ApplianceGeneral Electric Refrigerator
Level of DifficultyReally easy
Time to do repairLess than 15 mins
Age of Appliance1 - 4 years
ralph From bristow, VA
Mar 13, 2008
420 out of 453 people found this instruction helpful
The very first symptom here is important! The door water dispenser is not working but the ice macine is working. You may only have a frozen water tube in the door so do the following before diagnosing that your solenoid valve is bad: 1) the tube usually runs under the front of the refrigerator and usually has a quick disconnect. Undo the connection and press the dispenser. If water comes out of the tube you have a frozen or blocked tube in the door. 2) Immediately adjust the temperature in the freezer and warm the freezer compartment as much as you can without destroying the freezer contents. Wait 24 hours. This will usually unfreeze the line. Do not waste your time with a hair dryer. NOW, if this doesn't work and you are convinced you need to order and replace the solenoid, follow these steps. Assemble your tools first. I needed a good ratchet set and a screwdriver. A shop towel is helpful for spilled water. A light is handy. Pull out the refreigerator to gain access to the rear of the unit. Unplug the power and close the water valve (older homes, you may need to actually shut the house water supply). Remove the screws which hold the cover over the lower half of the refrigerator. On the left you will see the solenoid. It's always good to see that your new part matches the one you feel needs replaced. They may not match perfectly due to changing design but they should be very similar. One screw holds this part in place and access is very simple. Now simply unplug the electrical connections. In my case, one blue "blade" type connection (powering the water) and one red "blade" type connection powering the ice maker. They are not the same size and this coupled with the coloring means you will not accidently switch them. pull the tubes clear of the solenoid. This is simple and needs no explantion. Grab your new solenoid and reattach both the electrical and water lines (two, remember, ice maker and drink dispencer). Replace the single screw. Re-attach the rear, lower refrigerator cover and go to the front of the unit to check the water. You can listen carefully and hear the power engage from the new part bringing you water. Clean up, replace the refrigerator back to its place and look really tired when your wife sees that you worked "so hard"! You probably saved at least $50-$80 from a service call which can now be used to take the family to dinner after your "exhausting" 15 minute workout of removing about 10 screws and wheeling the unit in and out of place. Writing this article took longer! My 4 year old worked harder holding the flash light!