GE Refrigerators Not Dispensing Water

For GE’s electronic refrigerators made after 2002. Including top-freezers, bottom-freezers, and side-by-side models.

In this GE refrigerator repair guide, I will walk you through the steps in repairing 2002 or newer GE side-by-side refrigerators that won’t dispense water through the door. If you need any other refrigerator help please refer to my refrigerator repair guide. In 2002,GE redesigned their side-by-side refrigerators. With this redesign came challenges for repairmen because it was unlike any refrigerator we have ever seen. GE designed this refrigerator to be more energy efficient and one of the ways they did this is by using adaptive defrost. This means that the refrigerator will only defrost as needed. They also changed the fan motors to run on DC current so that they can change the speed that the motors run as needed. They also added an electric damper that regulates the airflow between the fresh food section and the freezer. Instead of using a cold control they started using thermistors. All of these changes were new but after working on these refrigerators, for years I have become an expert at them and I am willing to help you with your GE refrigerator repair. As stated above, this page is for 2002 or newer GE side-by-side refrigerators that won’t dispense water through the door. If you have problem with any other type of refrigerator refer to one of the pages below.

GE Refrigerators Not Cooling

GE Refrigerator Not Running

Refrigerator Fan Motor Diagnostics

If you need a part You can enter your model number or part number here to search the part you need

Line Frozen

On these GE refrigerators the line will often freeze up inside the door and this most likely your problem. To check this, remove the kick plate from the bottom front of the refrigerator. Then look under the refrigerator on the left hand side and you should see a blue coupling, remove the line from one side of the coupling. Just press in on the white ring and pull the line. T

hen close the freezer door and press the lever to get water. If water came out of the line then you know the line is frozen inside the door. To fix this leave the door open for about 30 minutes to thaw out the line. GE makes a heater that will prevent this from happing again. The part number for this heater is WR49X10173. This part can be found at

Follow the instructions that come with the heater to install it. Note that if you do not install this heater the line will continue to freeze up. If the line isn’t frozen in the door it could be frozen in the fresh food section see this page for more info Refrigerator water dispenser

Accessing the dispenser housing to install the heater

Unplug the refrigerator.

Prize the control panel off and disconnect the wires.

Once the control is off remove the screws that hold the housing in place.

Once the housing is off you should see the dispenser water tube. The heater is installed just below this tube. The heater will be shaped to fit inside the indention perfectly.

Water Filter

When you preformed the test I described above and water doesn’t come out the line, the next thing you should check is the water filter. The best way to check this is to just replace it because you need to replace it once or twice a year anyways. Buy refrigerator water filters here.

Water Line Frozen In Fresh Food Section


Every refrigerator with a dispenser has a water reservoir in the fresh food section to pre cool the water for the dispenser. Sometimes the water line will freeze at or near this reservoir. On a lot of new GE refrigerators this reservoir is a coil or water line.


If when you take that connection apart and attempt to use the water dispenser water doesn’t flow through the tube, the water line may be frozen inside the fresh food section. Open the fresh food section and remove the vegetable bin. Once removed, you should see the water reservoir that may just be a big roll of line or it may be a plastic container. Using a hair dryer heat the reservoir until you can dispense water.

If you find that the reservoir is frozen there are a few things that may have caused this problem on GE refrigerators.

One is long off cycles. If the refrigerator is off for long periods of time due to users not opening the door often the water reservoir can freeze. I know you are thinking, “how can the refrigerator being off for long periods of time cause the reservoir to freeze?” Well let me explain. When the refrigerator is running there is a fan in the top of the freezer that circulates air through the freezer as well as in the refrigerator. Airflow for the fresh food section will enter at the top and exit at the bottom. When the air at the top gets cold enough the refrigerator will cut off. When the refrigerator is off the fan in the freezer is off. With the fan off air can seep into the fresh food section from the freezer through the exit hole right onto the water reservoir, thus freezing the water reservoir. You can solve this problem by turning the freezer up (turn the temperature down) which will cut down on the amount of air that enters the fresh food section. This will make the refrigerator run longer.

Another thing that can cause the water reservoir to freeze is if the meat drawer is turned all the way up. You may have to turn it down to prevent the reservoir from freezing.

Another thing that can cause this is the temperature control for the fresh food section. If this is the case other things in the fresh food section will also be freezing, replace the temperature control.

Temperature controls can be purchased at

Water Valve

The water valve can also cause this problem. Basically if the line isn’t frozen or the filter isn’t stopped up, the problem is probably the water valve. But you can check this by removing the big line going to the water valve and have an assistant press the lever to get water. If water doesn’t come out of the valve, the valve is bad and needs replacing. Water valves can be found at

Main Board

Sometimes the main board will cause this problem. If when you attempt to get water the lights dim and the fans shut down the main board is bad and needs replacing. Main boards can be found at is a free service but it cost to keep it up and running. Donate to let this website help you next time!

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