Is Your Refrigerator Water Dispenser Line Frozen?

Well, mine was! Apparently it is a fairly common problem for the water dispenser line in the GE side by side refrigerators to freeze. It seems there is an issue with the insulation inside the door taking on too much moisture so it doesn’t insulate the line well enough to keep it from freezing.

If you need to check if your line is frozen, simply remove the kick plate off the bottom of the fridge then unhook the water line just under the left door. Simply pull the two blue tabs apart to unhook the line. Place a cup under the line going towards the back of the refrigerator then activate the water dispenser. If water flows then the water line is frozen inside the door. Hook up the water line again and replace the kick plate.

To thaw your line, use this handy IceSurrender Frozen Water Line Tool  or simply blow a hair dryer on high heat at the water line, water dispenser control panel and the back (outside) of the door near the water line for about 15 minutes. That thawed it for me but of course it’ll just freeze again unless you fix the root issue.

We purchased the water line heater from amazon that installs in about 15 minutes and fixes the issue permanently. Basically, it just clips in the electrical wiring of the control panel then runs a couple wires up into the water line to keep it from freezing.  Ok, a bit of a hack but it sure beats paying $200 for a serviceman to do it!

If this doesn’t fix the issue for you for you then you might consider replacing the water filter or water valve as both of those can slow or stop flow from the water dispenser.

Let us know below if this worked for you (or not) so we can all help each other fix these annoying refrigerator issues!

64 thoughts on “Is Your Refrigerator Water Dispenser Line Frozen?

      1. jeannine

        My husband could fix it himself, but i heard this fix can melt the housing and damage the housing on some models. Seems you can’t win. A piece of junk! GE will not help you. They want to send a tech out at your expense to verify it’s frozen. I will never buy GE anything again! If you fix it and there is water or fire damage, your homeowner’s insurance might not cover you.

        Reply
        1. Gerry

          Yes, it did melt the housing so much out of shape that the switch would not work and water would not turn off. Took it all apart to see how to replace switch and could not believe how misshapen the housing was. Had to buy a new housing and switch, although not sure the switch was bad since the trigger mechanism was not lined up to work properly. My advise, don’t FIX. With a hair dryer!

          Reply
  1. Marty Levinson

    Instructions for installing the WR49X10173 seems not to be applicable.
    Question: The 6 prong plug in our refrigerator is as follows-Black-Red-Blue-X-X-White. The HOT wire is the BLUE wire.
    Which two wire should I use to make the connection?
    The “Blue and Black” or the “Blue and Red”?

    Is the WR49X10173 (It Fits the Refrigerator Perfectly) the incorrect part and if not what is the correct part No#.

    I my research about this issue I have found it’s a common design flaw with GE refrigerators.

    Reply
    1. Fred

      I found an inexpensive solution that has been working for me for 6 weeks now. The water line is freezing just behind the dispenser. – I purchased an 8 inch by 10 inch white mailing envelope, the kind that has bubble wrap on the inside and is made of flexible plastic.
      -I also went to Lowes and purchases some 1/4 inch felt insulation / pipe wrap and cut 3 – 10 inch strips and put them inside the envelope.
      -Using a hair dryer I put constant heat in the area behind the water dispenser (freezer side) all the way down to the bottom of the door. After about 20 minutes the water line started to work properly.
      -Using scotch tap roled back on itself I put this on the back side of the plastic envelope (about 6 strips) and taped the envelop to the back of the door panel. On my GE I started at the top of the flat portion directly behind the dispenser. Make sure the door I dry and it should be since you used the hair dryer to thaw out the water line.

      Worked for me……now having said all this I will never buy a GE product a

      Reply
      1. Gary

        Easy 30 second fix for a frozen GE water dispenser line. Literally just did it. Water bottle filled with hot water set to stream. Just squirt it up the dispenser end for about 30 seconds and you should hear pressure in the line release. The dispenser should now work. No tools, no hairdryer, no fuss. Insulating the back of the door sounds like a good fix too. Also make sure not to overfill the freezer in front of the dispenser panel so air can circulate to defrost the freezer. Aaaaaaand don’t buy GE?

        Cheers

        Reply
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    Reply
  3. Jim in NC

    GE PSS26NGPA refrigerator DOES make ice but no WATER in the door dispenser. Removed connector at bottom of freezer door and activated for water to flow. Water DID come from the supply side of then tube. Is line frozen in the door, and if so, how to thaw that line. Replace filter light just came on due to time, but can’t replace filter ’til I can get water thru the line to the water dispenser.

