I have dabbled in home improvement projects and like giving advice to others on what not to do.
Ah, the dreaded "dead filter" icon—a glaring red symbol disfiguring the elegant face of your Samsung refrigerator. You could ignore it; it won't hurt the refrigerator. But who knows what could be swimming around inside that kludged filter?
Besides, the thing is like a chipped tooth; you just can't ignore it. If you are like me, you might feel a little intimidated by the prospect of changing the filter. Fear not. I'll show you how.
These directions are for the Samsung RS265TDRS specifically. So, if you have another model, the details may differ a bit. However, some things, like the advisability of shutting off the water to the unit first, are universal.
How to Replace a Samsung Refrigerator Water Filter
- Have a replacement filter handy.
- Shut off the water source to your refrigerator, most likely under your kitchen sink.
- Locate the filter compartment in the bottom right-hand section of the door's interior.
- Remove the vegetable bin if necessary for access.
- To remove old filter, grasp the ridge on the outward surface. It should be vertical or locked.
- Turn one-quarter turn counter-clockwise and pull out.
- Insert new filter and turn one-quarter turn clockwise to lock in place.
- Run water dispenser for at least 30 seconds to purge air and impurities.
- Reset the filter light by holding down the water selector switch for three seconds.
Have a Replacement Filter Handy
First, the replacement filter. You may find one as nearby as your local home-improvement store. But you won't find the best deal there. It may take a few days to get the replacements in your hot little hands if you follow my option, but ordering online saved me about 40%. I think that the absolute best prices are at specialty sites, but I went with Amazon.com, which was easy to deal with and very nearly as inexpensive. I saved more by buying a three-pack.
You need to know the part number. It's in your manual, but if your refrigerator is the RS265TDRS, then you need filter DA29-00020B.
You are looking at the bottom of the right-hand (refrigerator) section of the unit, with the door open. The vegetable bin at the very bottom has been removed and you are looking at the top of the filter facing you on the lower right. That's where they hide the thing.
Shut Off the Water Source to Your Refrigerator
Remember to shut off the water. That blurry, blobby thing in the middle of the photo above is a shut-off valve. Look for yours. This one is under my kitchen sink, and that's a popular location. But look for likely candidates, turn them off, and check whether the water dispenser is still doing its thing. If not, you are clear for take-off.
If worse comes to worst, you can always turn the water off at the meter. This is easy but may require a special tool.
Locate the Filter
Removing the filter is—as the kids say—crazy simple. Just grasp the ridge on the outward surface. It should be vertical, which is the 'locked' position. Turn one-quarter turn counter-clockwise (so the top moves to the left), and pull it out.
The instructions note that hard water may leave deposits that make the filter hard to turn or remove. The recommended remedy: Use more force. Really! To install the new filter, simply reverse the steps.
Once you've installed the new filter (and replaced the vegetable bin), there's just one major step. Run the water dispenser for 30 seconds or more (the official video below says five minutes) to purge any air or impurities that may have gotten into the system. In my case, quite a lot of air got in there, spraying me with water when I first ran the dispenser. Better you than your dinner guest!
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.
Maro Plathe on June 11, 2020:
What if I left the cap on and now stuck in there?
Pete in San Diego on May 24, 2020:
I have a filter that I can't budge, it won't turn or come out, tried several times with force. any tips, its on the lower right side as indicated in your diagram. model RS25J500DSR/AA How can you let me know, I don't always visit this page or possibly find it again for an answer. pls email copy firstname.lastname@example.org thanks Pete
ANgela on February 26, 2020:
Thanks for your quick response!
We've had the refrigerator awhile and usually change out the filter when the water starts to taste funny. We have replaced the ice machine motor at one time a few years ago because it stopped making ice.
Other than that, I'll look into testing the water.
Doc Snow (author) from Camden, South Carolina on February 24, 2020:
Hi, Angela--yes, the light is supposed to stay on. But it should turn blue when the filter is replaced and the lines purged, from the red color indicating the need for a filter change.
I don't know why you haven't seen the indicator turn red. Have you had the refrigerator long? (I'm guessing 'yes' since you say that it's the same model--and that model is no longer anything close to new.) And do you change the filter regardless?
