7 Reasons Why a Refrigerator is not Dispensing Water

October 1, 2018
Refrigerator Repair
Has the water from your refrigerator dispenser recently been reduced to a trickle? Or is your ice maker refusing to make ice cubes?
Read on for the seven most common reasons and suggestions on how to repair them yourself.

Faulty Dispenser Switch

The dispenser switch is actuated by the dispenser lever which releases cool refreshing water into a glass. The switch might be on the blink. Depending on the model, you can try testing the switch for continuity with a multimeter. If the switch tests negative it will need to be replaced.

Defective Dispenser Control Board

Suspect the dispenser control board if all or most of the dispenser functions are not functioning correctly. The control board is not easily tested and should be reserved for an appliance repair professional. However, you can visually inspect the board for burn marks or signs of a shorted component. Replace the board if you observe any indication of damage.

Malfunctioning Door Switch

A door switch is designed to disable the water dispenser while the door is opened. If the switch is defective it may prevent the water dispenser from functioning, even if the door is shut. Remove the door switch and with a multimeter, test for continuity. Replace the switch if it tests negative.

Faulty Water Inlet Valve

The water inlet valve, on most models, is located and accessed behind the refrigerator. The main water supply is connected to this valve. The valve opens to allow water to travel to the water dispenser and ice maker. The valve can fail either mechanically or electrically. Sometimes, hard water deposits can build up preventing the valve from opening completely or at all. It is inadvisable to clean the valve as in most cases it will not work properly after the clean-out. Simply replace it. Once again, a simple continuity test with a multimeter will tell you if the valve has failed electronically. If any of the solenoid coils fails, replace the valve.

Low Water Pressure

The water inlet valve needs 20 – 120 PSI to work properly. To test the water pressure, turn the water supply off and disconnect the supply line from the valve. Hold the line over a bucket. Now, turn the water back on and assess the strength of the water pouring out of the line. Is it a strong steady flow? Or is it weak? If it is determined that the pressure is weak, that is a strong indication that there is a problem with the water supply valve. This valve can become corroded or rust itself out of competent operation and should be replaced.

Frozen Water Supply Line

On occasion, the water in the supply line leading to either the ice maker or the water dispenser can become frozen. The most efficient way to manage this problem is to heat the supply line with a hairdryer.
Pro Tip: A frozen water line is usually caused by poor water pressure or a defective water inlet valve.

Defective Main Control Board

Although a bad control board is unusual, if all other reasons listed here check out okay, it would be a good idea to inspect the main control board. If burn marks or other signs of shorts are present, it is time to replace the main control board.
If any or all of these troubleshooting guides either do not solve your problem or you find them beyond your DIY skill level, then it is time to contact a professional appliance service.

Leave a Reply