Do I really need double filtered water?
May 11, 2014 5:29 AM   Subscribe

Do I have to replace my Samsung refrigerator's water filter?

I bought this Samsung fridge last July for my new home - admittedly I didn't do a lot of research on it as it was on sale for half price (!!) because it was a floor model and had a teeny tiny ding on it. I never would have been able to afford something so nice, so I went for it. Things have been great, but now there is a red light on the display telling me I need to replace the water filter. I had no idea it even had a water filter!

I use the ice maker daily, but really don't use the option for the cold water - it takes forever to fill my water bottle. As a rule, I try take care of my things to get the longest life out of them and usually follow manufacturer's instructions for care, however in this case, I have well water and because of that, already have a really good filtration system where the water enters my home - and I also have a water softener after that. The water travels about 20 feet of copper pipe from the well bladder to the fridge if that matters.

Do I really need to spend $30+ every few months for a new water filter for the fridge? I'm starting to feel like this may not have been such a bargain after all if I have to do that.

And if I really don't have to replace the filter, how do I reset and get rid of the red filter warning on the display.

Thank you!
posted by NoraCharles to Home & Garden (14 answers total)
I'm not sure how much there is backing this up in reality (though they mention it at the bottom here), but my concern with water filters and replacing them is that there might be bacterial/fungal growth building up after a while, even if they're not getting used that much.
posted by needs more cowbell at 5:40 AM on May 11, 2014 [1 favorite]

Usually there is a way to reset the warning light. There's no sensor built into the filters, the fridge is just counting usage of the water (which includes water to the ice maker, which is why it's tripping).

There may also be a bypass plug available for your model that goes into the filter socket and let's you skip filtering of the water. My GE fridge came with one.

See if you can find a parts diagram and or service manual for the fridge.
posted by JoeZydeco at 5:43 AM on May 11, 2014

If you bought the fridge in July and this is the first time the filter needs to be replaced, then I don't think you're really going to need to replace it every few months like you fear. It's been almost a year. I assume it's lasting longer because you're not using it much; we use ours daily and the filter is generally good for about three months.
posted by amro at 5:43 AM on May 11, 2014

Oh and on my fridge there's a button where the red water filter light is. You hold it down and it resets to green. YMMV.
posted by amro at 5:44 AM on May 11, 2014

Finding a bypass plug - or making your own depending on what the filter looks like - might be a better solution than just not changing the filter. Even with a prior filter the fridge filter will collect things which got through the first filter. Over time these things will build up and I would guess you don't want to be passing filtered water through a second dirty filter.

Look at the filter, see if you can easily remove the membrane - it might not be as hard as you think if you are handy...
posted by NoDef at 5:53 AM on May 11, 2014

The filter light on my Whirlpool comes on about every six months. I reset it and just change it once per year. I've never noticed any difference in the taste of the water.
posted by COD at 6:11 AM on May 11, 2014

The reason the filtered cold water takes forever to come out is that filters slow down as they fill up with material they have filtered. Replacing the filter will make the chilled water run faster, which you may find pleasant in the summer.
posted by Phssthpok at 6:29 AM on May 11, 2014 [1 favorite]

If you start making your ice in ice cube trays, you definitely don't have to replace the filter. Otherwise, you probably should.
posted by pretentious illiterate at 7:14 AM on May 11, 2014 [1 favorite]

Since your whole house is already filtered, there is no need for a redundant and most likely inferior filter in your fridge. Get rid of the current fridge filter because it will be gross, and try to find a way to bypass it like others have mentioned.
posted by werkzeuger at 7:18 AM on May 11, 2014 [1 favorite]

I have a different brand of fridge, but as mentioned above it came with a bypass plug that you can screw into the place where the filter goes. Being the floor model maybe yours got misplaced? Also, my water dispenser runs slower when the filter is clogged so that could be part of that issue. But to answer your question, you shouldn't have to use a filter.
posted by cecic at 7:33 AM on May 11, 2014

FYI - this is what a water filter bypass plug looks like. This is for a Whirlpool refrigerator but in case you still have a box of random parts from the original purchase, this is what you can look for. Otherwise you can probably buy one online.
posted by barnone at 9:28 AM on May 11, 2014 [1 favorite]

I looked up the manual for your fridge model. It says:

"Press and hold the water button for 3 seconds after changing the filter to reset the filter indicator."

It won't know that you haven't actually replaced the filter.

Here's the link to your manual:
posted by matty at 10:27 AM on May 11, 2014

I have a samsung fridge too and I wanted to double Phssthpok's response and say that if you put a new filter in-or find a way not to-you will be very very happy with the water pressure. It only slows down when the filter is at the end, and yes it's horribly slow. But look out with a new filter/no filter!
posted by 58 at 1:12 PM on May 11, 2014

Thank you all for the helpful information - so many best answers! I had no idea about the bypass and will investigate. AskMe rocks!

Again, thanks!!
posted by NoraCharles at 10:58 AM on May 26, 2014

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