Maybe your water supply is unusually clean, or maybe the sensor/control system that should turn on the indicator isn't working properly in some respect. Do you have any other reason for concern about the water quality, or the operation of the frig? If so, there are quite a few options for having the water tested that you could pursue.
ANgela on February 23, 2020:
I noticed in your success photo, the filter light was still on? Is it supposed to still stay on? I have the same model refrigerator but my filter light has never turned red...(?)
Doc Snow (author) from Camden, South Carolina on October 15, 2018:
Perhaps you don't, if it's never caused you problems. To be honest, I never checked the necessity of that step, assuming that not doing so created the danger of leakage. But perhaps there's a check valve built in to the fixture that renders that unnecessary.
But I'm curious; if you've already done this many times, what prompted you to read an article on how to it?
Cil on October 12, 2018:
Why must I shut off the water source to the dispenser? I've changed it many times and never knew to do that.
Doc Snow (author) from Camden, South Carolina on February 01, 2018:
Well, that's a new one on me, Doris. If it is truly 'hot'--not just warmish--then you may have a really serious problem, and I'd find a repair shop, fast.
However, if it's just sort of warmish I would:
1) Make sure that the frig hadn't been accidentally been reset in a way that turned off refrigeration. (For instance, there is a 'showroom mode' that does that; it may also be possible that the temperature was reset too high.) Consult your manual on settings; if you don't have a paper copy, you should be able to download it from the Samsung website. (There's a label on the frig giving the model number; use that to make sure you have the right manual.)
2) If all the settings seem to be correct, I'd allow some time for the water in the reservoir to cool, and then recheck. Say, a half hour?
I don't believe there's any separate refrigeration for the water; I think it works off the main coils that cool the refrigerator itself. If that's right, then after a half hour, you'll probably notice that the main part of the frig isn't cooling, either. (That is, you'll notice it's warming up.) If you can't identify a problem with settings, as in step 1, then you'll likely have to call a repair shop.
Doris Templeton on February 01, 2018:
After changing the filter water is hot. What do I do?
Doc Snow (author) from Camden, South Carolina on January 03, 2018:
Thanks for asking, Ritzsplit!
The short answer is, I can't tell for sure. First question: is the cartridge now leaking water? If not, that's clearly hopeful. If it is, then obviously it's now bad and needs to be replaced.
Second thing: either way, turn off the water, and see if you can remove the filter--by which I mean 'remove it in one piece.' If you can, that's another good sign.
If it comes out, but in two pieces, then you need a new filter, of course, but at least you know where you are. And hopefully, you'll have no trouble with the reinstall.
On the other hand, if it doesn't want to come out--I'm imagining a scenario here where the exterior part of the filter just spins--then you have the choice of attempting to remove the bits separately, DIY style, or calling a repair shop. I hesitate to recommend the first option, as there's considerable potential downside.
Third thing: if the filter does come out in one piece, give it a good inspection to see if you can spot any damage. Look carefully, and think hard about what you see. If you have another filter handy, you may want to compare the two. (Unless you're a lot nerdier about this than I am, you don't have a clear idea of what the business end of the filter is *supposed* to look like.)
So if there's 1) no leakage, 2) the filter comes out OK, 3) looks all right under inspection, and 4) goes back in OK (and locks in place as it is supposed to do), then I'd say you've dodged the bullet on this little incident.
Good luck, and happy troubleshooting!
Ritzspit on January 03, 2018:
When changing the water filter I turned it clockwise by mistake have I done any damage
jimenez on September 22, 2017:
Doc Snow (author) from Camden, South Carolina on September 09, 2017:
Lol--thanks, Lou! I would certainly appreciate the update.
Lou on September 06, 2017:
Thanks for the reply. He still hasn't tried anything because he's waiting for "Dad" to come down and take care of it! I thought the same, some type of narrow tweezers or long nose vice grips. Possibly a stiff wire bent in to a minnie hook on the end. I'll report the results when I do it. Thanks again. Lou
Doc Snow (author) from Camden, South Carolina on August 22, 2017:
Hi, Al. My guess would be that the filter isn't seated correctly. I'd try removing and then reinstalling it. You should be able to feel it click into place. If you're sure it's installed correctly and is fully seated in place, and there's still no flow, reinstall the old filter to see if that restores the flow. If it does, then you have good reason to believe that there's a problem with the new filter itself. One last caveat: allow time for any air in the filter and tubing to be expelled. Be patient testing that--it's worth a few extra minutes to be sure that the new filter really *is* the problem!
