A person dispensing water into a glass in the fridge water dispenser.

How to Flush Your Refrigerator Water Filter

It's important to flush your refrigerator water filter to wash out carbon dust and particulates from the filter.

Your mom and dad taught you to flush the toilet, right? But who taught you to flush your new refrigerator water filter after the initial installation? Chances are – no one did.

What Does Flushing Mean?

Flushing your filter simply means running water through it several times before using the filter for consumption. No tools or equipment are needed to flush the filter, only a container to empty the water into.

Why Do You Need to Flush The Filter?

Your refrigerator water filter is made out of a carbon media block that is formed to fit your specific filter shape. With a properly installed water filter, your water runs through this block to filter out any contaminants and particles picked up before entering your refrigerator. By doing so, water is safe for drinking and tastes clean.

However, manufacturing and shipping cause carbon particles in the media block to knock loose. This means that the first few glasses of water most likely contain these bits, causing water to look gray and cloudy. While consuming this water won’t hurt you, most people would probably prefer not to drink it. To save yourself the hassle, you should flush your new refrigerator water filter.

How to Flush the Filter?

You should always check the owner’s manual for your specific refrigerator water filter to make sure that you are following all installation and set-up properly. Most manufacturers recommend that you run between three to five gallons of water through your refrigerator water filter before consumption. For refrigerators that don’t dispense water, discard the first two batches of ice. Remember, these carbon particles can also get frozen in your ice cubes.

Need some extra help? Check out our video about flushing your new refrigerator water filter.

Let us know if you have any questions or comments below.

To find the right filter for your fridge, check out our super easy-to-use Filter Finder! As always, DiscountFilters offers free shipping and returns on all of our top-of-the-line fridge filters. We carry all the top brands like Maytag, GE, Amana, KitchenAid, Whirlpool, LG, and more! Shop today for the biggest savings on discount fridge filters and air filters.

Replace your air filter when you replace your refrigerator water filter.

How to Flush Your Refrigerator Water Filter
Article Name
How to Flush Your Refrigerator Water Filter
Flushing your filter consists of running water through the newly installed filter to remove any loose particles. This helps prepare the filter for personal use.

51 thoughts on “How to Flush Your Refrigerator Water Filter”

    • Air Conditioning USA,

      You’re more than welcome to use this blog article as a qualified source. Have a great day!


  1. I was looking for ways to get published, and found your site.
    Nice blog. So inspirational! This blog have such a good information.
    Links are very useful as well as impressive too. Appreciate it!

    • Hello Don,
      Thanks for the question! The change filter light is just a timer that needs to be reset. Most refrigerators require you to hold down the reset button for about 5-10 seconds. The process can vary based on refrigerator brands so check out our other post Refrigerator Filter Change Light Still On? for more specific instructions.

      Let us know if you need any more help!

  2. I have a sansung refigerator. Filter DA29-00003G Didn’t know I had to flush and everyone always said the water tasted funny! Now i know why but don’t know how to flush the filter .Please help me. Thank you Linda

    • Linda,
      You only need to flush a refrigerator filter right after your install it. After the new filter is inside, you should take a container or large cup and empty between 3-5 gallons of water into it. You will want to just dispose of that water. This should rid the filter of any extra particles that shouldn’t be there. After flushing it, your water should taste normal.

      If you need more visual instruction, check out the video in the blog post!

      Hope this helps,

  3. Are there any promo codes available at this time? I need to order refrigerator filters. Thank you for your prompt answer.

    • Hello Lola,
      You shouldn’t have to clean the copper piping when you are installing a new filter. Hope this helps!


  4. Just changed my water filter but after 12 hours i am not getting any ice made. It is a Kenmore side by side and have hit the change button and also turned off the power button to see if that would reset everything. Any suggestions?

    • Hello Linda,
      I’m sorry you are having difficulties, but we will try to help! Sometimes the inlet tube to your ice maker can get frozen. Locate your tube and run a hair dryer over it in attempt to thaw it out. If that doesn’t work it may have something to do with your actual ice maker. Try pouring water in the ice maker yourself and see if it does indeed produce ice. If it does, then you know it probably has something to do with the water supply. If it doesn’t then your ice maker may be too hot or not functioning correctly. Hope this helps!

      Let us know if you have any other questions,

  5. Just received my order # 3682229. Never knew you had “Promo Codes”. Shouldn’t you let repeat customers know this? I feel cheated out of my 10%.Thank you.

    • Hello Stanley,
      Thank you for being a repeat customer! If you are on our email list you will receive any promotions or promo codes we send out. Addtionally, if you like us on Facebook and go to the “10% off” tab you will receive a promo code. We want you to have a great shopping experience but we don’t always have active promo codes. We hope you continue to be part of the DiscountFilters.com family.

      Thank you!


  6. got your ecoAqua eef6013A three pack for my GE side by side 59.00 replaced my factory filter with one ; less than a month later my replace filter light came on red whats with that ? maybe need to replace filter with the GE filter maybe uh ?

    • Dennis,
      Your filter change light is only a timer. It has nothing to do with the actual filter inside of your refrigerator. You can reset the filter change light normally by holding the button down or check with your manual. Hope this helps!


  7. I have an in-line water refrigerator filter that states it needs to be replaced every five years. This filter is located at the source of the fridge water line. Then my Kenmore side-by-side refrigerator has another cartridge filter behind the lower grill that sets off green, yellow then red lights as timers letting one know when to replace the lower filter. Inasmuch as I am filtering the water twice, is it a safe/good practice to reset the timer on the fridge to get twice the life out of the lower fridge filter? This would mean that I would be replacing the fridge filter once a year which is every other cycle. The water dispenser flow rate does not show any sign of slowing/restriction and taste and clarity are fine.
    Thanks in advance for your expert advice,

    • Hi Robert,

      Water filters are usually rated for six months of use. Even if you’re not seeing a decrease in flow rate, the carbon inside the filter is likely saturated with contaminants, and is probably working less efficiently than it should be. We always recommend adhering to the manufacturer’s recommendations; consult your user manual to see what they say.


