Just like other household appliances, a refrigerator’s water dispenser may develop problems that can however be professionally fixed. The water dispenser will work after you press a paddle-shaped piece in the refrigerator door that functions as a lever. The lever turns a valve on the back of the refrigerator connected to tubes that will dispense from a reservoir. A filter is another important component of your refrigerator that may be located inside or outside the refrigerator. Dispensed water passes through the filter to eradicate harmful bacteria and chemicals for safe drinking water. Normally, you would fill up your 8 ounce glass from the dispenser in not more than 7 seconds but if you have a trickle or water has stopped coming out after pressing the paddle, then you have a problem that can be fixed by a refrigerator service technician.
A number of reasons may be the cause why your refrigerator is not dispensing water as it should. If you are not fully conversed with the technicalities of your appliance, hire the service of a fridge repairman to help you deal with the problem without further complicating it.
Common causes for poor water dispensation and repair solutions
Your refrigerator could be having one or more of the following issues if it is poorly dispensing water:
Frozen water tube in door
Problem – If the pump is running after you press the paddle with your glass, it means the mechanical and electrical parts are working. If there is no water supply, then there could be a blockage somewhere in the system interfering with the water flow.
Solution – To determine if there is a blockage in your water supply system, your repairman will disconnect the tube located at the bottom of the refrigerator’s door and use a blower to pass air through it. If air does not go through, then it means that the tube is frozen and needs to be thawed out.
It is common for water lines in your refrigerator’s door to freeze solid especially in the winter season when the heat is turned down when you are away. Since the dispenser is not in use when you are away in the cold winter temperatures, the water lines will easily freeze.
A plug of ice blocking the lines can easily be thawed out using the medium heat of a hairdryer. By waving the hairdryer around the back of the refrigerator’s door just behind the dispenser and on the front side of the dispenser for 15-20 minutes can melt the ice causing the clog. You can try out the dispenser periodically to see if the water supply has improved. If this option fails, call a refrigerator repair technician to your house to purge the water lines or find another solution that will get your water dispenser working.
After repair, it is always advisable to keep your freezer at right temperature which should be between 0-10 degrees Fahrenheit. Very cold temperatures will only freeze your water line.
Defective water inlet valve
Problem – The water inlet valve should open to deliver water to the dispenser. If the valve is damaged or if the water pressure is inadequate, then the valve won’t open. To operate properly, the valve will need at least 20 psi. The water pressure should be maintained at around 20 psi.
Solution – Your repair technician can help you check your water inlet valve for proper continuity with the aid of a multimeter. If the valve lacks continuity, he/she will recommend a replacement of the device.
Problem – A water dispenser filter that has a problem may also be the reason why your water supply is poor. The water filter is located on the backside of the refrigerator under a removable plastic cap. A dirty, contaminated or old filter may not work as required. Water may not pass through a very dirty filter.
Solution – To check your filter, your repairman will easily unscrew the plastic cap. Any items in the refrigerator near the filter should be moved away because some spillage may occur when the cap is taken off. To determine if your filter is clogged, your fridge repairman will remove the old filter and install a filter bypass plug in the place of the filter. The dispenser will then be tried. If water flow improves with the plug on, then it means your filter is clogged and needs to be replaced. The dirty filter will be removed and a new one installed.
Your technician will proceed to check other areas of your refrigerator dispenser if the filter has no problem. It is also advisable to change your filter if it’s a long time since you last changed it. A filter should be changed at least after every 6 months.
Additional filter-related issues that cause poor water dispensation
Sometimes, the threaded area where the filter connects may block the small holes that allow water flow. A new filter’s wrapping may also block the flow of water. The small holes should have nothing blocking them for efficient water flow. Reinstall the filter if you have low water flow.
If you have air trapped in your dispenser’s water lines, you could hear a hammering noise especially when a new filter has been installed. Trapped air brings about pressure issue and water will barely flow out of the dispenser.
Solve this issue with a bypass plug that often comes with a new fridge in place of the filter. Let water run for about 3 minutes with the plug on to clear any pressure or air in the water lines. After a normal flow is achieved, the new filter can be dampened and reinstalled. Again test the water flow with the new filter on to ensure no air or pressure has built in the lines.
Non-performing aftermarket filter
Aftermarket water filters in your local residential store are cheap but low in quality than Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) types. Though expensive, OEM water filters will highly perform and most refrigerator manufacturers recommend them.
If your freezer technician determines that all of the above parts are working well, then you can check the water pressure of your home supply system. If it is insufficient, that could be the problem. The water inlet valve supplying water to your water dispenser needs a minimum of 20 psi to operate normally. You can check your home’s water flow and ensure that the pressure is at least 20 psi.
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