Why Is My Refrigerator Filter So Slow?

Why Is My Refrigerator Filter So Slow?

Have you started to notice that your refrigerator water dispenser is dribbling when there should be a steady flow. If you’re not a refrigerator specialist, you may not know how to fix this issue. But let me reassure you it’s not too difficult to fix. So, what actually causes your refrigerator filter to be so slow?

A slow flow of water from the refrigerator water dispenser is due to increasing pressure in the water filter or supply line. This increased pressure is caused by:

  1. The filter is completely clogged
  2. The filter is partially clogged
  3. The filter was not installed properly
  4. The refrigerator water system was not flushed after the filter installation

Now that you know low water pressure causes your refrigerator to filter water at a painfully slow pace, let’s look at some solutions to the problem.

Read my ultimate guide on refrigerator filters.

How Do You Fix a Slow Refrigerator Filter?

When you are looking for a solution to a slow water dispenser then a few things need to be checked to locate the source of the problem. Check these 5 causes of a slow refrigerator filter.

1. Completely clogged filter

To check if your filter is completely clogged, you’ll see that there is no water that runs out of the dispenser when you’re wanting to get some water.

All you have to do to confirm the complete clog is remove the filter and install a bypass plug. Use the dispenser with the bypass plug instead of the water filter. If the flow of the water from the dispenser has improved then this confirms a complete fridge filter clog.

If this is the case and your water filter is completely clogged, then you will need to replace the filter. It’s always best to change your water filter every 6 months for hygienic and functional reasons.

2. Partially clogged filter

If your fridge filter is only partially clogged, you’ll notice a very slow, dribbly, or inconsistent flow of water. Once again, if you find that your fridge filter is partially clogged it is still necessary to replace the filter every six months.

3. The filter is not properly installed

Sometimes your water flow from the water dispenser can all come down to the filter not being properly installed. When you do replace or install a water filter, always make sure it’s facing the correct way when installed and that it is locked into place correctly. It shouldn’t be loose.

4. The water system was not flushed after filter was installed or replaced

Whenever a fridge water filter is installed or replaced, it’s really important that the water system is flushed. During the installation or the replacement, air can enter the water system and this can cause the dispenser to release the water slowly or in dripping.

Just like it’s recommended to replace your water filter every 6 months, your water system in the fridge should be flushed just as frequently to purge air from the system.

Related article: Replacing the LG Fridge Water Filter with Ease: 3 Key Things

5. How to flush the refrigerator water system

Flushing the water system of your refrigerator is relatively easy. All you need to do is have a sturdy container to depress and hold the water dispenser lever down for 5 seconds and then release it for 5 seconds.

Then repeat this process until the water starts to flow steadily, and this will indicate that the air has been purged from the system. Just a warning, this may fill up to 3 gallons of water throughout this purging process.

This video about slow or no flow water from a GE refrigerator is very informative.


What Causes My Fridge Filter to Get Clogged?

Clogs in the fridge filter can be caused by sediment entering the filter. Usually, if there is construction happening in the area you can expect your filters to become clogged because there will be more sediment in your water supply. Thank goodness for filters or else there’s a chance you’d end up drinking that.

Read my article – How Does My Refrigerator Know When to Change Filter?

Is My Fridge Water Dispenser Slow Because of the Filter or the Valve?

The only way to know if the slow flow of water from your fridge water dispenser is caused by the filter or the valve is to check what the pressure is like without the filter in place.

Remove the filter from its casing and attach the bypass plug. Use the fridge water dispenser and if the problem is fixed then the issue is the filter. If the problem persists, then we know it has to be the valve.

How Do I Replace My Fridge Water Filter?

A great thing about replacing a water filter is that it’s quite easy to do, so most people won’t need to call in a fridge specialist to be able to replace or install your fridge filter.

Step 1:

You’ll need to locate your fridge filter. It’s usually in your fridge in the top corner, or it can be on the outside of your fridge at the bottom.

Step 2:

When you’ve located the filter, you’ll need to remove the old filter from its casing. Remove the old filter by unscrewing it counterclockwise, then pull it out when it’s completely loose. Just a warning, there might be some excess water when replacing the old filter so prepare yourself for a small spill, so it’s always a good idea to have a towel close by.

Step 3:

Now is the time to install the new filter. If your filter has a thread on it, make sure they’re facing away from the valve. Align the new filter into the compartment and turn it clockwise until it stops. Close the water filter compartment, and you’re done.

Make sure that the filter is not lose or wobbly, and that it has been put in the right way. Once you have installed the new filter, it’s important to purge the water system of air by flushing it. An incorrect installation or forgetting to flush the water system will mean you’ll still have a slow flow of water from the water dispenser.

Final Thoughts

If your water dispenser has a slow flow because of the fridge water filter, it’s usually because you have a complete or partial blockage of the filter, or it wasn’t installed correctly.

The best way to make sure your fridge water filtration system is working to its optimum potential is to replace the fridge water filter every 6 months, flush the system as frequently as you replace a water filter, and always make sure that the filter has been installed correctly.

If you get all these filter essentials correct, then you shouldn’t have any problems caused by the filter with your fridge water dispenser.

Boch Richard

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.

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