Properly installed water filter within a clean filter housing should operate efficiently. Nevertheless, obstructions within the filter or housing, damaged valves, or an absence of moisture in the filter can impede the functionality of your water filter.

Despite nearly half of all Americans opting to filter their drinking water, a substantial portion lacks awareness regarding the malfunction of their filters or the means to address these issues.

The following is a comprehensive compilation of the factors responsible for your water filter's malfunction. Equally significant, it offers a step-by-step guide on rectifying each of these problems.

Reasons Why Your Water Filter Is Not Working

1. Incorrect installation

This is perhaps the most prevalent cause of water filter malfunction. While it might appear obvious, an improperly installed water filter can render it ineffective.

The incorrect installation of a water filter typically arises when replacing an old filter with a new one. Frequently, the water filter is not fully engaged, whether it's snapping, clicking, threading, or twisting it into place. This can lead to either water not passing through the filter or water leaking around it.

To rectify this issue, simply remove the filter and reinstall it, ensuring to adhere to any manufacturer-specific instructions for your water purification device and filter.

2. Air blocked filter

Water filters and their associated supply lines can experience blockages due to trapped air. When air bubbles become trapped in the filter, they impede the flow of water. An unmistakable sign of an air-blocked water filter is erratic water flow. In certain cases, as with refrigerators and reverse osmosis systems, a hammering noise may also be an indicator of an air blockage.

The good news is that air blockages are easily remedied.

For filter pitchers and water bottles, remove the water filter and immerse it in cold water in an upright position for 15 minutes. Afterwards, rinse it under a running tap for 20 seconds and reinstall it.

In the case of reverse osmosis systems, close your storage tank and flush a minimum of 2 gallons of water through the system, allowing the water to run out of the faucet.

For ultrafilters, simply open the flush port valve and let at least 2 gallons of water flush through the filter.

If you're dealing with a refrigerator, install a bypass plug and run water for a minimum of 3 minutes to clear any air from the lines. Then, remove the bypass plug and flush at least 2 gallons of water through the filter by pressing the dispenser button.

3. Incomplete removal of packaging

Water filters often come with excessive packaging, and it's imperative to remove every layer of packaging before installation.

Specifically, the protective caps that cover the water filter must be taken off before installation. Failure to remove these protective caps will prevent the water filter from fitting properly into its housing and snapping into place.

Simply ensure that you remove all protective caps and packaging before installing your new water filter to ensure its correct functionality.

Pros and Cons of  water filter


  • Improved Water Quality
  • Variety of Models
  • Ease of Installation
  • Replacement Indicator


  • Cost
  • Maintenance
  • Filter Replacement Frequency
  • Compatibility
  • Environmental Impact

Differences Between Water Filters and Dryers

Water Filter

A water filter is designed to remove impurities, contaminants, and particles from water. It is used to improve the quality of drinking water, reduce odours, and make water safe for consumption. Water filters are commonly found in homes, offices, and various appliances like refrigerators, under-sink systems, and whole-house filtration systems.


A dryer, on the other hand, is an appliance used to remove moisture from clothing, textiles, or other items. It uses heat and air circulation to evaporate water from wet clothes, leaving them dry and ready to wear or use. Dryers are commonly used in laundry rooms to speed up the drying process of washed clothes.

Alternative to Water Filters

Boiling Water

Boiling water is a simple and effective method to kill most microorganisms and pathogens. It won't remove chemical contaminants, but it can be a quick and easy way to make water safe to drink.

4. Filter has not been flushed

Practically all water filters should undergo a flushing process before their initial use.

Water filters are effective in purifying water due to the materials they are constructed from, often containing carbon, and the presence of pore spaces within them.

However, during the manufacturing and shipping of water filters, particles can become dislodged and obstruct these pore spaces, hindering the filter's functionality.

The occurrence of filter materials coming loose during transportation is quite common and considered normal. This is why almost all manufacturers advise flushing your water filter before using it.

Flushing your water filter is a simple procedure – you just need to run water through the filter. It is recommended to pass a minimum of 2 gallons through your filter before consuming the water, although some manufacturers may suggest flushing with up to 5 gallons.

5. Blockage in the filter housing area

When replacing a water filter, it's important to be aware that this process can lead to the accumulation of debris within the filter housing.

Such blockages are predominantly observed in filtration systems that necessitate the water filter to be twisted into position. This occurs as debris becomes trapped within the threads of the housing. Nonetheless, blockages can occur in filters of various types.

To prevent the occurrence of blockages, it is essential to conduct a thorough cleaning of the housing area after removing the old water filter. Pay close attention to wiping along any threads or inside any slots to ensure proper functioning.

6. Broken valve

A malfunctioning or damaged water inlet valve can create the illusion that a water filter is not operating correctly. While faucet-mounted filters and filter pitchers typically do not encounter this issue, broken valves are a frequent culprit when water fails to pass through filters in refrigerators and reverse osmosis systems.

To determine if you have a faulty valve:

  1. Examine your water pressure – if it registers below 20 psi, it's likely too low for the valve (and consequently the water filter) to function as intended.
  2. Inspect your water filter – if you've recently replaced it, consider reinstalling the old filter to see if water flows through.

If your water pressure and water filter check out as fine, it may be time to consider replacing your valve.


If you're asking yourself, "Why is my new water filter not working?" it's essential to consider several factors. From improper installation, air blockages, excessive packaging, and potential debris in the filter housing, to faulty water inlet valves, there are various reasons that might affect the performance of your water filter.

By understanding and addressing these common issues, you can ensure your new water filter operates efficiently and provides you with the clean and safe water you desire.

Regular maintenance and following manufacturer recommendations can go a long way in resolving these challenges and ensuring the proper functioning of your water filtration system.

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My name is Wisdom Bassey, I'm a blog content writer and graphic designer who provides support and services for brands and different companies. I'm young and versatile, A tech enthusiast. I carry out deep research on every topic I choose to write about. You can reach me through my social media handles, I'm always available and ready to connect.

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