Last updated - November 19th, 2021
A lot of people tend to forget that the supply of clean, freshwater from a refrigerator dispenser will depend on the condition of the refrigerator water filter. The water that goes through the refrigerator water filter is very often full of bacteria, heavy minerals, and many other contaminants. Your filter removes these harmful materials, but after some time, the filter will start losing its effectiveness. As a clean source of water is very essential, today we will explain why and how often the filter should be changed to ensure you’re only getting the best water from your refrigerator dispenser.
How Often Should I Change The Water Filter?
Most of the time, manufacturers recommend replacing the refrigerator water filter at least twice a year. Still, there are factors that can have a huge impact on the frequency of filter replacement. Some of those factors are water quality, water hardness, and how frequently you use the ice maker and water dispenser. The more often you use the filter itself, and the more contaminants the filter needs to clear with each use will mean you should change the filter more frequently. However, if you don’t commonly use the refrigerator dispenser and your tap water naturally has few contaminants to clear, you may not need to change the filter as often.
Why Is Changing The Water Filter Important?
There are multiple reasons why you should change the water filter for your refrigerator dispenser. To start, there are a lot of contaminants in the water that can cause odor and weird taste. And, particularly for a refrigerator that provides both water and ice, your ice will also get a funny taste in addition to the water itself.
Another reason to change your filter is that bacteria and minerals can start building up in the filter and eventually clog it completely. If your water filter clogs, it can lead to many other problems with your refrigerator, from low pressure on the dispenser to low ice production, leaks, and even bigger issues.
Ultimately, using the same filter for a longer period of time causes it to lose its effectiveness. It’s important to regularly change the filter to preserve the taste of your water and ice as well as avoid bigger issues with the dispenser.
When To Replace The Filter
If you are not sure of when you last changed the filter, there are some signs that can tell you if it’s time to replace the filter. To start, if the water dispenser pressure is getting low, it could mean that your refrigerator water filter needs replacement. Another indicator is the ice maker. If your ice maker is making ice slowly or doesn’t make ice at all, it can also be a sign that it is time to replace the filter.
If your refrigerator water starts smelling weird, that means that your drinking water is likely already contaminated. Aside from the smell, a weird taste in the water or ice is also a big sign that something is wrong with your refrigerator water filter.
Finally, if you didn’t notice any of the signs mentioned above but are still worried that your water filter has started losing its effectiveness, you can buy test strips. These test strips are designed to show you what contaminants are present in your water and can help you identify if your filter isn’t clearing as many contaminants as expected and needs to be replaced.
How To Replace The Filter (6 Simple Steps)
After you have learned why changing the water filter is so important, it is time to learn how to actually replace the filter. Overall, the process of replacing the filter is pretty simple and straightforward. Although it can be slightly different for every model, most manufacturers make the filters easy to access and change following the below steps:
- Buy a new filter: First things first, in order to replace the old filter, you need to buy another one that suits your refrigerator. You can either use the manual or look up the model on the internet to figure out what type of replacement filter will work best.
- Locate the filter: Most refrigerators nowadays, especially the newest models, have water filters that are easy to locate and access. Normally, the filter is located at the back or the bottom of the refrigerator. Sometimes it can also be somewhere near the upper-right corner on the inside of the refrigerator. However, if you can’t locate your water filter, you can look at the manual to see exactly where the filter is within your specific refrigerator.
- Switch off the water supply: Now is the time to turn off the water supply to avoid any leaking water. Look for the water supply valve located behind the refrigerator and switch it off before proceeding.
- Remove the old filter: The process of removing the filter can be a bit different depending on the model. Most of the time, all you need to do is twist the filter a quarter turn and then pull it out. Sometimes you might have a release button you need to push. Double-check your specific refrigerator’s manual for any special guidelines.
- Set up the new filter: Once you have removed the old filter, installing the new one is simple. Depending on the model you will either have to just push it into place or twist it in. The filter should sit firmly in place once you’ve installed it.
- Turn the water supply back on: All you need to do now is turn the water supply back on using the valve on the back of the refrigerator and your new filter should be ready to use. Grab a glass of water to make sure everything is working as expected.
Changing your refrigerator water filter regularly is essential to maintaining your overall refrigerator dispenser. Using the same filter for too long makes it lose its effectiveness and causes many additional problems. If your water starts smelling or tasting weird, or your ice maker and water dispenser stop functioning properly, replace the filter as soon as possible to get your refrigerator back to normal.