The refrigerator is arguably one of the most vital appliances in your kitchen. Any malfunctions can be costly, which is why it is important that you learn how to troubleshoot minor problems with your refrigerator. In this article, you will learn how to fix a fridge that isn't dispensing water. 

Water filter

The ice and water filter on a fridge plays the vital role of filtering out debris and contaminants, such as dirt and minerals, that may not have been removed by your local water treatment. If clogged by debris, the filter can restrict or halt the flow of water to the dispenser.

Locate the filter in the fresh food section of your fridge and replace it if clogged by debris. You should also replace your filters at least twice a year, but you may need to do so more often if your local water is especially dirty. 

Defective water inlet valve

The water inlet valve is typically located behind the access panel on your fridge and is responsible for supplying water to the dispenser when the dispenser switch is activated. First, verify that the inlet screen isn't clogged and that the inlet and outlet of the valve tubing are clear of any debris.

If there are no obstructions present, the problem is likely in the power terminals that supply voltage to the solenoid-operated valve. Switch off power to the refrigerator and test the solenoid terminals for continuity. If power is present, then the valve is probably faulty and will have to be replaced. However, if no power is being supplied to the terminals, then the issue could be a faulty actuator or switch.

Faulty actuator or switch

The actuator is typically a plastic lever that pivots and turns on the water dispenser press the dispenser switch. If worn out, this mechanical part can fail to make proper contact with the switch, leading to absence of power to the water inlet valve.

If you can't hear the actuator make a clicking sound when contacted by the switch, then it is probably faulty and may need replacing. Remove the control panel to locate the actuator and check if the housing bracket and pivot are worn out. If so, call in an appliance repair expert to replace any defective parts. 

Lack of power in the solenoid-operated water inlet valve could also be caused by a defective switch. Check behind the lever or pad that you usually press to activate the water dispenser to locate the switch and test it for continuity with a multi-meter.  Click here for more info.