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9 Tips for Homeowners on Replacing Refrigerator Water Filters

You wake up to greet the beautiful new day and you are parched! You head over to your fridge to quench your thirst with that nice, cold water. Instead of crisp and refreshing, you’re met with smelly, funky tasting water!

The good news is, you can easily return to fresh, crisp, great-tasting water! Simply following these nine simple steps when replacing your refrigerator water filters. 

1. Locate the Filter

Each refrigerator model will have a different water filter location. If you aren’t sure where yours is, refer to your refrigerator user manual. If you don’t have a physical copy, you may be able to find it online

Once you’ve located your refrigerator water filter, you can assess how to best remove it. Some of them have a cover that should be removed or opened first. Other models may have a button or release valve. Again, it’s recommended you consult your appliance user guide or manual to determine the best removal method for all types of refrigerator water filters.

2. Find the Proper Replacement

Refrigerator water filters are not a one-size-fits-all market. The model number and type of replacement filter you need depends on the make and model of your appliance. If you don’t know which to get, you can find out here using our fridge filter finder.

If the water filter replacement costs of your name brand filter is a bit too steep, check out an aftermarket model! These aftermarket refrigerator water filters do the exact same things as their name brand counterparts for a smaller price tag. Once you’ve found your filter options, be sure to double-check model numbers so you know exactly what you need when buying a new refrigerator filter.

3. Plan for Future Refrigerator Water Filters

Connected to the above, buying in packs of three will also save you time and hassle. Just remember where you put those extra two for next time!

It’s also best to have your replacement ready before removing the old one. Leaving an empty space where your water filter should be could lead to leaking water inside your fridge!

4. Remove the Existing Filter

Much like the model of replacement water filters, the method of their removal varies from brand to brand. Don’t dispose of the old filter until you’re sure the new one is the right fit! If your new one doesn’t work out, you might need to put the old one back in until the correct water filter is found. 

There are three different kinds of refrigerator water filters. Take a look to see which one applies to you.

Inline filters are typically found in older model refrigerators and are connected to the waterline. Replacing an inline refrigerator water filter is a bit of a process as you’ll need to turn off your water and follow a number of steps. Find an in-depth tutorial here.

Twist-in filters can usually be found inside your fridge towards the back. You can release these by turning them to the left. You may need to use a little wiggling to get them.

Push-in filters are built into your refrigerator and can be on the grill or inside the appliance. These usually have a release button and a cap that should be removed before installation.

If you truly can’t get the original water filter out of your refrigerator, call a professional to help you. You don’t want to damage your appliance by using too much force!

5. Install the New Filter

You’re now ready to place that shiny new refrigerator water filter in its home! Since you’ve already removed your old one, you know which mechanism you have and how it works. Thankfully, installing new filters is a simple and easy process!

Simply reverse the process you used to remove your filter to install the new one. Make sure you thoroughly read all instructions before you begin. Some filter types have a cap that should be removed, others may have special instructions as well. 

6. Test the New Filter

Test it out! If it’s possible, place a dry cloth or paper towel on the nearest shelf underneath. After you’ve flushed out your water filter and used the water a few times, check the cloth. If it’s wet, you might have a leak and need to tighten or re-install the new water filter.

Don’t drink it just yet, though!

7. Flush the Filter

Run at least one gallon of water through your newly placed, clean system! This gets any impurities out and allows for proper filtration before drinking.

Don’t be alarmed if the water “spits” or “pops” a few times while coming out, that’s just the air working its way out of the water line.

8. Dispose of the Old Filter

The easy answer here is to just throw it away in your trash. The charcoal and sand inside isn’t harmful to the environment. However, if you’d like to recycle your old filter, you do have a few options.

The easiest way to recycle your filter is to break it open, empty the inside mess into the garbage, and recycle the plastic covering with your other recyclables. Some claim the contents of the inside will actually help with the eventual breakdown of landfill garbage.

The Gimme 5 program has a mail-in option if finding a place to recycle locally is a challenge for you. Instructions are available on their website.

Some appliance manufacturers have programs to recycle old material. You can check with your appliance manufacturer to see if they participate in any recycling programs with their materials.

9. Enjoy Your Crisp, Clean Water

After you’ve carefully followed all the above instructions, it’s time to enjoy your water! Place a glass under the spigot, press, and watch the clean water pour into your glass! Finally, take a drink and say “ahhhh.”

Keep Your Fridge Working as Long as Possible

Your refrigerator is one of the most highly used and important appliances that you own. It’s likely one of the most expensive as well. Keep an eye on future refrigerator water filters to keep your fridge working well as long as possible.

Don’t wait for your fridge water to taste weird again to swap that funky filter out for a fresh one. Generally speaking, you’ll want to replace that water filter at least every six months. However, if your water is particularly hard or if you go through a lot of water you may need to replace it more frequently.

It’s also a good idea to write the date you installed your new water filter somewhere on your fridge or even the filter itself. If you purchase your fridge filter from us, we’ll even send you a filter change reminder email so you don’t have to worry about writing down the date. This takes the guesswork out of knowing when to replace filters.

If you’re looking for a high-quality refrigerator that costs less than the big manufacturer brands, we suggest ClearChoice Filters. They are priced right, provide crisp, clean water, and are made in Indiana!

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