January 27, 2016

How to prevent water dispenser and ice maker problems

By Sears PartsDirect staff
How to prevent water dispenser and ice make problems.
How to prevent water dispenser and ice make problems.

If the water supply to your refrigerator's ice maker and water dispenser isn't set up properly, it can lessen or completely stop ice production, slow the flow of water from the dispenser, cause dripping, or affect the flavor of the water or ice.

Here's how to keep the water flowing smoothly.

Water pressure

Your water supply needs water pressure between 30 and 120 psi to operate a water dispenser or icemaker. Your 1/4-inch water supply line to the refrigerator should dispense at least 9 ounces of water in 5 seconds.

Get the right supply valves

For best results, uses a 1/4-inch saddle valve that requires a drilled hole—it is less likely to clog. Self-piercing and 3/16-inch valves are not recommended because they clog more often.

Length of supply line

Have enough additional supply line behind the refrigerator that you can easily pull it out for cleaning without stretching the line and causing kinks. However, ensure the tubing does not bang against the back of the refrigerator or wall when the refrigerator is pushed back in place. This can cause unnecessary noise when water runs through the line.

Quality of water supply

Most refrigerators have a water filter to improve the taste and odor. Make sure the filter is replaced on a regular basis. Consult your owner’s manual for more information.

One last tip

Connect your refrigerator to a cold water supply only and check all connections after installation to ensure there are no water leaks.

If you take the appropriate steps to ensure an adequate water supply to your refrigerator, you can expect optimal performance of your ice making and water dispensing systems for many years to come.

Symptoms common to all refrigerators

Choose a symptom to see related refrigerator repairs.

Main causes: water valve leaking, frozen or broken defrost drain tube, overflowing drain pan, cracked water system tubing, leaking door seal
Main causes: blocked vents, defrost system problems, evaporator fan failure, dirty condenser coils, bad sensors, condenser fan not working
Main causes: jammed ice cubes, broken ice maker assembly, dirty water filter, kinked water line, bad water valve, freezer not cold enough
Main causes: damaged door seal, faulty defrost sensor or bi-metal thermostat, broken defrost heater, bad defrost timer or control board
Main causes: leaky door gasket, defrost system failure, evaporator fan not running, dirty condenser coils, condenser fan not running
Things to do: clean condenser coils, replace the water filter, clean the interior, adjust doors to prevent air leaks, clean the drain pan
Main causes: control board or cold control failure, broken compressor start relay, compressor motor failure, defrost timer problems
Main causes: blocked air vents, compressor problems, condenser or evaporator fan not working, control system failure, sensor problems

Repair guides common to all refrigerators

These step-by-step repair guides will help you safely fix what’s broken on your refrigerator.

July 20, 2015
By Lyle Weischwill
How to clean refrigerator condenser coils

Help your refrigerator run more efficiently by cleaning the condenser coils. It's easy and takes just a few minutes.

Repair difficulty
Time required
 15 minutes or less
July 20, 2015
By Lyle Weischwill
How to replace a refrigerator water valve

Replace the water valve that feeds water to the ice maker and water dispenser if it no longer controls the flow of water.

Repair difficulty
Time required
 15 minutes or less
How to replace a refrigerator temperature control board

If the temperature in your refrigerator doesn't match the temperature you set, the problem could be the temperature control board—a service technician can give you a definite diagnosis. If the board is at fault, follow these steps to replace it yourself.

Repair difficulty
Time required
 30 minutes or less

Articles and videos common to all refrigerators

Use the advice and tips in these articles and videos to get the most out of your refrigerator.

January 8, 2015

New refrigerator noises

By Sears PartsDirect staff

Find out about the new refrigerator sounds you might not be aware of.

January 6, 2015

How a refrigerator works

By Sears PartsDirect staff

See how the different components in your refrigerator work together to cool your food.

July 1, 2013

Refrigerator common questions

By Sears PartsDirect staff

Benefit from other people's experience by checking on these frequently asked questions about refrigerators.