straight into the housing. If you have a twist filter, turn it in an anticlockwise direction as you push it into the housing. Make sure the new filter is properly aligned before you push the filter door closed.
For a filter in the base grille
Unpackage the new filter and push the filter straight into the slot, replacing the filter cap (if it comes with one). You might need to twist the filter into place, depending on the filter housing design.
Step 4: Flush The New Filter
The majority of refrigerator filter types need to be flushed before they can be used to filter your drinking water.
Flushing a new filter helps to soak and prime the filter media, ready for use, and remove carbon granules that may have been dislodged in transit.
To properly flush a new filter, hold a large water pitcher beneath the water dispenser, then press and hold the water dispenser button until the pitcher is full. Discard the water (or save it for non-drinking uses), then repeat the process until 3-5 gallons of water have flushed through the water filter.
Check your user manual for specific step-by-step instructions on how to flush your refrigerator filter.
Once your filter is flushed, it’s ready for use.
🎯 Brand Specific Guides
- How to Replace & Reset Whirlpool Refrigerator Water Filters
- How to Replace & Reset KitchenAid Refrigerator Water Filters
- How to Replace & Reset GE Refrigerator Water Filters
📆 How Often Should You Replace a Refrigerator Water Filter?
You should aim to replace your refrigerator water filter once every 6 months, or about twice a year.
There are several factors affecting the potential lifespan of a fridge filter, including:
- The type of filter media
- The size/surface area of the filter
- Your water quality
- Your water usage
Signs that you need to buy a replacement filter are poor-tasting or smelling water, visible particles in your water, reduced flow rate, and a lit-up filter change indicator light.
❔ How to Change Fridge Water Filter: FAQ
Do I really need to change the water filter in my refrigerator?
Yes, you really do need to replace your refrigerator water filter. If you fail to replace your filter on time (or at all), you’re at risk of getting sick due to bacteria buildup in the filter media. The filter might also become so degraded that holes form in the media, causing dangerous amounts of trapped contaminants to be released back into your water supply.
Do you have to turn off water to fridge to change water filter?
No. Your fridge should automatically shut off the water supply when you remove the filter. We recommend placing a towel underneath the filter site, which will catch any small leaks as you remove the old filter.
Where do you put refrigerator water filter?
You should put a new refrigerator water filter in the slot where the existing filter is installed. This is usually in the top left- or right-hand corner inside the fridge, or at the bottom back of the refrigerator, beneath the base grille. Check your user manual if you’re unsure. Some fridges don’t have designated slots for water filters. In this case, if you want to enjoy filtered water from your fridge, you’ll need to install an inline filter at the water line running from your kitchen sink to your fridge.
What should you do with an old refrigerator filter?
If your fridge water filter is recyclable, the best thing to do is to recycle it. You could also check with your manufacturer to see if they offer any recycling schemes with an incentive, such as a free filter after 5 filters are returned for recycling.