How to Connect a Reverse 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 a small amount of water throughout the day by forcing it through a semipermeable membrane then store it 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 probably should have splurged a bit and purchased the iSpring reverse osmosis filter with the UV sterilizer just for a bit more peace of mind.

*** Updated 3 – two years later and our reverse osmosis is still rocking some clean water through our refrigerator water dispenser. We haven’t replaced the filters every 6 months but I’ve found that our water was actually quite clean to begin with.

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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… Read more »


You do Not need to use the Filter in the Fridge, “IF” you continue to feed the water to the Fridge from the RO-System. The water from the RO-System is filtered down to approximately 0.0005 Microns, in order to meet NSF Certification 58, (and possibly Cert. #55 with UV Lamp). The typical Fridge Filter is designed to meet NSF Cert. #42, for removal of Chlorine and Chloramines as well as improved Taste and usually filters down to 5 Microns. If the Fridge Filter is designed and certified to meet NSF Certifications #53 & #401, then these Filters will remove more… Read more »


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!


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.


Hi Steve. I am doing exactly what you mentioned here. Did you figure it out? I am planning on install it in the basement below the area of the fridge but like you mentioned, the picture is not clear how to do the discharge when it is directly installed to the fridge (not using the faucet at all). If anyone else have some more info on how to do it, would you mind sharing it? Thanks!


I have mine under the sink so the discharge goes into the disposal or sink drain. The water line then goes to the refrigerator. If you are installing in the basement then you’ll likely need to discharge it somewhere down there – a drain, etc.. The other issue is that you might night have enough pressure to push it upstairs and through the fridge water dispenser.


I did see that you can tap into the drain into the basement the same way. I would just do that. There was a YouTube video showing basement install. I believe it was for an apec system

Gayatri Garg

There doesn’t seem to be an easy way to drain the water?

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.


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/


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!


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.


The title of the article, doesn’t match the article…You didn’t explain/show HOW TO CONNECT……


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!


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


Even if you don’t hook up a faucet you’ll still need to hook up a drain line for the waste water.


Do you have any pictures of your setup?

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.


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… Read more »


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)


Actually, not true. There are plenty of reasons you should be concerned about what is in your tap water in including fluoride, chlorine, lead, mercury, DDT, pharmaceuticals and much more –


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… Read more »


tap water not only ruins pipes in a house but our pipes in our body! No one needs all that rock depositing inside us, it has to deposit somewhere and usually does in our arteries or kidneys or other places. It surely doesn’t get filtered out and ruins our kidneys as they desperately try to. All people AND pets should have that cement removed BEFORE drinking, as our bodies simply cannot filter it.


.tap water = the reason many people and pets end up with kidney problems from hard water deposits from years of drinking ROCK. Have had many cats all got kidney disease, our last cat is now almost 19 years old and been on distilled water for 6 years now and not even a hint of weakening kidneys. We are in Arizona and our water is so hard it leaves white rock powder on our cement where our hose is. It’s watered down CEMENT. RO water next best to distilled and totally better than tap water or tap water with non… Read more »


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?


No need to be under the sink but it does need access to the drain as well as the water source.


Our fridge has a water source behind it in a little box area. The only thing we are wondering is where the excess water will go into some type of drain. Our sink is across the room and not on the same wall nor cabinets, would have to install the tubing over the doorway then down to the sink. But we see a spout that leads from the fridge faucet to just outside our kitchen door, we are wondering if that will work as a drain?


Wondering the same thing. We have a spout that leads from our fridge faucet hookup out the wall to our porch, hoping that will suffice for the excess water/contaminants to get dumped.


UPDATE: found out that spout outside kitchen door is not for fridge, it’s an a/c condensation drain line so that won’t suffice as a fridge drain. Have to figure out how to make a drain, our sink is way across the room in our kitchen. shux!


My oven is between my sink and refrigerator. I assume I have to run the line by drilling holes in my cabinets and run the water line back there to the fridge?

My question then is, the water line would have to run behind my oven as it splits between my counter tops/cabinets. Does it get too hot back there for the water line?


Yes, we drilled a small hole at the lower back of the cabinets and ran through it. You should be fine running it on the floor behind an oven as it shouldn’t be hot enough to cause issues there.

Skyler Bennett

Hey friends, I had a guy install an RO system directly to fridge line, but the water pressure is terrible! I literally get droplets of water. He did place the tank in the basement so that could be why. I have taken out the filter from the fridge to see if that’d help – it didn’t. Any ideas how to increase the water pressure?


That may be an issue if it having to push from the basement. Can you check the pressure before it gets to the fridge to see if there is good pressure there? That’ll help narrow it down to see if it is the fridge or the RO system.


Use the cycle pump and pump the air through the hole at the bottom of the tank. However the pressure helps for a bit and drops back down, I am not sure how to improve as well.


I tapped into the water line under my sink(1/2”) ran the full size water line to where I installed my R.O, which is in the over fridge cabinet, it comes out of the R.O in 1/4” but gravity feeds the water into the fridge and I can’t tell any volume loss.


2 things you can try. Mount the tank near the ceiling in your basement so that there’s minimal distance for the water to travel to your first floor. Also check to see what size tubing goes from the unit to your fridge – if it’s 1/4″, replace it with 3/8″ to allow for better flow.


We are thinking of installing the tank on our counter right by our fridge or mounting it on the wall above the fridge, is that an option for you? Or mount it on a wall next to your fridge?


Way awesome . i just bought one and wanted to hook mine up to my fridge too. I am,going to instaling a new water line as well to the fridge. Thanks for all the information. I will try this out.


Chiming in on the topic of what to do with the fridge’s built in filter after you’ve connected RO to it. Some people mentioned leaving in the old fridge filter or maybe even replacing it on the suggested schedule. Remember that the RO is removing all chlorine from the water. So there is a greater chance that algae can grow in the fridge filter. It was made to filter tap or well water, not already purified RO water. The fridge filters are not capable of filtering any impurities that the RO may have missed, so you really aren’t gaining anything.… Read more »


Great point. Thanks for adding that.