Can I Run My LG Refrigerator Without the Water Filter?

Can I Run My LG Refrigerator Without The Water Filter?

Are you looking to bypass your LG fridge’s water filtration system?

If you are already happy with your home’s water supply, you could save money by not using the water filtration system in place for your fridge and having to replace the filters regularly.

As a rule, you can run your LG refrigerator without a water filter.  Older model LG refrigerators come with a filter bypass plug installed when you first purchased the fridge.  This plug when in place allows you to run the refrigerator and its water dispenser or ice machine without the filter.  Newer models have an automatic filter bypass in place. 

We have you covered below with all the information you need on using your LG refrigerator when the water filter is not in place.

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LG Refrigerators Water Filtration System

In general, if you buy a fridge with a water dispenser or ice machine it will have a water filtration system installed.

The water filtration systems installed in fridges are usually point-of-use systems that function by placing a filter just before the facet where the water is dispensed.

Most refrigerators use carbon filters to filter the water as they are easy to use and install.

Running Your Refrigerator Without a Filter

If you do not want to use the water filter that comes installed with your fridge it is possible to just bypass the filter.

Earlier models of LG fridges require you to have a filter bypass plug in place to still use the water dispenser and ice machine when the water filter is not in place.

When you first buy an LG fridge that requires a filter bypass plug.  The fridge arrives with a plug in place of the filter.  If you do not want to install a water filter, simply keep the plug in place.  Or if you have been using a filter but do not want to use one any longer then put the plug back in place instead of the filter to keep your water dispenser and ice machine running without a water filter.

If you do not have the plug, you may have to get a replacement.

Water Filter Bypass Cartridge

Sometimes you can also use a water bypass cartridge if you do not have the bypass plug.

A water filter bypass cartridge works by mimicking the water filter itself but just using a blank cartridge.  Obviously, when using this the water will not be filtered as it is just a blank.

Checking To See My Fridge Has an Automatic Water Filter Bypass

New models of LG fridges are made with an automatic water filter bypass to allow you to keep using it when the water filter is not in place with ease.

Checking whether your fridge requires an automatic filter bypass is really easy.

  1. Take the filter out of your fridge.
  2. Try to use the water dispenser or ice machine
  3. If it still works, your fridge has an automatic water filter bypass
  4. If it does not work, you will need to use a bypass

By following these simple steps, you can easily check whether you need to use a water filter bypass or not.

Will My Fridge Be Damaged by Not Using a Water Filter

This depends entirely on your supply of water to your house.

Your fridge is connected to the house’s waterline.  Does your house already have a clean uncontaminated water supply?

If your water supply is already undergoing a water filtration system, you do not need to worry that bypassing the fridge’s water filter system will damage your fridge as the water has already been effectively filtered.

For example, if you already have a quality Reverse Osmosis System in place this will effectively make the water filter system in your fridge unnecessary as the water has already been filtered and is therefore clean and uncontaminated.

Main Water Supply

The main water supply to your house should provide safe drinking water for you and your family

Different water suppliers will use different methods to ensure clean drinking water.  Some typical steps taken are.

Coagulation Chemicals with a positive charge are used to neutralize the negative charge of dirt or other particles in the water. 
Flocculation Mixing of the water to create flocs
Sedimentation This separates the solids from the water, flocs will settle to the bottom and be separated from the water. 
Filtration Water is filtered through different types of filters to ensure a clean and safe supply
Disinfection After this process water is then disinfected by adding a chemical disinfectant to make sure it is free of contaminants and also that it remains so during in the time it travels through the pipes to your home


If your water supply comes from a trusted water source such as a public water utility that uses these steps, it will be safe to drink. You can connect the water directly to your fridge without the filter in place and no damage will occur to your unit.

However, you may want to use the water filter in your fridge if you do not like the taste or smell of the chlorine.  In this case, the water filter will greatly improve the taste of the water by filtering out the chemical disinfectant.


It is perfectly fine to run your LG refrigerator without the water filter if you are happy with your source of water and feel confident that it is clean and free of contaminants.

New model LG fridges come equipped with a water filter bypass that allows you to run the refrigerator, water dispenser, and ice machine by simply removing the filter.  Older models may require you to install a water filter bypass plug or cartridge to make the water dispenser and ice machine work when the filter has been removed.

Chief Guru

Richard Boch is a chemical engineer responsible for designing water filtration systems for industrial and residential customers. He has more than 20 years of experience with ion exchange, activated carbon, and reverse osmosis. Richard's expertise has made him a go-to source for municipalities and businesses looking to improve their water quality. When he's not working, Richard enjoys spending time with his wife and two young children. You can also follow him on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook.

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