  8. put in new filter, flushed it, out came dark blue water, is this normal , never had this to happen before kenny

  9. I flushed a new one today. I did the 4 gallons of water simply out of being scared. I wont do it again unless I see dirty water. Even the first galloon was clear !!

  10. I just replaced my water filter but no water comes out now. Water did come out with old filter though. I hear fridge making the humming noise when water dispenser …???? Help!!!

  11. If the recommendation is to flush 3 to 5 gallons of water through the filter before using the water, then discarding only 2 batches of ice if far, far less water flushing than recommended – maybe 1/20th of the recommended volume. Is the 3 – 5 gallons flush way overkill, or is the 2 batches of ice way less than needed? They can’t both be right.

  12. My Whirlpool refrigerator I purchased in Sept. 2011, uses FILTER1, and every new filter I try to flush pops out for some time before it usually stays in place. I always start out with dispensing water for 5 secs on, then wait 5 seconds, until 3 gallons are dispensed. However, this filter, pops out continuously before 5 seconds, and the water is not even cloudy.

    Surely you have insight as to what is happening inside, and you should be able to provide tips for getting the air out of the filter. i.e. would shaking or rolling the filter, or soaking that damned thing, make it easier. These filters are expensive and should not cause this long of a problem.

    Also, Baton Rouge has good water filtration reports, would using the water/ice dispenser without a filter clog anything inside of the refrigerator, or cause any other kind of problem, that you can see?

  13. I have a one year old LG double door refrigerator/freezer with ice and water in the door. I have changed the filters every 6 months as instructed, the last time being in Sept. We left town for 9 days and now the water tastes terrible. What can I do?

    • Check and see if there is something wrong with your water line. If there continues to be an issue, try calling our customer service line at 1-888-407-5688 and we can try to help you resolve your issue.

  14. I just installed a Kenmore Model No. 795 720 53114. I’ve followed the instructions to flush the air out of the water line. 30 sec on, 60 off. I’ve done this many times now and there is still only a trickle of water. Any suggestions. The machine, is making ice by the way. Thanks, Jack3

  15. Our water line is clear in the middle but there are two lines beside it that the color of the line looks light brown! Is this the water we are drinking?

  16. I have sediment in my water i use HDX FM-1 no problems over 3 years. when it sets with my drink it actually makes a tissue were i can pull it. I’v checked the water by letting it sit covered it showed small amount, did it with just ice there was much more.

  17. Does anyone know what the filter looking thing behind the fridge is?on the water line.. And how often are you suppose to replace that?

  18. I see in the answers that you believe we should follow the manufacturers six month replacement suggestion. I just looked on my filter package and it says “Based on NSF rated 6 month refrigerator filters flowing .50 – .60 gpm” (which I assume means gallons per month) I am a little confused by the decimal though, are they saying 50-60 gallons per month (about two gallons a day or some other amount)? My family does not draw two gallons of water a day from the refrigerator, one gallon tops, so can I leave my water filter in at least a couple more months before changing it? They are not cheap!

  19. I replaced the filter about a week ago–fully flushed it, and still getting cloudy water. I’ve used you before and never had a problem–what should I do?

  20. I put a new water filter in my fridge an water no longer comes out the door on a whirlpool side by side. I can pull out the filter an it works fine.Went to lowes an got another filter an the same thing no water out the door.

  21. Reading your post reminded me of the epic battle I had with my fiance when we first moved in together. I like keeping my dairy products all together like you, whereas he likes them all spaced out. For months I just let it go, but your post is making me want to organize our fridge sensibly once and for all!

  22. Howdy,
    I have a samsung 3 door refrigerator 2 on top and the freezer on the bottom
    I just removed the clear choice filter that’s been in for approx 6 mo. but the funny thing is there isn’t even 1 drop of water that has come out of it now I’m thinking there is something wrong with the fit the old OEM filter felt like it clicked in a little more and you could feel the water go thru it , and for the weirdest thing is the water somehow still goes to the ice maker in the freezer? If you can figure this out I’ll be able to sleep at night???

    • Howdy JT! It’s always possible that the connection wasn’t just right with the filter, but sometimes filters won’t leak water after use. Can you provide the specific model of filter you’re using so we can investigate further?

  23. I changed my filter and run over 4 gallons of water through it then I pushed the reset button on. The Question is should I have pushed the reset button before I flushed ?

  24. I have a Kenmore side by side refrigerator/freezer. I was in the process of changing the water filter and when I took the old filter out which had been in 6 months, it was dry, it had no water in it. Previous timers when I took the old filter out I could turn it upside down and shake water out, but this one was dry and weighed the same as the new filter within a tenth of an ounce, which means it had no water or Contimanents in it. What is the problem?

  25. When I install a new water filter the water pressure seems to break something in the new filter. I run water for several minutes, but it only trickles out of the refrigerator spout. Should I have filled the new water filter with water prior to installing to prevent the sudden introduction of pressure into the filter?

  26. My change filter light came on but I don’t even have the water or ice maker hooked up not currently using it so do I still need to change the filter

    • Hi Kay! If your water and ice maker are not hooked up, you aren’t using water so no need to change the filter. Your light likely came on due to an internal timer in the fridge. Some models switch on the light based on time, while others are based on usage. Hope this helps!

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