Whirlpool Refrigerator Water Filter Replacement Troubleshooting!

Whirlpool recommends replacing the refrigerator water filter when the filter status light comes on or after six months, depending on what comes first. But as this guide on Whirlpool refrigerator water filter replacement troubleshooting will show, an issue could arise.

Common issues after a Whirlpool refrigerator water filter replacement include a stuck, unlocking, or continuously-popping out water filter. Besides, the water may fail to dispense or may leak, flow inconsistently, or taste bad, or the filter light may fail to reset.

All those issues are possibilities whenever you change your Whirlpool refrigerator water filter. So, you should be wary of them and know how to fix them to avoid having to wait in line for Whirlpool technician support to pick up your call or respond to your email.

This troubleshooting guide will help you in that regard. I’ll walk you through the eight issues indicating what might have gone wrong and how to remedy them DIY. 

Here we go!  

whirlpool refrigerator water filter replacement troubleshooting

In a rush? Below is a summary of the eight most everyday Whirlpool refrigerator water filter replacement problems and their troubleshooting.

Quick Whirlpool Refrigerator Water Filter Replacement Troubleshooting Guide for Common Problems

ProblemLikely CauseRecommended Fix
1.Stuck Filter Wrong filter installation Gently remove the filter and reinstall it correctly
2.Filter Won’t Unlock Broken filter cap or a wrong filter installationReplace the filter if its cap is damaged and reinstall a previously incorrectly fitted filter
3.Filter Won’t Stop Popping OutHigh water pressure, wrong installation, or damaged filterLower the water pressure to 40-100 PSI, reinstall a wrongly installed filter or replace a damaged one
4.Water Dispenser Won’t DispenseWrong or faulty water filter, locked controls, faulty door or dispenser switch, blocked water supply, or defective inlet valveInstall the right filter, unlock the controls, replace a damaged switch, unblock the water supply line, and replace a bad inlet valve
5.Water Filter LeaksWrong filter installation Take out the water filter and reinstall it correctly
6.Water Filter Dispenses InconsistentlyFailing to flush out the water filterHold down the water dispenser to flush out air from the filter
7.Dispensed Water Tastes Bad Failing to flush out the water filterFlush out the water filter by holding down the dispenser lever briefly
8.Filter Light Won’t ResetThe wrong filter reset technique or installationReset the filter correctly and ensure you fit the correct filter type

Common Whirlpool Refrigerator Water Filter Replacement Problems

Below are eight common issues likely to arise after replacing your Whirlpool refrigerator water filter and what to do about them:

Problem No 1 – Whirlpool Refrigerator Water Filter Stuck

Sometimes the water filter is difficult to remove, especially when you want to replace it. While there are different possible explanations, the most common one is the wrong installation. 


If your filter is stuck, you must forcefully but carefully remove it. Depending on the refrigerator water filter type you have, consider removing it using any of these approaches:

a) Push Button Water Filter Removal

You can locate the push button at the base grill, and once you do it, below is how to remove Whirlpool water filter without cap:

  • Press the push/button until the filter detaches from its assembly and then remove it
  • If the filter won’t disengage, long press the push button for a few seconds to see if it ejects
  • Try pushing on the water filter as you press the button

The water filter should eject following the steps and once it does, follow the installation instructions to fit it accordingly. Remember to remove the cap from the filter if it’s a new installation.

b) Quarter Turn Water Filter Removal

As the name suggests, this filter removal technique requires you to turn the filter a quarter turn to remove it. So, you don’t press any push buttons here. 

Here’s how to do it:

  • Try turning the water filter to the left by a quarter turn
  • Pull out the filter if you can and take out the cap if it’s present
  • If the cap doesn’t come off, put a piece of cloth above it to protect it from damage and try pulling it out
  • But if the filter won’t come out, use pliers to turn it a quarter turn
  • Then pull it out straight once it’s loose

Note that the push button and quarter turn technique are best for a filter fitted onto the base grille. But if the filter is inside the fridge, consider the two options below:

Option 1 

  • Open the water filter door and turn off the appliance’s water supply
  • Purge out water from the dispenser briefly and try taking out the filter
  • If the water filter won’t come out, turn it counterclockwise and then pull it out straight

Option 2 

Open the water filter door and turn the filter anticlockwise and then to the left before pulling it out straight

Problem No 2 – Whirlpool Refrigerator Water Filter Won’t Unlock

If your refrigerator water filter won’t unlock when you try to release it, the most likely explanation is the wrong installation. You might have installed it incorrectly. But still, it could be a broken filter cap. 


