GE GXULQR Twist and Lock Kitchen or Bath Filtration System Replacement Filter Won’t Fit

If you ever have to replace your under the sink GE filter (specifically the GE GXULQR), be ready for a frustrating ride.

It looks like this:


You can find the manual here and the ge product page here.

It is billed as the “Twist and Lock” Replacement Filter, the inside female hex socket sometimes rotates out of alignment when you remove the old filter. If this happens, there is no easy fix. Moreover, since the receiving head is generally under a sink or in some place you can’t easily access, it is very frustrating when you are pushing into the plastic receiver and the new filter doesn’t fit. (It is extra frustrating if you have a cast on a broken right hand, carpal tunnel in the your left hand and can’t bend your back due to a herniated L5/S1.)


The instructions only say to “Push filter into the filter head/bracket. Turn filter 1/4 turn to the right until it stops. The top surface of the filter will be flush with the bottom of the filter head/bracket when fully installed.” This only works if everything is properly lined up. The solution is to re-align the receiver by making a new tool from the old filter. By cutting off the head of the old filter (I used an angle grinder), and hammering in a flathead screwdriver, you have a custom alignment tool that looks like this:

custom tool

How far should you rotate it? Enough to get the socket to line up so the flanges align. For me, this meant the top of hex was flat. The biggest challenge is knowing how hard to turn. I still don’t know the internal mechanism, and the casing is all plastic and I didn’t want to break it. For me, I had to rotate it pretty hard before it turned. This was a little scary because water started to leak out from inside. However, after my wife rotated in the cartridge (two hands were necessary, and a cast doesn’t help), everything seems to be working fine.

Hopefully, this spares you some frustration.

9 thoughts on “GE GXULQR Twist and Lock Kitchen or Bath Filtration System Replacement Filter Won’t Fit

  1. Fabricating your own tools for impossible tasks is one of the most creatively fulfilling endeavors one can undertake. I think that’s because our hands evolved to hold tools…somewhere in our evolutionary past our genes found holding a hammer useful to our survival thus we can now hold a hammer. More than likely it was a club…but that evolved into the modern day 16 oz framing hammer. Just last Monday I constructed a no cost tool out of office supplies that saved me $80 and a whole lot of frustration. Because the tool is illegal to own in Virginia I had to throw it away after it’s one time use.

  2. Thanks, I thought I was losing my mind. I made a tool from two cross threaded 1/2″nuts on a drafting lamp clamp.

  3. Tony Burzio says:

    Thank you SO much! We had the same filter problem, and your fix worked like a charm!

  4. Tammy Fulk says:

    After quit a few curse words my husband finally figured this out. Wish I had read this before hand.

  5. Your article saved me today. Thank you. I don’t have a grinder, so I cut the top of the old filter off just above the flanges and then tapped a large bladed screwdriver in there. I did have to turn counterclockwise with some force and steady pressure but the inner hex finally lined up.

  6. Tim, you are the Man! I was going crazy trying to figure out why this wasn’t working, then I found your article! Golden man.
    If you are ever in Denver, throw me an email, craft beer on me!


    1. no probs — glad I could help.

  7. Brian Solomom says:

    Oh my God dude, you are genius! I was so baffled as to how the third time through on a filter replacement it wouldn’t pop in. Your tool was the perfect solution. It took me less than 5 minutes to build and fix. Thanks so much!

  8. My problem is that replacement filter will not lock into place. It rotates 360 degrees. If I take out the “old” filter and put it back in, it locks right into place. But the “new” filter will not. Is this the same problem you are referring too? I am using an OEM GE filter not an after market piece. I even went so far as to order another filter thinking that the one that I had was some way defective but I am having the same problem with another new filter. Grrrrrr!!! HELP!!!

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