How to Hack GE Refrigerator and Replace RPWFE Filter at a Low Cost
If you’ve ever replaced the water filter in your GE refrigerator, you know they don’t come cheap. The GE RPWFE water filter can cost as much as $60, which means that if you follow directions and change your filter every six months, that can really add up.
So it’s very common that we try to find better-priced filters online, as we do with printer ink replacements. The problem is that a lot of GE filters have an RFID Chip in it, which prevents us from replacing with cheap water filters. A generic RPWF water filter from other brands would not be recognized by the GE refrigerator.
It’s quite troublesome and frustrating. Giving up? Of course not! This article will show you how to hack your refrigerator to use cheap water filters. Let’s dive in!
RPWFE vs. RPWF What’s the difference?
The only difference between the RPWF and the RPWFE is a chip on the back of the E which tells when to change the filter and supposedly detect leaks. The newer GE refrigerators "use radio frequency identification (RFID) to "talk" to the fridge and let it know that it's a genuine factory product.
If your filter is either older than 6 months or not a genuine GE RPWFE filter, the display screen will show a message suggesting that the refrigerator could not be able to dispense any water at the moment.
How to replace and install the RPWFE water filter?
Before we jump into the “hack” part, let’s take a look at how to take the old filter out and install the new one. The RPWFE has two types of filter with two different installation methods.
How to hack GE refrigerator to use generic water filter replacement?
1. Take the chip off
Despite the high price of GE RPWFE filter, the company does provide you with a free bypass cartridge to access unfiltered water. This bypass also contains the RFID chip, and that is our breakpoint.
The idea is to take the RFID chip off from the bypass and place it onto either the generic filter or the cabinet where you place the filter. (If you choose to place the chip onto the generic filter, make sure you orient it correctly. There’s an up and a down to the RFID chip.)
The first step is to mark the chip’s position. Take the old GE filter and locate the chip. Then paint some pigment right at the chip’s location and quickly place the filter back into the refrigerator filter cabinet to leave a mark there.
The second step is to take the chip off the bypass. Peel off the sticky paper on the bypass where it says “BACK” and you will see the chip glued inside. Then gently slip a flathead tool under the chip to take it off.
Third step. Take a tape and stick the chip right onto the pigment mark inside the refrigerator filter cabinet.
Final step. Install the generic RPWF filter. When you do this successfully, your fridge will detect that the bypass is installed and will tell you that you are drinking unfiltered water. Yet, the water is being filtered perfectly through the generic filter and you can rest assured that the water you drink is safe and clean.
Waterdrop provides you with two types of RPWF filters. The only difference is the NSF certificate that each has received. Learn how to choose the right refrigerator filter here.
The video below will walk you through each of the steps we have discussed above.
Some GE filter has been modified, instead of sitting within a square sunk, the chip is glued into the label, which makes it harder to take off than before. If your filter falls into this scenario, please refer to the below video and learn how to cut the label and place it right.
2. Cut the chip off
Well, you can also take a more barbaric approach by cutting off the plastic where the chip is glued on. This video below shows the detailed process. Just to be clear, this method is not suitable for everyone as you do have to be quite handy to cut the piece off, and there’re risks that you might get hurt.
3. The most certain way to replace RPWFE filter
If you don’t want to risk ruining the chip or you’re not handy enough to cut the chip off, here’s a more secured way: to replace with a Waterdrop UC exterior filter.
You would need the GE bypass cartridge to be installed within the refrigerator first. This step would make sure the refrigerator can dispense water normally.
Then simply follow the instructions from Waterdrop UC filter to connect with your refrigerator. The only downside is that the Waterdrop UC filter is an exterior filter and you would need to place it under you cabinet sink.
Unlike other refrigerator water filters, Waterdrop UC exterior filters are compatible with most refrigerators on the market and would not damage your refrigerator. This system has an extended service life of 16,000 gallons or 24 months, meaning you do not have to replace the filter every six months.
This system also adopts advanced five-stage filtration to effectively reduce lead, chlorine, odor, sediment, fluoride, rust, arsenic, and other heavy metals. Waterdrop thought about everything and prepared you accessories that you may need to connect to the refrigerator or ice maker. You can easily access to clean ice water and crystal ice cubes with a better taste than normal refrigerator filtered water.