Before anything, examine the filter cap. If it looks broken, you’ll need to replace the entire filter. If the filter cap is intact, the chances are that the issue is a wrong installation.

So, you’ll need to remove the filter using the steps shared earlier and reinstall it or replace it if it’s damaged. 

Let’s talk about how you should do it.

How to Replace Whirlpool Refrigerator Water Filter?

Though there are different types of Whirlpool water filters, and the installation process may slightly differ between them, here are the general steps for doing it:

  • Step 1 (locate the old filter) – Spot the water filter you want to replace. It should be inside on the right-hand side or at the base grille. 
  • Step 2 (take out the old filter) – After locating the old filter, lift or open its compartment door and pull it out. You may need to press a push button or twist it using the earlier steps. 
  • Step 3 (install the new filter) – Take out your replacement filter and uncover the O-rings. Then install it into place with its arrow pointing upwards. Do it carefully not to damage the filter cap.
  • Step 4 (complete the installation) – Once the filter is perfectly placed, close its compartment door to complete its installation).
  • Step 5 (flush the new filter) – To avoid issues like bad water taste and inconsistent water flow (which I’ll share later), run a few gallons (up to 4) of water to flush the water filter. 
whirlpool refrigerator water filter replacement problems

Problem No 3 – Whirlpool Refrigerator Water Filter Won’t Stop Popping Out

Sometimes the water filter won’t stay in place. It pops out a few minutes or seconds after installing, which means something must be wrong.

In most cases, it’s a case of a wrong installation or a damaged filter. But sometimes, the cause could be a high water pressure that the water filter cannot contain. 


Start by checking your refrigerator’s water supply pressure using a pressure gauge. Ideally, the pressure should be about 40-100 psi.

But if it’s above 120 psi, you may need to lower it by adjusting the main valve. If you are unsure, ask a plumbing expert.

If the water filter looks damaged, consider taking out and replacing it. But if you suspect a wrong installation, remove the filter and reinstall it correctly. 

Problem No 4 – Whirlpool Refrigerator Water Dispenser Won’t Dispense After a Filter Replacement

While you expect the water dispenser to start dispensing almost immediately after a water filter change, sometimes it won’t. In most cases, the reason is a filter issue. 

The new filter could be the wrong type, fake, damaged, or just incorrectly fitted. Other issues which may result in a non-working Whirlpool refrigerator water dispenser after a filter change include:

  • Locked controls 
  • Faulty door or dispenser switch
  • Blocked water supply
  • Bad water inlet valve 


You must use a genuine Whirlpool water filter which you can get from Whirlpool or its primary distributor, EveryDrop. Also, ensure it’s the right type and install it correctly. 

As for the other issues, unlock the controls, unblock the water supply line and replace a defective switch or water inlet valve. 

Problem No 5 – Whirlpool Refrigerator Water Filter Leaks

Water is likely to leak from a wrongly fitted water filter. The O-rings need to stay in place to avoid dripping. So, you ought to ensure it is firmly locked in place. 


Consider removing the water filter and reinstalling it correctly. 

Problem No 6 – Water Is Dispensing Inconsistently (Won’t Run Smoothly)

If the water from the dispenser won’t flow smoothly, it could be because of trapped air. Ideally, it’s best to run the dispenser for a few minutes after installing the filter to flush it (the filter).

So, if you didn’t do that, then that’s the reason the water is dispensing irregularly. Sometimes it won’t dispense at all. 


Try holding down the dispenser for at least 2 minutes to flush out the water filter. Wait to see if the water will start flowing consistently.

