Most modern-day fridges have a water and ice dispenser that you can reach from the exterior of the refrigerator without opening the door. It's much easier for people to get a cooling drink on a hot summer's day this way, and this equipment will typically work without issue. However, problems can arise, and you might not be able to retrieve either water or ice on demand. If this is the case, what could be going wrong, and what should you do next?
While you might think that gathering water or ice is quite a simple request, several different components must work together to deliver the magic.
To begin with, you should check to see if the mechanical actuator is still in good condition, as this is the most accessible part. The actuator is typically a plastic lever that you push forward with your glass which will, in turn, activate a switch at the top. If it has become disconnected from its pivot or bracket, then it will not be able to work correctly, and you should carefully reset it.
Next, you will have to check the condition of the switch itself. This part connects the power to the water inlet valve, and you can see if it is still working by connecting a multimeter to the inlet terminal. You will typically find this switch behind the control panel at the rear of the appliance.
If this switch is receiving power, then you will next need to look at the solenoid that controls the water supply valve. The switch should be either on or off when it receives power, and it will open the valve allowing water or ice to flow through to your glass. You may find a tiny filter or screen in between the water pipe and the outlet and should make sure that this is clean and not clogged. You should verify that you have a supply of water and that it has sufficient pressure.
If all seems to be okay, then you may have an issue with the circuit board that controls the entire operation. You should find this immediately behind the dispenser, and this will typically be on the inside of the freezer door. You should be able to see any signs of damage or burnout. If so, you will need to replace it.
Call in a refrigeration repair technician to replace any defective parts or conduct any other repairs.