How To Test A Refrigerator Water Inlet Valve For Mechanical Failure

The water inlet valve in your refrigerator makes sure enough water is going in to supply your ice and water machines – but not so much water that you get a flood or an avalanche of ice. If your ice and water maker have both stopped working, there's likely a problem in the inlet valve.

The problem could be either electrical or mechanical but the latter is easier to test on your own especially if you don't own a multi-meter for electrical testing. Mechanical testing basically checks to see whether enough water is coming down the supply hose.

What You Need:

  • Screwdriver
  • Bucket

Step 1: Prepare for Mechanical Testing

Pull your refrigerator out so that you can fully access the back panel and attached water line. Unplug the refrigerator as a precaution; the power won't be off long enough to pose a risk to your food inside.

Locate the water supply line that's likely running up out of your kitchen floor and then attaching to the rear of your fridge. Find the shut-off valve on the water supply line and turn the valve off by twisting it in a counterclockwise position until it stops.

Use a screwdriver to remove the fasteners for the panel on the back of the fridge. Set the screws and panel door aside.

Find where the supply line attaches to the inlet valve and place a bucket under that general area. Twist off the supply line and hold the end over the bucket until the residual water drains out. Leave the hose dangling inside the bucket for now.

Step 2: Mechanical Defect Test

A mechanical defect test is basically a low-tech check of how much water pressure is coming into the valve. Low water pressure can make the valve stay closed even when water comes down the line properly.

Hold on to the water supply line hose that's draping in your bucket. Turn the shut-off valve on the supply line back on and watch for the strength of water coming out of the hose and into the bucket.

If the stream is weak or sputtering, you likely have a problem with the supply line or the main water line in your home. If the stream is strong, the water inlet valve might have a mechanical failure and you should replace the part.

Step 3: Reassembly and Scheduling a Service Call

Do you think your inlet valve suffered mechanical failure but don't want to replace the part yourself? Schedule a service call with an appliance repair parts supplier and technician. Did your water pressure show issues? Call in a plumber for diagnostics.

While you wait for the service call, you can reassemble the fridge. Remove the bucket and dump out its water. Hook the supply line back onto the inlet valve but leave the shut-off valve turned off until your service call. Replace the access panel and its screws. Plug the fridge back in and push it back to its original position.

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appliance troubleshooting and repair blog

Do you have troubles when you are baking? Do some cookies burn while others remain uncooked and doughy? If your oven isn't heating evenly, there is a problem somewhere that needs to be addressed. There is no reason for you to continue to battle with the oven when trying to bake delicious goodies for your family to enjoy. This blog will present you with different solutions to the problems that you are having with the oven in your kitchen. Hopefully, you will find the solutions to all of your appliance problems right here on this one appliance troubleshooting and repair blog.