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How to Figure out Which Refrigerator Filter you Need

By April 3, 2018November 29th, 2020No Comments


That pesky change filter light is an all too familiar sight for many of us. Unlike air filters, you can’t easily tell when they need to be changed.

It is recommended that you change your refrigerator water filter every 6-months. For most refrigerators, the change filter light is usually set to a timer. Just because your refrigerator’s water filter light is on, may not mean it’s time to change it. Depending on the frequency at which you use your refrigerators water dispenser, it is totally up to you how often you change it.

Why is it so important to change your refrigerators water filter? 

One of the most common filter media used in refrigerator water filters is activated carbon.  The activated carbon is treated with oxygen to open up millions of tiny, highly absorbent pores that trap tiny microbes, odors and volatile organic compounds (VOC’s) in the water.  After a time, the activated carbon filter loses its ability to remove contaminants, clogging with the material. Bacteria breeds in your filter, putting the very young, elderly or others weakened by illness at risk.

One sign (and easiest to recognize) that it’s time to change your refrigerator filter is the change in taste or odor to the water or ice. It’s more difficult to determine when the filter is no longer performing at an adequate level when other contaminants are involved. Some refrigerators make it very easy with a light that turns on to signal to you that it’s time to change. Some will automatically shut down after a specific amount of water passed through the unit.

How do I figure out which filter I need?

There are many water filters to choose from, but there’s no need to feel overwhelmed. Every refrigerator that uses a drinking water filter was designed to fit specific models of filters. This makes buying filters easier than you think. Use our Refrigerator Water Filter Finder and we’ll guide you through a step-by-step process to find the right filter for your refrigerator. Most of these can be installed in under a minute.

Thankfully, when you go the route of our Home Filter Club you can easily set up to have your refrigerator filter auto-delivered to your doorstep right when it needs to be changed.

How do I change my refrigerator filter? 

Changing your refrigerator water filter is easy, but that doesn’t mean it can’t come with a set of challenges. Below are some common issues that arise when replacing your refrigerator water filter and troubleshooting tips for each one.

We’ve compiled a simple “How to Change Your Refrigerator Filter” instruction that will allow you to add this to your ever-expanding skill set.

  1. Know when to change the filter.  Most need replaced every 6 – 12 months depending on the use frequency.  If you have a larger family that uses a lot of water, it might not last as long. Your water and/ or ice may start to taste funny or different.  A lot of refrigerators will display an indicator light when it is time for a change.
  2. Determine which type of filter you have:
  • Push-in filters are built into the appliance. They fit into a compartment within the refrigerator usually on the front bottom, behind the grille, or within the upper right interior and are generally easy to install.
  • Twist-in filters are just that.  Usually found in the upper right interior, they will either have a push button release, or simple twist release.
  • Inline filters attach at the back of the refrigerator to the incoming water line. These are generally going to be found on older models that do not come with a built-in filter.

**One important note; before you discard your old filter, make sure to note the make/ model number so that you can obtain the proper replacement filter. **

Once you determine the filter type/location, follow these basic steps to replace it:

Push-in filter:

  1. Remove and discard the old filter by pushing the “eject” button or by twisting off the filter cap.
  2. Remove the filter cap on the end of the filter to reuse on the new filter.
  3. Line up the arrows on the new filter and on the filter cap.  Snap it into place by turning it clockwise.
  4. Continue pushing the filter in, until the eject button pops.
  5. Make sure the cap is secure.
  6. Reset Refrigerator Water Filter indicator light if equipped.

Twist-in (base grille) filter:

  1. Locate the filter cap in the base grille; turn to the left to remove.
  2. Slide the filter handle on the end of the filter to reuse on the new filter.
  3. Discard old filter.
  4. After removing the new filter from packaging, replace filter handle and insert by twisting into place.
  5. Reset Refrigerator Water Filter indicator light if equipped.

Twist –in (interior) filter:

  1. The filter is located in the upper right interior of the refrigerator.
  2. Open cover by either pushing or pulling.
  3. Release old filter by twisting counterclockwise.
  4. Insert new filter and lock into place by turning clockwise until it snaps.
  5. Reset Refrigerator Water Filter indicator light if equipped.

In-line filter:

  1. Turn off the cold water supply.
  2. Between the shut-off valve and refrigerator, locate an easily accessible portion of the tubing. Cut tubing, by using tubing cutters for copper/plastic. Cut square not angled to avoid leaks. Smooth cut edges with steel wool or file if necessary.
  3. Remove end cap on new filter and insert tubing. Lock into place by holding down end cap.
  4. Turn water supply back on.
  5. Hold filter over a bucket and run water until clear. Do this for both ends of the filter.
  6. Make sure to check for leaks

After replacing your refrigerator filter, make sure to run a gallon or two of water and discard.  This will flush the carbon residue from the filter.   And that’s it… mission accomplished!

If you need any advice on what kind of filter you have, part number or even installation assistance, you can contact, the experts in the air and water filtration industry. is a replacement water and air filter company located in the United States. The views and opinions contained herein are solely those of the original author and do not represent Eco Blue Life or its affiliates. This article was originally published on  
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