Refrigerator Water Dispenser Leaks After Filter Replacement

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The water filter on many refrigerators should be replaced approximately every six months or sooner if the water and ice system is used frequently. However, one side effect of changing the water filter can be water dripping from the dispenser. Addressing this problem is often simple and will stop the leakage.

Changing the Filter

  • The water filter on many refrigerators is inside the refrigerator compartment or in the base front grille. To remove a refrigerator compartment filter, grab the old filter with a towel and turn the filter slowly counterclockwise while pulling down slightly. Remove a base grille filter by turning the cap counterclockwise to remove and turn the filter counterclockwise. The filter should pop out.

Flushing the Line

  • If water drips out of the water dispenser after the filter is changed, there may be air in the water line. Hold an empty container against the water dispenser lever and dispense water for two or three minutes. This will flush the air out of the system. Some dispensers are designed to shut off automatically after one or two minutes of dispensing and stop the flow of water. If this happens, lift the container away from the dispenser lever for a few seconds and press the lever again to start the water flow. Keep dispensing until the water flows constantly and is clear.

Reverse Osmosis Water Filter

  • While installing a reverse osmosis (RO) water filter on some refrigerators may be possible, an RO system often lowers the overall water pressure. This can lead to water either sputtering out of the dispenser or dripping. Consult the refrigerator manufacturer or a plumber to increase the water pressure above 20 psi to get the water dispenser working well again.

Water Line and Drip Tray

  • Check the water line that enters the rear of the refrigerator to make sure the line has not come loose or been damaged in any way, causing the dispenser to malfunction. The water line should be connected firmly to the valve and tubing on the refrigerator. Check the small drip tray under the water and ice dispensers, which can sometimes become full since the tray does not have a drain and drip, making it appear the dispenser is leaking. Many drip trays can be lifted out of the refrigerator to be emptied and returned to the refrigerator.

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