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How to Install an Inline Water Filter for a Refrigerator? (8 Steps)

Writen by Ronald Brown

Fact checked by Natalie Bridges

 how to install an inline water filter for a refrigerator

Is a refrigerator water filter necessary? Yes. It strains out fine particles to ensure that the water coming from our fridge’s ice maker and dispenser is tasty and safe to drink.

Learning how to install an inline water filter for a refrigerator is a practical way to provide immediate access to potable water for your family.

Today I will discuss the tools and procedures to set up your inline fridge water filter smoothly. By doing this, you can have better digestion and adequate hydration anytime!

Table of Contents

Step-By-Step Guide to Install an Inline Water Filter for a Refrigerator


What to prepare

  • Inline refrigerator water filter – An inline fridge filter varies depending on what filter material it uses. Activated carbon, charcoal, and carbon block are standard inline water filters you can find in home improvement stores.


  • Installation Kit – A universal inline refrigerator water filter usually comes with an installation kit that includes ¼ “quick-connect compression fittings and a mounting bracket.
  • DIY tools You’d need hand tools like an adjustable wrench to, a plastic/copper cutter, a 5-gallon bucket, a pencil, Teflon tape, a screwdriver, a drill and bits, and two towels. If you have braided steel tubes, replace the cutter with a chop saw.

Step 1: Plan and organize the installation.

Before buying a new inline water filter, you must double-check the size of the water supply tube at the back of your unit.

Generally, the outside diameter of most fridge water supply lines is 1/4 inch, which is the recommended size for a water line. However, some refrigerators may have water systems in lines of 3/8 and 5/16 inches.

Finally, select a location to install a water filter in the fridge. Usually, the best place for an inline water filter is on the wall behind your fridge. There should be at least 6 inches of clear space between the wall and the refrigerator for easy replacement.

If your cold water supply valve is in the basement, you should place the inline water filter close to keep the runs short, so there’s no need to add extra lines.

Step 2: Get your refrigerator, icemaker, and cold water lines ready.

  • Unplug the electrical outlet
  • If you place the water lines behind the fridge, gently pull your refrigerator forward to give you more elbow room for the installation.
  • Turn off the cold water supply valve connected to your fridge.
  • Alternatively, you can close your home’s main water supply valve and open the nearest faucet to alleviate the pressure.

Don’t attempt to move your fridge alone. It’s always a good idea to ask for a hand to save time and energy. Moving a refrigerator is a job for at least two people.

When installing an inline water filter for the icemaker, unthread its fittings with a wrench. Place the bucket to catch dripping water before you remove the waterline.

Step 3: Install The Housing Bracket

  • Most housing/mounting brackets for inline water filters have a rounded design to accommodate their cylindrical shape. You can have either a single or double clamp bracket.

Alternatively, some DIYers use fasteners with white cable eyelet ties to secure the filter.

  • Put the bracket on the wall behind the fridge and hold it in place. Mark where the screws need to go and remove the frame—drill holes at the marked surface.
  • Screw the mounting bracket to the wall and check if it’ll hold the water filet’s weight.

Step 4: Cut The Fridge Water Line

  • Use a pencil to mark the lines for cutting.
  • Cut the water line. For plastic tubes, it’s relatively easy—all you need is a sharp knife.

However, with copper tubes, you’ll need a pipe cutter. Tighten the tool around the tube and spin the cutter a couple of times. Then tighten it further and repeat the process until it breaks cleanly.

As for braided steel, a chop saw is necessary. Wrap the tube a few times with electrical tape. Afterward, select an abrasive blade for the saw to cut through the tube without fraying it.

  • Use a sanding roll to smoothen the pipes if applicable.

Step 5: Install Fittings In Water Filter and Water Line

  • Prepare the compression fittings and Teflon tape. Tightly wrap three layers of tape to the end of the two fittings in a clockwise direction.
  • Each compression fitting comprises three components: a nut, sleeve/ring, and the fitting body. Screw the compression fittings in the inlet and outlet port of the inline water filter.
  • Install the compression nuts at the end of each severed water line. Then slide the compression ring on both ends of the line.
  • If you have plastic tubing, you may find a brass insert. Insert it inside the tube if available.
  • Push the inlet water tube into the inline water filter’s compression fitting Pull a few times to make sure it’s not loose. Then, get ready to prime the filter.

Step 6: Prime The Filter

  • Lay out your towel on the floor so you can kneel/sit in place properly as you prime and finish the installation.
  • Position the bucket underneath the outlet port of the filter and open the cold water supply valve to eliminate loose carbon particles and trapped You should fill the bucket with around 2 gallons of water to make sure it’s 100% clean.
  • Keep an eye out for leaks while the water is running. Turn off the valve.

Step 7: Install The Filter

  • Use the other towel to clean the outer casing of the filter.
  • Connect the outlet port of the filter, then hand-tighten the nut until it seats nicely. Pull on both ends to check whether they’re snugly fit.
  • Use the wrench to secure the connection.
  • Turn on the cold water supply valve and examine the pipelines for leaks.

Step 8: Mount The Filter

If there are no visible leaks, you may now add a water filter to the refrigerator. Mount it in the bracket you installed earlier.

Cartridge inline water filters can last for about six months before they finally bite the dust. Therefore, aim to get a new one every 3-6 months, depending on how many people there are in your household.


Installing an external water filter for the refrigerator is relatively easy. It entails installing the fittings, cutting, and connecting your water supply tubes to the inlet and outlet port of the water filter.

Now that you have learned how to install an inline water filter for a refrigerator, you can drink filtered water from your dispenser painlessly!

If you have any questions, feel free to ask in the comment section below.

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