Category Archives: Water Dispenser Issues

WR49X10173 – GE Water Dispenser Heater

If you are searching for the GE WR49X10173 part then you’ve probably determined that your water line is frozen on your GE refrigerator. This is a very common problem for GE side by side refrigerators. Typically your ice maker is still making ice and you’ll hear a “click” when activating the water dispenser.

This water line heater attaches to the water dispenser control panel in about 15 minutes. It keeps the line warm enough to keep it from freezing again. For $30 you can’t beat it! I also purchased a new water filter (below) as it had been about 5 years since I replaced it. Amazon has the best prices for both these parts.

Also, if you need help thawing the frozen line before you insert the heater, we recommend the water line buddy to shoot warm water up the frozen line.  Always good to get the XL version as you never know how far up the line is frozen.  

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 the 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 $40.

You may want to purchase something like the water line buddy that will help you unfreeze the water line but shooting hot water up the line.

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

Update: A couple of years later and the 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.

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