Model #TPX24SRYFBS GE Side-by-Side Refrigerator

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Question and Answers

Q:

Refrigerator dispenses black water after repair

A:

This problem sounds very frustrating. I researched your question and found someone had a similar problem. Here is what was posted by an expert. I have provided the link below I hope this helps!

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Jacqueline S -
August 27, 2010
A:

I read the exchange that you had with expert Scott D and Alina F in the previous question that you submitted. I can understand your frustration with this problem. I will try to provide some tips that may help us get this resolved.

One of your responses indicated that you moved this refrigerator from another house. You also indicated that the refrigerator does not have a water filter. I verified this on the parts diagram to be correct. The reason that I mention the filter and the new water line is that these could be significant facts regarding this problem. Although there is not a filter physically inside your refrigerator, some water supply lines for refrigerators have an in-line filter installed in the supply line before it hooks up to the refrigerator. Assuming that you moved the refrigerator to a new house, I recommend that you check for that kind of in-line filter behind the refrigerator (unless you are already certain there is not one there). An in-line filter would look like the one shown in the Sears.com link: Kenmore Premium Refrigerator Filter . If you see this type of in-line filter, it could have caused the black substance (in this case it would be carbon filter powder) in the water. It would not have showed up right away because there was likely still clear water in the reservoir tank in the back of the fresh food compartment. This would explain why the black water showed up the next day. This is a common problem with an in-line filter and that is why I bring it up to try and help you resolve this issue.

If you are certain that you have no in-line filter on the refrigerator water supply before it connects to the back of the refrigerator, I recommend that you try this:

  • Shut off the water supply to the refrigerator. Carefully remove the water supply line that is connected to the back of the refrigerator. Place the end of the water supply line in a bucket and briefly turn on the water supply to check for any debris or black water coming from the end of the water supply line. You may have already done this. If not, please try it so that you can verify that the water coming out of the end of the supply line is clean. If you do see any problems with the supply line water, let it run for a while to flush out the line. Since you have been running the water inside the refrigerator for a while now, the water from the supply line will likely be running clear but it is worth checking.

Once you have verified that you have clear water running from the supply line, I recommend that you reconnect the supply line and open the water supply cut-off valve fully to restore water service to the refrigerator.

Try flushing a couple of gallons of water through the water dispenser as constantly as possible to see if the water through the dispenser eventually runs clear. If it does then you likely had some type of debris or deposits in the line that are now gone after flushing out the system. Once you get rid of the black water inside the water system of the refrigerator, I doubt that it will return since you verified that you are getting clear water through the water supply in back of the refrigerator.

I hope that these troubleshooting tips make sense. Even though you indicated that you do not have a filter on this refrigerator, carbon dust from a water filter is the most common cause of this problem. It would be unusual for there to be any other causes. The new water valve would not cause this problem. A photograph of this part is shown in the image below. Water simply goes into the valve, through the valve body and out. I am certain that this part cannot cause the problem that you are having. This valve is supplied by GE (General Electric). I don't exactly know the country of origin but that should not matter in this case.

Let me know if you need more help with this problem. I will be glad to assist you as much as possible.

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Lyle W -
Sears Technician
August 28, 2010
A:

Hi Lyle. Unfortunately I am limited to 1000 characters. We did move the refrigerator, but that was 10 years ago. My point was that Scott D. said that whenever you connect to water that has been shut off, the water is discolored. We didn't have that problem 10 years ago. Yes, I am frustrated because a veteran technician should check this out before he leaves. (The tech said he was retiring in February and had been doing this for something like 30 yrs.) Or he should have warned me that it would happen and what is was and how to fix it. The part he took out has Mexico stamped on it. It is a GE part. This is the old part. To be honest, I don't believe I needed a new valve part to begin with. He never said what was wrong--just that he was replacing it and it would cost $288. I think there was simply a loose connection by the clear tube to the top back of the frig. That is where it was leaking starting last Monday morning. My husband came home and saw the black cup of water...

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waterisblack -
August 28, 2010
A:

(cont.) ... and couldn't believe it. I looked at the back of the frig. There is a simple copper tube between the faucet set into a niche in the wall and the back of the frig. From there, there is a clear tube running to the top of the frig on the freezer side. Where that enters the frig is the place that started leaking on Monday. I immediately turned off the ice maker inside (lifted bar) and then turned off the little faucet in the niche in the wall. The water stopped spraying out. The repairman came on Wed. aftenoon late. He said it neede a new valve kit. He had taken out the ice bucket and told me I probably would like to wash it out before putting it back in since the ice was all melting. He went out to his van/truck and I washed the ice bucket out and had it sparkling clean. How ironic is that:) He finally returned and put in the valve kit. I had to help him move the frig because he said 1 person couldn't do it. Then while he was behind the frig, he had me get a...

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waterisblack -
August 28, 2010
A:

(con't) ... cup to see if the water was connected. The water only a couple of inches in the bottom of the cup was clear. Then, he left after we waited and waited for his computer to work. We also waited on his computer when he was trying to look up the part earlier. Anyway, before he left he stuck his finger in my ice tray (gross!) to see if was filling up properly. There was no way I was going to use that ice after he stuck his finger in it, so I decided to wait and clean it all out again the next morning after it had made several batches of ice. However, the next morning I went to get a glass of water from the frig dispenser. I did think to use a cup first because I was going to run a few cups through because of the new part. Well, that black water stopped me cold. I got another cup out of the regular kitchen sink faucet and it was clear and continues to be clear. That is what I have been drinking. I got up on a stool to look at the ice. It looked OK (not black), but ...

