October 27, 2022

How Do You Remove a Stuck Refrigerator Water Filter?

By Lyle Weischwill
Introduction image for Sears Pro Lyle Weischwill tips on replacing a stuck fridge water filter.
Introduction image for Sears Pro Lyle Weischwill tips on replacing a stuck fridge water filter.

Replacing your refrigerator water filter regularly is key to fresh, clean water. But sometimes the old water filter gets stuck, so you can’t remove it to install the new filter. This can be a frustrating problem.

Don’t worry, we have easy DIY solutions for getting a stuck water filter out of your refrigerator no matter what type of fridge you have.

Refrigerators use different water filters based on their brand and type. So tactics for removing a stuck water filter will depend on the specific type of filter installed in your refrigerator.

In this article, we’ll provide you with some easy-to-follow tips for removing a stuck water filter from your fridge. Find and follow the advice for removing a stuck water filter from the specific brand of refrigerator that you own.

How do I remove a stuck Samsung fridge water filter?

Samsung refrigerators use only 3 types of water filters—HAF-CIN, HAF-QIN, and HAF-CU1.

Each of these different filters basically use the same twist-to-remove method to pull the old filter out. Sounds simple, right? It is simple--until the filter gets stuck in its housing.

Tips for removing Samsung HAC-CIN and HAF-QIN refrigerator water filters

These two Samsung refrigerator water filters are similar. They both slide into a horizontal water filter housing and twist ¼ turn counterclockwise to remove.

Follow these tips to remove a stuck filter when your Samsung fridge uses one of these water filters:

  • Wiggle the water filter back and forth slightly to help loosen water seal deposits while twisting it counterclockwise (to the left) to remove.

  • Shut off the water supply going to the refrigerator and briefly run some water through the water dispenser to release water pressure at the filter head. You may then be able to easily release the water filter and remove it.

  • Use channel-lock pliers to twist the filter to the left and release it if you still can’t rotate the filter after releasing water pressure from the filter head.

Advice for removing a stuck Samsung HAF-CU1 refrigerator water filter

The Samsung HAF-CU1 filter twists into a vertical housing in the top right corner in the back of the refrigerator section.

Use the first 2 tips provided above to help you remove a stuck HAF-CU1 fridge filter—wiggle the filter when twisting it left and shut off the water supply to release water pressure. If you still can’t remove the filter, use a strap wrench to grip and twist the water filter to the left.

If you still can’t remove your Samsung refrigerator water filter after following these tips, you’ll likely need to schedule a Sears Technician to remove the filter and fix the water filter housing if needed.

What to do when your Whirlpool refrigerator water filter gets stuck

Whirlpool water filters located in the toe grill under the refrigerator door are the ones that most often get stuck.

Whirlpool EveryDrop 3 EDR3RXD1

You may have trouble pushing in the eject button to remove the Whirlpool EveryDrop 3 water filter from its housing the toe grill. When this happens, use the handle of a wooden spoon to press the eject button. This usually does the trick.

Whirlpool EveryDrop 5 EDR5RXD1

The Whirlpool EveryDrop 5 water filter twists into the housing in the toe grill. When you can’t rotate this filter the ¼ left to release it from its housing, use these tips to remove the stuck filter: Use slip-joint or channel-lock pliers to rotate the filter cap ¼ turn left to release the filter. Tape the jaws of the pliers with masking tape to avoid scratching the decorative filter cap. Be careful when rotating the cap. Using too much force may crack or break the filter cap.

Remove the bottom toe grill then pull off the decorative cap if you can’t twist the filter with the cap in place. To remove the bottom toe grill, pull out on each side to release the toe grill mounting clips. Slide the decorative cap off the filter then use the pliers directly on the end of the filter to twist it left and release it from the water filter housing.

If you have a different type of Whirlpool refrigerator water filter that gets stuck, follow the removal tips in this Sears PartsDirect YouTube video to remove the stuck filter:

How to remove a stuck water filter from a Frigidaire fridge

The Frigidaire PureSource2 water filter WF2CB tends to get stuck in its housing more frequently than other Frigidaire refrigerator water filters. When this happens, you can carefully pry the filter out using a flat-tip screwdriver or putty knife. Cover the tip of the screwdriver or putty knife with masking tape to avoid scratching the refrigerator liner around the water filter housing opening.

If you have a different type of Frigidaire water filter that gets stuck, follow the tips in the video provided above to help you get the filter out.

When you have trouble removing stuck water filter that is a PureSource Ultra II EPTWFU01 located in the top right corner at the back of the refrigerator compartment in a French door fridge model, you may need to remove the shelf underneath the filter to have more room to carefully grip the filter with channel-lock pliers to get it unstuck.

How to open a stuck water filter cover in a Kenmore Elite refrigerator

Stuck water filter in a Kenmore Elite refrigerator

Kenmore Elite 111-Series French door fridges house the water filter in the top right corner of the refrigerator compartment (see the image to the right). The cover over the water filter can get stuck. The owner’s manual tells you to pull the cover forward and down to open it. You’ll typically need to grip it securely and use significant force to snap the cover open the first few times you open it. The cover will often make a loud snap when you release the cover by pulling it forward and then down to access the water filter. Once you open the cover a few times, it should release more easily.

If you have problems removing a different type of Kenmore water filter from your Kenmore, Kenmore Elite or Kenmore Pro fridge, follow the tips in the above video to help you get the stuck filter out.

These troubleshooting tips and the video should help you remove a stuck water filter in your fridge no matter what type of filter it uses.

If you can’t remove the water filter in your refrigerator no matter what you do, don’t hesitate to schedule a Sears Technician to visit your home and take out the stuck filter.

In year 2022 and beyond, it’s important to keep the water filter in your fridge fresh so you get clean and safe ice and water.

Symptoms common to all refrigerators

Choose a symptom to see related refrigerator repairs.

Main causes: leaky door gasket, defrost system failure, evaporator fan not running, dirty condenser coils, condenser fan not running
Things to do: clean condenser coils, replace the water filter, clean the interior, adjust doors to prevent air leaks, clean the drain pan
Main causes: jammed ice cubes, broken ice maker assembly, dirty water filter, kinked water line, bad water valve, freezer not cold enough
Main causes: damaged door seal, faulty defrost sensor or bi-metal thermostat, broken defrost heater, bad defrost timer or control board
Main causes: control board or cold control failure, broken compressor start relay, compressor motor failure, defrost timer problems
Main causes: blocked air vents, compressor problems, condenser or evaporator fan not working, control system failure, sensor problems
Main causes: blocked vents, defrost system problems, evaporator fan failure, dirty condenser coils, bad sensors, condenser fan not working
Main causes: water valve leaking, frozen or broken defrost drain tube, overflowing drain pan, cracked water system tubing, leaking door seal

Repair guides common to all refrigerators

These step-by-step repair guides will help you safely fix what’s broken on your refrigerator.

July 20, 2015
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How to clean refrigerator condenser coils

Help your refrigerator run more efficiently by cleaning the condenser coils. It's easy and takes just a few minutes.

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How to replace a refrigerator water valve

Replace the water valve that feeds water to the ice maker and water dispenser if it no longer controls the flow of water.

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How to replace a refrigerator temperature control board

If the temperature in your refrigerator doesn't match the temperature you set, the problem could be the temperature control board—a service technician can give you a definite diagnosis. If the board is at fault, follow these steps to replace it yourself.

Repair difficulty
Time required
 30 minutes or less

Articles and videos common to all refrigerators

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