Can I Use My Refrigerator Without the Water Filter? Guide & FAQ!

I was thinking about saving money from electricity usage in my home. After researching for quite a while, I found that removing the filter from my refrigerator can save me a lot of money if the water in my home is already filtered.

Then again, another question popped up. Will the water or the ice maker keep working in my refrigerator?

That’s when I researched everything about filters in the refrigerator on the internet, how they work, filter bypass, bypass modes, and many other things that average people wouldn’t know. I have compiled the exact details about refrigerator filters to make things easier for you.

You can use this as a refrigerator filter guide, as I will tell you. You can use your refrigerator without a filter, what happens when you don’t change your filter, the signs of getting a new one and whatnot.

Let’s get started.

Can I Use my Refrigerator Without the Water Filter?

Almost every refrigerator equipped with a water dispenser has a water filter built-in. And as most of you guys already know, they have to be changed every 6 months. And the cost really adds to the expenses.

If you are a frugal person like me, you can consider this an additional, unnecessary cost. Because I already have clean and safely filtered water at home.

Suppose you have a reverse osmosis system that runs in your refrigerator or a water filtration system that supplies clean water to your whole house. In that case, your water should be totally pure. In this scenario, it’s not necessary to change your refrigerator filter every 5-6 months.

If you are God’s favorite, you may live in an area that provides treated, good quality tap water; then you won’t have to change your filter frequently either. But you can’t take it out of the fridge forever.

If taking out your filter from your refrigerator sounds like something you’d do, reconsider your decision. Because running your refrigerator without a filter will need a water filter bypass.

Do All Refrigerators have a Water Filter?

No, all refrigerators do not have a water filter. However, most modern version of refrigerators does have a water filter. The work of a water filter in a refrigerator is to prevent any debris or dirt in the water lines from blocking the mechanism of the ice maker.

So, if your fridge has an ice maker, it will probably have a water filter installed. But there are some models like top & bottom refrigerator models, side by side refrigerator models, and French-door fridge models do not come with a water filter. But keep in mind that they have a bypass filter pre-installed.

Can I Run my Samsung Refrigerator Without the Water Filter?

The models designed with a water filter are always shipped with a cap to cover up the opening and restrain debris from getting in the water filter. Most of the models come with an aqua pure water filter, but it is not necessary to have the cap for the unit to filter or bypass. It is neither intended to prevent leaks.

Most of the refrigerator or ice dispenser models from Samsung will work without an additional water filter installed. The housings are constructed to resemble rotary valves that allow the water to bypass the filter. It will work whenever the filter is not in the locked position or when there is no filter at all.

Why do I Need to Change my Water Filter?

As mentioned before, you have to change your water filter every six months. If you’re lucky enough to have fresh water in your home, you are still most likely to change your water filter at least once a year.

Because if you do not change the filter, it will become clogged, and you will begin to notice all sorts of trouble. Water pressure will be much slower, or the flow will stop entirely. To add salt to our wounds, you will also see black tiny little debris (spoiler alert: dirt!) coming in your water, and I know you don’t want that. Nasty water!

This is why it is necessary to have your filter changed. However, if you decide to go filter-free, you will still have to attach a filter bypass.

How to Attach a Filter Bypass to my Refrigerator?

The filter bypass is a tiny plastic plug, filter-shaped sediment that can remove coarse particles and deceives the refrigerator to think it has a filter in place. To attach it, you first will have to disconnect the old water filter and connect the filter bypass to connect a new filter. It is as simple as that.

Once you have installed the filter bypass plug, you will hear an audible water flow. This will tell you if you have installed the plug properly or not.

One thing to be noted though, you will have to turn off the water in case you are trying to bypass an inline filter situated behind the refrigerator. To help you out, here are some locations that will tell you where to put the filter bypass.

  • Attached into the door.
  • Upper right or left interior.
  • Back of the refrigerator.
  • Behind the built-in pitcher.
  • Bottom of the refrigerator known as Grille.

Will ice Maker Work Without the Water Filter?

The ice maker in your refrigerator comes with a water filter that removes impurities from the connected water supply before it becomes ice. If your ice maker doesn’t have a water filter, it will skip the process of filtering and directly go there to freeze.

Some ice makers need an extra part, which we discussed before, the filter bypass plug. It will allow the ice maker to skip the filtration step, but it must be properly installed for it to work. There are exceptions. Some models will work fine without the filter bypass as well.

So, it depends on what model you are using. Depending on how it was constructed, it may work with or without the filter bypass plug.

FAQs: Related Question

Q1. Does filter bypass need to be changed?

Answer: No, it does not need to be changed.

Q2. Will I get sick if I don’t have a refrigerator water filter?

Answer: Depending on what kind of water supply you have, you will most likely get sick if you have unhealthy water.


I hope we can give you the details you need for the refrigerator and their working process with/without a filter. We tried answering every relevant question about it. Unfortunately, having to change your water filter every six months is inconvenient and costly.