Why Your Water Dispenser Might Leak & How to Fix It?

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close up dispenser cooler drink water cold fresh. water droplets in water glass. blur foreground.

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Don’t be anxious if you wake up to find a leakage in your water dispenser – it is typical of these appliances to do so.

As a matter of fact, the chances of not observing some drops under your dispenser/refrigerator after a few years of use is quite rare. So, the question is – what is the reason due to which you’re finding a leakage under your precious appliance?

When it comes down to it, the causes can be plenty; there isn’t a universal reason why you may find your appliances leaking. That said, today we’ll be discussing all the possible causes behind this crucial malfunction and also check out different smart DIY tricks to fix it.

Let’s get going!

Why your water dispenser leaks?

Businesswoman in modern, corporate office, pouring water to glass.

Although the cases of dispenser leakage are very normal, understanding why it’s happening can be one hell of a job for many. Demystifying why it’s happening isn’t very easy because there isn’t a single reason why water usually pours out from the dispensers. However, the most fundamental reason why this happens is the massive accumulation of crushed ice.

What happens is that we end up collecting vast amounts of crushed ice in the chutes without realizing it. And right when we least expect it, the meltdown takes place. It generally resembles a major leakage issue as the water drips from the cracks, which is very tricky to figure for the tech rookies. In most cases where you’re stressed out about having to pay top dollar for expensive services, it might just be an ice meltdown!

Another possible cause of leakage is mainly found in newly installed water dispensers, most of which go through a common issue of delayed cooldown. What happens is that the recently installed appliances take a little longer to cool down properly, which can also lead to minor performance issues. The water tanks (built of plastic) tend to change their shape within the time that the dispensers consume to return to their normal temperature.

To be more precise, the plastic tanks that are comparatively new have a frequent tendency of becoming narrower due to the encircling pressure when it’s freezing. However, it begins to grow in size as the temperature rises. And this growing and shrinking can lead to possible leakage issues.

You might even observe a consistent pattern in these leakages, which is a matter of concern. It may be due to incorrect assimilation of the water lines or chances of air being trapped in the pipes, which is detrimental to its overall health.

Water Dispenser Troubleshooting

So, how do you troubleshoot your ill-functioning water dispenser? Is it possible for beginners with zero prior experience to do so without any expert guidance? Well, we’ve enlisted a few useful tricks to keep in mind while troubleshooting your appliance.

  1. Once the refrigerator is installed, make sure that you leave the appliance to cool down for about 24 hours to be safe.
  2. Once it’s done, carefully dispense about 2-3 gallons of water at once.
  3. Doing this should usually eradicate the chances of dripping, and if it does, it means that the pipes had air in them.
  4. If it fails to prevent the leakage, you might want to take out the filter and try dispensing about a gallon of water.
  5. Once you’ve done that, carefully put the water filter in its position; this should stop the leakage issues.
  6. Nevertheless, if it still doesn’t prevent the leakage, it means that you need to spend extra money for fixing it; don’t delay anymore, contact the retailer for immediate servicing.

Detailed breakdown of the possible causes of leakage

Having a dispenser connected to your refrigerator isn’t new; all of us do it. However, in some cases, it might not be the best idea for the longevity of our kitchen floors, considering that it leads to frequent water leakage.

And if you have a wooden floor in the kitchen, the constant pouring out of water can be nightmarish. That said, let’s take a more in-depth look at the possible reasons why it happens.

  1. Possibility of trapped air

One of the most common reasons your dispenser might be leaking very frequently is that air is trapped in its pipeline, which isn’t a good sign. The gradual accumulation of air can lead to a pressure build-up inside the system.

As a result, the pressure enforces the stored water to burst out of any visible crack or opening. The best thing to do here is to ensure that you’ve entirely drained the filter every time so that the air build-up doesn’t lead to significant leakage.

  1. Ill-performing water valve

In case the issue doesn’t seem to stop, it might also indicate that it’s finally time to replace your water valve. To be precise, frequent leaks in the dispenser can also imply that your water valve is leaking.

As the water pressure in your fridge mustn’t be high, you should know that something is wrong when it happens. It can be so that the valve has lost its quality or worn off due to rigorous usage, for which it’s imperative to replace it from time to time. However, it’s always advised to leave this job to the pros.

  1. Catch pan overflow

A catch pan is a tray found underneath the dispenser that is supposed to contain the excessive water from leaking. In many cases, the container might overflow due to our negligence, which resembles a leak. If you consider cleaning the pan regularly as a part of your housekeeping duties, you won’t encounter it.

How to fix a leaking water dispenser?

Life is a little easier for those who have a built-in dispenser in their refrigerator. It’s because it gives you the benefit of accessing pure water without having to fill the water pitchers, which is honestly a tedious job. And that’s why it’s imperative to ensure the well-being of your dispenser. In case you’re planning to fix yours, here are the steps to follow.

  1. Once you’re gotten hold of the sensor arm, make sure to place a container below the spigot for a while to notice whether the faucet is leaking.
  2. Once you’ve confirmed a leakage, take a warm piece of clothing to clean the dispenser (especially the sensor arm). 
  3. Keep the dispenser running, and we’d recommend keeping doing it on an intermittent basis. Please turn it on for five seconds and keep it off for the next five seconds. Continue doing this for about two minutes, as it can help let the trapped air out.
  4. If that doesn’t cut it, make sure to evaluate the refrigerator’s plumbing structure to detect any severe leakages. If needed, consider replacing the pipeline under expert guidance to prevent any future leaks.

How to find the shut-off valve in your refrigerator?

Some of the water leakage issues are also caused by a poor-performing water valve, and it might be a little hard for many to find the shut-off valve in their refrigerator.

However, don’t worry; most shut-off valves are placed on the way to the cold water route. To be more precise, you can usually find these just below the kitchen sink. But in some cases, the valve can also be found in cabinets near the appliance.

It usually features a tiny post growing out from the side along with a central cable. You have to rotate the valve in a clockwise motion to turn it off. Now, before you shut down this valve, check whether you have already turned off the ice maker as well. In case it’s still on, it might lead to almost zero change and damage the valve as well.

How to replace the fridge water inlet valve?

Your inlet valve’s primary purpose is to channel the water supply to your refrigerator, which aids the stable functioning of the dispenser and the icemaker. This valve can be easily found in the back portion of your fridge.

In most cases, the water inlet valves can become weak due to continuous usage. In this case, you have to unplug the appliance and remove the back cover by unscrewing the quarter-inch bolts.

Once you’ve done that, carefully disengage the valve and disconnect the attached electric harnesses. Also, don’t forget to clean the tubes before reconnecting to ensure that they are snapped shut when you put it back together. Once it’s all done, carefully put back the terminals.

Final Words

A Water dispenser is a pure blessing in the summers, and we should do whatever it takes to make sure that it’s working correctly at all times. In most cases, we confuse ice meltdown as a malfunction. And in other cases, we tend to oversee potential leaks. But when it comes to issues as critical as trapped air, we shouldn’t ignore it.

We hope that our comprehensive guide about how to identify and fix the leakages in your dispenser has been helpful to fix your issues. We’ll be back with more informational articles, so stay tuned.

Till next time!

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