Are you flushing your refrigerator filter each time you replace it? It is recommended that you flush your filter after installing a new one. Flushing your filter means to run water through it several times before using the filter for consumption.
Why do I need to flush my refrigerator filter?
Regardless of what refrigerator model you have, your fridge filter is most likely made of a carbon media block that is formed to fit the shape of your filter. When your filter is properly installed, water runs through this carbon block to filter out any particles and contaminants picked up before it enters your refrigerator.
The manufacturing and shipping process can cause the carbon particles in your filter media to become loose. Therefore, the first few glasses of water that you dispense after installing your new fridge filter may contain bits of carbon which can cause your water to look cloudy and gray. Don’t worry, the carbon bits will not harm you if you ingest them, but they will make your water taste bitter.
How to flush a refrigerator filter
Most refrigerator filter manufacturers recommend that you run 3-5 gallons of water through your refrigerator water filter before drinking the water. For refrigerators that don’t dispense water, it is recommended that you discard the first two batches of ice because the carbon particles can get frozen in ice cubes.
In general, flushing your refrigerator filter involves 4 basic steps:
- Grab a large container that fits in the water dispenser of your refrigerator. This can be a large measuring cup, a large drinking cup, or anything big enough to fit into the water dispenser conveniently and comfortably.
*The number of times you will need to fill the container depends on the type of container you are using. For example, if you are using a 4-cup measuring cup, you will need to fill it four times to make 1 gallon. Remember: four cups equal one quart and four quarts equal one gallon.
- Position the container in the water dispenser and press in to begin dispensing water. Continue until the container is full.
*The first few seconds of running water after your replacing your refrigerator water filter may cause the dispenser to sputter and splash water out. Be prepared to get a little wet if this happens. This is pretty common and happens when air gets trapped when you’re changing your filter.
- Discard the water into the sink or you can reserve the water to water your plants (tiny carbon bits will not harm your plants)
- Repeat steps 1-3 until you have flushed 3-5 gallons of water.
For specific directions to flush your refrigerator water filter, please check your owner’s manual. Instructions can vary slightly depending on the type of filter you have. Following the instructions included in the owner’s manual is the safest way to ensure all installation and set-up processes are followed correctly.
This short video is a great example of how to properly change and flush your refrigerator water filter.
Need to order a replacement refrigerator water filter? Find the refrigerator filter you need using our easy to use Fridge Finder Tool.
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