Maytag Refrigerator Water Filter How-to & Troubleshooting Guide

Maytag Refrigerator Water Filter How-to & Troubleshooting Guide

Maytag is a Whirlpool brand usually known for its great washing machines, but their refrigerator line is no exception. They make some of the most sturdy and reliable refrigerators in the market. However, no great machine is without fault.

Their larger refrigerators have a water line with either an ice maker, a water dispenser, or both. This waterline also contains a water filter that reduces contaminants from the water supply. The Maytag water filter is a very basic device that requires little to no maintenance other than periodic filter change. This article will provide you with the necessary information you need to troubleshoot your refrigerator water filter.

How do you change the water filter on a Maytag refrigerator?

You should change your filter every six months, after which its efficiency in filtering your drinking water reduces. Changing the water filter in a Maytag refrigerator is a very straightforward process that requires no tools or unique expertise. The Maytag refrigerator water filters are slightly different depending on the model, but the replacement concept is the same. Follow the instructions below on how to remove the old one and replace the new filter properly.

Upper right corner filter

  • Locate the filter in the top right corner inside the refrigerator.
  • If the filter tab is facing outwards, push the tab up and pull the cover down. If the filter tab is on the bottom of the cover, lift the tab, and the cover will swing down open. For the first time water filter installation, remove the blue bypass plug by unscrewing it counterclockwise and store it for later.
  • Turn the water filter counterclockwise and pull it out from the refrigerator and discard it.
  • Open the new filter packaging and remove the protective cover from the grooves.
  • Align the new filter with the grooves while inserting it, and then twist it to the right.
  • Push the filter up to lock it in place.
  • Run two to four gallons of water through the new filter to flush out any sediments or carbon particles.

Base grill filter

  • Locate the water filter in the front base grill of the refrigerator.
  • Twist the water filter cap counterclockwise and pull it straight out of the grill.
  • Remove the water filter cartridge cap by pulling it sideways. Set the filter cap aside and do not discard it.
  • Remove the replacement water filter from its packaging and remove the cover from the O-rings.
  • Insert the water filter cap that you set aside onto the new water filter. Position the ridges on the cap onto the water filter and slide it in place, making sure it is centered vertically.
  • Insert the water filter into the opening on the base grill of the refrigerator and turn the water filter cap clockwise until it locks horizontally.
  • Run four gallons of water through the water line and filter to flush out any contaminants in the filter.

What water filter goes in a Maytag refrigerator?

Everydrop water filters manufactured by Whirlpool are the only filters approved by Maytag for their refrigerators. Everydrop water filters are tested and certified by the National Sanitation Foundation(NSF) for the 42, 53, and 401 standards.

It also reduces about 27 other contaminants such as industrial chemicals, pharmaceuticals, water parasites, pesticides, mercury, chlorine from your drinking water and ice. It also removes 99% of lead from the water at a pH level of 6.5; the filtration quality depends on the water’s pH level. Besides reducing contaminants from your water, it also improves the taste and smell by removing organic compounds.

Where is the water filter in a Maytag fridge?

The majority of water filters in Maytag refrigerators are located in either of two locations-in the grille at the front base of the fridge unit or in the top right corner inside the fresh food compartment. You will find a knob, button, or compartment that you open to release the water filter.

How do you reset the filter on a Maytag refrigerator?

After installing a new water filter, you need to reset your refrigerator. After installing a new filter, resetting your fridge system will restart the alarm system, which notifies you the next time you need a filter change. The different refrigerator styles have slightly different resetting procedures; here is how to reset the most common three styles of the Maytag fridge.

French door refrigerator.

The French door refrigerators have a fresh food compartment on top, split in half by two side-by-side doors, and a freezer on the bottom. To reset it;

  • Locate the water filter button on the upper side of the inside of the refrigerator.
  • Press and hold the filter button for three seconds and release it after hearing the alert sound.
  • The filter light should turn blue if the water filter reset properly.

Side by side refrigerator

This refrigerator features one side of the fresh food compartment and the other side of the freezer compartment. To reset it;

  • Locate the water filter reset button at the front of the water dispenser.
  • Press and hold the water filter reset button for about three seconds and release it when you hear the alert sound.

French Door Bottom Mount Refrigerator

  • Locate the ‘Fast cool’ and ‘Energy saver’ buttons at the top of the inside of the refrigerator.
  • Press and hold the two buttons simultaneously for about three seconds and release when you hear the alert sound.

How to bypass the water filter on the Maytag refrigerator?

Refrigerators with an in-built water dispenser and ice maker have a water filter system that removes contaminants from your drinking and ice water. If you already have a whole house water filtration system, you may not need the water filter in the refrigerator; therefore, you have to bypass the filter in your fridge, allowing you to operate the refrigerator without the filter.

Some Maytag fridge models do not require a bypass plug to work, while others require a bypass plug inserted; the fridge cannot work correctly with the filter line open. Follow the instructions below to bypass both types of refrigerators.

Bypass plug models

  • Purchase the water filter bypass plug that is compatible with your refrigerator’s make and model.
  • Open the water filter compartment on the upper side of the inside of the refrigerator.
  • Turn the filter counterclockwise and then slide it out.
  • Insert the bypass plug into the filter housing and turn it clockwise to secure it in place. Installing a bypass plug will allow the water to dispense without filtration.

Non-bypass plug models

  • Models that allow the refrigerator to work without a water filter usually have the water filter located at the front base grille.
  • Turn the water filter cap counterclockwise until it is in the horizontal position, and then pull out the water filter.
  • Pull the cap off the end of the water filter.
  • Insert the water filter cap into the base grille and secure it by turning it clockwise to the vertical position.
  • Water and ice will usually dispense without filtration.

How to replace water filter head on Maytag refrigerator

Your water filter assembly can become damaged from pests or mineral deposits, affecting water flowing into the water filter and the dispenser. Changing the water filter head is very easy if you follow the steps explained below.


  1. A new water filter assembly
  2. Wrench
  3. Screwdriver


Remove the water valves and lines from the refrigerator.

  • Disconnect power to the refrigerator to avoid electrocution.
  • Turn off the inlet water supply to prevent flooding.
  • Access the back of the refrigerator and disconnect the water inlet pipe into the fridge.
  • Disconnect the water supply coupling from the plastic housing that attaches to the lower back panel of the refrigerator.
  • Remove the screw on the retaining clip that secures the water line to the back of the refrigerator and keep it aside to use on the replacement water filter assembly.
  • Remove the screws holding the back panel and gently pull it out not to disconnect other wires. On the interior side of the rear panel, you can access the two clips of the plastic housing. Compress the two clips and push the plastic housing outwards.
  • Detach the inlet hose from the plastic housing.
  • Disconnect the return line from the valve by pressing the collar and pulling the line out.
  • Remove the two water lines from the guiding channel at the back of the refrigerator.
  • Gently remove the Styrofoam block at the top left corner on the back of the refrigerator without damaging it, and then set it aside.

Remove the water filter head.

  • Open the fresh food compartment and remove everything to access the water filter in the top right corner.
  • Pull the tab on the water filter cover and lower it to open it.
  • Remove the old water filter by turning it counterclockwise. It is normal to expect a few water drips.
  • To remove the water filter cover, gently separate the brackets holding the cover in place to unhinge the clips on both sides.
  • Remove the water filter head. Notice that on one side, the pins fit into a split clip and the other into a round clip. Spread the clip carefully to release the pin and then pull the filter head to the left to detach it.
  • Slowly pull the rest of the water lines through the front of the refrigerator.

Insert the new water head assembly.

  • Thread the water lines through the hole from the front of the refrigerator.
  • At the back of the unit, insert the end of the returning line into its valve by pressing it firmly into place.
  • Remove the protective cap from the inlet line and insert it into its plastic housing, making sure the line bends appropriately.
  • Insert the plastic housing back into the unit’s back panel by pushing it in until the locking tabs engage securely on the inside.
  • Replace the back panel onto the unit and secure it with the screws.
  • Reattach the retaining clip onto the inlet line and screw it in place.
  • Insert both water lines onto the guiding channel. Leave a small amount of slack and make sure the lines are not too tight.
  • Inside the fresh food compartment, insert the water filter head making sure it moves freely.
  • Remove the bypass plug from the housing by twisting it counterclockwise and store it until when it’s needed.
  • Reattach the filter cover.
  • Insert the water filter and close the water filter cover.
  • Go to the back of the unit, lift the water lines, place them into the grooves on the styrofoam and then insert the styrofoam block into the opening. Make sure it seals up that opening to prevent cool air from escaping from the fresh food compartment.

How to remove a stuck water filter from a Maytag refrigerator

The water filter in a Maytag refrigerator is relatively easy to dislodge, but it may get stuck if you inserted it incorrectly the last time. The water filter has grooves that must align properly to be able to turn it either way. Depending on the fridge model, there are slightly different mechanisms for disconnecting the filter. We will help you unstuck water filters from both the fresh food compartment and the front base grille.

Fresh food compartment filters

Pull down tab

  • Clear the shelves around the water filter compartment to give room for the filter compartment door.
  • Pull the compartment cover tab and allow it to open fully.
  • Turn the water filter to the left and pull it out. When stuck, you may have to return it to its locked position several times to realign the tabs.

Pop-out mechanism

  • Close and reopen the filter door.
  • With the door fully open, turn off the refrigerator and turn on the water dispenser to empty the waterline. Opening the water dispenser will release pressure from the waterline.
  • Once the water dispenser is empty, try pulling out the water filter.

