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How to Bypass the Water Filter on a Refrigerator in 4 Steps

Fact checked by Stephen Conklin

how to bypass the water filter on a refrigerator

Have you been plagued with the cost of next month’s refrigerator water filter replacement? Or have you just acquired an individual water filtration system for your tap and deemed your fridge’s water filter unnecessary?

We have been there and have perused user manuals and the internet to present you with this article on how to bypass the water filter on a refrigerator, which includes locating the cartridge, replacing it with a new one, and running a test.

You will learn about what you need for this procedure and where to get them as you read. We will guide you in a step-by-step guide on exactly what you need to do and what to do for a productive and effective finish.

Sounds lovely? Let’s get right on with it.

Table of Contents

Things You Need to Bypass Refrigerator Water Filter


Refrigerator’s User Manual

The first thing you need for your refrigerator filter bypass is your fridge’s user manual. If you are thinking that yours seems to be missing, do not worry. As manuals are often overlooked and misplaced, remember that it is crucial for the longevity of any appliance.

Not only does it tell you how to manipulate the specific machine correctly, but user manuals also give a list of its spare parts, and this will be important because some refrigerators have a bypass plug as an add-on.

Refrigerator Bypass Plug

The last thing you need is the essential part of the process: the refrigerator water filter bypass plug. The bypass plug allows you to skip your fridge’s water filter altogether. Luckily, finding one that matches your refrigerator’s specs is easy enough. Here are ways how:

Online stores

There are a variety of water filter bypass plugs available online for different types and brands of refrigerators. Just remember to make sure you know your fridge’s specifications for an easier time finding and purchasing it.

Hardware Stores

A plus in choosing to go to a physical store is the assistance of a sales floor associate. You won’t have a hard time; just make sure you know the specifics of your refrigerator’s water filter as plugs used for them vary with the model and brand, and the sales floor associate will point it out for you.

Directly from the Manufacturers

Another foolproof way to acquire a bypass plug is to contact your fridge’s manufacturer directly. A downside is that this buying method may work for newer fridge models more than for older ones.

Step-by-Step Instructions


Step 1: Locate your fridge’s water filter cartridge

To bypass the fridge filter, we need to know where it is located first. It varies for different types and brands of refrigerators. If you don’t have your user’s manual with you, no worries; here are the usual locations of water filters on fridges to keep in mind.

  • To add a bypass plug for GE refrigerators, the cartridge for the water filter is usually on the top right corner of your fridge.
  • On Kenmore Elite refrigerators, the water filter is placed in the upper left corner of your refrigerator.
  • The filter is typically located in the front base grille for Whirlpool refrigerators.
  • The water filter can be seen on the top left corner inside the fridge for LG french door refrigerators.
  • In most Samsung brand refrigerators, the water filter is located in the back right corner.

Pro-tip: before anything else, unplug your refrigerator first; this reduces the risk of any accidents while you tend to your fridge’s water filter.

Step 2: Remove the water filter cartridge from the housing

Protip: Put a napkin or cup on the bottom of the cartridge to catch any water droplets from the filter and move groceries in direct line with your water filter.

Make sure you have your bypass plug beside you. If you still have your user’s manual with you, it will tell you exactly how to do it, but essentially, the steps are the same.

If you have a more recent model fridge, it might have a button that locks the water filter into place. If your fridge has that, push the button as you turn the filter carefully in a counterclockwise direction. You will know when it stops.

Don’t forget to be pulling the filter head while you are turning the filter. Keeping it level would also help to decrease water spillage.

The water filter should come off easily, but water might be trapped inside if it does not. To relieve the pressure, push the water dispenser, and it should do the trick. If that does not work, tap the filter a few times.

Step 3: Insert your refrigerator bypass plug.

You are ready to add the refrigerator water filter bypass plug. To do so, simply fuse the filter bypass plug in the water filter holder, turning it to the right until it’s tight. Essentially, you put in the plug the same way you took off the water filter cartridge. After that, you can set the housing back in.

Step 4: Testing

It is time to check your work. It is essential to make sure that it still works usually. Check the water dispenser by filling a cup with water. If it does not flow or does not flow as smoothly as expected, there might be a problem. Make sure that the plug is tightly secured in the water filter slot.

Also, check for leaks. Changing systems might cause leaking, and all you have to do is wipe it out and check it from time to time, making sure that the filter plug is not loose.


You’re now equipped with information and the know-how and basics of how to bypass the water filter on a refrigerator.

This list is a conglomeration of research and internet sleuthing, and it is precisely what I did for a foolproof way to bypass the water filters on my refrigerator unit.

In addition, a few other tips may be necessary for you, such as how to reset the water filter light on a whirlpool refrigerator, how to flush the refrigerator water filter and if wondering if it is possible to use the refrigerator without a water filter, click here to learn more.

I hope for the readers that it helps you as much as it did with me.

Remember to tell me how this system worked with you in the comments! Remember to share this article on your socials if you liked it! This article might help someone with their refrigeration water filter dilemma. Till the next one!

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