Your refrigerator owner’s manual will offer specifics about your model and how often to change the filter (or filters, if your model has more than one).
However, the typical refrigerator filter should be changed at least every six months. This will also depend on how often you use the in-door water and ice functions.
In some cases, if you use your refrigerator water filter more frequently, or if you have hard water or a lot of sediment in your water, you may need to change your water filter more frequently.
If you do not change your refrigerator filter as often as recommended, it simply won’t work to filter out impurities. Wait too long and water filters can become clogged, leading to lower water pressure, issues with the ice maker, and even a complete stoppage.
If you are having issues with your refrigerator filter, call Top Shelf Services at (253) 444-4181 and we can help.
How to Know if Your Refrigerator Filter Needs Changing
Many newer refrigerator models have indicator lights or alarms that let you know when you need to change the filter.
For a refrigerator air filter, you may notice odors that just won’t go away, even after cleaning out or wiping down the inside of the refrigerator.
For a refrigerator water filter, there can be several indicators that the filter needs to be changed. These include:
- The water from your refrigerator water dispenser looks cloudy, smells bad, or tastes “off”
- The ice from your refrigerator ice dispenser looks cloudy, tastes bad, or smells strange
- Your water dispenser has low or almost nonexistent water pressure
- The icemaker grinds continuously without making ice or runs slowly
- Loud, unusual noises when trying to dispense water or ice
- Black specks in your water (an indicator that carbon is escaping from the old filter)
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Common Problems with Changing Refrigerator Filters
For some refrigerator models, changing the air or water filter is a relatively easy task. However, some folks may run into problems after attempting to change their refrigerator filters themselves.
Here are some of the more common issues we tend to see out in the field.
A Filter that Is Cracked, Broken, or Missing Pieces
If there is a problem with the new filter, such as it being cracked or broken or missing pieces, don’t attempt to install it. Instead, call the manufacturer and ask for a replacement.
Trying to use a broken filter will not only be ineffective but could also cause damage to your refrigerator.
The Filter Doesn’t Fit
New filters often come with protective caps. These caps can prevent the filter from fitting properly. Remove the caps and the new filter should fit.
The Ice Dispenser No Longer Works
Typically, this is a sign that the new filter is slightly askew. Remove the new filter and reinstall it.
Clean out any old ice in the ice container, give the ice maker some time to generate a new supply of ice, then try again.
The Water Dispenser No Longer Works
Again, this is usually a sign that the new filter is not correctly in place. So, remove the new filter and install it again. If the water dispenser still does not work, there could be an issue with the water valve itself.
Repairing or replacing a refrigerator water valve is a job for the pros, so give us a call.
The Water Dispenser Is Leaking or Dripping
Remove and reinstall the new filter, ensuring it fits securely and is locked into place.
The Water Flow Is Intermittent
Once the new filter is installed, you can expect a few minutes of erratic water flow. You could see and hear quick spurts of water mixed with some low pressure. This usually means there is air in the water lines.
Run the dispenser a few times or for several moments and the issue should resolve itself.
The Importance of a Refrigerator Filter
The most common filter in a refrigerator is the water filter for the in-door water and/or ice dispenser. Clean drinking water, free from contaminants, and pure, clear ice are the reason refrigerators have water filters.
Depending on the refrigerator and filter model, your refrigerator water filter can reduce 50% to more than 90% of impurities.
Common substances removed by refrigerator filters include:
- Lead, mercury, and other heavy metals
- Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)
- Pesticides and chemicals
Refrigerator water filters can make water taste cleaner, can keep ice clear, and filter out particulates, pollutants, or hard water, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Refrigerator water filters can be particularly important for households using well water as well as for people with specific health conditions or compromised immune systems, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Some refrigerator models also have air filters to help remove odors and bacteria. If there is a flat box or cylinder with what looks like window shutters inside of your refrigerator, that is likely your refrigerator air filter.
Schedule Your Refrigerator Service Appointment Today
If you’re unsure of how to find your refrigerator filters or how to change them, Top Shelf Services can help. Give us a call at (253) 444-4181 or fill out the form. Same-day service is available, and we pride ourselves on our best-in-class customer service.
Not only can we tackle your refrigerator filtration issues, but we can also repair other issues with your refrigerator or freezer.
All Top Shelf Services technicians are fully insured and bonded and have the latest available training. We offer a 24-hour response time guarantee and a one-hour service window, based on your availability. We also have a 90-day warranty on all parts and repairs.
Click to contact Top Shelf Appliance Repair Services today