If it doesn’t, use a well-founded container to hold down the dispenser for about 5 seconds before releasing it. Once the water comes out, flush out about 3 gallons before you start drinking. 

How do I know which Whirlpool water filter I have

Problem No 7 – Dispenser Water Tasting Bad

If your dispenser water has a bad taste, perhaps bitter, after replacing the filter, the reason could be the failure to flush out the filter. By flushing out the filter, you eliminate carbon particles that contaminate the water before entering your fridge.


Flush out the water filter using the steps shared above.

Problem No 8 – Whirlpool Refrigerator Water Filter Light Won’t Reset

Lastly, while you expect your water filter light to reset upon changing the filter, sometimes it won’t. Generally, the filter light indicator won’t reset because of any of these reasons:

  • Installing the wrong filter or installing it wrongly
  • Faulty wiring
  • Incorrect reset technique


Ensure you install the filter correctly and use the right type. As shared earlier, visit Whirlpool or its leading distributor, EveryDrop, to get the right filter. And after fitting it, consider doing a reset. 

Depending on your fridge model, here’s how to do a Whirlpool refrigerator water filter reset:

Option 1 – Press the ‘water filter’ button on your refrigerator for about 3 seconds. Then wait for the indicator light to reset.

Option 2 – Press Max Cool +Max Ice on your refrigerator for about 3 seconds. Wait for the unit to flash and beep to indicate a successful reset.

Option 3 – Press’ Filter Reset’ on your refrigerator and wait for the filter light to go off and for the system reset.


1. But How Do I Know Which Whirlpool Water Filter I Have?

You can tell the type of Whirlpool water filter by looking at its printed number or searching online depending on the refrigerator model number. 

2. Generally, How Do I Reset My Whirlpool Refrigerator After Changing the Water Filter?

Depending on your Whirlpool refrigerator model, you can reset its water filter status light by pressing ‘Water Filter,’ ‘Max Cool + Max Ice,’ or ‘Filter Reset’ for about 3 seconds. The filter light should reset after releasing the buttons. 

What should I check if the doors are not fully closing?

If you notice that the doors of your refrigerator are not fully closing, there are a few things you can check to address this issue. First, make sure there are no obstructions like food items or door bins that are preventing the doors from closing properly. If there is any item blocking the doors, remove it to allow for a complete seal. This is important because when the doors are not fully closed, the refrigerator may not be able to cool effectively, leading to constant running as it tries to maintain the set temperature. By ensuring that the doors are closing properly, you can help optimize the cooling efficiency of your refrigerator.

How do I determine if the dispenser actuator is damaged and needs replacement?

To ascertain whether the dispenser actuator is damaged and requires replacement, you can follow these steps:

1. Begin by inspecting the dispenser actuator closely for any signs of damage, such as cracks, breaks, or deformities. Pay attention to both the exterior and moving parts of the actuator.

2. Test the function of the dispenser actuator by attempting to activate the switch it controls. If the actuator fails to properly engage or is unresponsive, it may indicate damage and the need for replacement.

3. If possible, compare the performance of the potentially damaged dispenser actuator to a known working actuator. This side-by-side evaluation can help identify any discrepancies or abnormalities in its functionality.

4. Consult the manufacturer’s guidelines or documentation for your specific dispenser model to determine the expected behavior and performance of the actuator. This information can serve as a reference point to assess whether the actuator is functioning correctly or may require replacement.

5. If all other troubleshooting steps indicate potential damage to the dispenser actuator, it is advisable to replace it with a new one. Refer to the manufacturer’s instructions or seek professional assistance to ensure the proper installation of the new actuator.

Remember, if in doubt or if you’re unsure about inspecting or replacing the dispenser actuator yourself, it is always recommended to seek professional help.

Closing Thought On Whirlpool Refrigerator Water Filter Replacement Troubleshooting

In summary, replacing your Whirlpool refrigerator water filter doesn’t necessarily mean nothing will go wrong. From the above problems, it’s undeniable that something could go wrong. What’s important is that you can troubleshoot your Whirlpool refrigerator, and that’s what the above guide will help you with.

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