Why You Should Install a Filter on Your Ice Maker

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An ice maker is one of the most functional appliances a homeowner could possess. The days of remembering to remove, fill, and return an ice tray to the freezer while waiting for the cubes to freeze are long gone. You need to go to your ice maker, remove the bin, and pour the ice into the desired container whenever you need ice. Whether or not your machine has a filter, you may notice that the ice changes over time. 

Does My Ice Maker Need a Filter? 

No. A filter is not required for ice makers, but it is highly recommended if you want the machine to produce the highest quality ice possible. Here are three advantages of incorporating a filter into your ice machine. 

  • Enhances the overall quality of ice 
  • Reduces the need for maintenance, cleaning, and repairs. 
  • Contributing to improved ice production. 

Examining the benefits may convince you that a filter is a worthwhile investment for you and your ice maker, despite considering it is an additional expense. 

1. Enhances Quality by Eliminating Impurities 

Many ice machines, with or without a filter, initially produce excellent ice. However, you will quickly observe that the ice is altering without a filter. Perhaps it is slightly cloudy or appears softer than usual. Eventually, the ice acquires a faint odor and an unpleasant flavor. 

Even though you may not see it, these issues are frequently caused by contaminants in the water used to make ice. A filter is the simplest way to prevent these particles from contaminating your ice and altering its appearance, flavor, and aroma. 

Even if you clean your ice maker regularly, as you should, contaminants may still enter the machine and degrade its performance. Utilizing a filter and replacing it every few months is one of the simplest ways to maintain the clarity and flavor of ice. 

2. Reduces maintenance and repair requirements

Your ice maker will require cleaning as it becomes more soiled. Without a filter, the unit will eventually become clogged with water’s natural minerals. This buildup will likely occur rapidly if you live in an area with hard water. 

Regular cleaning will aid in keeping your ice maker in good working condition, but it will do little to prevent buildup. Consequently, you must clean the appliance more frequently. 

By utilizing a filter, you can now keep your ice machine cleaner for more extended periods and, as a result, reduce the frequency of cleaning without sacrificing ice quality. 

A clean ice maker will function optimally, reducing the need for repairs and extending its lifespan. On the other hand, a dirty machine will have to work harder to complete its tasks, which may cause some internal components to fail. This will necessitate costly repairs or replacement of the device. 

3. Improves your machine’s ice production

If dirt and rust can affect the quality of your ice, it begs the question: what else might find its way into your ice maker? 

Unfiltered or hard water contains various minerals, including lime scale and mold, that can accumulate in your machine. Not only can this result in undesirable flavors or odors in your ice, but it can also render your ice maker unsanitary. And that is disgusting. 


Ice makers do not require a filter in order to produce ice, but they will help you make better ice and increase the overall longevity of the appliance itself. There are no rules that say the ice maker in your home needs to have a filter in order to work

Yes, as long as the bypass plug is installed. The plug replaces the water filter in the water filter housing. Essentially, it blocks the water from entering where the filter should be. The water system won’t function if the water filter or bypass plug isn’t installed.

A clogged or incorrectly installed water filter can reduce the water flow to the ice maker and dispenser and could cause one or more of the following: Ice cubes to be thin or hollow. Odd tasting ice or water. Low ice production.

Without a water filter to ensure quality, even a commercial ice machine costing many thousands of dollars cannot produce a quality product. Allowing just any water to flow unfiltered into an ice machine will dramatically decrease the quality of the ice.

If you don’t change your filter, you may end up consuming harmful bacteria, chemicals, and particles every time you get a glass of water from the fridge. When refrigerator filters go unchanged, it is common to find E. coli and fecal coliform in your water, bacteria that can cause serious damage to your health.

If you install the filter incorrectly or if it gets clogged, it can reduce the amount of water that flows to the ice maker and that will inadvertently stop the ice maker from working as it should.

Standard filters should not be used longer than 6 months, and high capacity filters for no longer than 12 months.

This filter should be changed out every few months (though few people ever change it out) and the entire cold fridge water apparatus could be the source of your leaks.

One of the most recurring problems with water filters across all brands is the growth of mold and the constant combat of that. Most mold is harmless but having mold in your drinking water could present serious hazards to your health. And of course, if you’re using a water filter, your aim is to prevent that.

To reset any ice maker, first make sure the feeler arm isn’t stuck. If it is, push it down so it knows to keep working. Otherwise, check for a reset button on the ice maker and hold it down for 10 seconds. If that doesn’t work, turn off and unplug the ice maker for up to 15 minutes for a hard reset.

Final Thoughts 

Filters are not required for ice makers to produce ice, but they will help you make better ice and extend the machine’s life. 

There are no regulations stating that the ice maker in your home must contain a filter to function. However, if you’re using one in a restaurant or other commercial setting, there may be local regulations requiring the use of a filter; therefore, it would be prudent to determine if one is needed. 

Even though you may enjoy the unfiltered ice that your ice maker currently produces, you should strongly consider installing a filter. Not only can it significantly improve the flavor and quality of the ice produced by your machine, but it can also keep your machine cleaner and more efficient. 

Ultimately, this reduces the likelihood of premature machine failure and cleanings. Purchase a replacement filter every six months and replace it. Consider using a filter if your ice machine produces ice with a cloudy appearance, a faint odor, or an unpleasant flavor. 

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