But it's also possible that something else has coincidentally gone wrong at the same time--it does happen sometimes, and when it does it can be pretty crazy-making. A couple of previous commenters have had related problems; you may want to scroll down a bit, see if their difficulties sound like yours, and maybe try my suggestions to them. (As of this writing, the first one is time-lined '2 years ago.' It's not that far.)
Al Phillips on August 20, 2017:
I changed the filter, turned the water back on, reset the filter but no water. Question, Why no water?
Doc Snow (author) from Camden, South Carolina on August 07, 2017:
...and I can see that yesterday's response occurred with a connectivity problem, too, as clearly my sign-in didn't 'take'. Oh, well, joys of living in the country!
Doc Snow on August 06, 2017:
Hi, Lou, sorry about the delay in responding--connectivity issues. Especially sorry because I don't have too much to offer on this question. As mentioned below, we've moved and no longer own this frig. I'd try gripping tools, like vise grips, especially needle nose ones.
Lou on July 30, 2017:
Son's water filter top remained in the cylinder when he turned counter clock-wise and removed. What can you use to get that piece out of the cylinder. The new filter already has this piece. Thanks. Lou
Doc Snow (author) from Camden, South Carolina on March 05, 2017:
Quite possibly, Kevin. I no longer own the model--we moved in December--but this is something manufacturers do seem to do. I'm sure they will still need to support existing models, though, so I wouldn't be too worried.
Kevin on March 04, 2017:
Has Samsung changed this filter? I had no issues getting these filters in for five years but now I cannot get the new one in. I noticed that the middle connection is larger now with an O-ring. The last one I removed did not have this.
Doc Snow (author) from Camden, South Carolina on March 03, 2017:
Bob, that's a good question, and thank you for asking it. The short answer, unfortunately, is "I don't know."
My first concern would be decreased water flow through the filter. I don't think you'd burn out any pumps, since the water pressure from the feed line is what feeds the system, but could decreased flow lead to any problems 'downstream' in the system? I doubt it, but can't be sure.
Secondly, is it possible that a kludged filter could become a hosting spot for bacteria or other nasties? Again, I don't really know.
Any pros out there with more concrete knowledge to address Bob's question?
Bob on February 26, 2017:
What is the outcome if I don't replace the water filter? Tap water in my municipality is odorless and always tastes fresh.
Doc Snow (author) from Camden, South Carolina on December 16, 2016:
Rose, did you catch that last little point?
"Note that your filter icon will still be red after you have finished, as shown in the photo above. To reset it, press and hold the water selector switch for three seconds."
If that doesn't do it, either the filter installed must be bad (unlikely but possible, I suppose), or there is a problem with the sensor, in which case you need a repairman.
Rose on December 15, 2016:
My red light not going off
CoachJenReid on November 16, 2016:
Thank you. Super helpful! Appreciate the post!
Doc Snow (author) from Camden, South Carolina on November 06, 2016:
Thanks for writing, gg, and sorry you're having troubles. I have heard of this before. The cure is basically force, according to the manufacturer. A previous commenter complained of a filter that was 'too slippery' to pull out, and I suggested trying vice grips, padded with a towel or rag--but I never heard back whether that worked or not.
One thing in your comment gave me a bit of pause, though; you wrote "I can't pull the water filter out of the door." The problem being, that with this model the filter isn't in the door--as shown in photo #3, it's in the bottom right of the main compartment, where the bottom crisper drawer fits around it. Maybe you didn't mean literally 'the door of the fridge,' but the phrasing raised a doubt in my mind as to whether we are talking about the same model or not. If not, of course, there is no telling whether any of the rest of the stuff in this Hub (like the bit about the one-quarter counterclockwise turn) applies or not. So you may want to double-check the model number to make sure about that.
Sorry for the delay in replying to your comment--I've been on the road for several days, and didn't see the notice. Good luck!
