With so many distractions in our everyday lives, replacing the refrigerator water filter is the last thing on our minds. However, many consumers don’t realize the negative effects of not changing the filter regularly: bacteria growth, bad tasting water and ice, and reduced water pressure. Appliance manufacturers recommend replacing the refrigerator or icemaker water filter every four to six months for the purest, and best tasting water and ice.

Most water filters contain activated carbon and synthetic filters which removes impurities and sediment in  the water, and an anti-bacterial compound which helps to prevent bacterial  growth in the filter. As the water passes through the filter, the carbon  absorbs contaminants producing purer water. If the water filter is not changed frequently enough, the activated carbon will become saturated and the carbon will no longer absorb the contaminants. In addition, the anti-bacterial  compound slowly loses its effectiveness. Eventually, the “filtered” water can  contain more bacteria and impurities than the original water source.

Not all refrigerators and icemakers have a factory installed water filter, especially older models. However, a universal water filter can be installed on the water supply line. These types of filters can also be installed on the water supply line connected to sink faucets for cleaner water at the tap.

If your refrigerator does not have an icemaker, an add-on icemaker kit may be available. Many refrigerators  have a tag on the back wall inside the freezer that gives a kit number indicating exactly what kind of icemaker will fit in that refrigerator.

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