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.

  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?

  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.


  19. 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.

  20. Shannon Farrington

    Hair dryer worked like a charm. Happy Easter.

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

  22. Anonymous

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

  23. 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.

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

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