    Reply
    1. Dianna

      Water flows from the connector at the bottom. I bought the GE heated line from Amozon . Now where dose it go and how do I put it on?
      Give me video if possible.
      Thanks Dianna

      Reply
      1. C

        It should come with instructions. It is very simple as one part connects to the light and the wire is pushed up in the water line. But you will need to defrost the line if it is frozen.

        Reply
    1. Cassidy Post author

      Yes, that will fix the frozen line. You may need to defrost it first with a hair dryer or something but once the heater is inserted into the line and connected you shouldn’t have it freeze again.

      Reply
  4. Jack

    I have had my freezer door open for over an hour and using a blowdryer for 15 minutes and still no water. How long should it take to thaw?

    Reply
    1. kisha

      Increase the temperature on yor freezer above -1. I had the heater installed a year ago and recently the line is freezing again. Once I did this I have had no problems.

      Reply
  5. Jack

    Everything was thawing so I unloaded the freezer to the back up. left the door open for a while longer and it finally thawed. Now I guess I need that heater.

    Reply
  6. Kimberly Cruz

    I am having to replace the water tanks (the previous one froze)in my GE side by side with bottom freezer. I cannot find anything to help me figure out exactly how to install it…. any assistance would be greatly appreciated.

    Reply
  7. Ray Palagy

    can someone tell me EXACTLY where to point the hairdryer? I’ve used a strong one and a heat gun and have seen sites saying up and down edge of open door and right behind the panel.

    I put in weed wacker line and it can go in about 1 foot before getting stopped so it’s either right behind the panel or somewhere lower. I’ve set the freezer temp on “2” – it can only go “1” to “9”. Very frustrating…have tested behind fridge and water supply is fine and gets to ice maker AND I”ve replaced the valve at bottom back of fridge so it must be freezing. Just want to fix it once before I buy the kit.

    Reply
  8. John Earl

    All:

    Our GE side by side water line froze up 3 or 4 times about 1 1/2 years ago. I got the heater kit and installed it then. Problem solved……..NOT. It is currently frozen again and has been for about a week and has been frozen up a couple of other times.

    I’m going for the blow dryer trick tomorrow morning. Which seems ridiculous since I have the heater kit already installed !??

    Reply
    1. Anonymous

      grab some weedwhacker line and shove it up there after you get it thawed. About 2 feet. If it freezes, grab the tip of the line with a plyers and pull to open it up, then push the line back in so just the tip is sticking out for the next time. Gotta make sure that the food is not packed in on that upper shelve where the air blows out.

      Reply
  9. james paine

    Hi, apparently my water line is frozen on my GE Monogram side by side re fridge.
    I am having no luck with the hair dryer. I temporarily turned my freezer temp. way down to try and thaw the line.
    I want to purchase the GE WR49X10173 Water Dispenser Tube Heater on Amazon but can’t seem to find out if it will work on my model. I have model ZISW36DCA.
    Also, does the heater come with instructions? Thanks for any help.

    Reply
    1. Cassidy

      James – I believe it will work on the ZISW36DCA. It is really just a couple wires that attach to the light electrical so nothing complex but it does come with instructions. If it doesn’t work, just send it back to amazon and they will give you a refund.

      C.

      Reply
  10. albert

    hi i have a hotpoint frig. water line keeps freezing. i have thawed it out like 4 times this week… anyone one know if that heater works for hotpoint side by side frig… or what kind of insulation i should put on the inside door of the freezer..? or any other solution. this is a really good frig and don’t want to get a new one just because of this problem

    Reply
  11. Josh

    People please read the full info on those heaters, it states that it will not thaw out the frozen line, it will only work on the water spout tip, do not waste your money

    Reply
  12. Linda

    We have only had our GE refrigerator for a few years.But now that water line is frozen 2 to 3 times a week! Very frustrating! We like to use this feature on or frig.We got so tired of taking everything out of it & putting it in our other freezer.So we leave the door open & block the freezer with pieces of ceiling tile.Should not have to do this with a refrigerator that is only a few years old! Wil never buy another GE!

    Reply
  13. Brad

    I have a GE gsh….. side by side model where the water dispenser line kept freezing up. I purchased and installed the GE WR49X10173 Dispenser Water Tube Heater Kit. It has worked flawlessly for several days now. It worked so well, I installed the same kit on my relative’s GE refrigerator (same model) and it works well.

