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How to Get a Water Filter Unstuck: A Step-by-Step DIY Guide?

Fact checked by Stephen Conklin

how to get a water filter unstuck

We all know that regular maintenance is necessary for water filters to remain in good working condition. But if you couldn’t get them out of your fridge and wondered, “How to get my stuck water filter out of the refrigerator?” we’ve got a comprehensive guide for how to get a water filter unstuck for you in this article.

Table of Contents

What You Will Need to Follow This Tutorial

Trying to change a refrigerator water filter is different from trying to change whole house water filter stuck somewhere.

But it isn’t that hard. You can even do it with just your bare hands. In order to remove the stuck water filter from the fridge successfully, you will need a few things listed below.

Piece of Cloth


Particularly, when dealing with a stuck quarter-turn filter, it is important to have a piece of cloth ready to protect the filter’s cap. That is because you would be maneuvering it with pliers.

Standard Pliers


This tool is only needed when your filter is a quarter-turn filter. Since it is stuck, you will need the aid of standard pliers to take it out of its compartment.

A Receptacle for Water

remove-stuck-water-filterThis would be needed if you are dealing with an open and pop-up door filter that’s stuck. That is because it would involve getting rid of some water from the water dispenser. Have a receptacle of any kind prepared, whether a glass, pitcher, etc to catch the water being dispensed.

Step-by-Step Instructions


As the location of water, filters would differ in refrigerators, and there are also different types of filters, there are different procedures for dealing with each of them.

For example, how you would remove a stuck water filter from a whirlpool refrigerator would be different from removing a filter stuck in another fridge. You can find the steps for different filter types below.

For a Filter Positioned at the Base

Some refrigerator water filters are located at the fridge’s grill area at the bottom of the fridge’s front side. For grill-mounted filters, there are two types, particularly the quarter-turn filter and the push-button filter. As they are both in the grill area, their initial preparatory step is the same.

Initial Preparatory Step

  • Turn the Fridge off and Detach the Bottom Grill

The refrigerator has to be turned off for safety. The bottom grill has to be detached from the fridge to allow ease in accessing the filter’s cap and in grasping onto it with pliers.

For some fridge models, removing the bottom grill is as simple as grabbing and pulling it from the locking tabs. If you have a Whirlpool refrigerator water filter stuck, you can see how it’s done in this video from

But there are some models which would involve unscrewing some screws, like as shown in this video from Appliance Factory and Mattress Kingdom.

Next Steps for Quarter-Turn Filter

  • Protect the Cap With a Cloth

It is important that you provide some protection for the filter’s cap. It can simply be done by placing over the cap a piece of cloth. That would prevent any damage to it while you try to take out your filter.

  • Lock Onto the Cap With Pliers and Make a Quarter Turn

Use your standard pliers to get a grip on the filter’s cap covered with cloth. Then turn it away to the left by a quarter. This would usually make the cap aligned vertically with the other parts of the unit.

When turning the cap, you need to move it with care. Applying too much force to it might break it or cause the water system internal damage. After turning the filter’s cap, you can pull out the filter. Here is a video by ALLCHECKOUT demonstrating how to do it for a Samsung refrigerator water filter stuck.

Next Steps for Push-Button Filter

  • Push the Button and Hold It for a Bit, Then Push on the Filter

To eject a stuck push-button filter, push and hold the release button, then push on the filter. Or you may also simultaneously push on the filter and the button.

  • If Halfway Out, Push the Filter Back and Push the Button Again

If the filter got stuck halfway, try pushing it back into the filter assembly, then make a firm push on the release button once again.

Not only will this disengage the filter from the filter assembly, but this will also aid in making filter changes in the future easier as well as enable the mechanism to completely engage and disengage the filter.

For a Filter Positioned Inside the Fridge

Water filters inside the fridge are stowed in a compartment. That makes accessing the filter as easy as opening the compartment door. There are also two types of filters for filters stored in the fridge, the open and pop-out door filter and the push-button filter.

For Open and Pop-Out Door Filter

  • Close and Reopen Door and Turn off Water in Refrigerator

It would help to first close and reopen the compartment door and then see to it that the door is totally open before you deal with the filter. Next, turn off the water in the refrigerator.

  • Dispense Water and Take Out the Filter

Eliminate water pressure from the water line by purging a substantial amount of water through the dispenser and into a receptacle.

Then you can try to take out the filter by rotating it to the left and pulling it out. If that doesn’t work, take out the shelf at the bottom of the filter’s compartment. Once it has been removed, try to remove the filter again.

For Push Button Filter or Pull Tab Filter

  • Completely Open the Door and Get Rid of an Obstructive Shelf

To be able to deal with the stuck filter properly, you have to make sure that the door of the filter compartment is opened up completely.

And depending on the arrangement of the shelves in the fridge, you might need to take out the shelf at the bottom of the filter’s compartment. Taking it out would prevent obstruction as you try to remove your stuck filter.

  • Take Out the Water Filter

Turn the filter towards the left. After turning it, you’ll be able to pull it right out of the compartment.


When used for a long time and has accumulated impurities, a filter would require replacement. But it’s a problem when it gets stuck.

Following this guide will help you know how to get a water filter unstuck to finally replace it and get a continuous supply of clean water. Here, we have the top-rated NSF-certified water filter that will be an option worth your consideration. If you have any comments, feel free to post them in the comments section. If you found this helpful, you may also share it, as this might help others too.

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