There’s nothing like a cold refreshing drink after a hot day. Yes, we are referring to water. In most refrigerators, the side with the freezer also holds a water dispenser and ice maker. They are easy, convenient ways to a freshwater supply at all times. That is until the amount of time it takes to fill up the water glass takes all of 10 minutes.
Congratulations, your water pressure is low (though we suppose congratulations are probably not what is in order). Not to worry, today we will look at how to increase water pressure in your dispenser.
It’s the middle of the night; you wake up in need of a glass of water. Stumbling out of bed, you head for the kitchen and grab a glass. As you begin to fill the glass with water, you are made aware of the painfully slow process it seems to be. How long can an 8oz glass take to fill? Well, you’re not in luck because the answer tonight appears to be forever.
By the time your glass is full, you’ve fallen asleep standing twice, and what was supposed to be a 2-minute water run has now taken around 10, and you are feeling rather upset. Not to mention, by the time you get back to crawl into bed, your spot has gone cold. Sound all too familiar? Let’s take a look at how to increase the water pressure on your dispenser.
In This Article
How Does A Water Dispenser Work?
To better understand the lack of pressure in your water dispenser, let’s begin by taking a look at how it works.
When you push your glass against the plastic dispenser, a switch in the door of the refrigerator activates. This switch operates the valve in the back of the fridge, releasing the water through the tubes that run out of the back of the refrigerator. The tubing that flows out of the back of the fridge feeds into a water reservoir, which is continuously filled to produce cold water.
If your water dispenser takes longer than 10 seconds to fill up an 8oz glass, the water pressure is low. Another giveaway to low water pressure is if your ice cubes are smaller than usual or hollow.
Why Is The Water Dispenser On My Fridge So Slow?
Several different things can cause the water dispenser on your fridge to slow down. While low water pressure is one reason, it may also be a clogged water filter, a clogged valve, or a kinked water line.
Clogged Water Filter
A few different things cause a water filter to be clogged. Water filters do not, in fact, last forever and need to be replaced at least once every six months. If you didn’t know your dispenser even had a filter until this very moment, it’s time to change the filter. It can still become clogged even if you routinely replace your water filter. In this case, it’s most likely due to the heavy use of the dispenser or the quality of the water flowing out.
Another culprit to low water pressure is a clogged valve. The inlet valve can become clogged over time with debris. This, in turn, limits the flow of water. While these valves do not require routine maintenance, it is a good idea to check them frequently for buildup and replace any faulty valves.
You know when you water something, the hose suddenly loses all pressure due to a kink? The same goes for the water lines in your refrigerator. If a line in the fridge becomes kinked, it often leads to little water flow or pressure. Water lines are often kinked if the refrigerator is too close to the wall.
How Do I Fix Low Water Pressure In A Refrigerator?
Now that we’ve looked at some of the causes of low water pressure in a refrigerator let’s look at how to fix it. If at any point you are unsure of whether or not you are able to resolve the issue, contacting a professional is the next step. And don’t worry; we’re proud you made it to this point of troubleshooting.
To begin, we would recommend replacing the water filter, as it is most often the culprit of decreased water pressure. Now, considering every fridge is slightly different, locate the owner’s manual to determine where the filter is and how to replace it. To do a quick test, remove the water filter and check the water flow. If the pressure dramatically increases, replace the water filter.
While replacing the water filter is simple, replacing a clogged valve is not as simple. We would recommend calling a professional to replace a valve. However, if you are feeling particularly ambitious, pull out that manual and locate valve replacement, as it is different with every unit. Pro-tip, remember to turn the water supply off first unless swimming was in your plans for the day.
Sometimes the line that connects the ice maker to the water source is kinked, and water cannot flow at the usual pressure. Begin by turning the main water supply line off so as not to get soaked. Then, pull the refrigerator away from the wall and check all the lines. If any are kinked, straighten them, and test the water pressure.
If none of the above fixes the water pressure or were not the issue, there are a few other things to consider.
One is the reverse-osmosis filtration system. This system is often used to purify water using a semi-permeable membrane. The goal is to filter out sediments and harmful molecules from the water. While this system is excellent, it may also cause low water pressure as it decreases flow to the dispenser.
Install a separate water line that flows directly to the refrigerator and is not connected to the reverse osmosis system.
Another cause of low water pressure is an incorrect saddle valve, known as a shutoff valve. Often, this valve needs replacing, and if you contact your manufacturer, they provide kits specific to your fridge. These kits contain everything needed to replace a saddle valve, including copper tubing and a union.