GE Refrigerator Water Dispenser not Working?

GSS25IRFR ge refrigerator

GE Refrigerator

Recently my water dispenser simply quit working on my General Electric side-by-side refrigerator. We’ve had the GE refrigerator for roughly 5 years and never had this issue.  The ice maker was still making ice so I knew it was still receiving water.  The  ice dispenser worked fine when tried to dispense water, I heard a click and the light came on so I assumed the electronics in the dispenser control panel were ok.

I spent several hours reading forums and testing various theories.  I eventually determined that the water line inside the door was frozen.  You see, the water line comes in from the wall to under the refrigerator and splits.  One line goes up to the ice maker.  The other coils around in a water line behind the vegetable tray to cool the water then out the back, under the refrigerator across the bottom of the front then up the inside left of the freezer door by the hinge.   Ultimately the insulation inside the door quits insulating the water line and it freezes near dispenser control panel.

So there you have it, your problem is likely a frozen water line.  Now how do you fix it?  Many users in the forums suggested replacing the door for $500 or adding their own insulation to the door.  Other users suggest temporary fixes such as threading a weed-eater trimmer line through the water line.  When the line freezes simple pull the trimmer line and clean it out.

Ultimately, I found a simple and inexpensive permanent solution.   GE apparently released a $30 part below, item WR49X10173, a water dispenser tube heater which easily connects to the dispenser control panel to heat the water line just enough to keep it from freezing. You can purchase it from Amazon below for $30. I’d suggest also replacing your water filter (also below) at the same time.


Update: A couple years later and water line problem is still solved. The water heater in the line seemed to fix the issue and we never saw it again. Granted, we had other issues with our GE refrigerator but the water line was never frozen again.

Have a question about your GE Water Dispenser Issue?  Let us know below and we will help!


  1. lisa casperson

    How do I know how to install the heater???? I don’t want to buy it and then what…

    • Penney Stevens

      My husband and I just had this problem in our GE profile side by side. The very top shelf in the freezer is a “quick freeze” shelf and should be left open at the top to allow air to flow in the freezer – we stuffed the freezer through the holidays and forgot about this. One my husband took the hairdryer and stuck it up the dispenser for about 3 or 4 minutes on high, then tried the water lever – and wha – lah! water. I hope this helps

      • Cecilia sparks

        Penny Stevens, “Stuck it up the dispenser” how? from outside the refrigerator door?

      • Anonymous

        Thank you, thank you, thank you, ours has not worked for a year now and today I decided I was going to try to fix it, my husband has tried in the past with no success and he has too many other things he is working on, so I started researching and came across your suggestion first, i tried to use the hairdryer on the actual dispenser part and it didn’t work, so i opened the door and used the hairdryer on the inside of the door and it immediately worked!!! Thanks again for the advice!!

      • Penny,
        Thank You! I used the hair Dryer and a pipe cleaner and my family has water now! FYI the upper freezer was blocked causing the freezing problem. Also when using the hair dryer be careful not to melt the plastic.

      • Anonymous

        The hair dryer worked.

        • Anonymous

          The blow dryer for 10 minutes on the inside of the refrigerator worked for me.

      • Thank you soooo much for this suggestion! Worked for us. We put the hairdryer on inside the door behind the dispenser and it worked! Ge wanted to charge $80 to come look at it on a week day between 1 and 4. Would have been waisted money and time away from work! Thank you!

      • Carlos

        Great. Took me a little longer, maybe 10 minutes, after second attempt of blow dryer on back of door, this time only behind water dispenser and working a weed eater line about 3 inches up the dispenser, I had given up, when I closed the freezer door, a spurt of water shot out a little chunk of ice! Now works fine. Thank you.

    • Hair drier worked. It took about 5 minutes then waited about two more, waterline started to drip, from the melting and then it worked.

  2. Cecilia sparks

    I tried the blow dryer, just now, and all it did was melt the plastic tubing and bend the actual press bar… If anyone does this, do it with caution. It did not fix the problem.

