July 20, 2015

How to replace a refrigerator water valve

By Lyle Weischwill
How to replace a refrigerator water valve

This repair guide gives easy-to-follow instructions for replacing the water inlet valve on a refrigerator. The water valve controls the flow of water to the ice maker and water dispenser. If the water inlet valve fails, it won't open to allow water flow, or it lets water flow constantly even when the refrigerator is unplugged. If the water inlet valve is defective, replace it with a manufacturer-approved replacement part.

These instructions work for replacing the water inlet valve on Kenmore, Whirlpool, GE, LG, Samsung, KitchenAid, Maytag, Amana, Frigidaire, Electrolux and Haier refrigerators.

Quick links
Tools required
Phillips screwdriver
Wrench
Work gloves
Pipe thread tape
Towels
Repair difficulty
Time required
30 minutes or less
Repair difficulty
Time required
30 minutes or less

Instructions

01.

Shut off the power and water supply

Safely store any food that could deteriorate while the refrigerator is shut off. Then unplug the refrigerator or shut off the circuit breaker for the refrigerator. 

Close the water supply cut-off valve for the ice maker. The valve is often on the wall behind the refrigerator, but could be attached to a water pipe under the kitchen sink or in the basement below the fridge.

02.

Disconnect the water supply line

Pull the refrigerator away from the wall far enough so you can access the water line connection and work on the back of the refrigerator. Place a towel under the water valve assembly to catch water. Loosen the nut on the supply water line until the water line is free. 

Tip: If needed, refer to the owner's manual for additional guidance with disconnecting the water line.
Disconnect the water supply line.

Disconnect the water supply line.

03.

Remove the back panel

Use a Phillips screwdriver to remove the screws that secure the lower service panel on the back of the refrigerator. Remove the panel.

Remove the back panel screws.

Remove the back panel screws.

Remove the back panel.

Remove the back panel.

04.

Remove the mounting bracket

Remove the screw that secures the mounting bracket to the frame of the refrigerator.

Remove the mounting screw.

Remove the mounting screw.

Release the bracket.

Release the bracket.

05.

Remove the valve assembly

Press the back of the locking tab on the wire harness to release the tab. Pull the wire harness plug off the valve. 

Remove the black plastic C-clip from the collar of the water line connection. Push the collar in and simultaneously pull the water line from the inlet water valve assembly.

Remove the wires.

Remove the wires.

Release the C-clip.

Release the C-clip.

Remove the water line.

Remove the water line.

06.

Install the new valve assembly

Push the water line into the fitting on the new water valve assembly. Reinstall the C-clip on the collar of the fitting. 

Tip: Push the water line as far as possible into the fitting. Tug on the water line to make sure it’s seated properly.

07.

Reconnect the wire harness

Push the wire harness plug back onto the spades of the water valve assembly. Push the plug in until the locking tabs snap into place. 

08.

Mount the new valve

Position the bracket of the new valve assembly so that the mounting holes line up. Reinstall the mounting screw and tighten firmly.

09.

Reinstall the service panel

Position the lower service panel on the back of the refrigerator so that the screw holes line up. Insert the screws and tighten firmly.

10.

Reconnect the water supply line

Wrap a small amount of pipe thread tape around the water supply line fitting on the back of the water valve. Fit the water line into the water valve assembly and tighten the compression nut firmly. 

Open the water supply cut-off valve. If the fitting leaks, tighten the compression nut and check again. 

11.

Restore electrical power

Plug in the refrigerator or turn on the house circuit breaker to restore power.

Warning: Undertaking repairs to appliances can be hazardous. Use the proper tools and safety equipment noted in the guide and follow all instructions. Do not proceed until you are confident that you understand all of the steps and are capable of completing the repair. Some repairs should only be performed by a qualified technician.
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 air vents, compressor problems, condenser or evaporator fan not working, control system failure, sensor problems
Main causes: leaky door gasket, defrost system failure, evaporator fan not running, dirty condenser coils, condenser fan not running
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: blocked vents, defrost system problems, evaporator fan failure, dirty condenser coils, bad sensors, condenser fan not working
Main causes: control board or cold control failure, broken compressor start relay, compressor motor failure, defrost timer problems
Things to do: clean condenser coils, replace the water filter, clean the interior, adjust doors to prevent air leaks, clean the drain pan
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
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
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
 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.

August 2, 2016
How to diagnose a faulty refrigerator water inlet valve
By Sears PartsDirect staff

Learn how to tell if the water inlet valve in your refrigerator is bad.

January 27, 2016
How to purge air from a refrigerator water dispenser video
By Sears PartsDirect staff

Follow the steps in this video to remove air from the water line connected to your refrigerator's water dispenser so the water dispenses smoothly.

January 27, 2016
How to replace a drop-down tray refrigerator water filter video
By Sears PartsDirect staff

Learn how to replace the water filter that's inside the refrigerator section of a bottom-freezer single-door refrigerator.