Dave Smith Appliance Service

Locally Owned, Family Business

Mon-Fri: 8am - 5pm | Sat: 8am - 12pm | Sun: Closed

Problems with Water Dispensers and Ice Makers and How to Prevent Them

The key to proper operation of your icemaker and water dispenser is proper water pressure and supply. If the water supply to your refrigerator’s icemaker and water dispenser isn’t set up properly, it can cause hollow ice cubes, minimal or no ice production, slow water dispensing, occasional dripping from the water dispenser, water leaking into freezer, fill tube freeze up, and possible damage to your fill valve or ice maker.

Your water supply requires steady water pressure between 30 and 120 psi to operate a water dispenser or icemaker properly. The ¼ inch water supply line should dispense about 10 ounces of water in 5 seconds. If it doesn’t, the water pressure to the refrigerator is low. If you need help in correcting a water flow problem, contact a qualified plumber in your area, or contact us at https://www.davesmithappliance.com for assistance.

Filters & Quality of Water

Even though most refrigerators today have a water filter, the quality of the water supply going to the refrigerator could influence the taste or odor of your ice or dispensed water. The built in filters are very good, but may clog quickly if you have sediment in your water. (Most manufacturers recommend replacing your filter every 6 months.) You may order filters at https://www.davesmithappliance.com .

For best results, make sure you have a ¼ inch saddle valve that requires a drilled hole or better yet braze on a full size shut off valve (recommended) for maximum pressure. Be sure to check your local plumbing codes for any specific requirements in your area. Self-piercing and 3/16 inch valves are not recommended because they clog more often and restrict water supply. Be sure it is connected to the cold water pipe only.

Use the Proper Water Line

Be sure to use an approved material for the supply line such as copper tubing, high pressure plastic, or braided line. Cheap thin plastic water line is not recommended as it may deteriorate and crack due to age and heat from the compressor area. This can flood you out and can cause floor and house damage. Again, check your local plumbing codes for specific recommendations in your area.

Provide some additional water line behind the refrigerator so that you can easily pull it out for cleaning without stretching the line and causing kinks. Be sure it is secured to the back of the refrigerator to avoid stress on the connections.

Reverse Osmosis System

The use of a Reverse Osmosis System (RO) is normally not recommended on a household refrigerator. If you insist on using a RO you may need a booster pump and a larger storage tank to increase the water pressure and capacity. The water pressure can drop below 30psi during use and cause problems. The water pressure to the RO system needs to be a minimum of 40 to 60 psi. If your refrigerator has a filter, remove it or install the filter bypass (check your owners manual) to prevent having two filtration systems in place, which could further restrict flow. We recommend using only the factory refrigerator filters as they are are sufficient for supplying good tasting and safe water.

$15 Off appliance repair

Sign up for our newsletter and receive monthly tips from our industry experts.