Side-by-Side Refrigerator - How to Change the Water Filter

Almost all Side-by-Side refrigerators made nowadays have an internal water filter. The water for both the ice cubes and drinking water is filtered. The type of water filter you have in your refrigerator does vary by model. Listed below is information about the various water filters and how to change them.


Water Filter Cartridge Location:


When to Replace the Filter:

  • Most models will have a replacement indicator light on your dispenser or temperature control panel. This light will indicate when it is time to replace your water filter.

  • These indicator lights vary by model. Consult the owner’s manual for information about the replacement indicator light on your specific model.

  • When there is no filter replacement indicator light, we recommend a filter change every six months or if the flow of water to the water dispenser or icemaker decreases, whichever comes first.


Removing the Water Filter Cartridge:

If you are replacing the cartridge, first remove the old one by slowly turning it to the left. Do not pull down on the cartridge. You may see a small amount of water drip down.

Note: The water supply to the refrigerator does not have to be turned off when replacing the water filter.


Installing the Water Filter Cartridge:

  • View how to install an MWF/MWFP/MWFA water filter:



  • View how to install an XWF/XWFE water filter:



  • View how to install a GSWF water filter:



  • For more information, see: Refrigerator - How to Locate Filter Installation Instructions

  • Water by Culligan filters were replaced by SmartWater filters. To use SmartWater filters in a refrigerator made before 2001 (Water by Culligan filter models), the fridge must have an adapter to use them.

    • If you are replacing an MWF or GWF SmartWater filter cartridge that is connected with an adapter, the adapter must be removed before installing the new cartridge.

    • If you are replacing an FXRC Water by Culligan filter cartridge, leave the adapter in place. This adapter will stay in the refrigerator when you replace the future cartridges.

  • You can Shop GE Appliances Water Filters on our GE Appliances Parts & Accessories website at any time.


  1. To remove the filter, turn it to the left about a ¼ turn.

  2. For models without a replacement indicator light, apply the month/year sticker or mark the cartridge with the month/year it was installed to remind you to replace the filter.

  3. Fill the replacement cartridge with tap water to allow for better flow from the dispenser after replacement.

  4. Slowly turn the filter to the right until it stops. DO NOT OVERTIGHTEN the filter. As you turn the cartridge, it will automatically raise itself into position. The cartridge will move about ½ turn.

  5. Run water from the dispenser for 3 minutes (about 1 ½ gallons) to clear the system and prevent sputtering.

  6. Reset the filter indicator light (on models with this feature). Press and hold the RESET WATER FILTER pad on the dispenser for 3 seconds until the light goes off or turns green. If you do not hold the RESET pad long enough, the light will stay on or remain red. If you hold the RESET pad too long, the light will go off and then come back on. Consult the owner’s manual for specific reset instructions for your refrigerator.

  7. A newly installed water filter cartridge may cause water to spurt from the dispenser.


Please Note: We do not have a recycling program for water filters at this time.


Water Filter Bypass Plug:

  • You must use the water filter bypass plug that came with the refrigerator when a water filter cartridge is not installed. The water dispenser and icemaker will not operate without the filter or filter bypass plug in place.

  • If you need the bypass plug and one was not supplied with the refrigerator or has been misplaced, one can be ordered at no charge by calling 1-800-GECARES. In Canada, call 1-800-561-3344.


Replacement Water Filters: