Replacing Kenmore Elite Refrigerator Water Filter

By Todd Fratzel on Kitchens, Maintanence

There have been numerous comments left in the comment section from folks experiencing trouble with their water dispensers after installation of the new water filter. The following are several suggestions to trouble shoot the problem:

  • Before installing the new water filter be sure to REMOVE the filter end caps. In this example they are red pieces of plastic the cover the two ports on the end of the water filter.
  • The directions are fairly specific about how to purge air from the system after the filter replacement. Once the new filter is installed you need to use a large container to purge water from the dispenser. Follow these instructions from the manufacturer:
  • Use a sturdy container to depress and hold the water dispenser lever for 5 seconds, then release it for 5 seconds. Repeat until water begins to flow. Once water begins to flow, continue depressing and releasing the dispenser lever (5 seconds on, 5 seconds off) for an additional 2 minutes. This will flush air from the filter and water dispensing system. Additional flushing may be required in some households.
  • If these methods still do not work it’s also possible that you have one of the following situations: bad water valve, water line frozen (the water line actually travels from the bottom of the refrigerator up through the freezer door!), or bad electronics. These are situations that require a professional repairman.

Kenmore Elite Water Filter Replacement

refrigerator-water-filter2The other day I posted about buying replacement refrigerator water filters for our Kenmore Elite Refrigerator. In this post I want to show you how easy it is to replace your refrigerator water filter (quite a few refrigerators now use these water filters that are located on the bottom front panel of the unit).

You can purchase these water filters at Amazon and Sears. Replacing this water filter takes less than 5 minutes and the best part is you don’t need any tools to do it.

How To Replace Kenmore Refrigerator Water Filter

  1. Take the new water filter out of the box and remove the two red shipping caps on the end of the filter.
  2. The water filter is located on the front panel down near the floor as shown in the photos.
  3. Push the release button located just to the left of the water filter grille cap, this will release the filter.
  4. Remove the grille cap from the filter by twisting it counterclockwise.
  5. Reinstall the grille cap on the new water filter.
  6. Insert the new water filter in the refrigerator making sure the words on the filter are the correct side up.
  7. Push the water filter in until it clicks in place.

Flush Water After Installing New Filter

Be sure you flush out the water from the new filter after you replace it! Many readers are having trouble with airlocks because they are skipping this important step. Kenmore recommends you run the water out of the water and ice maker for a few minutes to flush out the new filter. This also helps remove air bubbles from the system. If you don’t do this it’s possible that the water dispenser may not work properly due to an air lock.

This particular water filter claims to reduce:

  • Cysts and turbidity – linked to gastrointestinal problems
  • Lead
  • Chlorine – taste and odor for better tasting water
  • Sediment – for clearer water
  • o-Dichlorobenzene – linked to risk of liver, kidney, or circulatory system problems
  • Benzene – linked to increase risk of cancer and anemia

I highly doubt any of our town water really has a problem with these issues. However, the water certainly tastes better after it’s filtered so we’ll continue changing the filter on a regular basis.

About the author

Todd Fratzel

I'm full time builder for a large construction company in New Hampshire. I run their design-build division that specializes in custom homes, commercial design-build projects and sub-divisions. I'm also a licensed civil and structural engineer with extensive experience in civil and structural design and home construction. My hope is that I can share my experience in the home construction, home improvement and home renovation profession with other builders and home owners. I'm also the Editor-in-Chief and Founder of Tool Box Buzz. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions, suggestions or you'd like to inquire about advertising on this site.

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  1. Best Refrigerators says:

    I’ve been looking for a quick guide on how to do this, thanks and added a link back.

  2. Ausker Morris says:

    What are your suggestions for replacing the water filter on a Kenmore Elite that does not have a release button? I removed the filter and now the new one will not go all the way in. Thanks for your help.

  3. Dave says:

    1. What about the ones that are up inside the fridge.
    2. Do you need to cut the water off or is there a sealing valve it screws into?

    • Todd says:

      @ Dave – All of the refrigerator water filters that I’m familiar with are self sealing. Have you bought your filter yet? It should come with directions on the box.

  4. Graham says:

    After you change the filter, how do you purge the air and water traveling to the ice maker?

  5. Graham says:

    I will give that a try. It has not been able to make ice since I changed the filter. Thanks!

  6. Helen says:

    After replacing the filter, no water comes out… We put the old one back, and still no water. Any advice?

  7. Charlie says:

    Todd: I have Kenmore elite model No. 57442. Manual says use filter T1RFKB1. Whirlpool site says to use the new 4396710 PUR as the replacement filter, unless we have “Fast Fil” or “Pur measurel” dispensers. How would I know if I have such dispensers? Do you use the new 4396710 PUR as the replacement?

    • Todd says:

      @ Charlie – That’s the replacement cartridge that I use in my Kenmore Elite. Anyway you can remove your old one, take a photo and email?

  8. Craig says:

    I had the same problem as Graham, I changed the filter two days ago and now my ice maker hasn’t made any ice…what can i do now?? thanks

  9. Craig says:

    I purged it for the most part, maybe not quite all the way. The water works fine. I just ran it again and doesn’t seem to be any spurting or any air in the line. Thanks

  10. Rick says:

    i just tried to push the button and pull the filter out and the filter grill cap broke off and the filter is still in the fridge. Any ideas on how i should get this out?

    • Todd says:

      @ Rick – The cap is actually meant to come off the filter. The button adjacent to the cap should release the filter?

      • Virginia says:

        Pretty much this is what happened here; the filter is still in the fridge, “release button” doesn’t release anything as far as I can tell. Do I try pulling the old filter out? I don’t want to break it. (I don’t have a manual.)
        Hoping you’re still monitoring this page…

  11. Craig says:

    Just to let you know, My ice maker is working again. I called the manufacturer and they told me it can take 2 or 3 days for the ice maker to begin working again.

  12. gretchen says:

    We followed these directions,but the new filter leaked. The whole grille piece had been removed during a move and we were planning to put it back on after we changed the filter. Would that make a difference? Do you have any suggestions?

    • Todd says:

      @ Gretchen – are you sure the filter “locked” in when you installed it? Or could it have been water that leaked out when you removed the old one?

  13. gretchen says:

    My husband said it didn’t feel quite locked in, but couldn’t seem to adjust it. He usually has no problem with most mechanical things. Is there a trick? The new filter leaks a little just sitting on the counter.

  14. Ron says:

    I push the release button but the filter does not come out. Nothing happens. Any ideas?


    • Todd says:

      @ Ron – Sometimes you need to twist the cap slightly while pushing the release button to get it out. Give that a try and see what happens.

  15. Deb says:

    Can you tell me if a Whirlpool filter will work on a Kenmore fridge. I am confused when I look up buying water replacement filters that it leads me to the Whirlpool filters. The filter I took out has a model # I cannot find (T1KB1) or looks like maybe (9020). ?? Help…

    • Todd says:

      @ Deb – Whirlpool = Kenmore. They are all the same thing, the same factory builds both. If you’re getting a whirlpool filter from the reference i’m sure it’s correct.

  16. cara says:

    We replaced our filter for the first time, flushed the system, and suddenly we have the worst tasting water. Tastes like plastic. When we pull out the filter, it’s completely dry. Should it be? Do we need to go get another and try again? Or call Sears (which I dread). It’s not our water. We still have a brita filter we use and that water tastes fine.

  17. Krista says:

    Hi. I have a Kenmore Elite. I replaced the water filter and the new one completely dry when I take it out. The water is not running through it. I saw that you told someone to put the old one in and try running it but I don’t have the old one. Any suggestions? Thanks.

    • Todd says:

      @ Krista – Not really sure….there may be a reset button or sequence of buttons. Check your owner’s manual.

      • Ashley says:

        We had the same problem. We didn’t have the filter pushed in far enough. It felt like it clicked, but it REALLY clicks when you push it in harder.

    • trung phan says:

      @ krista, i got the same prolem like you before. I take off the plastic cap and push the filter harder and it worked. all you need is push it harder untill you heard the air sound. hope it work for you

  18. Ana says:

    hi so i’ve been reading through other people comments on how to fix their kenmore refrigerator i’ve replaced my water filter unplugged it but i don’t really understand where or how i’m supposed to start by purging air out or even running water through what??? kinda confused any help please??

    • Todd says:

      Ana – You purge the air by installing the new filter, then try to fill up a picture of water with the thing like filling up a glass of water….the system will spit, sputter and eventually provide a steady stream of water.

  19. Ryan Haller says:

    I have a Kenmore side by side frig. I wanted to replace the water filter. I took the filter out to get the correct model number so I could order one. I out the filter back in until the new one arrives. Well now my water dispensor will not work? No water comes out at all. It doesnt even make any noise as if it were trying to dispense water. Any ideas?

  20. Christy says:

    Hi, We have a Kenmore Elite that we bought used five years ago. The previous owners used the water and ice maker, but we have not because we didn’t have the connection for the water. We now have it connected to a water source and want to use the water and ice. We plan to replace the filter since it sat so long and will run some water and toss the first batch of ice. Is there anything else we should do to make sure the water is safe? Sears filter model #9010 is not available locally and the shipping is expensive. Is there an equivalent by another manufacturer that we can use? Thanks!!!

  21. Ryan says:

    Yes….I turned it. I have since tried to use the system w/out the filter (as referenced in the manual). That didn’t work. I put the filter back in again (and yes I turned it :)) and it still doesn’t work. It is strange it acts as if there isn’t power engaging the pump to turn on when I depress the water filler lever. The ice maker still works (and I hear the pump work to fill the ice tray). It seems way too coincidental that at the exact time I decide to change the filter, the pump would break? I even tried unplugging the frig for a bit to see if it would some how ‘reset’ when I plug it back in; and nothing.

    • Todd says:

      @ Ryan – One of the problems that people keep pointing to is some sort of air lock. Try re-installing it and holding down the lever for a minute or so. Not sure if that will work or not.

  22. Ryan says:

    the problem is that when I hold the water lever down I do not even hear the pump even attempt (engage) to purge water. I have held it down for 5 minutes and nothing.

    • Todd says:

      @ Ryan – Really got me stumped. I assume it worked prior to removing the old filter? I know some folks have said that if you don’t install it properly and turn it back in it won’t work. Sounds like some type of safety switch.

  23. Keziah says:

    Hi, i cannot find a release button anywhere. I just have a handle that will not turn either way. What do I do?

  24. Angie says:

    We have a Kenmore Elite and my husband replaced the water filter. When he tried to run water through it to purge the line of air, he heard air-type noise but the water started to come out on the floor and not the dispenser. He is sure the filter is in completely and it will not turn at all. I saw that some of them require a 1/4 turn. He has taken the old filter out and put it back in to see what we needed to buy, so I am sure he put in it in properly. Any ideas?

  25. Angie says:

    We did try the old one and it still came out the bottom. I suspect that a line came undone when he put the new filter in. It was seated properly. It is a straight tunnel and there really isn’t anyway to do it wrong. At least I thought. Thanks

    • Todd says:

      @ Angie – I know sometimes you get a little water…but it does sound like something is wrong with yours. Hopefully someone will comment on it here for you. Good luck.

  26. Steve says:

    Hi how do know when to change the filter The refer has a control panel on the front showing the filter but no explanation of the symbols Thank you

  27. Melissa says:

    I left the red caps on my filter when installing and now those caps are stuck in the refrigerator. Any ideas on how to easily remove them?

  28. Debby says:

    I have an older Elite and no manual. There is no triangular release button & I don’t know how to get the filter out. Any ideas?

  29. Andrew says:

    Hi, I have a Kenmore referigerator with the filter inside the refrigerator (on the right side top area). I replaced the old filter with the new one, but the refrigerator light still says “filter reset” (asking me to put in a new filter). Is there something I need to do to get the new filter activated?

    • Todd says:

      Andrew – Depending on the model you typically have to reset the button. Most of them reset by pushing the button and holding for a short period of time. The buttons are only a timer and not specially set up to test the water quality or life of the filter.

  30. Julia says:

    I went to change the water filter for the first time and it appears there is not a grill cap on the filter I want to replace. Furthermore, the filter is stuck and won’t budge even when I press the release button. I tried turning the filter while pressing the button but it is stuck in there really good. Suggestions?

  31. Brian says:

    question….our refrigerator started leaking. the pan underneath, near the water filter is full (and not removable to empty). we are unsure when the last time the filter has been changed (could be years for all we know) and we are assuming that is what is causing the leak (worn gaskets or something)beacuse that seems to be where its coming from. is it safe to run the refrigerator and icemaker WITHOUT the filter in until i can get to home depot this weekend?

    • Todd says:

      Brian – Honestly I don’t know the answer to that. It’s likely that it will run fine without it, whether or not the ice maker will run or water will come out is the question.

      • Brian says:

        thanks for your answer! ive removed the water filter, and everything seems to be running fine, including the ice maker and water. and i havent noticed any leaking yet today. it must have a built in filter bypass. so, im guessing the filter is what was causing the leak…..couldve been in there for years. im going to leave it out until i get paid and can hit home depot for a new one.

  32. Anthony Afterwit says:

    Hi. I moved into a new apartment that has a kenmore water filter and seems like the replacement light has been on good for a long time – it’s been about three months using about half a gallon of drinking water a day and I don’t know how long the previous tenant had been using it. How long do these things last typically? Thanks! :)

  33. Christina says:

    Hi, I have a Kenmore Model #596.75509400 (french doors/bottom freezer). After years of operation, I finally got a water line. Ice manufactur started after a day or so but it smells bad. The copper line is new. So I want to try replacing the water filter. Trouble is I can’t find it. I’ve gone through the manual, looked through pictures of filters but I don’t find where the filter is located.

    • Todd says:

      Christina – That model doesn’t have a built-in water filter. You can install a water filter on the water supply line if you want. If you have a basement I recommend installing it down there where the supply line starts. Otherwise try to find a place that’s accessible for changing. Most hardware stores sell a kit and installation is fairly easy. You can also hire a plumber to do it.

      The strange smell is probably due to the fact that it sat so long without being used. I’d run several loads of ice through it and hopefully it will clean itself up.

  34. Dr Rico says:

    Read a bunch of these posts, popped the old one out, plugged the new one in, drained a couple of quarts of water until it quit sputtering. It works great. Thanx Todd I am grateful for all the help you gave these folks and me.

  35. mindy says:

    the cap is broken and the button will not eject/loosen the filter. the filter seems to be stuck. i dont think the previous owner ever changed….maybe broke the cap when he attempted. any suggestions. the filter is really not budging.

    • Todd says:

      Mindy – Most filters simply push into an opening and seal with small O rings around the filter spout. I would see if you can get some type of wrench on the filter and pull straight out. Be careful not to damage it in case you can’t get it removed. Filters typically DO NOT screw in, so it’s just a matter of pulling straight out.

  36. Justin says:

    Could an old filter make the water push back on the O ring seals and cause water to leak on the floor? Water is leaking from the somewhere around the filter housing and filling up the drip tray.

  37. Tony says:

    I have a Kenmore elite refrigerator with French doors and a bottom freezer. We have had the fridge for almost 3 years, and changed the filter every 8-10 months. We started to get sediments in the water, so we changed the filter. I ran about 10 gallons of water through, and still have sediments. I thought it may have been a defective filter, so I bought another one, same thing, still have sediments. We use it a lot, so the water doesn’t sit in the tank. The filter is in the freezer, model # 49-9990. Any suggestions?

    • Todd says:

      Tony – What type of water source do you have? Well perhaps? I think it’s the water source and now the filter.

      • Tony says:

        Hey Todd, the water source is split from the sink, no sediments in water from faucet. Is it possible the water lines in fridge are corroded? If so, how do you clean the lines out?

        • Todd says:

          Tony – You’ve got me, seems strange that there was no sediment prior to the new filter being installed. Might be time for the repairman.

  38. Ricki says:

    I had to take our old filter out of the fridge to see what type it was so that i would order the right one, then I replaced the old filter, and now it won’t stop leaking it has leaked all over my wood floors and has caused the wood to bow I have no idea whats wrong with it I pushed it in all the way until it clicked do you have any solutions?

    • Todd says:

      Ricki – Did you try removing it, checking to see that the seal is good and re-installing? If that doesn’t work you should shut off the water to it until you can get it repaired.

  39. George says:

    Todd, I have a Whirlpool side-by-side with the PUR filter in the grill. I replaced the filter just fine and flushed the lines for about 5 minutes. My problem is I get air in the holding tank when I replace a filter. No amount of flushing will get it out, so I have to unscrew the tank, and twist and turn it while my wife opens the water dispenser. If we don’t, we get puddle on the floor from all the drips. Is there a better way to prevent air in the holding tank while replacing the filter?

    • Todd says:

      George – this is the first I’ve heard of this problem. Can’t say as if I’ve got a solution for you. Maybe another reader can chime in. I’ll ask around and see if anyone has a thought.

  40. Pam says:

    Hi Todd, I just replaced PUR #4396710 on my Kitchen Aid refer as I have done in the past. This time however, water only comes out for a second and then fails to a trickle. There is also a sort of “rattle” inside as the pressure dies off. In the past I have noticed a blast of air as the line cleared and then normal water dispencing. I have tried the old filter with the same result. Any ideas?

    • Todd says:

      Pam – Sounds like an air lock of some sorts. I’m not exactly sure how you fix the problem. Can you try to run water through it when the filter is removed?

  41. David says:

    Hi Todd,

    I have the same issue as Pam. I just replaced the water filter on my Kenmore Elite refrigerator as I have done many times in the past. This time water only comes out normally for just a second or two and then fails to a trickle. The old filter has the same results. Please help us.

    • Todd says:

      David – I’m trying to see if an appliance repair person I know can help. Stay tuned.

    • Todd says:

      David – I’ve updated the post with some more information from Kenmore. I’m also going to write a short article in the coming days about some of the other possible causes including a frozen water line. The water line runs from the bottom of the refrigerator, up through the freezer door to the dispenser, a common issue is having that line freeze up.

      • David says:

        Hi Todd,

        This is great! Thank you for the information. I’ll check the line that runs to the freezer door and keep you posted. Thanks again for your help.

  42. Karyn says:

    I have a Kenmore 106.64932401 – top freezer. It does not have a filter for the ice maker. The ice is discolored and smells, and I’ve been told by Kenmore that I need to install a filter, even though my frig does not have one. How do I do that? What filter should I get? Thank you!

    • Todd says:

      Karyn – What you need to do is have a plumber (or yourself if you’re a good DIY’er) install an inline water filter before the water enters the refrigerator.

  43. Darrin says:

    Hi everyone…I allways set my new filters in a sink full of water B4 installing them. I have never had a post installation problem with flow to either the ice maker nor the front door dispenser with with this method of shall we call it, primeing the filter.
    I also apply a “very small” dab of NON toxic plumbers grease on the “O” rings of the new filter makes it slide in and twist lock with ease.

  44. Jeff says:

    I recently changed out my “push button” filter and the water dispenser stopped working. You could hear the pump working but no water. After fiddling around with things and disconnecting the water supply line in back of the fridge, I was able to get it to work without a filter. Determined to not get hit with a service charge I continued to mess around with things. What I finally determined was that the water supply line itself was the problem. I had originally put in a “flood safe” supply line and when I changed out the filter it was kicking in the protection stop whenever the water was turned back on. Once I figured it out I could hear the water being cut off at the safety valve. Maybe not enough “resistance” or whatever to keep the line open but by putting in the new filter and then very slowly turning the water back on, it seemed to work. I’ll be swapping out the supply line this evening. I have read some not so favorable reviews about the flood safe lines anyways.

  45. Paul Warren says:

    I have a whirlpool side by side. I’ve replace the filter quite a while ago–at least two years ago. The change light has been green ever since. I’ve seen the filter change out time to be about 6 months. What could cause the indicator light to stay green for a longer time?

    • Todd says:

      Paul – I’m not really sure. Most of the timers are based on the time the button is pushed (at least that’s the impression I’ve got from a repair guy I know). I think it’s just good practice to change them twice a year.

  46. Chris says:


    We have a Kenmore side by side and have noticed in the last couple days it is not producing ice and when you attempt to get water it spurts out and the motor in the back is clicking loud. We have also noticed the fridge portion is warmer than normal. The Freezer still seems to be keeping things frozen. Any suggestions?

  47. Sue says:

    We replaced the water filter in our top freezer refrigerator, purged the air and the water dispenser works fine. The problem is the ice maker. It puts out a very small amount of ice. It’s been 10 days now so it should have caught up. We re-installed the filter, purged the air and still have the problem. Should we unplug/plug the fridge?

    • Todd says:

      Sue – That’s certainly worth a shot. Also, when was the last time you cleaned out your ice bucket? Sometimes things get so frozen up that it doesn’t work properly.

  48. Kristen says:

    I have a 5 year old Kenmore side by side fridge. Replaced the filter in Sept. and in Oct the water started tasting and smelling bad. I use this water everyday so it doesnt just sit and get bad. I replaced the fliter again thinking it was a bad filter, but no result. Any suggestions?

    Sears says to replace the plastic tubing, but it looks like that solution doesnt work for many people and would cost $500+. I took out the fliter to flush the line with the city water in case there is something between the filter line and the output.

    • Todd says:

      Kristen – Sounds like something in the lines. Were you able to flush the lines?

      • Kristen says:

        I have with the filter in, but took the filter out this morning and am still trying to get enough water out to try again. Does this sound right?

        • Todd says:

          Kristen – Sounds to me that the lines are probably you flush them effectively is another question all together.

          • Kristen says:

            OK. Well I guess I will try flushing without the filter in first. Hopefully that will work. No idea how it got dirty though since I use all the time.


  49. Rose says:

    Just replaced an empty filter and it weighs 3times the new canister. Is this normal?

    • Todd says:

      Rose…the old one is full of water. That’s why it is so heavy.

      • Rose says:

        Thanks, that’s what I thought, but had never noticed the difference. Next question: The front of the partition where the double doors close was very hot to the touch. Eight hours later it is still hot. Should I call a repair man and what causes this increase in heat?

        • Todd says:

          Rose – Is the refrigerator running often? I’ll have to look at mine later tonight when I get home but I suspect the fan unit is located down there and what you’re feeling is heat from the condenser.

  50. Todd H says:

    I have the same issue as another poster above from a year and half ago. My Whirlpool refridgerator is less than 1 year old. Water quality and taste was fine. When the replace filter light went red, I replaced it with a Kenmore branded one (push button release type) purchased at Sears. Purged the air and all seemed fine. Now about 1 month later, the water tastes horribly like plastic, undrinkable really. Previous reply stated that it seemed like an air lock issue but I can’t imagine how an airlock would cause such horrible taste. I’ll replace the filter again if I have to but would prefer not. This filter was $50+ at Sears. If it truly is the filter, you can bet I won’t be buying another “Kenmore” filter there.

    • Todd says:

      Not really sure what is causing those issues. Honestly it sounds like the filter and not the refrigerator or an air lock. Hard to say though.

  51. Ted says:


    Same Kenmore and filter as you mentioned in your original post, side by side stainless elite. I have owned this fridge since new, Nov 07 and changed the water filter many times (Sears Ultimate II / PUR). No probs. The water tastes fine and is clear, however, I have recently noticed that when I add ice and then water, the water is filthy from the ice cubes. I have taken out the ice tray and washed it but to no avail. The ice no longer smells but when I add water, there are small particles floating in the water and it looks filthy. I am running a saddle valve, plastic water supply line, up from the basement. The ice has never been dirty before that I have noticed, and even with a new PUR filter this weekend, the ice is still filthy yet the water only is clean and clear. Do I need a seperate filter for the water supply line? As a side note, the water straight from my tap is clean and clear too. But the ice in the water (from fridge or tap) makes the water just look nasty and undrinkable. Any ideas? Thanks!

    • Todd says:

      Ted – That seems pretty strange. I wonder if the ice making tray is dirty. Although, if it were, I have no idea how you’d clean it.

      Have you tried letting the ice melt, then see if it’s dirty? or is the floating stuff maybe just ice dust? Honestly beats me…seems pretty strange.

  52. Gordon says:

    WE have a Kenmore side – side model 1069552812 , had little to no water preasure. we have replaced the water sending unit ( 2 stage for water and ice ) new water line to the fridge . had a slight improvement and now almost no water to either the ice maker or water. where is the water filter in this unit? i took off the front plate and didn’t see there. this is a older fridge . the ice maker sending unit is good you can here it activate. just no water once it makes it to the fridge.


  53. Adolph says:

    Hey Todd,

    I have a kenmore side by side with a push button filter. I am trying to put the filter in and it doesn’t go in all the way. There is nothing blocking it…I can push it in almost all of the way but it doesn’t click into place. I’m afraid to push forcefully because I don’t want to break anything. Should I just jam it in and hope for the best?


    • Todd says:

      Did you remove the plastic cap from the end of the new filter before you installed it?

      • Noe says:

        I have the same problem. I bought PUR 4396710 to replace the Kenmore 9030. My Kenmore Elite side by side does not have a cap on the end of the filter. I removed the little red cap and try to push the new filter into place–no twisting. It just won’t click into place–there’s nothing to hold it. Does this filter not replace the 9030?

  54. dan says:

    Kenmore Elite 795.75556401. side by side w/ bottom freezer.
    Water flows through door dispenser and ice maker makes ice, but the water does not seem to go through the filter. The filter is bone dry. I have replaced the filter several times over the last several years and never had this problem. how is it possible for the water to bypass the filter? and can i get it to go back through the filter? thanks.

    • Todd says:

      Sounds like an air lock. If you remove the filter and run water does it work? Might have to try another filter which is obviously expensive but might fix the problem.

  55. Janet says:


    I have a Kenmore 253.56512400 side by side, 2004. It has a filter in the cabinet against the upper back wall on the right. We’ve changed the filter twice a year since we bought it, but it’s always been extremely difficult to remove the casing. There is no release button. It’s just a twist and then a pull. But it’s like there’s some kind of suction. We usually spend hours trying to get it out. It’s too close to the back wall to get your hand or a wrench around it. Very frustrating. Once we get it out, there doesn’t seem to be any reason for the sticking, and I’m careful not to put it back on to tightly. Nevertheless, I’m finding it impossible to remove this time. Any suggestions? Thanks!

    • Todd says:

      Any chance you could send me some pictures? you can email them to todd “at” frontstepsmedia “dot” com

    • Virginia says:

      Did you get your filter out? I’ve got the exact same set up and situation… is there a trick? Last time my husband just used brute force to twist it so it would release and this time it seems stuck worse.

  56. amy owen says:

    We were having the same problem. No water flow after replacing filter. I depressed the water button with no filter and my husband pushed in the replacement filter and it worked.(you can tell its running through the new filter..sputtered, air bubbled,) not sure why it worked but it did!

  57. Glenn says:

    I’ve read many of the stucked filter comments. My filter does not look like the picture. The filter is completely round and smooth so I can’t pull it out with anything. I can’t twist it. There’s nothing to grab hold on. Does this warrant a service call?

  58. Jeff H says:

    I have a Sears side-by-side and have changed the water filter out every six months with a PUR filter. Just recently after the last change out I get water but no ice. This has happened before once before but started working by itself again. This time it has been over one week and still no ice. I always purge the dispenser out after changing the filter. I have tried unplugging refrig for a few minutes and removing and installing filter but still no ice. Any suggestions?

    • Todd says:

      Sounds like an air lock in the water line to the ice maker. Not sure how exactly to fix that, need to purge the air out somehow.

      • Jeff H says:

        OK after a little more troubleshooting it turns out the ice maker was stuck in “Harvest Mode” pulled unit out of freezer and took apart. Apparently the mold heater shorted inside motor controller unit. In doing so, it burned up the electrical traces on the controller. Needless to say, it means another whole new ice maker which I found online for $75.00.

  59. mike beckner says:

    have a kenmore changed water filter now it want make ice also the cup the filter fits in fills up with water what should i do thanks

  60. Dan says:

    I have a Kenmore model 106.56672500 that I’ve replaced the filter on everytime the indicator says to. Today I did the same as I’ve always done but it sounded as if there was a hissing coming from the new filter. I decided to remove and reseat it but when I took it out water leaked from the nozzles the filter plugs in to. Tried reseating the new filter and the hissing went away but removed it to see if the water was still flowing…it was. Retried it with the old filter and same thing. Seems to work normally, just does not shut off when the filter is removed. Any ideas?

  61. Dan says:


    I have a Kenmore 10657282791 side by side. Does it have a filter? If so, where? My problem is smelly ice. Thanks

  62. Tammy says:

    I have a Kenmore side by side model 10645423801. Every time I remove the old filter to change it water spews from the filter housing and I have to cut off the water supply to the frig to stem the flow of water. Although Sears claimed it was a filter issue, it appears the automatic shut off/bypass that should activate when the filter is removed is not working properly. If I replace the filter housing, will this solve the problem?

    • Todd says:

      Not really sure Tammy. I’ve seen this issue when the filter is not installed tightly. Short of that I’m really not sure what the next step is.

  63. Marty Kilbourne says:

    I have a Kenmore side by side with a blue PUR filter. There is a release button but nothing to grab hold of to pull it out. Any suggestions. The fridge is approx. 6 yrs old but the filter has never been changed.

  64. Tony Schenk says:

    I’m trying to change the filter on a Kenmore Elite French door model. I cannot get the old filter out. I am not the strongest guy around, but I should be able to turn the filter, right? Is there a trick? It does turn counter-clockwise to come out, doesn’t it? Thanks for any help.

  65. Leanda Terry says:

    It looks like a lot of people are having the same problem not being able to remove the filter, just as I am. We don’t have a cap because it seems my Dad threw it away the first time he changed the filter. We have always had trouble getting it out, but this time nothing seems to be working. Also when pushing in the button nothing seems to happen. We are at a loss as to what we should do at this point. Anyone have any ideas?

  66. Kaye says:

    I have a Kenmore side by side and I tried to replace the water filter and couldn’t get it to go in properly. I then tried to put the old one back it and it wouldn’t fit either. Help! What could be causing this? It seems to be such a simple procedure but get neither myself or my male handy man friend could get it installed. Is there a trick that we don’t know about?

  67. Dan B says:

    I have Kenmore Elite 106.45429801 Side by Side Refrigerator that was purchased Jan of 2010. The ice maker and water dispenser stopped? What might have happened and how do I fix it? Valve?

  68. Lou says:

    I have replaced my push button in grille refrigerator filter and the old one never seems to have water in it. I don’t believe the water is flowing through the filter. It seems to be stuck in by pass mode even when there is a filter inserted. I have the Kenmore Elite 106.57782701 refrigerator. I have verified that water flows out of the filter valve ports deep in the filter housing assembly. What can I try?

  69. Rosemary says:

    I have a Kenmore Elite French Door, Bottom Freezer refrigerator. Model #795.7203.110. The water filter is 46-9690. The filter is found inside on the upper left-hand side.

    When I replaced the filter, for the first time, after 7 months, water flowed fine for 2-3 weeks, until the stream started to slow to a trickle and eventually stop completely, after only 1 month. Water flowed from dispenser when filter was replaced with the by-pass cartridge, so We figured filter must be defective. I purchased a new filter and installed and the same exact thing happened. Water stopped flowing after 1 month. I called service tech and they said it was probably the hard water clogging it up. After only one month, this didn’t seem right to me, especially since I never had issues with the prior refrigerator. I went to my local Sears with the filter and explained what happened and asked if they had problems with defective filters. They said no. They replaced it for me, but said next time look into something mechanical. That it was unlikely to be the filter. I replaced the filter and water is flowing great. Hmmm. Incidently, I had a repair man here for another issue with the refrigerator, and I mentioned this problem. He was stumped and said that there might have been air in the line, or the line was frozen and he turned the temp up a little. I had him try the old filter (the last one that wasn’t working just to show him what I meant. He put it in and low and behold it was working, so he said it definitely was air or it was frozen. He flushed it through for a while and all seemed fine. We left the old one in. Anyway, only 1 day later, the water has slowed down to a trickle. Any ideas? By the way, the ice works.

    • Todd Fratzel says:

      Rosemary – Seems like many people have these issues and as far as I can tell it comes down to an airlock. The freezing issue is certainly interesting, and possible I suppose if the line is near the freezer side. I would try bleeding it off again.

  70. jim says:

    When I push the release button water starts coming out immediately. I have to race to get the new replacement Kenmore in place while water is coming out.

    This has happened the last two times I replaced the filter.

    Is the release button broken?

  71. Lynne says:

    If you change the water filter in your Kenmore Side by Side refrigerator, do you really have to keep throwing out the ice in the ice dispenser three times?

  72. Lynne says:

    I replaced the water filter in my Kenmore side by side refrigerator; not sure if I have to keep throwing out the ice in the automatic icemaker three times in a row.

    I look forward to hearing from you…

  73. Mag says:


    I Have a Kenmore Elite and Ive had it for at least 5 years. Ive been changing the filters regularly but the last time I changed it, it affected the water pressure. I tried to take out the filter and put it back when i realized that once i pulled it out, it was leaking from the filter area. I put it back in to stop the leaking. Everything is working fine, but it will continue to leak the second i pull the filter out. Any ideas? Thanks in advance.

  74. Nat says:


    I’m embarrassed to admit this but I removed the old filter with no problem and took the red cap off the new filter. My phone rang and I stepped away to answer it. When I returned, I could not tell which was the new versus old filter. One is full of water, one is dry. I read through these posts and it looks like you told someone else that the dirty filter would be filled with water, it this correct? I just wanted to verify. Please help.

  75. Jay says:

    my water filter area also leaks the second i remove the filter. when i put it back it stops but the minute i remove it water gushes out.

    • Jerry says:


      Recently had the same problems after 8 years and many filter changes. I ended up closing the water supply to the frig and opening the water dispenser to relieve the water pressure from the system. Then the filter can be changed without water gushing out.


  76. jane says:

    I see that several readers have posted on the same issue I have…Kenmore side by side with filter on the bottom grill. The filter cap is missing.

    I used the filter cap to remove and replace the filter 6 months ago so I am not certain how/why it has gone missing but now I can’t remove the filter.

    Is there any “hack” to remove the filter without the filter cap? I don’t see where I could grab on to anything with a pair of pliers. I appreciate any suggestions you have for how to remove the filter.

    Thank you!

