How to Thaw a Frozen Water Line On a Refrigerator

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Things You'll Need

  • Large insulated cooler

  • Screwdriver or nut driver set

  • Terrycloth towel

  • Hair dryer

When your ice maker stops making ice, or it only makes tiny ice cubes, chances are your water line is frozen. Thawing a refrigerator's frozen water line is a repair you can accomplish with basic tools you're likely to have around the house, plus a towel or two to soak up any watery mess.


Step 1

Empty the contents of your freezer into a large insulated cooler. Pull the ice bucket from your freezer and dump any remaining ice cubes into the kitchen sink.

Step 2

Pull your refrigerator away from the wall so you can access the electrical cord and the water supply valve. Unplug your refrigerator from the wall outlet and turn the water supply valve to the off position.


Step 3

Loosen the two screws or bolts holding the icemaker to the inside wall of your freezer. The icemaker is held to the wall by two brackets. After loosening the two fasteners, lift up on the icemaker to release the brackets from the fasteners.


Step 4

Squeeze the two sides of the wire harness connecting the icemaker to the back wall of your freezer. Pull the wire harness from the freezer wall to release the icemaker. Move the icemaker to a terrycloth towel placed on your countertop.


Step 5

Plug a hair dryer into the nearest grounded outlet next to your refrigerator. WARNING: Remove all ice from the upper surface (ceiling) of the freezer compartment. Keep the hair dryer level when inside the freezer compartment so that any water droplets from the freezer compartment will not drip into the back end of the hair dryer. Turn on the hair dryer to its high setting and position it near the icemaker fill-tube that protrudes from the back wall of your freezer. Hold the dryer near the fill-tube until water starts to drip from the tube and the ice plugging the tube falls into the freezer.


Step 6

Connect the wiring harness from the ice maker to the back wall of the freezer. Hang the ice maker on the screws in the freezer wall. Tighten the two screws to secure the ice maker.

Step 7

Slide your ice bucket back into the freezer. Turn the water supply valve on and plug the refrigerator's power cord back into the wall outlet. Push the refrigerator back into its original position. Reload your freezer with the contents from the insulated cooler.


Step 8

Check the thermostat on your freezer to ensure that it's set between zero and 5 degrees Fahrenheit. If the thermostat is too low, it could cause the water line to refreeze.



Cecilia Harsch

Cecilia Harsch has been writing professionally since 2009. She writes mainly home improvement, health and travel articles for various online publications. She has several years of experience in the home-improvement industry, focusing on gardening, and a background in group exercise instruction. Harsch received her Certified Nurses Assistant license in 2004. She attended Tarrant County College and studied English composition.