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 a hair dryer on high heat pointed the water line and back (outside) of the water dispenser control panel for about 15 minutes. That thawed it for me but of course it’ll just freeze again.

Fortunately you can purchase a water line heater from amazon that installs in about 15 minutes and fixes the issue permanently. Sure beats paying $200 for a serviceman to do it!

45 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.

  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.

    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

      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?


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  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.

    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

      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.

    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.

  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?

    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.

  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.

  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.

  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.

  8. John Earl


    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 !??

  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.

    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.


  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

  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

  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!

  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.

  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

  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!

    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.

  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!

  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.

  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!

  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.

  20. 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.

  21. 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.

    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.



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