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!

82 Responses to “GE Refrigerator Water Dispenser not Working?”

  1. lisa casperson December 11, 2014 at 2:39 pm #

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

    • Penney Stevens December 29, 2014 at 8:35 pm #

      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 January 3, 2015 at 2:01 pm #

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

      • Anonymous January 8, 2015 at 8:04 pm #

        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!!

      • Peter January 20, 2015 at 1:12 am #

        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.
        Peter

      • Anonymous February 28, 2015 at 7:37 pm #

        The hair dryer worked.

        • Anonymous June 5, 2015 at 9:46 pm #

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

      • Jen April 27, 2015 at 12:17 pm #

        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 May 4, 2015 at 1:04 am #

        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.

      • Anonymous January 28, 2016 at 2:04 am #

        The hairdryer worked for me as well. Thanks k you so much for sharing.

    • Josh August 31, 2015 at 1:40 am #

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

    • Charlie K January 25, 2016 at 7:10 pm #

      Wow, glad I checked this site. I took a hair dryer set at highest temp setting and warmed the left door from the inside for 6 minutes, I also warmed the the inside edge of the door from the bottom hinge to the ice shoot, then I took a wooden spoon from the inside, pushed it into the ice shoot to hold the rubber flap opened and used the hair dryer from the outside and shot hot air into the ice opening where the water tube is located…….not too long, don’t melt the plastic………

      THE WATER IS FLOWING AGAIN………

      Now here is a trick to determine if your line in the door is frozen, or you have
      bigger problems. Push the water dispenser several times while listening along the left rear side for the refrigerator, if you hear a faint ticking sound each time you push the dispenser lever, your water line is most lightly frozen in the door.

  2. Cecilia sparks January 3, 2015 at 2:26 pm #

    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 January 3, 2015 at 2:38 pm #

    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 January 3, 2015 at 10:41 pm #

    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 January 3, 2015 at 10:44 pm #

    Correction — not the ice maker. the water dispenser.

  6. Anonymous January 6, 2015 at 1:41 am #

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

  7. Anonymous January 6, 2015 at 2:40 am #

    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 April 6, 2015 at 7:45 am #

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

      • Anonymous January 27, 2016 at 7:28 pm #

        Same for me. Listen for the click in back to determine if dispenser works, attempt to string trimmer more than 3 inches (if not, frozen) and blow drier right to back of dispensing arm for 5-10 minutes, and yahoo!

  8. brian January 9, 2015 at 7:07 pm #

    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. Alexandre Ber Durham Region January 12, 2015 at 2:05 am #

    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. Colleen January 14, 2015 at 2:58 pm #

    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. Colleen January 14, 2015 at 3:05 pm #

    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. Matt January 16, 2015 at 3:23 am #

    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. Joe January 19, 2015 at 9:23 pm #

    From the Makers of Hothands I purchased a Box of Insole Foot Warmers at BJ,s ( Hothands.com 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. David January 25, 2015 at 8:01 pm #

    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 March 4, 2015 at 7:05 pm #

      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:
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EwJ_EatXJ9g
      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. James February 12, 2015 at 12:54 am #

    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. james russell February 16, 2015 at 3:32 pm #

    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

    • Anonymous March 8, 2015 at 3:15 pm #

      Amazon

  17. Sue February 19, 2015 at 9:50 pm #

    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. B March 11, 2015 at 8:23 am #

    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;
    http://forum.appliancezone.com/Topic19906-2.aspx

  19. joe March 11, 2015 at 10:26 pm #

    WORKED LIKE A CHARM. FOUR MIN WITH BLOW DRYER. TKS

  20. Ray March 24, 2015 at 6:42 pm #

    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 March 26, 2015 at 1:55 pm #

      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 April 5, 2015 at 4:22 pm #

    Hair dryer worked like a charm. Happy Easter.

  22. chuck April 7, 2015 at 2:13 am #

    Here is the solution, never never buy GE again

    • Anonymous April 21, 2015 at 8:26 pm #

      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 May 15, 2015 at 3:52 am #

        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 April 10, 2015 at 9:52 am #

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

  24. Anonymous April 10, 2015 at 4:51 pm #

    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. James April 16, 2015 at 2:37 pm #

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

  26. Pat April 20, 2015 at 3:24 pm #

    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. Pat April 20, 2015 at 3:54 pm #

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

    • Cassidy April 24, 2015 at 1:43 pm #

      Pat – good to hear. Glad you got it fixed!

  28. Ray R. April 22, 2015 at 2:42 pm #

    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!

    • Cassidy April 24, 2015 at 1:43 pm #

      Awesome to hear Ray! Thanks for letting us know you got it fixed!

  29. Ken April 28, 2015 at 2:46 pm #

    Hair Dryer worked Great! Thanks!!!!

  30. nick May 8, 2015 at 12:47 am #

    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 May 9, 2015 at 2:22 pm #

    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 May 10, 2015 at 1:29 am #

    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 May 30, 2015 at 4:22 am #

    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. Bill June 1, 2015 at 12:45 am #

    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. absone June 2, 2015 at 9:58 am #

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

  36. Kim June 10, 2015 at 6:28 pm #

    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 June 24, 2015 at 1:59 am #

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

    • Anonymous July 1, 2015 at 4:00 pm #

      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 July 9, 2015 at 3:31 am #

    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. Terry July 24, 2015 at 9:54 pm #

    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 July 30, 2015 at 1:35 am #

      Same thing here Terry. Did you figure it out?

