Using The Right Products For Your Appliances

3 Potential Fixes For A Refrigerator With Water Issues

by Brent Hart

Refrigerators often involve several water-based components whether it is an ice and water dispenser in the door, an icemaker in the freezer, or the defrosting function in the freezer. Problems with these areas can lead to a loss of functionality or a wet mess on your kitchen floor.

Here are three of the most common water-related refrigerator issues and the potential fixes. If you don't feel comfortable performing the fix yourself, call in an appliance repair technician.

Issue: Water and/or Ice Dispenser Not Working

Diagnosing the problem depends on which aspect of the dispenser isn't working. If neither side is working, there might be a malfunction with the control board, switch, or actuator in the dispenser unit itself. In that case, it is best to call in an appliance repair tech who can test each part with a multimeter and replace what has burned out or failed. Likewise, problems with only the ice dispenser tend to be due to these same failing parts.

If the water dispenser alone stopped working, you might have a supply issue. There is a supply tube going into the dispenser that connects to the water supply line on the other end. The tube has an inlet valve that controls the rate and amount of water that comes into the dispenser.

The tube can freeze or kink up and block the water supply to the door. Check the tube and if it seems frozen, turn off the water supply line then unhook the tube. Run the tube under warm water until it defrosts before reattaching the tube to the dispenser.

If the tube looks fine, the problem might be in the inlet valve. Head to the hardware store and purchase a residential water pressure tester. Use the tester according to package directions to check the water pressure in the inlet valve. You want the reading to be at least 20 psi or else the valve isn't getting enough water to work properly. If the psi is lower than 20, you either need to buy a new water inlet valve or have a plumber come out and check for water pressure issues in the rest of your plumbing.

Issue: Ice Maker Not Working or Overflowing

Two simple checks for a ice maker that isn't working are making sure the control arm is in the proper position and testing the inlet valve pressure.

The control arm is the lever that tells the machine whether or not you need more ice to dispense into the bin. When the bin becomes full, the lever tells the ice machine to stop. When the lever falls to a certain point, the maker knows to create more ice. If the maker fails or becomes stuck, however, your maker can keep making ice and overflow the bin or tell your unit that there's enough ice even when the bin is empty.

Check the lever for any damage or to see if it is wedged behind existing ice. If the lever is damaged, contact the manufacturer for a replacement.

If the lever is functioning properly, you can test the water inlet valve with a pressure test using the same process and psi goal as the inlet valve in the door dispenser.

For more information, contact companies like American Appliance INC.