How To Fix KitchenAid Refrigerator Dispenser Problems (fast & easy)
If the dispenser on your KitchenAid refrigerator has developed a fault or stopped working altogether it can be annoying. If you have a KitchenAid refrigerator and it’s having problems with dispensing either water or ice, keep reading. Most dispenser problems are easy to fix and can be tackled by the home DIYer.
Water Dispenser Not Working On KitchenAid Refrigerator
If your KitchenAid refrigerator water dispenser is giving you problems check the following and replace or repair as necessary.
Is The Control Lock Activated?
The Control Lock feature allows the dispenser to be turned off for cleaning or to prevent children making a mess by using the water dispenser unsupervised. The control Lock shuts down the dispenser controls and pad while still allowing the refrigerator, dispenser light and ice maker to operate.
To check if the Control Lock is activated press and hold the “TO LOCK” button for around 3 seconds and check the icon displayed on the screen, if it looks like a padlock with the hasp missing from the lower left side, it’s unlocked. If the icon looks the same as the unlocked icon only with a rectangular piece below the broken hasp it’s locked.
To unlock just press and hold the “TO LOCK” button for 3 seconds or until the display icon shows the unlock symbol. If you attempt to use the dispenser while it’s locked, the display screen will flash “CONTROL LOCKED”.
Is The Water Supply Connected Correctly?
Check the water supply is connected to a cold water supply and that there are no kinks or twists in the pipe. Check that the water shut off valve is fully open and that the waterline doesn’t get pinched when the fridge is pushed back towards the wall. Check you have the correct water pressure in your home. To run a KitchenAid refrigerator water dispenser you need a cold water supply with water pressure between 30 to 120 PSi (pounds per square inch).
Check The Water Filter
The water filter on your KitchenAid refrigerator should be replaced every 6 months or sooner if you use more dispensed water than the average person. If the indicator light is on, it’s a sign the filter needs changing, but even if the light isn’t on, the filter could still need changing. If the filter is clogged it can cause a number of problems including a reduced flow of water feeding your fridge’s water dispenser.
Check The Water Filter Is Fitted Correctly
Check the filter, make sure it’s the correct filter for your model refrigerator and that it’s fitted correctly. If not this could affect the rate of water flow.
Does The Water System Need Flushing?
On installing the fridge to the water supply for the first time or after every filter change, the system needs flushing to remove any air in the system. To flush the system you’ll need a jug or similar container. With your jug, depress and hold the lever on the water dispenser for 5 seconds. Then release it for 5 seconds and keep repeating until the water flows at a steady rate and all of the air is out of the system. You could need to dispense up to 3 gallons of water until the air is completely out of the system.
After flushing the system it can take up to 24 hours for the fridge to dispense cool water that’s chilled to the correct temperature. Be sure to dispense enough water on a daily basis to ensure the supply is fresh.
Check The Paddle Is Pushed Fully In
When trying to dispense water, if you don’t push the paddle in fully the dispenser won’t work. Check that the glass or container is pushing the paddle fully to engage the water supply. Push the glass firmly against the paddle until it is full then remove it.
Check The Water Tube
Sometimes the water tube can get blocked, more often than not it will be ice that blocks it. Pull the water tube from the bottom of the fridge door and try blowing water through it. If you can’t it’s probably frozen, you’ll need to defrost the pipe. If you can access it, it’s possible to use a hair dryer to thaw the ice in the pipe, if not you’ll need to run a full defrost which can take upwards of 6 to 8 hours.
Check The Water Inlet Valve
Water enters your fridge via the water inlet valve, if this is defective the valve will stay closed and not allow any water to reach the dispenser. Check the water inlet valve for continuity using a multimeter and if it’s faulty, replace the valve.
Check The Dispenser Switch
Sometimes the dispenser switch develops a fault, if it does it can prevent the dispenser from working. Check the switch using a multimeter, run a continuity test. If it has no continuity, replace the switch.
Check The Dispenser Control Board
If the dispenser control board is defective it won’t allow the dispenser to operate. If there is a single issue causing the problem it’s not usually the control board at fault. If nothing is working with the dispenser then it’s probably a faulty control board.
Why Is The KitchenAid Water Dispenser Making A Loud Noise?
The water dispenser on a KitchenAid refrigerator does make some noise when it’s operating, and this is quite normal. It can sound like the following;
This is the sound of the water inlet valve opening and closing the valve during operation when the lever is pressed and immediately after water has finished dispensing.
If you can hear a rattle it’s usually down to the flow of water to the water dispenser and ice maker or refrigerant as it runs around the system. Sometimes a rattle can be caused when foods are stored on the top shelf of the fridge.
This is a warning noise letting you know something is wrong. If you can’t work out what’s wrong, call an engineer or if it’s still under warranty, call KitchenAid for advice.
