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Why I Never Change My Refrigerator’s Water Filter

I’ve been living with this refrigerator for five or six years now and apparently, you’re supposed to change the water filter every six months–who knew?

They must have smelled it from Whirlpool Headquarters because they sent me a new filter, practically forcing it on me, begging me to do my fridgerly duty and replace the filter.

letter from whirlpool, change water filter

Now, before you start gagging at the thought of my not replacing the filter for six years, you might want to think about the guy who lived here before us who may also have not changed the filter another six years before that? Ha! That’ll teach you to jump to conclusions.

Why did I never change the filter before? Because it never occurred to me before. Which is silly because I’ve replaced it in other refrigerators. But this one is different.

You see, I began to grow fond of my filter. We became fast friends. I’d open the door and stare adoringly into the shelves of moldy leftovers and fuzzy milk and ponder what to have for lunch and Henry would gurgle to me (I’d named him Henry right away because he sounded like a Henry). I thought he was recommending ice for my drink or water to quench my thirst.

Instead, I now realize that all along, Henry was saying, “If you love me, let me go.”

Evidently, he was also saying, “I can’t go on like this”, and “What are you trying to do to me” and “You should have died by now from my toxic waste”…things like that.

Okay, maybe that’s not quite right, and ordinarily, I’d make up some excuse like how it’s similar to a cat pee stain on the carpet: after a while it just starts to blend into the scenery and you don’t notice it any more. Or you grow to love it and it becomes another member of the family.

But in this case, my excuse is that I had no reminder mechanism. In my previous relationships (with water filters) I was used to opening the door and SEEING the thing, which in turn would remind me to CHANGE the thing. My Henry, however, wasn’t much of a people person.

whirlpool refrigerator interior, whirlpool product review

No, Henry was hidden away in a secret compartment. Downstairs. In the fridge dungeon.

whirlpool refrigerator, water filter cover

I wasn’t thinking outside the ice box.

But then Whirlpool, in a hostile move, sent me a water filter…

whirlpool product reviews, whirlpool water filter, refrigerator

and wouldn’t you know, it came with directions pointing out the fact that it was located in the fridge dungeon. Sixty seconds later my new filter was installed.

And now I will remember to replace it next time because they make you put the date inside the refrigerator (where, I might remind you, the FILTERS used to be kept, thereby validating my earlier excuse that by SEEING it, you will CHANGE it).

whirlpool, maytag, amana water filters

You don’t want to see what came out of old Henry, though. Or maybe you do.. Maybe you’re a voyeuristic sicko and I have no shame.

used water filter, refrigerator water filter


So now I’m drinking non-toxic water again and coincidentally or not, the migraines have disappeared and I’m not that grey-ish yellow corpsey color any more.

We’re also using ice cubes again because before I found out Henry needed changing I just thought he was being a jerk in the freezer:

block of ice, big ice cubes

So, hyperbolically speaking, Whirlpool saved my life.

And unless you want a nasty letter from your appliance manufacturer, I highly suggest changing your water filter on time. Like maybe you should schedule it for the same day you replace your smoke detector batteries.

Wait, when was the last time you changed your smoke detector batteries?

glass of water, filtered water with ice

Related Posts with Thumbnails


  1. […] But it could get much worse than that. In extreme cases, the bits of porous filtering material that once cleaned your water may end up breaking off and entering into your water itself. That’s what I suspect happened to me: One day, black sediment started appearing in the bottom of my drinking glass, and other contaminants started clouding the water. After months of drinking pure, unadulterated drinking water, this was an unpleasant sight. […]

  2. […] writer has an offbeat and humorous blog article about Why I Never Change My Refrigerator Filter. She raises a serious point, however, as you can see in the photos of the disturbing debris […]

  3. Guest says:

    I am in the process of shopping for a new fridge.   Our old one never had a filter.  Of course the thought of an ongoing $60 per year expense for a filters chaps me.   But I did come across this article.

    Now I am convinced to shop for a fridge without filter.  I suspect that will not be easy.

    1.  Yikes! Well, even if you have to buy one with a filter. You could just never use it. Unless all those critters he found aren’t really that bad for you. I mean, we have bugs in our eyelashes, right? (sorry, I probably shouldn’t have brought that up)

  4. Bag sealing says:

    Wow indeed, I had no idea neither!

  5. J. Bear Savo says:

    I have water filter for my coffee pot. It goes over the basket of grounds, supposedly purifying the water before it drips through the basket and into the pot. Haven’t changed it for at least four years… Maybe I should.

    1. OK, now THAT I’ve never heard of.

  6. Hmmm, nine years still going strong… “If it ain’t broke, why fix it”
    I have a Kitchenaid with a filter that is at least nine years old, wonder if they will be sending us a new filter!  ROFL


    1. Well thank goodness I’m not the only one. And maybe when they tell you to change it every 6 months, it’s all a big conspiracy to sell filters.

