How to Replace a Whirlpool Refrigerator Water Filter

June 7, 2021
Refrigerator Repair

Whirlpool refrigerator water filters should be replaced every six months. If you leave it longer than this, then water from the refrigerator will start to taste funny and look murky, ice will begin to smell, and you may notice black specks in the water. A water filter that needs replacing can also affect the water flow, causing water to slowly trickle out and smaller blocks of ice to be produced.

Replacing your Whirlpool refrigerator’s water filter is a reasonably simple process that should not require any tools or specialist knowledge. However, you will need to ensure you get the correct replacement water filter that matches your refrigerator’s model. If you try to install the wrong water filter, it will likely not connect up with your refrigerator’s water line. Identifying the part number, which should be printed on the old water filter, will help ensure you get the correct replacement water filter.

Step 1: Locate Your Water Filter

The location of your Whirlpool refrigerator’s water filter depends on your specific model. Depending on the model, the water filter will be located either in the grille at the base of the refrigerator or inside the refrigerator in the upper right back corner. Check your refrigerator’s manual for the water filter’s location if you are unable to locate it.

Step 2: Preparation

When you change the water filter, there may be a little water spillage, so put down a towel before removing the filter. If the filter is located inside the refrigerator, you may also want to remove food or beverages that may get in the way.

If your refrigerator has an ice maker, turn it off while replacing the water filter, as water may spill out if the ice maker makes ice while the filter is being replaced. On some older models, you may need to turn off the water supply to the refrigerator before replacing the filter to avoid water spillage. However, for the majority of refrigerators, this step should not be required, as the water supply will shut off automatically when you remove the filter. Changing the water filter should not require access to any electrical components, so it should be safe to change the filter without disconnecting the power.

Step 3: Remove the Water Filter

If the water filter is located in the grille of your refrigerator, you should be able to press firmly on the button located to the left of the filter, which should release the old filter. If your refrigerator model does not have a button to push, turning the filter a quarter turn counterclockwise should release it. Depending on the model, you may also need to push in on the filter while turning it to release the old filter.

If the water filter is located inside the refrigerator, it likely has a cover over it. You will need to either release the tab to pull the water filter cover down, lift the water filter cover, or push on the water filter cover to access the filter. Once you have accessed the filter, pushing it in and/or turning the old filter counterclockwise should release it from the refrigerator.

Once released, you should be able to pull the old water filter out of the refrigerator. If you are having trouble removing the water filter, try pressing more firmly on the release button, as sometimes the button can stick, and/or apply more pressure when turning the filter.

Step 4: Install the New Filter

Most Whirlpool refrigerators with the water filter located in the grille feature a color-keyed cap that must be unscrewed from the old filter and screwed on to the new filter. If you have this type of filter, make sure you have transferred the cap to the new water filter before proceeding.

Installing the new water filter should be an easy task. Replace the old filter with the new filter, sliding it into the water filter slot. Depending on the model, you may need to turn the new filter clockwise or simply push it straight in until you hear a click and it locks into place. Make sure to install the new filter facing the same way as the previous filter. If the water filter has arrows on it, make sure to line them up when you install the new filter.

Make sure that the filter is locked in place and/or the water filter cover is closed before proceeding.

Step 5: Flush Out the System

Before drinking the water, you need to run water through the system to clean it out and remove any carbon fines as well as any trapped air. Whirlpool recommends four gallons of water go through the system after the filter has been replaced. If you have a one-gallon jug, fill it up four times and pour the water out.

Once you have flushed the system out, you can now enjoy a well-deserved glass of brand-new filtered water. If your refrigerator has a “change filter” light, press the button on your refrigerator to reset it. If you turned off the water supply before installing the filter, remember to turn it back on now that the new filter is installed.


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