      • Barbara July 30, 2015 at 1:38 am #

        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. Ray August 29, 2015 at 4:26 pm #

    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. do September 5, 2015 at 11:05 pm #

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

  42. don September 5, 2015 at 11:06 pm #

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

  43. Sarah September 28, 2015 at 10:00 pm #

    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.

  44. Rebekah October 10, 2015 at 10:35 pm #

    We changed the water filter on our GE refrigerator and immediately the water dispenser stopped working. The water line to the ice maker isn’t working either, although the dispenser will dispense if I put ice in the bucket. We tried putting the old filter back in, but no improvement. We can see that the machine is getting water from the supply but it appears to not go past the water filter area. Is it possible that something broke in the water filter area to stop the water from getting through? And if so, does anyone know how to fix this?

  45. Kris Nieberlein October 11, 2015 at 2:27 am #

    My water stopped coming out of dispenser. Ice was still working and water was getting to where filter was. Read a lot of these posts….figured it cost nothing to try hair dryer…tried it up dispenser and inside door…few minutes…didnt seem to work…went back few minutes later and pushed button to try for the heck of it and water came flying out…didnt need weed whacker cord….AWESOME!!!!

  46. Andy October 24, 2015 at 6:12 pm #

    Hi,
    I’m an appliance repairman and thought some of your readers might be interested in a tool that I created to help with this issue.

    It’s a tool that allows you to spray microwaved hot water directly on the ice inside the waterline. You can thaw the ice in about 30 seconds! It’s called the IceSurrender Frozen Waterline Tool.

    Thanks!

    http://www.GraceAppliance.com/IceSurrender

  47. joyce lee October 25, 2015 at 12:35 am #

    Our water line was frozen and used a hair dryer, got it thawed out but the water line keeps blowing off at bottom (at the solenoid I think it is called) spraying out water.

  48. Jim October 25, 2015 at 5:19 pm #

    I had similar problem, checked the “connector” at bottom of freezer door and when paddle was pushed for water, the water DID flow, indicating freezing was ABOVE the connector and IN the freezer door. SOLUTION: Turn the dispenser LIGHT to ON and leave overnight (possibly longer) and the heat from the light thawed the frozen line close to the light. This has SOLVED my water dispenser frozen line problem….at no “repair” or parts cost

  49. Mare November 8, 2015 at 10:39 pm #

    11-8-2015, I had turned up the freezer, then my water dispenser stopped working. I followed the suggested repair using hair dryer and pipe cleaner……………..worked like a charm. thanks to all who suggested this, saved me a repair call and payment.

    • Mare November 8, 2015 at 10:40 pm #

      Remember to turn the freezer back down, will see it that keeps the water tube from freezing again.

  50. Julie November 16, 2015 at 7:30 pm #

    Hair dryer alone worked for me – only took a couple of minutes – thanks so much for the advice!!

  51. mike November 22, 2015 at 1:55 pm #

    the water line on my ge freezer door keeps freezing. Installed a heater from ge, that worked for about 6 months. Now it is freezing up again. Any other fix besides the heater?

  52. George A November 23, 2015 at 10:34 pm #

    Added insulation to back of dispenser by filling a foil faced shipping bag with loosely crumpled plastic grocery bags about 1.5 inches thick then duct taping to the inside. After thawing the line with a heater & lowering freezer setting to 1, the extra insulation works well & cost is minimal. ( not too pretty, but works )

  53. Carlos C December 27, 2015 at 9:29 pm #

    Same issue, water dispenser stopped working, bypassed filter but no jive.

    Quick google search pointed to this site, was ready to try the hairblower fix but a syringe + thin plastic tubing made the trick: a functional water dispenser again.

  54. Wayne T. January 22, 2016 at 2:13 am #

    Amazing. My 9 yr old GE hunk of junk did this for the first time today. I was searching for a parts list to order a pump or something, when I came across this site.
    It’s a life saver …. hair dryer worked in less than 4 minutes.
    Thanks a million, people.

  55. Bnonymous January 26, 2016 at 3:30 pm #

    Hair dryer on door didn’t work, Checked the pipe by the bottom hinge and there was no water. After observing the pipes in the back going into and out of the filter, I decided to observe the filter. I remembered that I had water bottles freezing up in the past on the top fridge shelf where the filter is.

    Sat the filter in a bowl of hot water (from the sink, not boiled or anything) for about half an hour and put the filter back in and water was back. This might be a rare occasion but maybe it’ll help someone in the future.

  56. K January 30, 2016 at 10:02 pm #

    Thanks for the suggestion! – Hair Dryer Worked! – just took about 10 minutes switching between the outside facing up into the water dispenser (careful to not melt the dispenser) and inside on the back of the door behind the dispenser.

  57. Greg February 7, 2016 at 5:32 pm #

    The blow dryer and weed wacker string works EXELLENT! Thanks for the help
    Pulling the splitter at the bottom of the door apart made this process go much faster. you push the white ring in and the hose will pull out. Make sure you have a towel under the hose to catch the water as it starts to melt. You will need at least 5 feet of weed wacker string to make this work.

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