July 20, 2015

How to replace the water inlet valve in a top-freezer refrigerator

By Lyle Weischwill
How to replace the water inlet valve in a top-freezer refrigerator

This DIY repair guide gives step-by-step instructions for replacing the water inlet valve in a top-freezer refrigerator. The water inlet valve is at the back of the refrigerator near the bottom and controls water flow to the ice maker. A coil on the water valve opens to allow water to flow into the refrigerator and closes to stop the water flow. If the valve fails to open, water stops flowing to the refrigerator. If it fails to close, water continuously flows into the ice maker. Replace a failed water valve using the 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
Work gloves
Nut driver set
Wrench set
Repair difficulty
Time required
15 minutes or less
Repair difficulty
Time required
15 minutes or less
How to replace a top-freezer refrigerator water inlet valve video

Replacing a refrigerator water inlet valve video.

Instructions

  1. 01.

    Shut off the power

    Unplug the power cord from the wall outlet.

  2. 02.

    Disconnect the refrigerator water supply line

    Close the water supply cut-off valve for the refrigerator.

    Pull the refrigerator away from the wall.

    Place a towel under the water valve assembly to catch water.

    Loosen the compression nut on the supply water line until the water line is free.

    PHOTO: Shut off the water supply valve.

    PHOTO: Shut off the water supply valve.

    PHOTO: Disconnect the water supply line.

    PHOTO: Disconnect the water supply line.

  3. 03.

    Remove the rear compartment cover

    Remove the screws from the rear compartment cover and then remove the cover.

    PHOTO: Remove the rear cover.

    PHOTO: Remove the rear cover.

  4. 04.

    Remove the water inlet valve

    Remove the screws from the mounting bracket and pull the water inlet valve out.

    Unplug the wire harness from the water inlet valve.

    Disconnect the ice maker water supply line by pressing in the fitting collar and pulling the water line out of the valve outlet.

    Tip: Some fittings may have a C-clip on the valve outlet collar. Remove the C-clip before pressing the collar in.
    PHOTO: Remove the bracket screws.

    PHOTO: Remove the bracket screws.

    PHOTO: Unplug the valve wires.

    PHOTO: Unplug the valve wires.

    PHOTO: Disconnect the ice maker water supply line.

    PHOTO: Disconnect the ice maker water supply line.

  5. 05.

    Install the new water inlet valve

    Push the ice maker water supply line into the valve outlet fitting.

    Reconnect the wire harness on the new water inlet valve.

    Position the new water inlet valve in the cabinet and install the screws in the mounting bracket.

    Tip: Push the ice maker water supply line as far as possible into the fitting. Tug on the water line to make sure it’s seated correctly. Reinstall the C-clip if present.
    PHOTO: Connect the ice maker water supply line.

    PHOTO: Connect the ice maker water supply line.

    PHOTO: Connect the wires.

    PHOTO: Connect the wires.

    PHOTO: Attach the water inlet valve.

    PHOTO: Attach the water inlet valve.

  6. 06.

    Reinstall the rear compartment cover

    Position the rear compartment cover on the back of the refrigerator and reinstall the mounting screws.

    PHOTO: Reinstall the rear cover.

    PHOTO: Reinstall the rear cover.

  7. 07.

    Reconnect the refrigerator water supply line

    Connect the water line onto the water inlet valve fitting and tighten the compression nut firmly. 

    Open the water supply cut-off valve. 

    If the fitting leaks, tighten the compression nut and check again.

    PHOTO: Connect the water supply line.

    PHOTO: Connect the water supply line.

    PHOTO: Open the water supply valve.

    PHOTO: Open the water supply valve.

  8. 08.

    Restore electrical power

    Plug in the refrigerator and push the refrigerator back into place.

Warning: Undertaking repairs or maintenance to appliances or power equipment can be hazardous. Should you choose to undertake repairs or maintenance, you are assuming the risk of injury to your person or property. In an effort to reduce the risk, use the proper tools and safety equipment noted in the applicable 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 or maintenance, however, 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: 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: jammed ice cubes, broken ice maker assembly, dirty water filter, kinked water line, bad water valve, freezer not cold enough
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

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

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