When To Change Your Water Filter

More than 250 million people in the United States get their water from a community water system. Countless others rely on wells and other sources for drinking and cooking water. Although the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulates community water supplies, contaminants can still be present in your drinking and cooking water.

Your filter change warning light will let you know when it's time to change your refrigerator water filter. Your refrigerator water dispensing system and ice-maker come equipped with a filter that will remove harmful contaminants. These contaminants may include – but are not limited to – lead, chlorine and microorganisms such as giardia and cryptosporidium. Giardia and cryptosporidium can cause gastrointestinal illness.

DiscountFilters.com offers quality refrigerator water filters, which can remove contaminants from dispensed water and ice cubes. Most filters contain activated carbon that captures the contaminants as the water flows through the filter. The longer a filter is used, the more contaminants it captures. As the filter ages, the activated carbon becomes saturated with trapped contaminants and loses its ability to remove contaminants and impurities.

Typically, a fridge water filter needs to be changed every six months, but if your water source contains higher-than-average impurities, or if you use more water than normal, the filter may need to be changed sooner. Making several extra batches of ice cubes each week also can reduce the longevity of the water filter.

Signals that your filter needs to be changed:

  • Indicator light — most refrigerator models have an indicator light. When the light changes from green to yellow, the filter is almost in need of changing. When that light changes from yellow to red, it is time to change the filter. The indicator light may be located above or near the dispensing station.
  • Bad odors or taste — if your water begins to smell or taste unpleasant, it may be time to change the filter.
  • Slowed water dispensing — a water filter that has been catching contaminants for several months will become clogged eventually. When this happens, it will take the water longer to pass through the filter and the dispensing system.

DiscountFilters.com has the best selection of OEM and aftermarket refrigerator filter, water filters, and fridge filters at the best prices on the web.

After changing the water filter, the indicator light will need to be reset. Different refrigerator models will reset in various ways. Some may have a button that needs to be held in for 30 seconds while others may ask you to hold the button in and then release it, repeating the procedure five times. Refer to your refrigerator owner’s manual for directions on how to set the water filter indicator light.

To keep your refrigerator water and ice cubes clean and healthy all year, schedule a water filter change every six months. Make it easy to remember by changing your water filter at the same time you change your smoke detector batteries or change the water filter at the summer and winter solstices (June 21 and December 21.) Other easy dates to remember may be January 1 and July 1.

The easiest way to remember when to change the refrigerator water filter is to use the DiscountFilters.com email reminder system. Schedule your reminder when purchasing your next filter.

14 thoughts on “When To Change Your Water Filter

    1. Katie Post author

      It could be because of the filter. If you haven’t changed the filter in a while, there could be build up leading to low water pressure. If you have a water dispensor test the flow by dispensing water into a cup for about 20 seconds. In that time you should have dispensed about 13-14oz of water. If it is less the water pressure is low and the filter should be changed.

      The problem could also be with the ice machine itself. Check the line running water to the ice machine for any kinks. If you have access to the inside of the ice machine then put some water in it yourself and see if it freezes. If it does freeze, you have a problem with the water getting to the machine. If it doesn’t freeze, you have a problem with the ice machine being cold enough and should get it checked out.

      I hope this answers your question. Let me know if you need any more help!

  1. Lonnie

    We have been using a NEW water filter for about 4 weeks now and the water and ice still tastes funky. What can we do. Purchased the new filter from where we bought the refrig, brand of filter that came from brand of refrig.

    1. Brad Titus

      Hi Lonnie,

      It could be any number of issues. Did you properly flush your water filter when you got it? We would recommend trying another new filter – take the one you’re currently using back to where you purchased it and see if they’ll exchange it for you.

      We carry multiple name brand and aftermarket filters, and we offer a one year guarantee on all filters, with free shipping and returns. If the retailer you’re working with won’t make it right, keep us in mind.


  2. elvira medrano

    just put a new water filter but still not flowing the way it should but when we take it out it flows fast but the people I got it from from wont give me a refund without a the box not good people so need to fine someone else who understand I didn’t think they would sell me trash wont go back to them

  3. Roger Fisher

    Can u tell me what materials are used inside the refrigerator water filter? I cut my old filter cartridge in half to see if there was any visible mold/bacteria. Pretty black looking material with a circular hole through the center of cartridge. I purchased the replacement filter from your company, Discount Filters.
    A reference or link to this info would be great. My email is below. Thanks

    1. Brad Titus

      Hi Roger,

      The filtering agent in a fridge filter – in fact, in most commercial water filters – is activated carbon. That’s the black material you see when you open it up. By and large, you won’t be able to see any of the elements that the filter is removing with your naked eye. You would need a microscope to get a good sense of what’s being captured.

      You can read more about activated carbon here – http://www.discountfilters.com/blog/how-does-a-water-filter-work/.

      Thanks for being a great customer!

  4. Doreen

    I have a Westinghouse/Maytag refrigerator, model #MBF2256KEB, since 2008. It has an automatic ice maker in the bottom drawer freezer. No water dispenser. First, does this model have a water filter? I would assume it does. Second, the ice has been fine, clear, no funny taste or odor, and fills the large bin. Does it go indefinitely without a filter change? Lastly, if it does have a filter, where is it, when should it be changed, and what is the item number of the filter, and do you carry it? Thank you for your kind and courteous reply

    1. Meg

      While I can’t find whether or not your fridge has a water filter, I can tell you where to look for one. Typically in Maytag fridges, the filter will be on the back of the fridge, the grille at the bottom, or in the top right corner in the upper right interior. If your fridge has a water filter, this is typically where it would be located. Filters do not go indefinitely without a filter change. A filter should be replaced at least one every six months with more frequent changes in excess use. For a better look on your fridge’s filter, try using our filter finder on the website:

    1. Brock

      Marcel, from where is the water leaking? Can you tell the source? What type of fridge model and filter model are you using? Where is the filter located on your fridge? Please respond so that I can help resolve this issue or you can call our customer service at: 1-888-407-5688 and we’d be happy to help you find a solution.

  5. Marianne Flynn

    Alright, I will admit to being a bad girl, but I have an excuse. After dealing with a broken (right) arm and 2 surgeries, I have been unable to remove the filter an replace. I recycled 1 time and it is time to replace but my A/C man, daughter, cleaning tech and myself cannot budge it to replace without being afraid of breaking the entire device. What do I do?

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