Published on July 8th, 2013 | by Terry Spencer2
What to do if your water dispenser stops working
If your refrigerator’s water dispenser stops dispensing water, it could be a variety of problems.
First, check out this video to learn how water and ice dispensers work:
Enter your refrigerator’s model number here for troubleshooting and repair how-to tips specifically for your model here.
Here are the most common causes of water dispensers failing to work:
The water filter is dirty and clogged.
People often forget to change their water filters. It’s a wise idea to mark your calendar so you’ll remember to change your water dispenser filter at least every six months.
Possible solution: Enter your refrigerator’s model number here for the replacement water filters and other refrigerator maintenance products for your model.
The water supply tube is frozen.
The water supply tube in the door may be frozen. Look for a connection point at the bottom or top of the door. Remove the hose and blow air through it and out the dispenser. If air passes through, it’s not frozen and you’ll need to continue troubleshooting. If no air passes, it’s frozen somewhere inside of the door. In most models, the water line runs through a sleeve through to the dispenser.
Possible solution: Adjust the freezer temperature. Freezers must be kept at 0 to 10 degrees Fahrenheit. The water line in the door may freeze, if it’s colder than that.
The water pressure is too weak.
Your water dispenser’s water inlet valve requires water pressure at a minimum of 20 psi so if the water supply falls below that, it won’t function properly.
Possible solution: Check the water pressure. You can test your home’s water supply pressure with a residential water pressure gauge available for around $12 at hardware stores. If you discover that water pressure is weak, contact a plumber to discuss next steps. Note: To check the water pressure directly at the dispenser, you’ll need an adapter to accommodate the smaller one-quarter-inch water line supplying the refrigerator.
The water inlet valve is broken.
If you’ve confirmed that your water pressure is a minimum of 20 psi and the water filter is in good shape, then check the water inlet valve for continuity.
You can use a multi meter like this one digital multi meter (#964740) to check.
Possible solution: If there’s no continuity, it’s time to replace the water inlet valve. You can find a replacement water inlet valve for your refrigerator model here.
How to test a water inlet valve
Some newer refrigerator models have two water valves, a primary and a secondary. The cause could be a failed primary valve, which has the important job of sending water to the second valve. Enter your refrigerator model number at RepairClinic.com for troubleshooting and repair help information.
The dispenser switch is broken.
Another cause is the dispenser switch, which is activated by the dispenser actuator.
Possible solution: Use a continuity meter like this one to check for continuity in the dispenser switch. If it doesn’t have continuity, it should be replaced.
The freezer door switch is broken.
When the freezer door is opened, the door switch turns on the interior light and turns off the ice and water dispenser.
Possible solution: Check for continuity with a meter. If there’s no continuity present, replace the door switch.
The control board is broken.
The control board is the controller of the entire dispenser system.
Possible solution: If the dispenser is failing in every way (no water, no sound, no lights, etc.), it’s likely that the control board is bad and will need to be replaced. If only one part of the dispenser system is not working, troubleshoot further. It’s likely another component has failed.
Water dispenser broken? We’ll help.
Enter your refrigerator’s model number here for troubleshooting and repair how-to information specifically for your model.
How to clean your water dispenser
Aside from regularly replacing the water filter, the most important step in caring for a water dispenser is to clean its drip tray and water/ice chutes. You can do this with soap and water. If you have hard water, use CLR, Lime Away or similar products. Be sure to rinse everything thoroughly before using.
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We wish you a great summer!
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