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How to Install an Inline Water Filter for a Refrigerator in 8 Steps

Fact checked by Stephen Conklin

how to install an inline water filter for a refrigerator

Do you not wish the water coming from your fridge was as clean, safe, and clear as any bottled water? Making crystal clear ice cubes and refreshingly cold water straight from the refrigerator is easy if you know how to install an inline water filter for a refrigerator.

Water filters are a must-have in today’s homes, commercial establishments, and anywhere people need safe water. You do not need a whole-house filtration system if you only need filtered water for making ice cubes. It can also serve safe drinking water straight from the refrigerator water dispenser.

In this article, I will show you how to add a water filter to your fridge in 8 steps, starting with determining the correct size of fittings and making plans for installation.

Table of Contents

Things You Need for this Tutorial


Installing an inline water filter for your fridge requires the following materials.

1. Inline Water Filter

You can find at least two inline water filter designs, depending on their filtration membrane. The first type features activated carbon that traps odor-causing molecules and makes your water as pleasantly smelling as possible. It can also reduce chlorine taste and other particles in the water.

However, if you want a more robust water filtration, I recommend getting an inline water filter with more advanced filtration media. For example, you can get one with a kinetic degradation fluxion (KDF) filter to remove lead, mercury, arsenic, and other potentially harmful chemicals from the water.

Another filter characteristic you might want to consider is filtration capacity. This attribute reflects a filter’s ability to trap molecules before clogging, requiring a replacement. Most inline water filters are small, requiring filtration changes every three to six months.

2. Installation Tools

Most water filter products already come with installation hardware, including compression fittings and other materials. However, you might need to supply the tools for mounting the bracket and cutting the existing water line to your fridge.

Hence, you will need a pipe cutter, drill and bits, fitting adapters, and an adjustable wrench. You will also need several pieces of rags or towels to clean any spills during the installation. A bucket or container is also handy, especially when priming the filter.

Steps to Installing an Inline Water Filter for a Refrigerator


Step 1. Plan the inline water filter installation.

I recommend planning how you want to install a refrigerator water filter to improve installation efficiency and minimize, if not eliminate, problems.

Start by looking at the pipes supplying water to your refrigerator to determine the correct size of fittings you must use. Most water filters already come with the hardware, but they may be incompatible with your system.

Ideally, you will want the water filter behind your fridge and away from view. However, it should still be accessible for filter replacement.

Step 2. Prepare your fridge and water supply line.

Have someone assist you in pushing the fridge out of the way, giving you freedom of movement on the wall behind it. Ensure to unplug the refrigerator from the wall outlet before moving.

Close the shutoff valve supplying water to the fridge. If you do not have any, you must close the shutoff valve at the main water supply.

Place a container or a bucket on the floor underneath the wall section for mounting the inline water filter bracket.

Step 3. Install the inline water filter bracket.

Check your inline water filter for instructions on mounting the bracket to the wall. Look at the included fasteners, so you will have an idea of what hand tool to use.

Position the bracket on the wall and mark the holes for the fasteners. Remove the mount and drill holes through the marked spots.

Mount the bracket on the wall and secure the fasteners as tightly as possible.

Step 4. Install the fittings.

Get the compression fittings that come with your inline water filter. Each piece of hardware has two ends, one connecting to the filter and another joining the water supply line.

To install an inline water filter for an ice maker or refrigerator water dispenser, you must wrap the compression fitting’s filter end (or bracket side) with Teflon or a plumber’s sealing tape. Doing this helps ensure a watertight connection.

Screw one fitting into the inline water filter bracket’s inlet port and tighten it securely. Do the same with the other fitting on the bracket’s outlet port.

Step 5. Cut the water supply line.

Mark the water supply line where you want to cut and accommodate the inline water filter.

You can use a utility knife if you have plastic water tubing. If your plumbing features copper pipes, you will need a tube cutter.

The small device works like a C-clamp that you rotate around the pipe, tightening it with each round to sever the water tube.

Inspect the cut ends for smoothness. Sand the surface if you see burrs. Wipe the ends clean, too.

Step 6. Prepare the compression nuts on the water supply line.

Get the compression nut from your inline water filter kit and slip one into each end of the water pipes you cut. Add the compression ring and a stiffener, if any.

Connect the inlet water tube to the water filter bracket’s inlet port compression fitting. Secure the connection by tightening the nut using a wrench. Do the same procedure with the system’s other side.

Once you have these fittings and fasteners ready, you can install an inline water filter for the refrigerator.

Step 7. Install the inline water filter.

Read the manufacturer’s instructions on how you should install the inline water filter. Most products come with installation hardware, including a filter wrench.

Start at the inlet section by securing the compression fitting against the water filter housing port.

Position the filter’s outlet port into the bucket and ask someone to open the water supply shutoff valve. Some manufacturers require you to be prime the filter unit by running water through the system for about five to ten minutes. Check your filter’s recommendations.

Priming the filter dislodges any loose filtration elements, preventing these particles from getting into your refrigerator.

Check for leaks at the inlet section. Once primed, turn off the shutoff valve and connect the outlet filter port to the water pipe going to the fridge. Open the water supply line and assess for leaks.

Step 8. Finish the installation.

If you are happy with the installation, you can secure the inline water filter in its bracket.

Get a piece of sticker and place it on the water filter canister. Write the date of installation. Doing this will give you an idea about the estimated date of filter replacement. Most water filters will last only about six months, although some will not last four months.

Sears PartsDirect has an informative video about installing an inline water filter. I recommend that you consider watching it.


Installing an inline water filter for a refrigerator gives you crystal clear ice cubes and fresh and safe drinking water straight out of your fridge. The process is as straightforward as fitting your newly bought inline water filter into the plumbing supplying water to your refrigerator.

I hope you found this tutorial on how to install an inline water filter for a refrigerator meaningful and beneficial in bringing safe drinking water for your family from the fridge. I also know other people might be interested in learning it, too. Would you share this article with them? You can send me your thoughts about this tutorial, too.

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