How to Troubleshoot Refrigerator Water Dispenser Issues

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It's a water lover's dream to have a refrigerator that actually dispenses cold, filtered water. And having this feature on your fridge can spoil you so that when it stops working, you feel as if your day has been ruined. But never fear, because there are often simple fixes that you can troubleshoot yourself. Here are a few things to try if the water dispenser on your refrigerator has stopped working.


How to Troubleshoot Refrigerator Water Dispenser Issues
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Fill the Reservoir Inside the Refrigerator

If you have a brand-new fridge, you may need to push the water dispenser lever down for three minutes in order to fill the water reservoir completely. Usually, this reservoir is located inside the freezer, but it depends on the brand and model of your appliance. Top-mount refrigerators don't have reservoirs.


Make Sure Your Water Line is Connected

This sounds basic, and it is, but it's a common problem. The water line valve needs to be connected to your refrigerator before the water feature will work. Make sure this valve in the wall is connected to the refrigerator and that it's turned on or open. This valve has to be open all the way in order for the refrigerator to receive water.

Kinked or Bent Water Valve

If the water line is connected and on but you're still not able to get water from the fridge, make sure there are no kinks in the water valve and that it's not bent. Because these water lines are behind the refrigerator, if you recently pulled the appliance away from the wall, you may have bent the water supply line when you pushed the refrigerator back into place.


Frozen Water Line

If the water line freezes (a common issue), the water can't flow through the fridge and into your cup. Try this fix: First unplug the refrigerator, then find the water supply line. Thaw it with a blowdryer by blowing hot air onto the line until it softens and melts. This should do the trick!

Clogged Filter

If your filter is clogged, the water may not come out at all or it may just trickle very slowly. If you haven't changed the filter in a while, putting in a new one should fix the issue. Filters need to be changed every six months. A red light indicating the need for a new filter is available on several refrigerator models, so check yours and replace the filter if necessary.



Heather Skyler is a journalist and novelist who has written for wide variety of publications, including, The New York Times and SKY magazine.