    Reply
  14. Steve

    I have same problem with our side by side…..not to mention ice maker does not dispense cubes only crushed, three of the plastic shelf brackets broke……………. will never by a GE product again……….its junk

    Reply
  15. Carol Stieler

    I have the same problem. My water line keeps freezing up. The repair guy put the heater on it but it only thaws it for a couple days and then it freezes up again. Before all this, I used to use a blow dryer on it and keep a weed eater line up in it. I melted the housing with the blow dryer the 3rd time I did it, so be careful if you do that. Don’t put the blow dryer on the hottest setting. We are now going to unplug the refrigerator for 24 hours and let the entire line thaw. The hope is that after it thaws completely, the heater will do its job and keep it thawed. No more GE products for me…ever!

    Reply
    1. Cassidy

      Strange that the refrigerator water line heater didn’t fix it. Are you certain it is installed correctly? Maybe try reducing (raising) the temperature setting on the freezer to see if that might help. C.

      Reply
  16. Renee

    We’re in the same situation as many of you with our Hotpoint side-by-side refrigerator. Everything works well except the water line freezes up. It makes sense to me that we should be able to open the body of the freezer door and replace the tubing with an insulated tube. Unfortunately, I am not aware if there is any such thing. Standing there with the blow dryer is getting old!

    Reply
  17. samantha

    This water line heater worked for me. I had to use the hair dryer trick to get it thawed out first. Once the heater line was installed I didn’t have any issues and it has been a couple weeks.

    Reply
  18. Rob

    Mine has been frozen for years! I tried the heat gun, sticking random things down the tube, etc, and nothing has ever been able to clear it. It’s a Frigidaire, so perhaps that is what kept me off of this site until tonight, when I decided to take to door off to try to tackle it. I duct taped thick plastic over the freezer opening, which actually worked really well and set the door in front of the warm air coming out of my dehumidifier. The fridge is downstairs in my basement, so while I have missed the water, it has been on my “to do” list for a while, hence the years it has been frozen. While it was warming up I decided to search again and came across this forum. The one thing I never tried was hot water, so I thought it was a good time to try it, especially since I had the door off and apart. Surprisingly it only took a few ounces before it was free and clear! I’m a bit mad at myself for not having thought of that before and tried it while the door was on, but nevertheless it is free and clear now. Great idea! Hopefully it lasts. The fridge is 9 years old and we only had the problem when we moved it downstairs. I’m thinking that I may have not turned the heat on early enough that year. Anyway, I definitely suggest trying that as the first option, as I did everything else suggested and it did not work. Thanks for the suggestion and reading my long story!

    Reply
  19. slu

    My GE side by side was freezing up the water dispenser every few days in spite of having installed the heater add-on, raising the freezer temp as far as it would go and numerous hair dryer thawings. Our humidity is very high here…almost always over 70%. I figured the insulation behind the water line had become frozen solid with condensation and it froze the water line almost as soon as I thawed it. Then I found on-line a suggestion to glue a piece of 1″ styrofoam over the area behind the dispenser so I cut a roughly 12″ x 12″ sheet of cheap foam picnic ice chest and two strips of double sided tape and attached it over the panel inside the door behind the water/ice dispenser after doing the hair dryer thaw. It is now over a month and the water is flowing freely. The heaters GE sells are a total rip-off. Just buy a cheap ice chest and cut it up. Not real pretty but it is inside the box and cheap! Hopefully I can still sing this song in a year.

    Reply
  20. Randy Edmunds

    Chilling the water line and re-heating it is a waste of electricity, plus you have to by the heater. A simpler and cheaper solution is to tape some bubble wrap inside your freezer door to add some insulation from the cold air blowing on the door. My water line hasn’t frozen since I added it. Here’s a pic: http://imgur.com/cQSFEPr

    Note: I found this solution in a Youtube video, but can’t find original post to give credit.

    Reply
  21. John

    This issue is so well known and so well documented why do WE have to try all these after-market Rube Goldberg “fixes”? Why doesn’t GE fix all of these themselves? I spent $2,000 for a refrigerator that works, not one that comes with a do-it-yourself fix-it kit. Now GE is trying to walk away by selling the company to Chinese company. GE addressed this issue the same way Ford addressed the Pinto.
    There should be a class action suit started by some enterprising attorney.

    Reply
  22. Mel Sharples

    You can also use a skinny straw and pour the hot water into it and blow it up into the tube or just use hot air. A combo of these two worked for me and the tube has remained open/not frozen over the last 18 hours. Statistically not a proven concept but if others use this technique and it works we can validate the effectiveness. I hope to not have to do it but will use it if/when my lines freeze up again.

