Some common Ice Maker/ Water Dispenser issues

Image credit: Flickr

Though automatic ice makers/ water dispensers are still optional features for many refrigerator models, they become an important part for those households who have them. They add convenience to your life and design to your refrigerator. These are more beneficial during the summer months and if they start malfunctioning or completely stop working, it can be a bit concerning. The problems with the ice maker/ water dispenser can be solved easily, but you will need to know the actual source and reason for these problems to find a solution for them. Here we are going to discuss some common ice maker/ water dispenser issues and their solutions to help you prevent any prolonged discomfort. 

Common Ice Maker/ Water Dispenser issues

Your ice maker and water dispenser can face several issues in their long life, some of which will be trivial and some may be serious. But, every problem has a solution, especially in the case of appliances and most of the ice maker/ water dispenser issues are easily resolvable.

Some bestselling refrigerators with water dispenser and ice maker:

  1. LG 668 L Inverter Linear Frost Free Side-by-Side Refrigerator
  2. Whirlpool 240 L Frost Free Multi-Door Refrigerator
  3. Kenmore 50049 25 cu. ft. Side-by-Side Refrigerator 

Following are some of the most common ice maker/ water dispenser issues that you can face with your refrigerator: 

The refrigerator ice maker is not making ice or there is not enough ice: 

When your ice maker is not making enough ice or not making ice at all, the reasons are mostly related to the water supply. It may be because of the refrigerator not being connected to the water supply or low water pressure or it may even be possible that the shutoff valve of the supply line is turned off. 

Image credit: Wikimedia Commons

You can easily look for the reasons for this issue on your own and even fix it. If the connection to the water supply is broken, connect the refrigerator to the water supply line properly and make sure that there is a proper flow of water and sufficient water pressure. Also, keep the water supply shut-off valve turned on/ open all the time for water flow. You can also refer to our blog “My ice maker is not making ice. Why?” to know more about this issue in detail. 

The ice cubes produced are hollow or smaller than normal: 

The ice maker starts producing hollow or smaller ice cubes when there is the low water pressure in the supply line. Some of the main reasons behind the low water supply can be that the shut-off valve is not completely open, a kinked water supply line or some issues with the refrigerator water filter installed. 

Image credit: Flickr

When you notice any of these issues with the ice cubes, make sure that the water shut-off valve is fully open and the water source line is completely straight. If these two issues are not there, the reason behind oddly shaped ice cubes can be the water filter. Sometimes a clogged or incorrectly installed refrigerator water filter can cause low water pressure. So, the best thing to do is remove the filter and then operate the ice maker. If there is an improvement in the quality of ice, then clean the filter if it is clogged or reinstall it correctly. If both of these things don’t work, replace the water filter. 

The ice has an off taste, odor, or are grey color: 

Normally, the ice should be tasteless, odorless, and clear (transparent) but, if your ice cubes have some features different than normal, then there might be some issues that you need to fix. There are a number of reasons behind this problem such as new plumbing connections, ice has been stored for too long, odor transfer from uncovered food stored inside, the presence of minerals in the water, and/or water filter issues. 

Bestselling refrigerator water filters recommendations for you:
1. EveryDrop by Whirlpool 10383251 Refrigerator Water Filter 1
2. Frigidaire FRIGCOMBO ULTRAWF Water Filter & Paultra Air Filter Combo Pack

If the discoloration or off-flavor is caused by the new plumbing, it will go off eventually. If the ice has been stored for too long, you need to discard the old ice, wash the ice bin, and give about 24 hours for the new ice to be formed in the ice maker. In case the water has minerals, install a water filter to remove the minerals. Also, always store your food packed in moisture-free, airtight containers or packaging. If you already have a water filter installed and still the water is discolored or gray-colored, it means that your water filter needs some additional flushing. So, you just need to flush the new water filter a few times before using it and replace the filter whenever there is any indication. 

Water leakage from the dispenser system: 

When you dispense water from your dispenser system, it is normal for a leakage of 1 or 2 drops immediately after you take your glass away. To prevent this, hold your glass under the water dispenser for about 2-3 seconds after releasing the dispenser handle. But, if there is water regular water leakage even long after dispensing water and in larger amounts, then there can be some other reasons behind it such as new installation, new water filter installed, or faulty dispenser connections. 

These issues can be easily resolved by you without any complications. If you have a new water dispenser installed or a new water filter installed, it is advised to flush the water system once to ensure proper water flow. You can check your owner’s manual for water dispenser operation and care instructions. Also, make sure that the tube connections of the water dispenser are completely tightened. 

