Kitchen Help: What Happens When a Major Appliance Stops Working?

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3 Potential Causes If Your Refrigerator Water Dispenser Stops Working

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The water dispenser on your refrigerator provides cold, fresh water at the press of a button, which saves money on bottled water and other drinks. Water dispenser technology has come a long way over the years but, like any other electrical appliance, the dispensers can still experience glitches and malfunctions.

Has your water dispenser in the refrigerator stopped working recently? There are a few different potential causes with fixes ranging from do-it-yourself checks to more advanced issues that will require the assistance of an appliance repair professional.

Water Supply Problem

Before you check anything else, locate the water line running behind your refrigerator and look for the shut-off valve. Make sure the valve is open – meaning that the water isn't turned off. The valve can become bumped accidentally by the fridge shifting and simply turn off the water supply to your ice machine.

There are two main parts to the water supply system that carries water from your home's pipes to the dispenser unit. The first is a supply tube that actually finishes transporting that water and the second is a water inlet valve that fits between the supply tube and supply line to control the water pressure going into the dispenser.

Problems with the supply tube can include kinks, mineral buildups, and becoming frozen. Check the health of the line with a quick visual inspection. If there seem to be issues, turn off the main water supply to the refrigerator and then disconnect the supply tube.

Defrost the tube by letting it sit under running warm water for a few minutes. If there are substantial mineral buildups inside or the tube has suffered damage, you need to replace the tube. Take the existing tube to the hardware store to help make a proper match.

Electrical Issue

The dispenser unit has an electrical control board, switch, and actuator that are all vital to the functionality of the icemaker. Problems in these areas will most likely require the board to be replaced to ensure proper function in the future.

If you have experience with electronics, you can head to the hardware store or online to find the control board that matches the model number of your unit. Follow the included directions carefully and ensure that the refrigerator is disconnected from both the electricity and water supply before you complete the fix.

Don't have electrical experience? Leave this fix up to an appliance repair technician, such as those from Central Appliance Service. Working on the electronics without fully knowing what you are doing can end up permanently damaging the new control board and possibly your ice machine, which would lead to a costly replacement machine.