GG on November 06, 2016:
I can't pull the water filter out of the door. We turned off the water supply, we turned the filter a quarter turn counterclockwise, and tried to pull it out, but it will not budge. We've tried many, many times. I tell you, I'm disgusted with this refrigerator. We have an ongoing issue with the ice maker. It regularly crushes the ice into powdery chips instead of the cube option my wife and I set it for. (We're a cube family; no crushed ice for us.) At least 90% of the time I have to take out the entire ice compartment from the freezer and take out the cubes by hand. Anyway, has anyone else found the water filter impossible to remove? The thing will not budge at all.
Doc Snow (author) from Camden, South Carolina on October 01, 2016:
It's the the water flow--there's a flow sensor in the dispenser section.
Ross on October 01, 2016:
Hi dose any one know if the indicator light is activated by water flow or time Cheers
Doc Snow (author) from Camden, South Carolina on September 02, 2016:
Anna, sounds like you are the one who should be giving the advice here. What do you do to rinse the filter? And does the filter icon stay blue?
Anna on September 02, 2016:
My original water filter (Samsung DA-00020B) is working fine since 20 months now, no smell in water, I just take it out & rince it every three months. Nobody who drinks the water from my fridge believes it or taste any smell in water, but It's working great, any advice would be appreciated. Thanks!!
Doc Snow (author) from Camden, South Carolina on May 01, 2016:
Hi, Roxanne. I haven't had this experience. But I'd try wiping the filter off to see if I can remove whatever is making it slippery, then retry.
Make sure you are clear on the direction to turn the filter: 1/4 turn counterclockwise (top moving left--"lefty, loosie" as they say.)
If the wipe-down doesn't do it, I'd use a gripper such as slip-lock pliers or vice grips to improve my 'grab' on the filter. Probably best to pad the jaws with a dish towel or rag to help keep the filter from cracking, which will just make it even tougher to get out.
The tool should help, both with the quarter turn to unlock, and then with the straight pull to remove.
Roxanne on May 01, 2016:
the old filter is too slippery to pull out. ???
Doc Snow (author) from Camden, South Carolina on March 06, 2015:
Not much idea, I'm afraid. But logically, there has to be a blockage. And if, as you imply, it appeared right after you made the change, then chances are that it is something to do with the installation of the filter.
(Actually, there is another possibility, too, which is that for some reason the valve operating the water dispenser isn't working.)
But I'm not sure where either of those two ideas takes us in terms of troubleshooting. That's where in depth knowledge of the routing of the water through the unit, and of the various characteristics of the unit and its controls would be useful.
Things to try:
--Recheck the filter one more time. Sounds like there's not much chance that you missed something, but I'd recheck anyway.
--If that's OK, you could disconnect the feed at the back of the unit to make sure that water is at least reaching that point. That would isolate the problem to the fridge itself.
--Anything look iffy on the control panel? You could try resetting it. I doubt that's it, either, since I don't think it controls the water dispensing mechanism, but I don't know that for a fact.
--Closely inspect the area where the filter seats. (You'll probably need a powerful light to do it.) Is there anything that looks broken, or any sign of an obstruction?
After that, I'm pretty much out of ideas--other than calling a service pro.
John on March 06, 2015:
Thanks for the article an I like the joking in it. Always helps to have humor. I changed mine out as I have done once before and now no water comes out. I changed the filter back to the one that came out and still no water. Yes the water is on to the refrigerator also. Any other idea what may be wrong?
Doc Snow (author) from Camden, South Carolina on February 23, 2015:
Hmm. Have you tried putting the old filter back in place? If the water starts working again, you will know that there is something incorrect either with the new filter, or with its installation.
And--did you remember to turn the shut-off valve back on after you finished replacing the filter? (I know, I know!--but it's something I know I could forget.)
Brandon on February 22, 2015:
Replaced but now water dose not work.
Doc Snow (author) from Camden, South Carolina on June 17, 2014:
Glad it helped, Ben. Thanks!
Ben on June 15, 2014:
Good article, helped me change mine out quickly and easily. Thanks for taking the time to post this.
Doc Snow (author) from Camden, South Carolina on April 10, 2014:
you are on April 10, 2014:
soooooooooooooooo long winded
Doc Snow (author) from Camden, South Carolina on July 21, 2012:
So--what do you think? Got a better slant on this task? A correction maybe? Too jokey, perhaps?
Let me know--and thanks for checking out this Hub!