The water dispenser is not working properly: 

When your water dispenser is not working properly, usually the reasons and solutions are almost the same as when your ice maker is not working. Some common reasons for your water dispenser not working include broken connection of the supply line to the refrigerator, water shut off valve turned off, kinked water supply line, low water pressure, new installation, incorrectly installed water filter, door not closed properly, and the recent removal of the doors. 

water supply line

Top refrigerator water supply line recommendations:
1. Eastman 41033 Braided Stainless Steel Ice Maker Connector, 5
2. Certified Appliance Accessories Ice Maker Water Line

It is a major concern when your water dispenser doesn’t work as it is supposed to, but the solutions for it are relatively simple. The first thing to do is to make sure that the refrigerator is connected to the water supply system and the shut-off valve is completely turned on. Straighten the water line if it is kinked at any place and flush the water system before refilling it, if your water dispenser is newly installed. For a proper water flow, the water pressure should be at least 35 psi, otherwise, the dispenser will not be able to work properly. If any of the above issues are not there, remove the water filter and run the dispenser to see if there is any problem with the filter. If your dispenser works properly, with the right water pressure after removing the filter, the filter may be either installed incorrectly or clogged. Clean the filter and then reinstall it correctly or replace it with a new one, if there is any damage. Also, make sure to close the door properly and firmly every time, and if the refrigerator doors were recently removed, remember to reassemble the dispenser tube/ wire correctly at the bottom of the door. 

Water from the water dispenser is warm: 

There is always a difference between the temperature of water dispensed from the dispenser and the water stored inside the refrigerator or freezer. The water from the water dispenser is cooled down only up to 50o F (10o C). But, in case the water is warmer than the given temperature, you need to look for the reasons behind it to fix it. Some of the reasons behind the warm water can be a new installation, a large amount of water dispensed recently, no water dispensed in some time, and a broken connection between the cold water pipe and the refrigerator. 

In most cases, giving the dispenser a time of about 24 hours to cool the water system completely solves the problem. In case of a new installation, you also need to flush the water system completely before allowing it to sit idly for some time to cool down. Besides, the first glass of water is not too cold if you haven’t dispensed water for some time, so, just discarding the first glass of water will resolve the issue. If any of these tricks don’t work, make sure that the refrigerator is tightly connected to the cold water pipe. 

There is an ice or frost buildup in the Ice Dispenser: 

Sometimes there may be an ice or frost buildup in the ice dispenser, either on the door or in the chute, and it is usually very normal. It occurs when you dispense crushed ice too often or repeatedly and it will automatically evaporate eventually. You can just clean the frost from the chute with the help of a warm damp sponge. 

But, in case there is a continuous frost formation on the dispenser, you need to operate it by keeping the door open and keeping the ice bucket out to make sure that the flap is closing completely. If the door is not closing completely, you need to contact a technician to get the dispenser fixed. 

Ice maker freezes up:

If your ice maker starts freezing up along with the ice, the fill tube may be frozen, the freezer temperature is set too low, or there is a faulty water inlet valve. You can resolve these issues on your own but before doing so, remember to unplug your refrigerator and turn off the water supply shut-off valve.

You can check these heating accessories for frozen ice maker:

  1. GE WR49X10173 Genuine OEM Dispenser Water Tube Heater Kit for GE Refrigerators
  2. Water Line Buddy Deluxe – Frozen Water Line Tool
  3. Ultra Durable WR49X10173 Refrigerator Dispenser Water Tube Heater Kit Replacement by Blue Stars

The location of your refrigerator fill tube may vary as per the refrigerator model and to reach the ice fill tube, you might have to remove the ice maker. To get rid of the ice here, you will have to apply some hot water to the fill tube with a sponge or a soft cloth or disconnect the tube and run it under hot water. Also, check if the temperature of the freezer is set too low. If yes, adjust the temperature accordingly to prevent the refreezing of the ice maker. In case, the temperature is ok and the fill tube is also normal, the issue might be a faulty water inlet valve. In this situation, it is best to contact a technician to fix it as it is an important component of your refrigerator that must be handled with expertise. 


Though most of the ice maker/ Water dispenser issues mentioned above are not something serious and complicated, they do affect your convenience. You can resolve most of these on your own by using simple tricks, but if you have even a small doubt about doing something, it is best to leave it for the professionals. These small components of your refrigerator are delicate and can be complicated, so it needs an experienced person to fix them without any mess.

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