Troubleshooting a Refrigerator Water Line

  • 1-2 hours
  • Advanced
  • 0-200
What You'll Need
Hair Dryer
What You'll Need
Hair Dryer

Refrigerator water lines can sometimes stop working, requiring you to troubleshoot the water line to correct the issue. There are a few water line issues that are quite common that you can troubleshoot and correct yourself.

Before contacting an appliance repair professional, try some of these troubleshooting suggestions to see if you can determine the cause of the issue and even correct the issue yourself. When your water dispenser or ice dispenser stops working, simply follow these steps to see if the issue is easily correctable.

Check Water Valve and Supply Line

A common cause of water line issues can be something as simple as the water supply valve being turned off or the water line not being connected to the wall or refrigerator.

Step 1 – Check the Connections

Refrigerators can sometimes shift or be moved which can cause the connections to disconnect. Start by looking behind the refrigerator to verify that the water line is connected to the wall connection and to the refrigerator. If either connection is loose, firmly connect them again.

Step 2 – Check Valve

Next, you need to verify that the valve is turned on. There will be a small valve located on the connection between the wall and the water line. Make sure the value is turned on. After checking the valve and connections, you can again test the water dispenser.

Clogged or Dirty Filter

Another common cause of water line failure is a dirty or clogged filter. When a filter is clogged or dirty, water cannot pass through it causing the water dispenser not to function properly.

Step 1 – Access the Filter

The filter is most commonly located in the rear of the refrigerator underneath a cover. You will need to unscrew the cover to be able to access the filter.

Step 2 – Remove and Clean Filter

Remove the filter from the refrigerator and take it to the sink. You can run water through the filter and clean it with a damp cloth.

Step 3 – Replace Filter

Once the filer is clean, you can replace the filter and filter cover.

Frozen Water Lines

It is quite common for refrigerator water lines to freeze, causing them not to function properly. When your water dispenser stops working properly, the cause could easily be a frozen water line.

Step 1 – Locate Line

Remove the bottom kick plate on the refrigerator and locate the water line.

Step 2 - Access Water Line

Pull one end of the water line from the connection on the freezer side and place into a bowl. Press the water dispenser, and if water comes out of the line then you know the line is frozen. You can blow the air from a hairdryer up the line to warm the line and melt the frozen blockage. Try the hairdryer for 5 minutes and then press the dispenser and your blockage should be removed. If the blockage is still not cleared, you may need to continue to use the hairdryer to heat the water line. Repeat these steps in 5 minute increments until the frozen blockage has melted from the line and the water dispenser is working properly.