Fridge not dispensing water after new filter change? I have just replaced the water filter on my refrigerator. The old one was 6 months old so it was time to replace it. I followed the instructions, unscrewed the old filter, and installed the new water filter in the fridge by screwing it in. I then tried to fill a cup of water using the water dispenser and it was only a trickle of water that came out. It sometimes makes a hammering noise while I try and dispense water. The old water filter let the water flow perfectly. My question is, do you think I have a bad new water filter or am I missing something?
There are many different types of water filter configurations on refrigerators (some fit in the top of the refrigerator compartment and others fit in the base of the refrigerator). You may need to consult your owners manual if some of the fix methods below do not apply to your refrigerator.
NOTE: After removing the old filter from your refrigerator, remove 1 cup of water using the dispenser. If the dispenser fills the cup in 8 seconds then the water pressure to the refrigerator is correct and you can rule out any type of water pressure issue.
What could be the cause of the refrigerator water dispenser not working after a filter change?:
1 – If your old refrigerator water filter worked and water flowed from the dispenser normally, but after installing a new water filter the water is only a trickle from the dispenser, try reinstalling the old filter to see if the cause of the issue is the new filter.
2 – You may have bought a cheap aftermarket water filter. Most refrigerator manufacturers state in the users manual to use ONLY water filters made by them = OEM Original Equipment Manufacturer. If you are using a non approved water filter, try using an OEM water filter. They will usually be more expensive but will work as designed to filter the water and let the water flow normally. Buy a new OEM water filter and that may fix your problem.
3 – Check to be sure nothing is blocking the water filter. Check that the threaded area where the filter will connect to the refrigerator has nothing blocking the small holes where the water will flow through. Sometimes part of the wrapping on the new filter itself could possibly block the water flow. If something is blocking flow, this will cause low flow. When you go to get a glass of water you will get only a trickle. Check to be sure the new water filter is clean and free of small debris before installing.
4 – The new water filter you installed may not be fully screwed (or seated) into the filter housing. If the filter is not fully threaded into the housing, low flow or a trickle can occur. Make sure you have the filter tightened properly. Remove the filter completely and reinstall making sure it is tight.
5 – There may be a seal/gasket on your refrigerator water filter housing causing the issue. When you removed the old filter and replaced it with the new filter, it may have moved the gasket/seal. The seal is there to get the filter on air tight so no leaks occur. If applicable, pull off the gasket/seal and reinstall it. Then install the new filter. Make sure the water seal or rubber gasket is seated correctly and is aligned properly with the filter housing and filter.
6 – Your water filter may be installed too loose or too tight. You can try to dispense water while at the same time slightly unscrewing and tightening the filter at the same time. By doing this you are trying to find the exact tightness needed to let the filter operate properly. Sometimes the water filter has to be to an exact tightness in the filter housing for the water from the dispenser to flow correctly. If you cannot run the water dispenser while readjusting the water filter, simply turn the filter in and out while under pressure and it may start to work.
7 – You may have air trapped in the lines. A hammering noise is a good indication that you have air trapped in the lines. This can happen when a new water filter is installed. The air creates a gap or pressure issue and the water does not flow out of the dispenser. You will get a slight trickle or nothing at all from the dispenser. Your newer fridge should have come with a bypass plug. This plug can be used in the water filter housing to completely bypass the filter. Install the bypass plug and run water for 3 minutes to clear any air or pressure issues in the water lines. Once water flows properly from the dispenser, wet your new filter and reinstall it. Test it by running water for a few minutes to be sure air is out of the lines.
8 – You may need to wet the new filter before installing it. Sometimes once they are installed the water pressure has a hard time soaking the inside of the filter. By getting it wet before install, you are helping the filter by saturating it first. Soak it in water and reinstall to see if that will fix your problem.
9 – Some people report that removing one of the two small o-rings at the end of the water filter fixes the issue. Do this at you own risk but give it a try if everything else has failed to work.
Fridge replacement filters
Buy OEM refrigerator filters and not cheap aftermarket filters
If you know of other reasons a refrigerator water dispenser will not work after installing a new water filter, please leave your comments or questions below.
Allen is the author and creator of this website. He has years of experience with appliance repair, commercial food machinery maintenance, electrical, HVAC, plumbing, vehicle maintenance, and critical aviation related systems.