How to Flush Your New Fridge Filter
A new refrigerator water filter removes potentially harmful contaminants from tap water, ensuring clean, healthy drinking water and ice cubes are available daily. Many manufacturers recommend changing the refrigerator water filter every six months (or sooner if needed.) The task of changing the water filter is not complete until after the new filter has been flushed. It doesn’t matter if your filter is an OEM or aftermarket part, it still needs to be flushed before you can enjoy the first glass of fresh filtered water.
What does flushing mean?
When a filter manufacturer includes instructions to "flush the filter", this means simply to run water through it several times before consuming any of the newly filtered water. No tools are needed for flushing a refrigerator water filter.
Why should I flush?
Refrigerator water filters contain a carbon media block. Tap water flows through the refrigerator’s dispensing system and moves through the filter. The carbon media block catches and traps the contaminants that may be in the water. Sometimes during manufacturing, packaging and shipping, miniscule carbon particles from within the filter can loosen. If you choose to drink a glass of water immediately after installing a new filter, your water may contain some of these particles. These carbon particles are not dangerous; however, it’s best not to drink water from the dispenser until you have completed the flushing process.
How to flush a new refrigerator water filter
Most refrigerator and filter manufacturers recommend flushing at least three gallons of water through the water dispensing system before consuming any of the newly filtered water. To flush your new fridge filter after it is installed, follow a few easy steps.
- Grab a large measuring cup or two-quart pitcher, whichever fits best under the water dispensing arm of the refrigerator.
- Remember, four cups equal one quart and four quarts equal one gallon.
- Position the measuring cup or pitcher under the dispensing arm and press in to begin dispensing water.
- Fill the measuring cup or pitcher.
- If you are using a four-cup measuring cup, you will need to fill it four times to make one gallon. If you are using a two-quart pitcher, it needs to be filled twice to equal one gallon.
- Discard the water via the sink drain or reserve it to use to water plants. The very tiny bits of carbon that may be floating in the flushed water will not harm plants.
- Repeat the process until you have flushed three gallons of water from the water dispensing system.
What if my refrigerator only has an ice dispenser?
If your refrigerator has an ice dispenser only, there is no water dispenser arm. Instead of flushing the water via the dispenser arm, allow the appliance to make two batches of ice. Discard these two “flushed” batches as it is likely they will contain bits of carbon particles and may look gray and/or discolored.
Differences in filters
Refrigerator water filters differ not only by brand but in size, shape and capacity as well. Some manufacturers may recommend flushing only two gallons of water through the system, while others may recommend three or more. Refer to your appliance owner’s manual for exact specifications regarding how much water to flush through a newly installed filter.