  3. Cecilia sparks

    whoops! yes it did work… it just took a few minutes for it to thaw more, I guess! Thanks Penney. Word to the wise, just be careful that you do not melt anything with the blow dryer!! 😉

  4. Paul Wilson

    My ice maker suddenly stopped working also. The line is not frozen. I undid the line coming into the refer and have water to the refrigerator.

  5. Paul Wilson

    Correction — not the ice maker. the water dispenser.

  6. Anonymous

    I put a hair dryer to the door still no at the top but have water at the bottom hose

  7. Anonymous

    I got a plummers quick repair. Get an 8 inch weed wacker line put it in hoie were the water comes out then take it outits done it should work

    • Anonymous

      Yup, weed eater string and blow dryer on inner side of door worked for me! Thanks :)

  8. Thank you!! A few minutes with the hair dryer and gentle pushing with a pipe cleaner up the dispenser hole fixed it for me.

  9. Thanks , I have recently been looking for information approximately this subject for a long time and
    yours is the best I have discovered till now. But, what about the conclusion? Are you sure in regards to the supply?

  10. If you call GE, at 1-800-386-1215 Opt. 6, you can get the part free of charge, or at least I did anyway. They asked for my model #, serial # and I explained that I continue to have issues with the water dispenser line freezing. The instructions included for item WR49X10173, the water dispenser tube heater are horrible, but there is an awesome step by step video on youtube by wernerpd that outlines how to install the heater. I simply typed in the search bar, how to install a dispenser water tube heater for a ge side by side refrigerator, and it came up. Hope that helps.

  11. Also, if a frozen line isn’t your issue, I’ve been told that you first check out the water filter, put in the filter bypass piece if necessary especially if you don’t have a new filter on hand, if it isn’t that it could be your water inlet valve found on the back of your frig., and last but not least your control board might be bad. Good luck…I changed my heater last night and am still waiting to see if the water dispenser line will thaw. I’ve been told it can take up to 24 hours to thaw. If not, I’ll need to by a Volt Ohm Meter to see if the part was any good to begin with. The only thing I do know, is that it’s positively frozen. Ugggg….

    Check out youtube for “how to” videos. There are tons on ge and hotpoint side by side refrigerators with water dispenser issues. There is also tons of information on various blogs about this common defect.

  12. My GE side by side was having the same issues with not dispensing water, but the ice maker was functioning properly. I used a combination of the blow dryer and weed Eater spool trick. I’m pleased to announce that it worked like a charm. Just use a blow dryer on high heat for about 4 minutes, applying heat to the inside of the freezer door, directly behind the dispenser. Run a 6-8 inch line of spool into the dispenser. After a few minutes, press the water lever and watch the flood gates open!!

  13. From the Makers of Hothands I purchased a Box of Insole Foot Warmers at BJ,s ( 1 800432-8629.)
    I attached two on the Insoles inside of the freezer door and covered it with a 10in x 16in piece of 1/2 inch Fan Foam insulation .
    I checked in two hours and the water system was back to normal.
    No damage to door.

  14. I replaced the filter last night and the water dispenser worked. There was no water flow today from the water dispenser. I have warmed the outside and inside of the freezer door. I can not pass the suggested nylon line or even fin gauge wire more than 3-4 inches into the output nozzle. I have also removed the filter and placed the bypass plug into the filter housing. Any suggestions?

    • Stephen

      I had the exact same issue. What I realized was that I was pushing up against the blockage. I tried to heat the interior of the door with no success, so I did more research and found this video:
      Following the directions to remove the kick plate and check the supply from the bottom was helpful. Since I was getting water at the kick plate, I knew the line was frozen. Applying heat from a hair dryer from both the bottom and top and trying to push the nylon line up eventually broke up the blockage and the water is flowing again. Didn’t even have to open the door to complete this repair.