Slow Water Flow
If your water dispenser has a slow water flow, it could be one of the following that’s causing the problem;
Defective Saddle Valve
If the water is being dispensed at a slow rate it could be the saddle valve that is at fault. It is most likely the saddle valve has been fitted incorrectly, check for this and reinstall as required.
To check the water filter, run a glass of water through the dispenser and take note how long it took to dispense. Then remove the water filter and dispense another glass of water, check how long that took, if the flow rate increased when the filter was removed it’s a sure indicator that the water filter is either incorrectly fitted or is in need of replacing.
If your KitchenAid refrigerator is fitted with a Reverse-Osmosis System it could cause a reduced rate of water flow. The tank will need time to refill after it has emptied and there might be a blockage in the system. Plus you need water pressure to be between 40 to 60 PSi for the Reverse-Osmosis System to work correctly.
Water From Dispenser Is Warm
There are usually one of two reasons for this, either you haven’t used the water dispenser for some time. It needs to be operated at least once a week to ensure a continuous supply of cold water. Or you have recently used the dispenser for a large amount of water. If this is the case, it will take some time to become cold enough.
What To Do If Water Dispenser Won’t Stop
If the water dispenser won’t stop it’s a problem with the lever. The dispenser lever is probably broken. To replace it, unscrew the 2 bolts found at the bottom of the switch housing, the screw that’s positioned below the waterline and then unscrew the screw that’s attaching the water line to the dispenser lever.
Remove the old lever and install a new one. Then replace the tension spring ensuring it touches the top of the water and ice dispenser levers. Replace the screw that fastens the tension spring and replace the spacer to secure the lever into position.
Then reattach the water line to the dispenser lever and reinstall the switch housing.
How To Clean The Water Dispenser On A KitchenAid Refrigerator
To clean the water dispenser simply turn off the water supply, remove the screw that holds the water tube and slide the water tube out. Pour 3 cups of distilled vinegar into the tube and allow time for it to settle (around 5 minutes).
Press the ice dispenser lever to remove all of the ice and then allow the vinegar to flow through. Press the water dispenser so the vinegar can flow through the tube. Keep pressing the water dispenser button until vinegar is flowing into the water tank. Using a toothbrush, scrub the water tank and then rinse with a bowl of warm, clean water. Then rinse with another bowl of clean water to remove any vinegar residue.
How To Remove The Water Dispenser Drip Tray
The water dispenser drip tray will become full of water over time. If you don’t empty it, it will eventually overflow and cause unnecessary problems. To remove it, press down the rear edge of the insert and tilt the front edge upwards. The drip tray will now slide out of the dispenser.
Ice Dispenser Not Working On KitchenAid Refrigerator
If the ice dispenser on your KitchenAid refrigerator isn’t working it’s probably caused by one of the following;
Faulty Dispenser Switch
If the switch is defective, it prevents power from reaching the dispenser. Check the switch for continuity using a multimeter and replace if necessary.
Faulty Dispenser Actuator
The dispense actuator activates the dispenser switch which in turn, supplies power to the auger motor. Check the dispenser actuator is working using a multimeter and check for continuity. If it’s faulty it will need replacing.
Faulty Auger Motor
The auger blade spins and as it does it pushes the ice into the dispenser chute. If the auger motor is faulty, the auger won’t turn and the ice can’t flow. To check the auger motor, remove the ice bucket, and rotate the auger by hand. If there is some resistance, check for continuity using the multimeter and replace the auger motor if there is no continuity.
Faulty Dispenser Solenoid
If the door flap on your dispenser isn’t working as it should, it could be down to a faulty solenoid. Test the solenoid for continuity and replace it if necessary.
Faulty Dispenser Door Motor
The dispenser door operates via the door motor which prevents the cold air from dissipating thus keeping the ice cold. If the door motor is defective, the door won’t operate and no ice can flow. Check the dispenser door motor for power and replace if necessary.
Faulty Dispenser Control Board
The dispenser control board is responsible for the whole ice dispenser’s processes. If the control board develops a fault, nothing will work and it will need replacing.
How To Remove The Ice Dispenser Cover On A KitchenAid Refrigerator
Before removing the ice dispenser cover, disconnect the refrigerator from the power supply. Then slide a putty knife between the fridge door and the cover, twist the knife to make the trim pop up. Then lift the trim and free it from the tabs.
To gain access to the internal components of the dispenser, all you need to do now is pull both ends of the wire harness that’s connected to the fridge and dispenser switch housing.
Frequently Asked Questions
If your KitchenAid fridge water dispenser isn’t working it could be a kink in the water pipe, a problem with the water inlet valve, a faulty switch, faulty control board or any number of problems.
To reset the water dispenser filter light on your KitchenAid fridge, press and hold the “WATER FILTER” button until the icon turns blue and the “replace filter” light goes off (around 3 to 5 seconds).
In an ideal world the water that comes from your water dispenser on your fridge should be cold. The reality is often different though. Because the water is constantly travelling through tubes, it often doesn’t reach or maintain such a cool temperature.