  7. Joanna Jenkins says:

    Refrigerators have filters?!?!  Uh-oh.  I better go find mine.
    xo jj

  8. Ruth says:

    Your fridge dungeon is so clean. I would NEVER post a picture of mine.

    1. You notice I only allowed the top portion to be seen. Who knows what’s on the other shelves?

      No, really – who knows? Because I sure can’t figure out what some of that stuff used to be.  🙂

  9. LuLu Kellogg says:

    I am surprised I have not keeled over from some horrid disease. I knew nothing about this until now! YIKES!

    My Nanny Goats in Panties sweatshirt came today!!!!! Eeeeeeeeeeeeeek! I LOVE IT!!!!


    1. Don’t worry, this water filter thing is all a big conspiracy. Like those Power Balance bracelets. Oh, don’t get me started on those things.  

      And YAY! I’m glad you got your NGIP hoodie – woo hoo!!

  10. Random Chick says:

    OMG! YOU may have just saved MY life! I haven’t changed our filter in over two years and mine is located where I see it everyday…what does that say about me? Don’t say it. 

    BTW, did the filter just show up? Like, you didn’t do anything? If so, that’s wild.

    1. Two years??? Pfffftt!! I win.

      And Whirlpool contacted me to send it to me if I would review it. I’ve done a couple of others for them, just as silly, and they don’t seem to mind. In fact, if they’re smart, they’ll realize NGIP readers are paying more attention than other reviews.

  11. Um… okay, I am ashamed to admit this, but I didn’t know refrigerators HAD water filters. And even though I am cracking up over how hilarious this blog post is – now I’m left to wonder just how disgusting our water fliter might be.

    1. Nora Blithe says:

      I did the same thing.

      1. Thank goodness I am NOT alone, Nora!

    2. Is this a California thing? I just figured I was stupid. Maybe it’s both. 😛

      1. Well, I am from NJ.

        So we must just be stupid!

  12. Bobbi Olson says:

    Watch, you’re going to get sick now from drinking clean water..

    1. That would TOTALLY figure.

  13. mcmerb says:

    Love this post – it certainly shows off your nimble wit! My own wit, however, is remedial and refuses to consider water running from anything more complex than a faucet.

    1. Life is sure a lot simpler that way. 🙂

  14. Nora Blithe says:

    Refrigerators have water filters?  Good thing I found your home improvement blog! 

    1. Yep, next week we tackle the lint filter on your television. Just kidding. At least I think I’m kidding. Do TVs have lint filters?

      1. Nora Blithe says:

        If I had found you sooner, I bet you could have helped me prevent the motor in my dresser from going out.  That was a costly one.

  15. Slommler says:

    Ha!  Ha!  Ha!!  Our filter stares at you right on top!  And yes we change it and we use RO water…so once a year is good for us.  As for smoke alarm batteries..well…every six months for sure.  Very important!
    Hugs and thanks for the reminder!

  16. Flrdelis says:

    Mine is oh-so-conveniently located behind the fridge attached to the water line. Although you might be impressed if I told you that I changed it after only a few years, you might be significantly less impressed if I also told you that it was because I came home to a flooded kitchen after it sprung a leak.  It didn’t come with a sticker… I guess I just know it is time to change it when the kitchen floods, right?

    1. When the kitchen floods? That sounds about the right changing time to me.  🙂

  17. Jayne says:

    I’m with Nezzy.   No fancy water-filter needing frig for me.    If I want water, that’s why God created plastic bottles.   

  18. Nezzy says:

    My poor old ‘fridge doesn’t have runnin’ water or an ice maker.  Heck, I still have to defrost the antique thing every now and again.  I’m ashamed to tell ya’ll how old it really is but it’s avocado green and works like a dream.  ‘Just sayin’….

    Only you can make a dirty filter funny girl!

    Have an amazin’ week sweetie!!! :o)

    1. Avocado green???? That’s awesome!

  19. Mikewj says:

    Oh, shit. I forgot to install the carbon monoxide thingy we bought last summer. I’m surprised we’re not all dead. Now I’ll have to do it tonight. Shit.

    1. I wonder if that’s that thing the landlord came in recently and installed that wasn’t a smoke detector that I don’t see any more and has blended into the wall.

  20. Pricilla says:

    The male person feels that all of those bugs just create antibodies and make you stronger.

    The publicist says, “water filter?”

    1. Well, I’m glad I’m not alone in this then.   And how do you do it? You’re always so quick to be the first commenter. Do you have an alarm set or something? 🙂

    2. Pricilla says:

      I am a psychic goat….