  15. Using the hairdryer on the inside of the freezer door for a little more than 5 minutes and then poking the weed eater cord up the water dispenser tube on the front of the door loosened up the ice plug and now the water is flowing once again. Worked like a charm! Just be patient and warm the inside of the freezer door with the hairdryer slowly. It will take a little time, but it really does work. Thanks for providing the easy fix!

  16. Contacted GE on water dispenser line heater, wr49x10173, and the service tech acted as he had never heard of that part and that there was never any program to replace it. Any suggestions where to go next? Thank you James

  17. I have a 22 cu ft GE side-by-side refrig that is a little over 5 years old, and just had the line freeze up in the freezer door too. Got it thawed by leaving the freezer door open and keeping a blow dryer on the lower inside part of the door (closest to the hinges) for about 30 min. Also will adjust freezer temp to be a bit warmer. I called GE at 800-386-1215 to get the part #WR49X10173 (water dispenser tube heater) and they “discounted” it to $15.00 plus $5.95 shipping. I will wait to install it, want to see if the warmer freezer temp will keep the line from freezing but want to have the heater on hand in case this continues to be a problem.

  18. Hello,
    Experienced the same issue, which was resolved be installing bypass tube assembly (WR17X11920). Issue was not water freezing in door.
    Following link has all the information;


  20. GE Model GSH25 JSTA SS, A two door upright refrigerator.

    I just paid $69.50 for a service visit. He told me there was a heater part that would heat it up to keep from freezing.

    I covered the freezer opening with aluminum foil to keep the food cold. I stuck the blow dryer in the opening for ice from the inside side on low heat.

    I left the freezer door open for 5 minutes. I checked it and the water started running immediately. I filled two large cups of water to run it through without a hitch. Save your money and do this first.

    • Anonymous

      An 8 inch piece of whipper snipper cable inserted up the water line/cord at the dispenser works fine. Leave about 3/4 of an inch hanging out and when the water stops, wiggle the cord back and forth, presto.

  21. Shannon Farrington

    Hair dryer worked like a charm. Happy Easter.

  22. Here is the solution, never never buy GE again

    • Anonymous

      I also will never buy any more of ge junk I also tell every one looking for appliance not to buy ge they dont stand behind there product

      • K. Harper

        I am on my second GE Profile Refrigerator in just seven years. My dishwasher almost caught fire and they gave me $400.00 to replace my three year old $1000.00 top of the line model. My first GE Profile flooded my new hardwood floors and then the whole ice/water dispenser unit had to be replaced. When that unit went bad as well they offered to fix it or give me around $700/800 to put toward another refrigerator. I figured I had a real lemon model on my hands so I bought another one (because the money had to be used for another GE REFRIGERATOR) . Now my water won’t work and the ice dispenser only works sporadically. What lousy products!!! GE made junk while production was in Mexico. Spread the word!

  23. Anonymous

    My water and ice stopped working. The panel blinks when the button is pressed?

  24. Anonymous

    Hairdryer worked and weed whacker string!! Can’t imagine how much money I must have just saved. This could be the case on most fridges, but I didn’t know I needed to have the door closed for the water to flow. So I originally didn’t think it worked. Probably a “duh” moment, but I have zero handy man skills.

  25. Worked for me! Blasted hot air from hair dryer thru small funnel up the water
    tube for 2-3 min… all is well!

  26. Have a GE side by side. It’s the worst appliance ever! Never buy GE products. The 1st through 3rd year, struggled with freezer shelves not staying in place–they continually fell out of the side slots. GE finally sent “spacers” which are currently working. The 4th through 5th year, the ice-maker stopped working. Cost over $200 out-of-pocket to replace ice maker. GE Service tech admitted that there were problems with the original ice maker design! And, he indicated that my freezer’s insulation was probably defective! Now the water is not dispensing. Will try the hair dryer . . . refuse to pour one more cent into this hunk of junk! GE Products are not reliable!