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waterisblack -
August 28, 2010
A:

(con't) ... but I haven't dumped it out yet. I have been drinking glass after glass out of the kitchen sink faucet, bathrooms, etc. None of them have black water--only the frig. I tried calling back the 800-4MY-HOME number and finally got a real person who was completely unable to help me other than schedule another appointment and give me this website address. So of course I realize that I could possibly run some cups of water through the system and it might clear up. However, I really didn't want anymore of that black water running through my frig lines, ice maker, etc. without knowing the composition of the black substance. My frig does not have a water filter. I looked at the back and there is no in-line filter between the wall faucet hookup and the frig. I appreciate your troubleshooting tips, but I really don't want to have to pay $288 for a repair, be without drinking water and ice for 4 or 5 days, and then have to do the work myself. If I do flush it out, I will...

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waterisblack -
August 28, 2010
A:

(con't) ... never know what the black stuff was, where it came from, and whether it is cleared from the system or is still lurking. Because I don't know what it is, I am afraid to drink it. However, if this is a normal occurance, the repairman should have taken care of it or discussed it with me. I guess he didn't have time because he was standing around waiting for his computer to work and complaining about it and everything else. Also, I do not want to pay another dime on Monday because I have never had black water coming from my frig (or anywhere else for that matter) until he put in this part. I also do not want to pay for another service call because I tried to call to talk to the repairman or anyone that morning and all I can get is another service appointment which the girl said I would have to pay for unless they determine that it is covered under the repair warranty.

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waterisblack -
August 28, 2010
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Q:

Refrigerator dispenses black water after repair

A:

Having black water come out can be very disgusting and I can definitely see why you would want to have this issue fixed as soon as possible. I have taken some time to research your question and noticed a website that may have ideas of why you have black water. I have attached the link below for you to view and get some ideas. Hope this helps, good luck!

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Alina F. -
August 26, 2010
A:

Thanks Alina for your fast response. I read the link. I don't think black algae is the problem because this in not black stuff floating in the water. The water looks like it has black food coloring in it or something. Also, my refrigerator does not have a filter. The water from all my other faucets is fine. Only the frig water is black. This started right after the repairman worked on it yesterday afternoon. I have never had this problem before. I simply called the repairman because the clear hose connected to the frig started spraying water (clear!!!) on Monday. After he replaces hose with a valve kit, now I have black water. The repair cost $288.

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waterisblack -
August 26, 2010
A:

Since this refrigerator does not have a filter, the black substance will have to be from the water supply. Usually when the water supply is turned off while repairs are done it’s a good idea to run some water in a pitcher before reconnecting it to the inlet water valve. The reason is because when the water is turned back on, it usually breaks loose particles in the water line. It can also cause the water to be darker than normal. This refrigerator does not do anything with or to the water. It only delivers the water that is being supplied to it. I recommend shutting the water off again and taking the water line loose again from the inlet valve. Now run water in a pitcher until it’s clear. If it does not clear up, a plumber will be needed, to check the water lines. When it’s clear, reconnect the water line to the valve and run water through the dispenser now until it clears out the reservoir and comes out clear. If the water doesn���t seem to clear out now, the reservoir # WR17X4358 may need to be replaced. It would probably also be a good idea to have a water sample taken. The water company can do this. If you would like more assistance, additional details will be needed.

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Scott D -
Sears Technician
August 27, 2010
A:

Scott D., thank you for your response. Do you work for Sears? Shouldn't the Sears repair guy do all this before he leaves for my $288? He had plenty of time while we waited for his computer to grind on and on. I have a couple of other questions: Could the black stuff be coming from the new part he installed (a valve with a clear plastic tube attached)? Also, the water was off only 2 days and I only turned it off at the water valve in the wall where the copper tubing is attached. Is there really that much black stuff in copper tubing that could come loose? The water in the rest of the house is fine/normal. I would like to get the city or someone to test this black water to tell me what is in it. I am not convinced that rinsing out the line will get this black stuff out of the frig "system" and my family will be drinking/ingesting something awful. Could it be something in the new valve? Who knows where (in what country) and under what circumstances it was manufactured!

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waterisblack -
August 27, 2010
A:

Yes, I do work for Sears. Depending on what was taken loose, normally the technician will run the water before reconnecting it. There is nothing in the valves that will produce a black substance. The valves simply open and close, there is nothing in them. When water is turned off, it can produce black stuff as soon as it's turned back on, even if its only been a few minutes. The only way to find out if the black substance will clear out is to run the water, preferably in a pitcher first. If it won't clear, the water will definitely need to be checked (by the water company) but I would also recommend having a plumber check the water lines.

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Scott D -
Sears Technician
August 27, 2010
A:

Thanks again, Scott D. They are sending someone else out again Monday 8-12. If this happens whenever you turn off the water, I'm surprised we haven't had this problem before. We've turned off the water all over the house over the years and never had black water come out of the frig. Also, we actually moved this frig from another house and didn't have a problem. Anyway, I will print out your answer so that the technician can do that on Monday. I hope I don't have to pay another $65 service call fee. It's bad enough to waste another morning. It is also frustrating to call the 800-4MY-HOME number. That is how I booked the 1st service appointment. However, if there is a problem, there is no one to talk to. I got a person finally, but she could not help me other than book another appointment. I asked to speak to the supervisor, but she said no. I tried looking up some other number in our phone book and 411, but still no luck--back to the same machine. Ugggghhh! So here I am:(

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waterisblack -
August 27, 2010
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