I’ve had my GE refrigerator for awhile now.
About two years in, the water dispenser stopped working, so I did what most folks do – I called the service/repair department.
I wish I hadn’t. Turns out it was an easy fix.
So if your water dispenser isn’t working, don’t panic – this is a fairly common problem with a very simple solution that YOU can implement.
GE Refrigerator Water Dispenser Not Working
If your GE refrigerator water dispenser is not working, you need to replace your water filter. Over time water filters collect sediment and various mineral deposits from the water supply and can become partially, or even fully blocked. You should try to change your water filter about once every 6 months.
Replace the water filter
Your refrigerator water filter is made with activated carbon and it’s sole purpose is to remove contaminants from your water supply, making it safer to drink.
Over time, the filter (carbon) removes so many contaminants that it slows the flow of water, or even completely blocks it!
So if your GE refrigerator water dispenser isn’t working, the water filter is the most likely culprit.
One quick test to see if the filter is to blame is to remove the old water filter and try to dispense water.
(Your GE water filter location will vary depending on the model refrigerator you own.)
If water flows freely without the filter, you know that it’s likely the filter that’s the problem.
NOTE: if you have an older unit, and you’re not using a water filter, you MUST have the bypass valve installed! No bypass, no water.
You should look to replace your refrigerator’s water filter about once every 6 months, on average.
Newer GE refrigerators have a built in reminder, but if you have an older unit you should just write the replacement date in permanent marker on the filter so you don’t forget.
Check water filter head
If the water filter isn’t the culprit, you should double check the water filter head (where the filter attaches).
There is usually a small valve (or two!) where your water filter connects, that must be pushed in in-order for water to flow.
This valve has an important role – when you remove/replace your water filter the valve decompresses, stopping the flow of water. Otherwise water would spray every where after you took the filter off!
When things are working as expected, this valve gets pressed in when you twist the water filter on.
But over time, for whatever reason, this valve can stop working (it no longer compresses) – stopping the flow of water.
Check refrigerator control pad
This one is simple, but it’s easy to check and you’d be surprised how often this ends up being the issue.
Make sure your control panel isn’t locked!
The lock feature comes in handy a lot if you have kids and don’t want to the accidentally flood your kitchen with water.
But if the panel is locked, no water will come out!
You get usually unlock the panel by pressing and holding the lock button for a few seconds.
And while we’re looking at the control panel, make sure it’s set to “water”.
Refrigerator “thinks” the door is open
Another quick, somewhat obvious one but worth checking! – if your GE refrigerator “thinks the door is open” it won’t dispense any water.
Older models have a physical button/switch on the inside of the door that when pressed in, signals to the refrigerator the door is closed.
That signal shuts off the inside lights AND allows water to be dispensed.
If that button isn’t getting pressed all the way in your water won’t flow.
Try taking one of those protection pads that goes on the feet of furniture and place it on the refrigerator door, where the door contacts that button. This will add the appropriate amount of depth to the door to fully compress the button!
Newer GE refrigerator models use magnets to signal that the door is closed.
You can grab a magnet and place it at the top of the door frame and that should shut the lights off and allow water to dispense.
NOTE: Sometimes installers forget to connect the refrigerator door wiring altogether. If the door isn’t connected water won’t dispense. You can usually pop off the hinge cover to double check whether or not the wiring is connected.
Frozen water line / water reservoir
This happens A LOT – the water line and / or water reservoir where water flows becomes frozen, blocking the flow of water.
Frozen water lines/reservoirs will stop the flow of water altogether.
The easiest thing to do is to look for these in your refrigerator, and if you suspect freezing is causing the issue, take a hair dryer and blow warm air over the problem area for a few minutes.
Then try dispensing water again.
If it flows now, you know the line was frozen and you should consider lowering the temperature of your refrigerator.
The water reservoir is usually behind the fresh produce section of the fridge, or it might be behind an access panel.
Depending on your model GE refrigerator, the water line might be frozen in a few different spots.
A popular spot is the back of the freezer door (where the ice maker is). Over time the freezer door insulation breaks down and the cold air impacts the water line on the other side.
Keep in mind this might take up to 10 minutes before it works!
Another common location is at the bottom, front of the fridge. You’ll have to remove the kick-plate to get access to it.
Alternatively, you might have to check the back of your refrigerator.
Check water dispenser switch / arm
While unlikely, your issue could be with the water dispenser button / arm itself. When you push the button or tray in, water should dispense.
If that button/tray is broken or malfunctioning, the signal to send water won’t be transmitted.
A quick test to see if this is the issue is to press on the button/tray and listen for a click.
You should hear a click and then your refrigerator should produce a slight “hum”.
If you hear both these things, it’s likely not a button/tray issue.
Make sure water is connected
I know, I know – you’re thinking, “Really?”
Just trust me! Make sure your refrigerator is able to get water in the first place.
1) Make sure your water line is actually connected to a water source
2) Make sure the water valve is open (should be parallel with the water line)
3) And make sure none of the water lines/hoses are kinked or bent (often these lines are made of plastic and easy to kink)
You will most likely have to pull your GE refrigerator out to check all of these, but do check them!
Faulty water inlet valve / fill solenoid
At the back of your GE refrigerator is a water inlet valve that has two “fill solenoids”.
One is for ice, and the other is for water – they open and close, to send water to the ice maker and dispenser.
Sometimes these solenoids fail due to lost continuity, or a build up of minerals and debris.
If/when this happens, your refrigerator will stop dispensing water.
If you’re handy, you can pull out your refrigerator and take off the lower back grate. You’ll find these solenoids at the bottom, by the condenser coil.
More likely than not, the entire unit will need to be replaced.
Make sure you have enough water pressure
At this point, if everything appears normal and in working order, and you’re still not getting water from your refrigerator, you might have a water pressure problem.
You need at least 40-120 PSI of water pressure in order for your dispenser to work.
A quick eye-ball test you can run is to shut off the water supply and then disconnect the water supply line and hold one end over a bucket.
Now turn the water back on.
A solid flow suggests pressure is fine. Weak flow indicates low pressure!
How to order GE refrigerator replacement parts
Hopefully you were able to discover exactly what’s causing your GE water dispenser not to work.
If you found a bad or defective part, you’ll need to replace it.
Start by opening up your refrigerator door and looking on the side wall. You should see a sticker with all the details regarding your appliance.
You’ll want to take down the exact model number of your refrigerator.
Finally, type that model number into Sears Parts Direct and locate the exact part you need.
GE refrigerator user manual
Now that you have your GE refrigerator model number, you can type it into the search bar of GE.com and pull up the user manual from your fridge.
The user manual will likely have some additional, model specific troubleshooting steps you can try in addition to what I’ve described here.
If your GE ice maker is still not working, you should call a trained progressional to come take a look.
I’d start by contacting GE support.
Or you can reach them at 1-800-GECares (1-800-432-2737).
- Monday–Friday: 8 a.m.–9 p.m. ET
- Saturday–Sunday: 8 a.m.–6 p.m. ET
You can also schedule time online for a certified service technician to come directly to you. In some cases, your warranty will cover the entire cost!