No water going to your ice maker? 11 steps to replacing the water valve.

Written by Jason Hutchinson
7 Min read
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Ice maker has no water. Why not?

There is no worse feeling than coming home on a warm day and getting ready to make yourself an ice-cold beverage and finding there’s no water going to your ice maker so it has failed to make any ice. At that moment, something you thought was a luxury becomes a necessity and there’s nothing that can replace it.

You’ll want to get that ice maker back up and running as soon as possible, and you won’t want to have to spend too much money in the process. If the issue with the ice maker is that there’s no water which it needs to produce, then reading this article will help you to identify why no water is getting to your ice maker and tell you how you should go about solving this problem.

If your ice maker is not working, and you don’t believe it is an issue with the water supply, maybe some of these articles can help you if you have these problems: your ice maker has frozen over, your Whirpool ice maker stops working or your Samsung ice maker needs resetting.

The best way to go about looking for the problem when there is no water supply to the ice maker is to check for the issue with the easiest solution first. That way, you will not be wasting time trying a really difficult fix when the solution can be found in something much easier.

Is it plugged in?

Now, this may seem like a stupid question, however, many people actually find that this is what was wrong with the ice maker all along and why there was no water for ice. This is because the power source for the ice maker is actually separate from the one for the refrigerator. So just because your refrigerator is plugged in and working, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the ice maker will be. In the same breath, do make sure that your ice maker is actually turned on before you try any of these other fixes. Again, you’d be surprised at the number of people that just forget to check.

Man replacing a water valve on an ice maker with no water

Is your filter clogged?

Your ice maker should have a filter that should be attached to the water line that enters your refrigerator. This filter’s role is to ensure that the water in your ice maker is fresh, clean, and free from bacteria.

Over time the filter can become clogged up with all the stuff it is removing from the water, a clog or blockage in the filter can lead to little or no water making it to the ice maker. Therefore, if you check your filter, and it appears to be blocked, then this is probably the issue with the supply to your ice maker and the reason there is no water.l Replacing the filter should fix your issue.

It is worth noting as well, that filters should be changed once a year as a bare minimum, twice a year ideally, regardless of any clogs or blockages. So even if you have checked your water filter and don’t think that there is anything wrong with it do remember to replace it regularly to avoid any issues in the future.

Is your water supply valve broken?

Your water supply valve is the valve at the end of the water supply line. The line is the copper or plastic tube that carries the water from the water source to the ice maker, and it normally runs into the back of the refrigerator. Should it fail, it will obviously result in no water being delivered to the ice maker.

Now it should be fairly simple for you to identify if this is broken because it will leave a clue, the clue being water coming from a leak or no water. This could be as obvious as a pool of water below the water supply valve, or it could just be some moisture on the exterior of the line close to the water supply valve. If this is the case, then you will need to replace your water supply valve.

Replacing the water valve on your refrigerator is a slightly more complex task than replacing your water filter, but you can still do it yourself, and we will explain how by breaking it down into simple steps below.

  1. The first step is to unplug your refrigerator
  2. Next, place a towel under the water supply valve (should be on the back of the fridge) so that no water is spilled onto the floor
  3. Now remove the cover on the back of the refrigerator and cut off the water supply to ensure no water gets to it
  4. Loosen the compression nut on the water line using a wrench, allowing you to then take the water line out
  5. The next step is to unscrew the water supply valve and remove it, then detach the wire harness from it
  6. You then need to also detach the water lines that are connected to the water and ice dispensers
  7. From now, you just need to replace everything but with the new valve, so first attach the water lines and wire harness to the new valve
  8. Then screw the new valve back into place and attach the water supply line to it
  9. Tighten the compression nut to hold the water supply line in place
  10. Turn back on the water supply, making sure that there are no water issues
  11. If all seems to be working correctly, then you can replace the back cover and plug the refrigerator back in

Alternatively, the issue could just be that the water supply valve is not properly open, and therefore no water is getting through to the ice maker. To check if this is the case, simply turn the valve so that it is fully open, and ten or so minutes to see if it starts producing ice again.

Are the water supply lines the problem?

If after all of this you still haven’t managed to get your ice maker working again then please do not give up hope just yet as there is still one more thing we can try before we would recommend you get the help of a professional.

The last component to check on is the water supply line, this is the copper or plastic tube we mentioned in the last section that is connected to the water supply valve and carries the water to the ice maker. Hopefully, given you will now have exhausted most of the other potential issues, this will be the problem.

So, to identify if you have a broken water supply line, you first need to pull the refrigerator out from the wall so that you can get a good look at the water supply line behind it. It is also worth removing the access panel on the back of the refrigerator, as this will reveal the whole network of supply lines, rather than just the parts outside the refrigerator.

You can do this easily enough with a screwdriver. What you are looking for here is any kinks where the water could be getting blocked or any parts of the supply line that could have frozen up, causing a blockage.

Now, the kinks are fairly easy to identify as you are just looking for any part of the supply line where there is not a smooth path for the water to flow through, somewhere where it could be held up or blocked. If you find any kinks then carefully remove them by straightening the supply line.

Blockages due to frozen ice will be slightly harder to identify, but you will still be able to see them from the outside of the tube. You just need to get in close and look for any signs of ice coming through the tube. If you do identify a part of the supply line where you believe the water has frozen and has caused a blockage, then obviously you need to melt it!

There are two ways you can go about melting any ice within the water supply line, first, we’ll tell you the one that takes slightly more effort but will take less time altogether, and then if you don’t fancy that you can choose our second option which involves slightly less manual labour. For both methods, make sure that you have unplugged the refrigerator before you start doing anything.

So, your first option is to use something that produces heat to heat up the specific area of the water supply line where the frozen water is. You could do this using something like a hairdryer, or even better, a heat lamp.

Point these at the part of the water supply line where the water is frozen, and make sure that it is evenly distributed over all of it so that some bits do not melt while others have. If you don’t have access to a heat lamp or a hairdryer, then you can also melt the ice the old-fashioned way, with some hot water and a cloth. Simply wet the cloth with the hot water and hold it against the frozen part of the tube. Whichever method you used, make sure that you don’t stop until the ice has completely melted.

The second option is to completely defrost the entire refrigerator. Now, the drawbacks of this method are that it will take a couple of hours, and it will involve you taking all of your food out of the refrigerator. Obviously, you will want somewhere you can keep your food cool in the meantime to stop it from spoiling. However, the positives of doing it this way are that if you are unsure of exactly where in your water supply line the frozen bits are then it will all defrost anyway, and it also doesn’t involve you getting down on your hands and knees to manually heat up a water supply line!

Final thoughts

Hopefully, one of the four solutions we have given you in this article has helped you to get the water supply to your ice maker back up, and you are now relaxing in the garden with an ice-cold drink, feeling glad that you didn’t immediately get a professional in. However, if you are one of the unlucky few and even after trying all of this your ice maker just won’t work, it may now be time to leave it to the professionals and get someone in to have a look at your ice maker.

Why does my ice maker keep adding water?

If your ice maker keeps on adding more water when it is not needed this is probably due to an issue with your water sensor. This could be a result of some sort of debris building up around the sensor, to fix this you just need to clean it.

Where is the water sensor on my ice maker?

The water sensor on an ice maker is located in the ice maker’s reservoir. The location of the reservoir can change depending on the make and model of your ice maker so please consult the product manual to find it. If the sensor needs cleaning you can do so with a damp towel.

Appliances made simple. 

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