A water and ice dispenser can be a really convenient refrigerator feature – but only when it’s working.

Let’s look at some common water and ice dispenser issues – and what to do about them.

Water and ice dispenser

Dispensing warm water
Here are some possible reasons for this:

  • A large amount of water was just dispensed. That will deplete the water reservoir and the new water will need time to chill.
  • Dispenser is not used regularly. Water will not be as chilled at first. Dump the first glass of water and try again.
  • Refrigerator is not connected to a cold water supply line. Make sure it has not been hooked up to the hot water line instead.

Water and ice issues
Make sure “water” or “ice” has been selected. Also make sure the water supply is properly connected to a cold water supply and the water shutoff valve is fully opened.

If the issue is ice, make sure the ice maker is turned on and the ice storage bin is properly in place. Also make sure ice is not jammed in the ejector arm of the ice maker and the ice dispenser chute is not clogged. You can clean the ice dispenser chute with a warm, damp cloth. Dry thoroughly.

If these issues aren’t the problem, here are some more possible causes.

Control Lock is on
This deactivates the dispenser controls and comes in handy around small children or pets and while you’re cleaning the area. If the controls are locked, press and hold To Lock for three seconds to unlock them.

Low water pressure
This could cause water to dispense slowly or not at all.
See information on getting the correct water pressure here. 

Refrigerator control panel Refrigerator control panel
Amana® refrigerator and dishwasher Amana® refrigerator and dishwasher
Refrigerator storage drawers Refrigerator storage drawers

Using a reverse-osmosis system
This could lower the water pressure. See tips for using a reverse-osmosis system here.

Kink in the water supply line
This can reduce water flow and cause water and ice to dispense slowly or stop dispensing. Straighten out the line to fix the problem. To prevent this from happening again, keep some space between the refrigerator and the wall.

Saddle valve is incorrect
This will lead to low water pressure. Be sure to use a ¼-inch type valve that requires a drilled hole. It is not recommended to use a self piercing type or a 3/16-inch saddle valve because they clog easily.

Amana® side-by-side bottom-out refrigerator

Water filter issues
Your water filter may need to be replaced. If it has been recently, here are some things that could be happening:

  • The water system wasn’t properly flushed after installation. Run the amount of water the filter instructions recommend to get rid of air in the water system.
  • The filter is installed improperly. This will reduce water flow.
  • The filter is not the filter that’s recommended for your refrigerator. This could be causing issues.

Particles in the water
Noticing particles in the water from your dispenser? Water softeners on the household water supply can cause this. If that’s not the problem, the issue could be with your filter. Refer to the section above on water filter issues.

Water or ice tastes off
Water or ice have a funny taste? Here are some possible causes.

Household water quality
Check your household water quality to see if that’s the source of the problem.

New plumbing
New plumbing can also cause water and ice to taste off at first. Flush water through the dispenser, and discard the first three batches of ice.

Incorrect water supply line
Use the recommended water supply line. Properties in the water from certain household water supplies may cause different types of supply lines to react in different ways. These reactions could result in a bad taste or odor in the refrigerator’s water and ice.

Person filling a water bottle from a refrigerator water dispenser

Food is not stored properly
When food is not wrapped or packaged properly in the refrigerator, water and ice will absorb its odors. Make sure your food is stored in airtight, moisture-proof packaging.

Filter issues
Your filter may need to be replaced, may be installed incorrectly, or water may need to be more thoroughly flushed. See more on filter issues in the section above subtitled “Water filter issues.”

Ice clumping in ice bin
Here are a few reasons this could be happening:

Ice maker is not used regularly
It’s normal for ice to clump and fuse together when the ice maker is not used regularly. Use a plastic utensil to gently break up the clumps.

Doors opened frequently or for a long time
This lets in humid air. In the warmer months, try to keep the doors closed as much as possible. Also check the seal of the gaskets on the freezer door to make sure it’s not obstructed.

Ice bin needs cleaning
Ice particles can build up in the bin and cause clumping. Use water and a soft cloth to clean, and be sure it’s fully dry before putting it back in the freezer.

Temperature is set incorrectly
If the freezer isn’t cold enough, ice cubes can slowly melt and clump together. You may need to adjust your freezer temperature.

Making too much ice
Here are a few things to check:

  • Is the automatic shut off not working? It should automatically shut off when the force of the ice lifts the wire shut off arm, but if not, you can lift the arm manually. Turn it back on when you’re ready for it to produce more ice by putting the arm down.
  • Is the ice bin in the correct location? If it’s not directly below the ice maker, the automatic shut off will not work properly.
  • Are you storing anything but ice in the bin? This could cause damage to the shut off arm or other mechanisms and lead to an overproduction of ice.
  • If none of these are the cause, it may be time to look for a new fridge with an ice maker and other features.
Person adjusting refrigerator temperature

Still Having Issues?

You may need a professional repair. Or, if your refrigerator is more than 10 years old, it might be time for a replacement. Amana has great refrigerators at a great value – check out the latest.