Refrigerator Water Dispenser Not Working

Photo of a refrigerator water dispenser on the fron of a refrigerator

This article is a very DIY basic look at a refrigerator water dispenser not dispensing water. It is not an all inclusive step-by-step diagnostic procedure because in this case that is best left to a professional.

If your refrigerator water dispenser is not working there are a couple of things to consider. If your icemaker is making ice then you know that the water supply to the refrigerator is not the problem. If there were a restriction in the water line between the refrigerator and the water supply line, the ice maker could not make ice.

It is possible that the water valve that supplies water to the water dispenser side is restricted however the odds of only that side getting restricted are pretty low. The first thing you should check before you even consider the water dispenser water valve is the condition of the water tank inside the fresh food section. A lot of people are unaware of that in order to get cold water through the water dispenser in the freezer door there must be a water tank in the fresh food section. This tank is usually located low behind the crisper drawers because the bottom of the fresh food section is always the coldest. And by the way this is why the first glass of water you get from the water dispenser is usually not that cold. The waterline has to run outside of the refrigerator so it doesn't freeze and to the outside of the freezer door. There's enough water in that line to fill a glass. So if you really want cold water always pour out the first glass. The problem with the water tank located in the fresh food section is that it has a tendency to freeze.

And if the water freezes there is no way that the water supply is going to get through. If you're not in a hurry you can find out if this is the problem by putting a temperature gauge in one of the crisper drawers and leaving it overnight. If the temperature is low around 32 degrees then maybe all you have to do is warm up the fresh food section a little to solve the problem. Once you set the controls for a warmer temperature, it will take at least 24 hours for the tank to thaw out if it has any chunks of ice in it.

If you're positive that the tank is not the problem then you're going to need to pull the refrigerator out and gain access to the water valve that supplies water to the water dispenser. This is where you're going to need an assistant. Once you gain access to the fill valve you can remove the electrical connections to the valve. It should be a plastic molded connector that will slide right off. With your meter set to voltage, have an assistant push the button on the dispenser asking for water. If you read the appropriate electrical voltage for your model refrigerator, and your waterline is not restricted because it's frozen or otherwise then the valve is likely defective. If however you do not read voltage when your assistant pushes the button, you're probably going to have to call in a professional appliance technician that has experience with your model refrigerator. That's because there are many switches and controls that could be defective that are beyond the ability of most DIY homeowners to diagnose. Besides in the long run hiring a professional will save you money and aggravation.