Do I Really Need to Change My Refrigerator Filter?
Water filters have always been something to consider when buying one of those new fridges that have a water dispenser built in.
Not only is the option of getting a glass of water from your fridge quite handy, it can also save some money in the long run by doing away with bottled water.
However, not all is perfect, as even this water can possibly go bad if you don’t take care of your filters. That said, the question isn’t if you need to change your fridge filter as much as why you need to do so, as there are multiple good reasons.
Why Should You Change the Filter?
Refrigerator water filters aren’t very cheap, especially since you need to change them approximately every six months, but this comes with various health benefits.
First of all, fridge filters remove everything you’d not expect to find in your water. This includes unwanted guests such as pesticides, herbicides, and bacteria, not to mention any bad taste or odor, which you definitely don’t want in your water.
It goes without saying that the longer you leave your filter untouched, the unhealthier it becomes to drink the water coming out of the dispenser. If you don’t change it in more than a year, you may not be filtering much of anything at all, assuming your whole family uses it.
If you don’t change your filter as recommended, it will fill up with contaminants, infecting your otherwise filtered water. Your filter will inevitably clog. This leads to another reason why you should change the filter.
A clogged one will inevitably dispense water at lower and lower rates and might end up jamming the water dispenser and ice maker. Should this happen, you’ll need to repair that part of the fridge, which comes at a much higher price.
How to Know When to Change the Filter?
Right off the bat, it’s necessary to mention that some fridge manufacturers, such as Whirlpool and Samsung, have light signals that turn red when it’s time to replace the water filter. Fortunately enough, even if you don’t have a light that shows this, there are several ways to check if you need to change your refrigerator filter.
The easiest way to do so is to check if the water has a bad taste or odor. Another good way is to see if gets gradually harder (read slower) for the fridge to dispense water. If it has water pressure issues, it might be a good time to change it. Naturally, the time passed since you’ve last swapped out the filter will definitely help here.
If changing the filter doesn’t help at all, the water dispenser might need servicing. It’s by far the most unreliable part of any refrigerators that come with one.
It is also worth noting that getting a water filter from your original manufacturer is the way to go. It’s more expensive, but there’s no doubt about it being NSF certified and a perfect fit. Aftermarket filters are a cheaper alternative, but they might not be NSF certified or work as well.
How to Change the Filter
Different models of refrigerator require different filters, as well as different ways to replace them. Here’s a general way of changing the water filter for most Samsung refrigerators:
- Look up your refrigerator model number. On most fridges, the model number is inside on one of the side walls.
- Look for the water reservoir. Since it can be located both inside or outside the fridge, the best way to find it is by looking it up in the manual.
- Turn off the water supply and, if possible, the fridge itself. Move the fridge a bit forward, but be careful not to scratch the floor or the fridge.
- Take out the old water filter by rotating it counter-clockwise. This will unscrew it, after which you need to take the cap off.
- To put the new filter in, put the cap on it first. After this, remove the cap on the other side of the filter. The color may vary, though blue is the most common. Finally, turn the knob clockwise. If you hear a hissing sound while you’re doing this, you’re on the right track, as this is to be expected.
- Turn on the water supply and the fridge, then put it back in place. Pour around one gallon of water into the filter.
- Finally, reset the filter status light, if there is one. To do this, press and hold the water filter reset button for three seconds. If you have a water filter status light, it will remind you to change the filter either after six months pass or filtering 300 gallons of water.
Bypass the Filter
If you trust your town water, you could bypass the water filter and save on replacement filters. You can do it with a tube upstream of the water filter. You’re almost certain to get improved water pressure after bypassing.
Change the Filter, Stay Healthy
The bottom line is that you definitely need to change the filter and do it on schedule. If money isn’t too much of an issue, the best way to go about this is by buying filters from your original fridge manufacturer in bulk, which should come with a quantity discount.