How to Replace a Refrigerator Water Valve

 

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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.

Repair difficulty:
     
Time required:

Less than 30 min.

Parts Required

  • Water inlet valve assembly

For manuals, repair guides, and specific part recommendations, enter your model number.

Tools Required

  • Phillips screwdriver
  • Wrench
  • Work gloves
  • Pipe thread tape
  • Towels

Before you begin

Wear work gloves to protect your hands from sharp edges. Safely store any food that could deteriorate while the refrigerator is shut off.

Instructions

 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.

Step 1: Shut off the power and water supply

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.

 

Step 2: 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.

Step 3: 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.

Step 4: Remove the mounting bracket

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

Step 5: 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.

 

Step 6: 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.

Step 7: 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. 

Step 8: 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.

Step 9: 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.

Step 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. 

 

Step 11: Restore electrical power

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