  27. Follow-up to earlier post, the water line defrosted by using the hair dryer. Thanks for great advice!

  28. The tip worked great! Used hair dryer down the funnel and at the same time fished the string up into the external water outlet, moved it up and down until the frozen water in the spout was removed.

    Thanks to everyone!

  29. Hair Dryer worked Great! Thanks!!!!

  30. Have the same problem. GSH25JFXL model which is a side-by-side. I called GE today and they said that my refrigerator does not have the defect with the water line freezing up! Hmm, Guess I made it up! I’m never buying GE products again! I also have the noisy fan issue. Guess I will have to buy a replacement for that also! ~75$ in parts and a few hours of my life I cannot get back!

  31. linda

    We bought the side by side GE Adora a year ago. The water dispenser has always been slow to fill a glass, but the one we replaced did too. It got worse when the change filter light came on and after I changed the filter it’s almost nonexistent. The ice maker appears to be working. Suggestions?

  32. Wanda

    My water had not worked in a few days seen the post about a hair dryer and weed eater string… Didn’t need the string hair dryer worked like a charm … Water running great !!! Thanks

  33. Melissa

    Don’t listen to your boyfriend. This really does work! Took 20min of hair dryer time I guess because I just have a small travel hair dryer. I pointed it on the inside of the door right in line with the dispenser line (on the outside). I kept gently jabbing the weed eater string in the water hole and eventually the ice gave way & a bit of water rushed out. (We hung a towel over the freezer opening while we did this to conserve as much energy as possible.) Thanks for the advice!

  34. I had the same water line problem with our side by side GE. After reading about using a hairdryer and weedeater line I tried it and it worked like a charm. Seems this is an on going problem with GE. THANKS!

  35. This was an awesome and helpful article, thank you very much to everyone who contributed their advice and knowledge.

  36. I couldn’t figure out why the water dispenser wasn’t working, but the ice maker was. The water stopped working after the last freeze of winter and I haven’t used it since because I didn’t think it was worth the service call. I just used the hair dryer and it worked!!!! I’m so glad I did some investigating of my own before making a service call. Thanks!!!

  37. Michael

    This worked perfectly! I was doubting for the first 9 minutes but then…ahhh, water. Thanks for this great solution.

    • Anonymous

      Hair dryer worked like a charm. Checked water lines under kick plate to make sure I had water, and it was a frozen line issue first.
      I think it froze up because my freezer door wasn’t sealing properly. I had noticed a bit of condensation the day before. I fixed that problem by spreading a thin layer of Vaseline on the seals. Viola all problems fixed. Thank you for the tips!

  38. Customer

    The dryer fix is temporary – kinda like having to blow dry your car’s radiator every few mornings to get the coolant flowing. You are using a bandaid, not solving the problem. Get the water line heater. It should be a permanent fix. I will be ordering one, very soon.

  39. When I use my water dispenser I get water on my side-by-side refrigerator, I get water leaking out from under the fridge shortly thereafter. I took off the back panel & asked my wife to dispense water. I could not see where the water was leaking from. Help!

    • Barbara

      Same thing here Terry. Did you figure it out?

      • Barbara

        Now I am wondering if it’s just frost on the line that melted after the hair dryer now dripping down the line. The hair dryer worked though!

  40. I
    used the hair dryer but didn’t have any weed whacker cord so I used an 8″tie wrap to push into the opening and it worked, I got water!

  41. water dispenser broke on one side need to replace can u tell me how

  42. the water dispenser broke on one side can u tell me how to replace

  43. I have a GE side-by-side that is 12 years old. This last time that I changed the filter I let about 2 quarts of water out through the dispenser (per the instructions). At that point, the water dripped/ran continually from the cradle. This has never happened before when I have changed the filter. Obviously it is a problem. We had to turn off the water supple to the refrigerator. Ideas? I don’t know what the problem is, therefore cannot fix it.

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