Modern Samsung Refrigerator Filter Replacement

posted (1/31/2023) - There are apparently some gotcha's associated with the act of replacing a Samsung Refrigerator water filter. The manufacturer blithely states the water supply valve to the fridge should be turned off before removing the filter. The implication being that there is no auto-turnoff valve associated with the filter itself. For folks with the water valve located behind that 400 lb fridge loaded with goodies rolling it out every six months is a royal pain.

I did a deeper dive to understand why the manufacturer recommends turning off the water supply before changing the filters.

All of the Samsungs that take the modern long cylindrical or rectangular filters actually have a ball valve shutoff that is activated as the filter is turned. The reason for the water shutoff recommendation has to do with the fact that some folk's have exceedingly high water pressure compounded with hard water particulates that 'freeze' the check-valve and make it really hard to hand turn the filter when removing or installing. This has led to incidents where people put pliers or other gripping instruments on the filter and actually break the tabs that mount the filter body into the recess -- and water often ends up squirting all over the place since the check valve is not properly disengaged from the water line in the fridge. Turning off water pressure makes turning the filter by hand always possible and that is why it is included in the Samsung instructions.

So, here's the smart way to change your filter -- locate your home's main water shutoff valve (in modern homes it will be next to the water meter). Leave the water valve open and try to manually (with your hand) turn the filter from locked to open (a counter-clockwise twist of the knob). You should feel the filter come lose immediately -- remove it from the recess.

If you cannot turn the filter by hand, then turn off your house water supply and run the ice-maker or water dispenser to remove pressure at the filter. Now you can turn it by hand (if too much sediment has built up you can resort to using grip enhancers -- just be absolutely sure you do not break the filter upon removal (check the filter for broken tabs on the water end if anything popped or cracked during removal). The recess should be free of any filter materials before putting in the new one.

Make sure you replace with the proper filter (there are two distinct modern styles from Samsung) and note that in order to turn off the 'replace filter' light you must use an original Samsung filter because there is a magnetic strip installed in the filter body that allows the fridge to detect (and ignore) look-alikes.

Finally, as you install the new filter by inserting and turning to the right you will hear a brief sound of water charging the filter body (assuming water is turned on at this point). Check for any leaks and then set your refrigerator button to allow changes to settings then press and hold the filter reset icon for at least 3 seconds. Finally, restore your change settings button to inhibit changes and you're done. You're a DIY wizard!