Don’t call a plumber
Alas for the old days when all refrigerators did was keep food cold. Today many modern appliances have convenient added features which include water and ice dispensers and water filtering systems. But as anyone who has studied Murphy’s law knows, the more features something has the more potential for something to go wrong.
The water supply and filtering systems on newer appliances can and do go bad. When this happens what can be done to fix the problem? The following article outlines what the typical homeowner can do to avoid calling a $ 70.00 per hour plumber to fix most refrigerator water filter problems.
Learning about Water Filters
In a modern age where we are never quite sure what is in our drinking water it is always good to filter the water that we drink. Refrigerator water filtering systems are simple systems but when something goes wrong we are usually at a lost to fix them. When your refrigerator water filter system has a problem the first step is to learn more about the problem. The problem noticed most often is a lack of adequate water flow.
This may come as a slow reduction in flow over some time or as an abrupt cessation when you go to fill your water glass or in ice production. Any simple water filter works by filtering the small particles out of the water stream that is delivered to your appliance. The first place to start your diagnosis is to examine the water stream. Water is usually supplied to the refrigerator by a small clear plastic hose in the rear. Carefully move your refrigerator away from the wall, being extremely careful not to scratch the flooring.
Somewhere between the back wall and the appliance, you will see the small supply hose. This comes out of the wall and connects to your refrigerator. Refrigerators generally have two types of water filters; external and internal ones. An external filter will be mounted on the back of your refrigerator. It usually looks like a small box or cylinder from 6 to 12inches long. An internal one is more difficult to locate.
You will need to find the location in the literature that came with your appliance. If you have trouble finding this literature the internet is a good place to look or it can usually be found in a parts catalog book at your local appliance store.
Fixing the problem
Unfortunately water filters do not last forever. Most are designed for at most six months to a years worth of filtering and then they have to be replaced. When you notice a reduction in water flow or a bad taste to the water it is time to change the filter. For an external filter this is easy. Simply turn off the water supply line downstream of the filter, disconnect the filter on both end of the supply line and reconnect a new one.
The connections are usually just simple clips that can be unscrewed or released with pliers. A word of warning; at this point, it is usually wise to replace not only the water filter but also the entire supply line if it is the cheap plastic kind. The replacement kits are very inexpensively sold at most hardware stores and these lines fail quite often. When they do fail they can spill out water on your kitchen floor, sometimes leading to insurance damage claims in the tens of thousands of dollars.
New external water filters can also be purchased at most hardware stores, online, or thought special water filter companies. Be careful you don’t spend too much. A good filter should be had for less than fifty dollars. For an internal filter, you need to get more information from the appliance manufacture so you can order the specific part. This can be done online or through a good appliance repair company. They will usually order the part for you for a nominal fee.
Having fresh clean water dispensed by your refrigerator is usually a simple task. Regular changing of filters and making sure the supply line is also changed out regularly will keep you drinking the good stuff for many years to come.