How to Clean an Ice Maker Water Filter

Reading Time: 4 minutes Ice Machine Cleaning

water filter for ice maker easy ice

Last updated on January 5th, 2023 at 04:27 pm

Here in the US, by the time water reaches our sink, it’s generally safe to drink. That’s because water treatment facilities clean and filter water of harmful bacteria or protozoa. Although safe to drink, treatment facilities can’t filter everything out of the water. Truth is, tap water still has particles in it. These particles aren’t harmful to people but can mean bad news for your ice machine. That’s why ice machines have their own water filter that traps deposits that can clog up a unit. Knowing how to clean an ice maker’s dirty water filter can keep your machine in working condition.  

Here’s what causes an ice machine water filter to clog and how it can affect your ice production.  

What an Ice Machine Water Filter is Fighting Against

Water is known as the universal solvent because it dissolves more substances than any other liquid. As water dissolves solids, it carries tiny particles along with it. Over time, as water flows to your ice machine, these particles can accumulate and cause blockages in your unit. Some of these particles include: 

    • Calcium  
    • Chlorides 
    • Sodium 
    • Iron 
    • Magnesium 

Your water filter’s job is simple – prevent particles from entering your machine.  

What Happens When an Ice Machine Water Filter Gets Dirty? 

Your ice machine’s water filter guards against a lot, but it isn’t a perfect defense. As time passes, minerals and particles accumulate and eventually plug up the water filter.

Without proper cleaning, a dirty water filter can clog up with so much debris that water can’t get through it. When this happens, your machine can freeze up completely, meaning your ice machine won’t be able to produce ice.  

This ultimately results in an ice machine shutting down into its fail-safe mode until the water filter is clear and water can flow back to the machine.  

If your water filter is dirty, the inside of your ice machine may also be dirty. Check out this resource for protecting your ice maker (and its ice) from contamination.

How Can I Make Sure the Ice Machine Water Filter Doesn’t Clog? 

What’s the best way to keep your ice machine water filter clear? Clean it! Before we tell you how to clean an ice maker water filter, though, it’s important to know what type of filter you have.  

Pre-filters are simple in design. Normally made of a mesh-like material, they filter out larger particles and debris, so they don’t enter the machine. Cleaning these filters is easy enough, simply rinse them with water. Eventually, you’ll have to replace these filters. Each filter has its own lifespan (normally labeled on the box it came in). It’s important to know how long your pre-filter is rated for, so you know when to replace it.   

Treated filters are infused with chemicals like phosphate, which break down particles further, so they don’t cause buildup in the machine. After a while, they also need replacing, as rinsing them won’t replenish the treatment.   

Finally, a reverse osmosis system can also help in keeping your water filter clear. These systems use a membrane with small pores that only allow water molecules to pass through. Reverse osmosis is a great way to treat your water, but you need to replace membranes every few months as well.   

How Often Should an Ice Machine Water Filter Be Cleaned? 

Knowing how to clean an ice maker water filter is one thing, how often is another. Manufacturers measure the lifespan of a filter in PPM (Parts per million). This determines the particle to water ratio your filter can handle.

Print & Post this Cleaning Schedule!

Keep your machine in peak condition by following this FREE cleaning checklist.

The only thing is, different areas have more particles than others. In places like Chicago, the water is soft, meaning it has less mineral content. Businesses in these areas have to clean their filters less.   

Areas like Phoenix, Arizona have a high concentration of minerals in their soil. Water with high mineral concentration is known as hard water. In these areas, more particles pass through a filter, clogging them faster – which means more frequent cleanings.

So how can you find out your water quality? That’s a job best left for professionals… 

Why You Should Have Your Water Filter Professionally Cleaned 

Getting an ice machine cleaning from a professional comes with a lot of perks. Along with planned preventive maintenance that comes with a cleaning service, a trained professional can determine your area’s:  

  • Ph Level 
  • Hard vs. Soft water 
  • Flow rate 
  • Water Temperature 

This information is useful in creating a routine cleaning schedule which  can ensure proper cleaning frequencies and techniques specific to your area’s water supply.

If you’re an Easy Ice subscriber, we’ll do all this for you and set up a no-hassle, planned preventive maintenance schedule. Our technicians identify your area’s specific water challenges and schedule cleanings accordingly.   

If you are interested in an Easy Ice machine subscription, complete with routine preventive maintenance, give us a call at 866-easyice.  

Our team is available to help you get started today!

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15 Comments on “How to Clean an Ice Maker Water Filter”

    1. Hi Gerry,

      In most cases, the water filter is placed between the water shut off and the back of the machine. If you tell us what kind of ice maker you have, we can provide more specific information. Have a great day!

  1. I have a frigidaire Model FFTR1814QW2. I am unsure where the water filter is. Having some problems with ice maker and need to check this.

    Thank you
    Len Brown

  2. I have A refrigerator that the ice falls into a plastic container. But the ice taste terrible. It’s a Frigidaire refrigerator

    1. Hi Marion,
      Is this a refrigerator in your home? We only deal in commercial ice makers. If the ice is inedible, I suggest calling a refrigerator repair tech unless you feel comfortable taking it apart and cleaning out the lines and other ice making components.
      Best of luck!

  3. I have a LG refrigerator with an ice maker but no water dispenser, does it have a water filter and if so where is it located.
    Model no. LFCS22520 D/00

    1. Dear Mike,

      Here is what our expert wanted me to relay to you:

      Most domestic refrigerators with ice makers do not have internal water filtration. An external filter assembly is relatively easy to install. It will need to be located between the water supply shut-off valve and the waterline connection at the back of the unit. Preferably in an area with easy access for changing. Local hardware stores typically carry water filtration assemblies for domestic refrigerators.

      Hope this is helpful!

  4. I bought a Waring Ice Crusher, Model Number 1CR10 yesterday and I am trying to clean it so it can be used by us. I haven’t been able to find anything on Waring products nor can I find an ice crusher close to mine. I understand it may have a water filter, but there is no “door” to open. Does that mean I don’t have to clean the filter or is there a way to do it?
    Thank you for any information you can give me.

    1. Hi Rendalynn,
      Sorry to not be able to provide more assistance, but we do not specialize in that kind of ice maker. We hope you are able to sort out the concern.

  5. I have a Emerson counter top ice maker. It keeps saying “add water” after I add water. The manual says to clean the filter but I can not find the filter.

    1. Hi Maddie,

      Sorry to hear that your ice maker is giving you trouble! We exclusively work with commercial ice machines at Easy Ice. Unfortunately, since these function so differently than at-home ice makers, we’re unable to advise on situations like these. I did a little research, and it seems like you’re not alone in having this issue with your Emerson ice maker—I’d recommend calling their Technical Support and Customer Service line at 1-512-832-3774. I hope you’re able to get it sorted out!

    1. Hi Suzanne,

      This filter appears to be from a Maytag refrigerator meant for homes. We work with commercial ice machines at Easy Ice, so unfortunately, we cannot advise on residential units. I’d suggest calling Maytag Customer Support at 1-800-807-6777 to see if they can help you out.

      Best of luck!

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