    Reply
    1. C

      Thanks, Mel. Very innovative idea to get the line unfrozen. You’ll likely need to raise the temp in the freezer slightly or purchase the line heater long term. I believe the insulation in the door breaks down in these units so they can’t keep the line from freezing.

      C.

      Reply
  23. Linda

    The warm water straw did the trick almost instantly. I think the spray bottle would have worked buit it was hard to position it. Use a stra with a bend near the top.

    Reply
  24. Bobby

    Unplug and defrost fridge. Clean cover on back of fridge. Remove cover and check fan motor for dust. Used vacuum to clean fan motor housing. Replace cover plug back in and the water works and is still working a week later.

    Reply
  25. Skip Frank

    Heat gun (no hair dryer here) to the inside of door panel worked like a charm. After waiting a few minutes, I tried the dispenser and it spit out a small bit of ice…. followed by a strong stream of water. Glad to have found this conversation site!

    Reply
    1. Skip Frank

      Also, out ice bucket was way overloaded, and our top “quick freeze” shelf was crowded with items blocking the vents in the back. I saw both of these issues discussed, and are good points to keep in mind.

      Reply
  26. JLS

    How do you figure out where your line is frozen? I don’t want to buy a water line heater unless I’m sure the line is frozen right by the spout!

    Reply
    1. C

      You might try and fish a trimmer line or some other type of stiff wire up the line and see how far it goes before hitting the ice. Chances are, it is just a few inches up the line as that seems to be where the insulation breaks down around the water line.

      Reply
  27. Dr. Phil

    my water dispenser stopped dispensing and I found that the water tube going to the dispenser was frozen. Yours may be too. To verify this do the following (after ensuring that you have water pressure from the tube at floor level) by:
    1) pushing a flexible strip of wire up the dispenser tube until it would not advance any further. and pulling it out after letting it sit up there for about 30 seconds. Check the temperature of the wire immediately after pulling it out. If it is very cold, it was in contact with ICE.
    2) once you know you have a blockage due to ice, just melt the ice. HOW? Many ways. BUT the way I did it (thanks to information I read on the great internet) was to squirt very hot water into the dispenser outlet tube using a 2oz syringe connected to a thin flexible plastic hose. BEWARE of the hot water. I burnt my finger as the hot flowed back out, so wear thick dishwashing glove(s) and eye protection etc.

    Reply
  28. Dr. Phil

    1) The cause of my frozen line was the dispenser door flap was not closing fully, thereby allowing freezing air out of the freezer and down onto the water line.
    2) The reason the door was not closing fully was ice chips /”snow”buildup got stuck around the mating surface of the flap.
    3) This only happened after my children discovered the CRUSHED ice feature and started using the CRUSHED feature every half hour.
    4) Explained and demonstrated this problem to the kids who now understand and vow not to use the CRUSHED ice feature ever again. They are happy with full ice cubes.
    5) no more water dispenser problems.
    6) Occasional wiping of the flap mating surface is probably not necessary but would not hurt if done gently.
    7) My GE is 7 years old, no problems other except the cheap plastic coating over the water/ice selector push buttons have perforated.
    8) I hope this helps someone.

    Reply
  29. Anonymous

    I flushed hot water into the dispenser with a turkey injector. Then used a hair dryer to the inside of the freezer door to remove all moisture and taped the lid of a styrofoam cooler to the inside of the freezer door behind the dispenser. It has not frozen again since. 😊

    Reply
  30. Erik W

    I tried forcing hot water into the dispenser tube with no success, just a mess, but isopropyl alcohol (like from your medicine cabinet) worked almost instantly. Isopropyl alcohol is used as a deicing agent in aviation and other applications and is safe for food surfaces as well.

    Reply
  31. Brock

    Just wanted to say thank you. The hair dryer trick worked. I worked the dryer on the inside of my freezer door, behind the dispenser if that helps.

    Reply
  32. Eric

    Thx for post. I turned down temp on freezer and blew hot water up water dispenser line. In 30 min water was dripping. I was about to use straw and hair dryer, but didn’t need to.

    Reply
  33. rickfalz

    have GE sided by side and the water outlet freezes up, I shut the temperature down overnight and then get water, but when I turn the temperature back to normal it freezes again. Just started happening, I used to thaw out with hair dryer, but now that it keeps happening, not sure what to do???

    Reply

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