How To Replace A Broken Water Inlet Valve On A Refrigerator

Posted on: 14 April 2016

Do you have an ice or ice and water machine on your refrigerator that has stopped producing despite there being no obvious problems with the machine's easily visible parts? Your refrigerator might have a broken water inlet valve.

The inlet valve, located on the back of your refrigerator, connects to a water supply hose that takes water from your main water line and routes it into the water and ice machine. The inlet valve makes sure just enough water goes in to produce the ice or water without causing an overflow.

If you're sure the water inlet valve is the problem, replacing the piece isn't overly difficult.  

What You Need:

  • Screwdriver
  • Bucket
  • New water inlet valve

Step 1: Access the Inlet Valve

Move the refrigerator out from the wall, using an assistant if needed, so that you can see the entire rear side of the fridge and its connected lines. Pull the plug on the fridge as you're doing this to make it easier to move and keep the plug out of your way.  

Use a screwdriver to remove the screws holding the flat rear access panel in place. Pull down to remove the panel door and set both the door and screws aside for safe keeping.

Find the water supply hose coming from your floor or wall and going into the back of the fridge. Turn the shut-off valve on the hose in a counterclockwise motion until you meet resistance.

Place a clean, dry bucket directly under the rear panel you've opened in the fridge. Locate the water inlet valve by following the supply line up into that panel. Twist off the connector holding the hose onto the valve then quickly hold the hose over the bucket because the hose will still have some leftover water inside. Hang the hose in the bucket for safe keeping.

Step 2: Remove the Old Water Inlet Valve

Remove the wires connected to all of the coil terminals on the inlet valve; depending on your unit, there could be either two or six coils each with two terminals. The far ends of the wires are attached elsewhere in the fridge so you can simply drop them once you disconnect from the valve as the wires will still hang in place.

Remove the mounting screws holding the inlet valve in place. Pull the old water inlet valve and dispose of the piece.

Step 3: Install the New Water Inlet Valve

Place the new water inlet valve where the old one was positioned and reinstall the mounting screws. Attach the wires to the coil terminals using the hanging position as a guide to where each wire should connect to the valve.

Attach the water supply hose to the valve ensuring you've tightly connected the end so that you don't end up with water leaking inside the fridge. Remove the bucket underneath and dump it so that you don't trip over the bucket.

Restore the rear access panel using its screw fasteners. Turn the water shut-off valve on the supply hose in a clockwise direction to restore the water supply. Plug the refrigerator back into the electrical socket and then move the refrigerator back to where you want it positioned for usage.

Test the water and ice machine for functionality. If you still have a problem, call in an appliance repair tech (read more here) or plumber.