We have a Whirlpool refrigerator that's 2 years old which has always had slow running water since new. I noticed that when we remove the water filter water runs nice and fast, but with a filter installed, even a new filter, water runs slow. We discovered that some friends of ours actually have the same fridge and it suffers from the same problem. What can I do?

  • +1 all around. Bypass and live with it, improve the valve and/or supplement an inline filter.
    – Mazura
    Commented Sep 22, 2014 at 1:05

3 Answers 3


The filter will definitely restrict the flow, but it might be made worse if there is already a flow issue present.

Many DIY waterline install kits come with self-piercing saddle valves. Compared to the 1/2" pipe they are fitted on (and even the 1/4" supply line), the hole they make is relatively small which reduces water flow to the fridge.

Your best bet is to not use these types of valves at all and instead solder in a tee fitting with a new 1/4 turn ball valve. If you can't do this, an alternative is to remove the saddle valve and carefully drill a larger hole in the pipe, and then re-install the valve.

  • There's actually not a saddle valve - just a hose like this that connects directly from the supply valve in my house to the fridge's inlet: cdnroot.filtersfast.com/ProdImages/…
    – Jonathan
    Commented Sep 22, 2014 at 19:39
  • how does it connect to your supply? no valve, just a tee with a compression fitting?
    – Steven
    Commented Sep 23, 2014 at 0:00
  • There's just a typical looking shutoff valve coming from the wall - something like this: s1.hubimg.com/u/1997596_f260.jpg
    – Jonathan
    Commented Sep 23, 2014 at 16:57
  • Verified it's fully open?
    – Steven
    Commented Sep 23, 2014 at 19:31

Perspective :)

Look at it this way: with the filter installed, everything is okay, but without the filter, water runs extremely fast because it isn't being filtered.

Better slow and safe than fast and unfiltered, I say.

But seriously, unless the water you're feeding your fridge is pre-filtered and the pipes are all perfectly clean, you need that filter.

Of course, if you're going to filter your water anyway after it's cooled by the fridge (I can't see why, really), it's probably okay to not use a filter.

  • It's not that we don't need the filter, it's that water just seems slow even with the filter - perhaps 11 seconds for 8 ounces. Our old fridge, even with a filter, was twice that fast. Perhaps the filter was not as good?
    – Jonathan
    Commented Sep 22, 2014 at 19:42
  • It may also be that your water inflow to the refrigerator is slow by itself, and the filter only ads to that... May be this combination's causing the slow flow you're seeing.
    – alt
    Commented Sep 22, 2014 at 19:49
  • I tested the water line that comes out of the wall and that thing is rocketing water. Once it comes into the fridge I'm not sure what happens, but the filter being in certainly slows things from when it's not in.
    – Jonathan
    Commented Sep 22, 2014 at 20:29

All water filters restrict flow to some degree. Generally, the more filtration/treatment the more flow restriction. If you are using an in-line filter, there are many types available. If you want to just filter out sediment you could switch to a simple (and cheap) particulate filter and probably see better flow. The ones that remove chlorine and some chemicals (charcoal activated) restrict the flow more; "residence time" of water contacting the filter media is required for the filter to perform as advertised, so restriction is required.

Like @alt said, bypass the filter if you want flow and don't care about the water quality/taste.

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