Refrigerator Water Dispenser Repair Guide

If your side-by-side refrigerator water dispenser is not working this water dispenser repair guide can help. There are a few things that can cause this so follow this repair guide and your refrigerator will be dispensing water in no time. Before you go through the trouble of diagnosing your refrigerator you should first check to see if you have good water pressure coming to the refrigerator and the water filter doesn’t need changing.

Water Valve

This section of this refrigerator water dispenser repair guide will discuss water valves. The water valve can cause your refrigerator water dispenser not to work. To check the water valve, pull the water line off the water valve that feeds water to the water reservoir in the fresh food section. Then have someone try to dispense water. If when they try to dispense water, water flows out the valve the water valve is ok. Read the section on water line frozen. If water doesn’t flow out the valve the problem is electrical or the water valve is bad. Tell them to try to dispense water again this time listen carefully. If the water valve is getting power you may hear a faint buzzing sound, you may have to turn the refrigerator off to hear it. If you hear the buzzing and no water flows out the valve, the water valve is bad. Water valves can be ordered from

If however you do not hear the valve buzz there is a chance the problem is in the dispenser. Note that if the valve coils are open you will not hear the buzzing so before you check for electrical problems in the dispenser you should disconnect power from the refrigerator and pull the wires off the valve. Then check for continuity across the valve coils. If you do not have continuity across the coils, the valve is bad. If you do the problem can be electrical.

Water Line Frozen

This section of this refrigerator water dispenser repair guide will discuss how to check for a frozen water line. A frozen water line is the most common cause for refrigerators water dispensers not working. Water lines can freeze in two different places: inside the freezer door and inside the fresh food section near or in the water reservoir. The easiest way to tell if the line is frozen is to pull the line off the valve that feeds the water reservoir and have someone try to dispense water. If water doesn’t flow out the valve read the section on water valves. If water does flow most likely the line is frozen.

Next you need to figure out where the line is frozen. At the bottom of the freezer door there should be a coupling, disconnect the coupling. Next attempt to dispense water and if water flows through the line the water line is frozen inside the freezer door. It is very common for the refrigerator water dispenser to freeze in the door on GE Electronic refrigerators made after 2002. To repair this, reconnect the coupling and open the door. Then press the door switch in and repeatedly press the lever to dispense until water starts flowing. Water should start to flow within 10-15 minutes or so.

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.

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

Electrical Problem

If when you attempt to use the refrigerator water dispenser the water valve doesn’t get power (you can’t hear it hum) you have an electrical problem. If you are working on a GE electronic refrigerator made after 2002 and when you attempt to dispense water the refrigerator temporarily shuts down and the lights dim, the main board is bad and needs replacing. If you are working on any other refrigerator or this doesn’t happen try to dispense ice. If the ice works and the water don’t and you have checked all other possibilities replace the dispenser board (if your refrigerator has one).

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