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Why is my GE refrigerator water dispenser not working?



GE refrigerators are considered one of the best products on the market due to their reliability, energy efficiency and durability. GE refrigerators, manufactured by one of the oldest and largest electronic appliance companies in the world, often stand the test of time. That said, every electronic device can have problems. 

Having cool water poured directly from the fridge into a glass is a convenient alternative for those who dislike drinking bottled or warm tap water. However, water dispensers in refrigerators can often run into minor issues that hinder their performance. Operational issues like malfunctioning dispenser control boards or dispenser switches are bound to be an inconvenience and a source of frustration.

Problems related to the water dispenser can also indicate more significant issues in your home’s plumbing system, making troubleshooting the problem urgent.  

This article will help you understand some common problems you could face with GE refrigerator water dispensers and a complete DIY solution on how you can fix them.


Common causes of GE refrigerator water dispenser not working

There could be many reasons why your GE fridge water dispenser is not dispensing water. Identifying the source of the problem is the first step to fixing it. Here are some common causes of a malfunctioning water dispenser.

Problems resulting from improper installation

One of the main setbacks to a water dispenser’s performance can be improper installation. If you’ve recently installed a new GE refrigerator, this should be one of the first things you inspect. First check whether the water line to the refrigerator is turned on. Usually, your house plumbing system is connected to the refrigerator with a saddle valve. This valve should be fully open for your refrigerator to receive water. In the case of a new installation, check if the water supply to your fridge is on and functioning. 

Secondly, air trapped inside the water pipe or insufficient water quantity in the reservoir can cause problems. You should allow the water reservoir to fill completely. Once the dispenser starts functioning, you can release any air trapped in the inlet valve and water pipe by allowing the dispenser to run for five minutes.

Problems with the water filter

A fridge filter treats the drinking water dispensed from a refrigerator. Typically, refrigerator filters remove harmful chemicals from water and help improve the smell and taste. A clogged water filter can result in less or no water from your GE fridge water dispenser, so companies recommend replacing the filter every six months. 

To check if the filter is clogged, you will have to replace the filter with the filter bypass plug and check whether the water flow improves. If the water flow from the ice dispenser improves with the bypass plug, you likely have a clogged filter. Another cause of a clogged filter is being in an area with new construction. In this case, there could be higher quantities of sediment in the water, which can cause your filter to clog faster, making it necessary to change your filter more frequently.

You can call the GE helpline to receive a filter bypass plug if you didn’t receive one during delivery.

Frozen water-supply line

A water line supplies water to your refrigerator by connecting it to your home’s water source so the fridge can make ice and dispense a glass of water.

A frozen water line obstructs the water dispenser and can be caused by your freezer being too cold. A simple way to check this is by disconnecting the supply tube at the bottom of the freezer door and blowing air through it. If air doesn't pass through the water tube below the refrigerator door, it’s a sign of a frozen supply tube. You will have to defrost the refrigerator’s ice buildup to make the dispenser function again. 

To prevent the refrigerator water line from freezing, ensure the freezer is kept at an optimal temperature and the food is loaded correctly.

Home water-pressure issues

The inlet valve of the GE refrigerator’s water dispenser requires a minimum amount of water pressure from your home’s main plumbing supply; the inlet valve needs at least 20 psi to continue dispensing water. 

If you’ve experienced low water pressure in your home’s plumbing system while running taps, washing machines or other appliances, this might be causing issues in your water dispenser. You can call your local water department or contact a licensed plumber to fix this issue.

Broken water inlet valve

An inlet valve is responsible for regulating and maintaining the water supply from your central water-supply system to your refrigerator. The valve operates electronically and is located at the back of the fridge, toward the bottom.  

Problems with the inlet valve will stop the water supply to your refrigerator’s water dispenser and ice maker. You could replace the valve yourself by finding the correct valve for your model and reading a step-by-step guide. However, since it has electric connections, you should consider getting expert help.


How to diagnose GE refrigerator water dispenser issues

Narrowing down potential issues and determining which parts need repairs are the first steps in diagnosing your refrigerator’s water dispenser problems. This includes checking all external components, like the inlet valve; the water-supply pressure in your home; and the internal parts of the refrigerator, including the supply tubes, filter and overall installation quality. While checking inside the refrigerator, keep the following in mind:  

  • If you have a recently installed fridge, check if the water tank and water lines have been purged of any air that could be trapped in the tubes. 
  • Next, check if the refrigerator water filter is clogged by replacing it with a filter bypass plug. 
  • Check whether the water-supply line is installed correctly and the valve is turned on.
  • Ensure that the supply line isn’t frozen or exposed to extreme temperatures.

Going step by step will help you zero in on the exact part that needs repairs. Once you’ve done that, you can find quick fixes to most of these issues without needing the services of an expert. However, if none of these steps help you find the cause of the problem, you should call the GE helpline and schedule appliance repair services.

Can you fix a GE water dispenser yourself?

Whether or not you can fix your GE water dispenser as a DIY project largely depends on your experience with repairing and dealing with GE appliances in your household. If you’re a seasoned handyman with experience in dealing with water and electric appliances, you should be able to fix a GE water dispenser yourself by following a few simple steps. 

On the other hand, if you are new to home repairs or lack the right tools and equipment, you should contact a service provider. Refrigerators can be complex, with small and delicate components; an experienced professional will have the right skills to repair them without causing further damage.


Costly refrigerator repairs are covered under a Cinch warranty

It can be daunting to carry out repairs on your refrigerator, which is made up of many intricate parts while being connected to the water and electric supplies of your home. Any wrong steps you take while repairing can prove costly. 

You’re likely to use the same refrigerator for many years, so you should make sure it’s well taken care of. A simple way to keep all your home appliances in excellent condition is to buy a warranty plan. Home warranty subscriptions allow you to plan your budget and avoid paying expensive bills for unpredictable repair jobs. 

The Cinch appliances warranty plan includes coverage for refrigerators, washing machines, dryers, plumbing systems and electrical systems. You can choose from multiple plans that cover different parts and components of your home and set up a payment plan at your convenience. Don’t let repair jobs become expensive and cumbersome problems — opt for a Cinch warranty plan today and let the experts take over! Reach out for an instant quote today!


Installation errors, clogged filters, water lines and broken inlet valves can cause a GE water dispenser to malfunction. Learn how to fix it.