Front base grille filters

Quarter turn

  • Unplug the refrigerator from power.
  • Remove the grille by unscrewing the fasteners holding it in place.
  • Cover the water filter cap with a clean cloth to protect it from damage.
  • Use a standard pair of pliers to hold the water filter cap, make a quarter turn to the right gently, and then pull the filter out. Do not press the cap with too much pressure as you will damage the cap or the water line inside the refrigerator.


  • Unplug the unit from power.
  • Locate the water filter push button on the base grille.
  • Press and hold the button until the filter ejects.
  • Firmly push the filter in and then press the button simultaneously, and the filter will disengage from its compartment.

Signs that its time to replace your Maytag refrigerator water filter

So how do you know when you have to replace the filter to prevent contaminating your drinking water or ice? We have explained all the signs to look out for to know it’s time for a filter change.

1. It’s been over a year since the last change.

Maytag recommends that you change your water filter every six months with regular usage. However, sometimes you may have to replace it more often for various reasons. After six months of everyday use, the filter becomes inefficient and starts allowing contaminants to pass through, which are potentially dangerous to your health.

2. Indicator light

Most modern Maytag refrigerators with a water dispenser or a digital control panel also have a water filter status light that turns on when it’s time to change the filter. After installing the new water filter, reset the indicator light to start the timer again. It is also common for the light to come on before six months as it could mean the filter is already clogged. If your water supply has a high quantity of contaminants, the water filter will require frequent replacements.

3. Unpleasant taste

An old water filter can give your ice or water a metallic taste or something stale. It means that your water filter is ineffective and allows bacteria and other contaminants into the water lines giving the water a sour taste. Ideally, water from an effective filter should taste fresh with a very faint plastic taste.

4. Discolored water

Contaminants will give the water from the water dispenser a hazy or cloudy appearance if the water filter is not working correctly and you need to change it immediately. Do not drink the discolored water as it means there are plenty of contaminants in your water enough to be visible. You should also flush the water lines with a non-toxic cleaner to remove any impurities that may be stuck in there.

5. Water has an odor

If you get a sour or metallic smell from the ice or water coming out of your refrigerator dispenser and the dispense is clean, the bad smell is likely from a clogged filter. The bad odor usually comes from minerals and bacteria that the clogged filter is not filtering out.

6. Slow flow of dispensed water

The water filter in the refrigerator is part of the waterline, meaning the water has to pass through the filter to get to the water dispenser and the ice maker. When excess mineral deposits and sediments accumulate in the filter, it reduces the amount of water passing through to the dispenser. The clogged water filter blocks proper flow by lowering water pressure.

7. No ice or small ice cubes from the ice maker

For the same reason, your water dispenser will have little water, your ice maker will produce small ice cubes almost the size of small pebbles, and the filter requires changing. The ice cubes are small since ice mold is not filling up enough water in the open-valve time allowed. In extreme cases, if you have a water dispenser and an ice cube maker, there may be no ice cubes as not enough water makes it to the ice maker.

Maytag refrigerator water dispenser is not working after the filter change

Usually, an old filter is the one that causes slow water flow from the dispenser. But if you just changed the filter and the water dispenser is still not working, there are several reasons that could be responsible. Follow the steps below to diagnose and troubleshoot the issue.

1. A bad new filter

Sometimes new filters can become damaged during shipping. You need to inspect it for any breaks, cracks, and bends and return it to the dealer for a replacement. Using a cheap aftermarket water filter may also refuse to work with your refrigerator. Maytag refrigerators work best with their approved Everydrop water filters for better results. Using the wrong water filter can eventually damage the waterline and cause further problems.

2. Check for blockage

Check the threaded part of the water filter and the water filter head and ensure nothing is blocking the holes and preventing water from passing through. If you live in an area with hard water, the mineral deposits can accumulate around the water head, forcing you to replace the water line assembly.

3. Incorrect installation

Check the water filter sits well into the filter head. Make sure that it is secure. It should not be too loose or too tight. Remove the filter and reinstall it correctly.

4. Damaged seal in the filter housing

If the rubber seal in the filter housing is damaged or not seated properly, it will cause water to leak inside the refrigerator instead of flowing to the water dispenser. The seal makes the water filter and the filter head connection airtight, preventing leaks and support the correct water pressure for water flow. Disconnect the water filter and reposition and align the seal properly; if damaged, replace it.

5. Trapped air in the water lines

If other than trickling water in the dispenser, you can hear a low hammering noise, and there may be air bubbles trapped in the water lines. The trapped air creates a gap and low pressure, which prevents water from flowing to the dispenser. To clear the water lines, remove the water filter and install the bypass plug that came with your new fridge and then run water through for about three minutes. The pressure created will be strong enough to push the air out. Once the water starts coming out of the dispenser, reinstall the new filter.

Check this too: Alexapure Water Filter Troubleshooting & How to Guide


Even with the different types of water filter configurations in the Maytag refrigerators, we hope this article will assist you in fixing some of the most common issues likely to arise with a water filter. Remember always to disconnect the unit from power when troubleshooting to avoid electrocution.