  77. Kim says:

    Hello, I have a Kenmore Elite side by side fridge/freezer model #1064116 with the water filter in the upper right hand corner. When I went to lift the cap which is supposed to push the filter out, the cap broke and a spring flew out at me. Now the filter is stuck and will not come out. Is there a way I can get it out, or does this warrant a service call?

  78. Avon says:

    My husband replaced the water filter in our side by side kenmore refrigator and that night the fridge trip meaning it turned off. when we plug the fridge the plug line trips. Is something wrong with the water filter? Is there air locked in somewhere in the filter that is causing the triping of teh fridge? Please advise Thanks

  79. Nick says:

    Can’t seem to get the old filter to rotate in my kitchen aid refrigerator. It does not have a release button. When I try to rotate counter clockwise, it does not budge. Any advice?

  80. Rosemary says:

    I thought I should post an update to my original post about the filter problem with my Kenmore Elite Bottom Freezer Refrigerator. A brief summary: After changing filter, water slows to a trickle and them stops. I was by Sears and the repair man that there are no problems with the filters, that it was either mechanical or an air lock.

    I just want others who might be having this issue to know that I found a generic filter on-line called EcoAqua. Item number EFF-6032A. This filter works perfect and is a lot less expensive. My feeling is still, that there is something wrong with the Kenmore filters. I hope this is helpful.

  81. Paul says:

    Old water filter was replaced. New filter will not dispense water. Old filter works. Works with no filter. Could we have gotten a bad filter?

  82. Angela Hundhausen says:

    Hello, I just tried to change the water filter on my Kitchen-Aid fridge/freezer and when I pulled out the filter, water started gushing out and onto the floor! This has never happened in the 5.5 years we have had the unit and previous filter changes. I was able to stop the flow of water by putting the filter back in ….

    Any suggestions? Perhaps a valve problem?

    Thanks in advance!

    Angela H.

    • Todd Fratzel says:

      I think that there is a valve that stops water when you remove the filter, it may have stuck. I would just swap the filter as fast as you can.

  83. Vickie says:

    Hi. I have a kenmore Elite side by side refrigerator. I have lived in this house for 5 years and never changed the water filter. I have not been using the water. The refrigerator is approximately 8 years old and unsure if prior owner ever changed filter or not. I ordered replacement filter and trying to get old filter out. According to instructions, this should be easy and just push eject button in and pull old filter straight out. It is stuck and will not budge. Any help is appreciated. I cannot tell if eject button is not releasing the filter or if the filter is stuck for another reason. On another help topic site, someone had same issue and answer was to use hair dryer for little while as things expand over time and this should work to release. This solution seems a little scary to me. Please help with any little tricks to get old filter out.

  84. Regina Zeyzus says:

    Amy Owen’s answer solved my problem! After an hour of 5 sec on, 5 sec off, air still wasn’t purged and only a few drops would dispense. Then I read Amy’s fix – I removed the new filter, had my sister dispense water with no filter in place, and I shoved the new filter in while she was dispensing. The water stream spurted and burbed a few times, then ran like a dream.
    Thank you Amy Owen and author!

  85. Barbara Kavanaugh says:

    I have a Kenmore elite refrigerator Series is 402KR00078 and the model number is 79572183315. I don’t find either of these numbers in the listings forwater filter replacement parts. I need both the water filter and the air
    filter. Can you help?

  86. M Alexander says:

    I have a Kenmore elite refrigerator model 79572483411. I cannot find the location of the water filter. Do you know where it is located?

  87. Celeste says:

    Hello I have a 04356 and I can not find the air filter

  88. Margaret Crosby says:

    I have a Kenmore bottom freezer refrigerator that is about 2 years old. I have never replaced the water filter because I couldn’t find it. Called Sears and was assured it requires a water filter and that the instructions received with the filter will tell me where to install the filter. That filter has been on backorder for 3 months. Today purchased a 9130 filter at a Sears Hometown Store in another city. Got home and no diagram or instructions were provided as to where the old filter can be located. I spent a few hours on phone today with Sears trying to find out where the water filter is to be installed. Asked for supervisor and was told to call back tomorrow. The Use and Care Guide received with my Kenmore Model 111.73025711 refrigerator does not contain any reference to a water filter. Any suggestions or is this a model that does not have a filter. It does have an ice maker that doesn’t seem to be very efficient. Thank you for your assistance.

  89. JIM OLDS says:


  90. Mae says:

    I looked through the questions, but didn’t see one like mine. My Elite water filter on my Kenmore fridge is attached to the small spring door that covers it. The spring on the door was accidentally broken by my son while changing the last filter. The filter is supposed to pop out when the door is opened, but now the filter is stuck since there is nothing to eject it. It should have been switched months ago, but I can’t get it out and I don’t want to ruin the filter compartment by sticking in a screw driver or tongs.

  91. Yvonne says:

    Hello I have a Kenmore elite filter#9490 I purchase from sears
    Never had a problem changing tell
    Now. It just would not fit. I had
    Order two so we open the second box
    And it went in. Have you ever heard
    Filters being bad.

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