How to Connect Osmosis Water Filter to Refrigerator Water Dispenser

I admit it.  I’m kind of a clean water freak.  I don’t like the thought feeding my family a regular dose of chlorine, chloramine, fluoride and pharmaceuticals found in most city water.  We also moved to an area with a neighborhood well and nearby fracking so no telling what else ends up in our water.

We love getting our cold water from our refrigerator so I started testing various refrigerator water filters for our LG refrigerator using an inexpensive TDS meter.  Granted, TDS meters aren’t perfect.  They don’t actually tell you what is in your water but they can give you an indication as to how much your filter is removing. Simply test tap water, record the TDS number then record the refrigerator water after it has been filters and compare the two numbers.  In my testing, the water filter was doing almost nothing to remove the total solids.

So, I started looking into other options.  It was clear after a few hours of research that the only filter that can remove chlorine, chloramine, fluoride, pharmaceuticals and much of the junk coming out of a well is a reverse osmosis filter.   Now, these filters are a little more complex but well worth it.  Basically they filter small amount of water throughout the day by forcing it through a semipermeable membrane then store in in the storage tank for when you need it.  The excess water and contaminants left over get dumped in the drain.  The water out of the system is low pressure so you can’t push this through your normal faucet.  It is only intended to fill water glasses, etc…

So, I really wanted to hook up a reverse osmosis system to my refrigerator so I could continue to get cold, fresh water from my refrigerator water dispenser.  I did quite a bit of research and couldn’t find a clear answer. Some sites said yes, others said no, there wasn’t enough pressure out of the osmosis system to push through the refrigerator.

I decided to give it a try.  I did tons of research on the reverse osmosis systems and purchased the iSpring RCC7AK 6-Stage Under-Sink Reverse Osmosis Water Filtration System along with the refrigerator connection kit.  The package arrived quickly and in good condition.  While there are lots of parts, the instructions were clear, everything was color-coded well and it all went together in about an hour.  Of course it comes with a water dispenser for your sink so I just didn’t install that.  Instead, I connected the outflow on the reverse osmosis filter system to my refrigerator water line.   Unfortunately, you won’t know if it works right away as it takes some time to filter the water and fill up the tank.  However, after a few hours I tried it and IT WORKED!

The instructions suggest you fill and dump the water a few times to clean out the filters, etc..  After that my TDS numbers went from >600 in tap water to under 50 through the filter.

*** Update – a year later I’ve changed the filters once and my iSpring RCC7AK is still working perfectly with my refrigerator water dispenser.  Our family loves the fresh, clean, cold water at our house.  They take huge water bottles full to school as they don’t like the taste of the water at school.  I purchased the two year water filter package just so I’d have plenty of filters on hand when I need them.

*** Update 2 – Looking back, I might have splurged a bit and purchase the iSpring reverse osmosis filter with the UV sterilizer just for a bit more peace of mind.


19 thoughts on “How to Connect Osmosis Water Filter to Refrigerator Water Dispenser

  1. janette

    Thanks for the great info. I too would like to connect a reverse osmosis system to my refrigerator water system but the sites online were all very different with the details about whether or not it would work. Looking forward to purchasing my ispring and giving it a shot!

  2. Jacob

    Cool. Can’t wait to get fresh, clean ice cubes from my refrigerator with this water filter. My water tastes like plastic and I can’t seem to get rid of the taste.

  3. Rick

    Nice follow up. I also have an iSpring reverse osmosis system (5-stage) which follows a softener and an iron filter on my well water. The water is chemically perfect. It has removed all the Sodium that was exchanged in the softener. It has also removed the 10ug of Arsenic III that comes from the well. It tastes like the kind of water we used to get from the Mountains in Colorado.

    My question: How often do I now need to change the refrigerator filter? They recommend every 6 months on municipal water. But we feed the fridge from the iSpring system. I just put a new filter into the fridge because without the filter, we can’t use the dispenser. We use the fridge water mainly for drinking (its cold) and the tanked RO water for cooking.

    1. Anonymous

      Sorry for the confusion. On my system it was so easy that it didn’t take much explaining. The water line for the refrigerator was the same size at the outflow for the reverse osmosis system so just connected the outflow on the reverse osmosis filter system to my refrigerator water line.

      I was mostly concerned as to whether or not there would be enough water pressure from the RO system to push the water through the fridge and water dispenser. I found it worked just fine!

  4. Steve

    Do you have to use the reservoir tank for the RO system when hooking directly to the refrigerator? I don’t plan to hook it up to my sink at all. Just filter the water going to fridge only. The picture on the connection kit link is a bit confusing because it doesn’t show the tank at all. Any help is appreciated! Thanks and great article!

    1. Cassidy

      Ya, you still need the reservoir tank as that holds water/pressure for the clean water. The excess water still needs to be dumped into the sink drain so we placed it under our sink. The drawback of RO is that it creates a lot of wastewater through the process so that needs to go somewhere.

  5. Steve

    Also, if connecting directly to refrigerator where does the excess water/contaminants get dumped if its not hooked up to the sink?

  6. John Cleveland

    You can buy a pass-through filter that does not have the filtering elements inside when the refrigerator is hooked up to a reverse osmosis system.

  7. Lareen Schmitt

    We did the same thing. Moved in 6 months ago, ordered the i spring 7 stage from Amazon, the fridge line, and recently ordered the 1 year replacement filters. Hubby changed the filters out without me hearing a grumble. Water and ice from fridge taste great. I came across this site today looking for the same answer asked above. Do i have to replace my samsung fridge filter? I’m thinking to reset this light and give it another 6 months. It should be in prestine condition receiving pre- filtered water.

    1. Cassidy

      Ya, we aren’t replacing the fridge filter any longer as it seems like a waste. The water should already be well filtered by the time it reaches that filter/

  8. Lennie

    Been using a reverse osmosis system to feed a refrigerator for at least 25 years. I’m on well water and no matter how you do it, the hard water even through a simple filter destroys ice makers. In fact, my first ice maker started acting up when the teflon that was used to coat the ice molds started flaking in about a year with that simple line filter. Replaced the ice maker and installed a generic RO system and got roughly 20 years out of that replacement. Had to change out the RO system because the bladder tank went out and it was all but cheaper to replace the entire system than just the tank. By all means use RO water when you have hard water. Even with softened water, the frig filters or any line filter isn’t enough. And now that I replaced the frig a few years ago, I don’t bother buying the ridiculously priced proprietary frig filters.

  9. Bill

    clearly this is just an add ‘blog’ for a $170 water filter system. I’m not buying it. (pun intended) Unless you live in an undeveloped country, this is unnecessary. The tap water in most American cities is excellent quality and perfectly safe. ( no, I don’t work for a water utility)

    1. Michael

      You have a very limited perspective. Unless Virginia, USA is an “undeveloped country”, i need a high quality water filter. I have well water and while it is of decent quality, I must soften it or it will ruin my plumbing. Water coming straight out of a residential water softener does not taste good. Taste aside, who knows what is in the groundwater and I want it removed before consuming! The municipal water in my locality is perfectly safe to drink based on the tests they and I have done, but it doesn’t pass the taste test… It still needs RO…

  10. Sarah

    Hello – my refrigerator location is against the wall whereas my sink is on an island — does the RO unit need to be under the sink or can it be in a cabinet close to the refrigerator?


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