Samsung Refrigerator Dispensing Water Instead of Ice [HOW TO FIX]

Samsung Refrigerator Dispensing Water Instead of Ice [HOW TO FIX]

You want some ice on your drink, but your Samsung refrigerator dispenses water instead. When this happens, don’t panic!

Let this guide show you how to deal with the issue.

From checking your water lines for any possible leaks to helping you clear out any blockage that might be in the dispenser, we’re here to provide you with a detailed step-by-step guide for all the possible causes of this matter.

It’s pretty easy, too; all you need are a couple of screwdrivers and maybe a pair of pliers, and you’re good to go. Read on for more!

Why is water coming out of my Samsung refrigerator ice dispenser?

Why is water coming out of my Samsung refrigerator ice dispenser

Water coming out of your Samsung refrigerator’s ice dispenser typically points to residual ice or an issue with the wiring harnesses, particularly the water line.

Ensure that the dispenser is set to ‘ice’, then check the wire harness under the tabletop cover for loose connections.

Remember that dispensers will normally produce some water when they have recently dispensed ice, especially crushed ice. This is due to the residue the ice leaves in the chute.

When the residual ice melts, it travels out of the dispenser and may appear like a leak. You can clear this out by dispensing cubed ice after crushed ice.

Some Samsung refrigerator models also have a dispenser setting that alternates between dispensing ice and water. If your appliance has this, double-check if the dispenser is set to ice.

If the ice has cleared but the dispenser continues to dispense water, check the water line connection on top of the fridge. Wire harnesses under the hinge cover, specifically, that of the water line, may have been interrupted.

When this happens, there won’t be enough water to make ice, hence only water residue will be dispensed.

To check the harnesses, you’ll need a Philipps screwdriver and a wrench or a pair of pliers. Then, do the following:

  • Step 1: Unplug the refrigerator or cut it off at its power source. Alternatively, if your fridge is connected to a circuit breaker of its own with no other essential appliances active, you can choose to cut the power at the breaker instead.
  • Step 2: Shut off the water supply valve. This is to avoid any more unnecessary leaks as we repair the connections.

Locate the valve at your fridge’s water source and shut it off by rotating it 90 degrees clockwise.

  • Step 3: Remove the tabletop cover. This is the cover on top of your fridge that holds the door in place.

To remove this, unscrew the three Phillips screws that attach the cover to the unit.

Once unscrewed, carefully lift the cover by prying the parts indicated by the locking tab marks. These are illustrated as arrowheads.

When lifting the cover, be mindful of the wires connected underneath. Let the cover sit on its side as you work on said wires.

We also recommend disconnecting the electrical plug for your safety. This is the bulkiest connection in the shape of a rectangle.

Simply press on its locking tab and pull it out to disconnect it.

  • Step 4: Locate the water line connection. Water lines are typically connected to the fridge via a coupler, so it’ll be easy for you to locate it.

Once you find it, disconnect the water line by pushing the collar in as you pull the line out. Do this gently but abruptly.

Be careful not to disconnect the coupler from its position. Moreover, some water residue might leak out of the pipe.

  • Step 5: Reconnect the pipes. With all the connections removed, you can now reattach them and ensure that they’re connected tightly and securely.

Once the water pipe is reconnected, reconnect the electrical plug, then put the tabletop cover back. Afterward, turn the water supply back on and power on the appliance.

  • Step 6: Let the appliance make a new batch of ice, then dispense some. Samsung refrigerators typically take an average of 90 minutes to make a tray of ice.

Once you’ve made sure that there’s enough ice to dispense in the freezer or ice maker, try dispensing some cubed ice.

If the issue persists, then the root cause might be in other parts of the fridge, such as the defrost drain or the installation of the ice maker.

Below, we’ve listed other possible causes of water leaking out of your ice dispenser, as well as step-by-step guides on how you fix the matter. So don’t worry if this method didn’t quite work; we’ll be covering more grounds to help you out!

Quick Tip:

4-door flex models typically have two water line connections underneath the hinge cover instead of just one. If you use this type of fridge, make sure to disconnect and reconnect both connections!

Common Causes of Samsung Fridge Dispensing Water Instead of Ice

Common Causes of Samsung Fridge Dispensing Water Instead of Ice

A leaking issue can usually be traced back to plumbing problems. This case is no different, but aside from the water lines, there are also a couple of parts inside your Samsung fridge that can cause a leak when obstructed.

We’ve elaborated on them below, so keep on reading and take notes of the parts you’ll have to check!

Ice JamUnplug the refrigerator or cut it off at its power source.

Unscrew the dispenser panel and the flapper assembly from the fridge body.

Clean the dispenser panel and flapper assembly thoroughly using mildew remover.

Inspect the flapper for signs of wearing down. Replace the flapper assembly if necessary.
Loose Water LineUnplug the refrigerator or cut it off at its power source.

Shut off the water supply valve.

Loosen the connectors at the junction(s) of the water pipes using a wrench, then reconnect them tightly the same way.
Incorrectly Installed Ice Maker or DispenserUnplug the appliance or cut it off at its power source.

Remove the ice bucket on the freezer door, then unscrew the ice maker panel.

Using a flathead screwdriver to press down on the locking tabs, as well as the electrical plugs connecting the panel in place.

Set the ice maker assembly down on a flat surface, then remove the base plate.

Inspect the ice maker assembly for any damage, then reinstall it by following the same steps when you removed it.

Ensure that everything is aligned and secured in place.
Clogged Defrost DrainPut the appliance in Force Defrost mode by pressing both Freezer & Lightning buttons at the same time for at least 8 seconds.

Then, press any other button until Fd appears on the screen.

Remove the shelves and bins inside the fridge and leave the doors open to thaw out the ice. Remove also the evaporator panel cover at the back of the compartment.

Once all the ice has melted, use a turkey blaster or a similar tool to scoop all the water in the drain pan.

Then, using a turkey blaster, pump a mixture of water and baking soda (or water and bleach) into the drain pan to dislodge any ice or dirt blocking it.
Inappropriate Water FilterTurn the water supply off to the fridge.

Locate the water filter between the deli drawers near the bottom of the fridge compartment.

Inspect the water filter for authenticity and damage. Inspect also the housing for any damage.

Reinstall the water filter (or install a new one) while making sure that the filter body is locked securely in place to avoid it being dislodged.

Plumbing issues may require the aid of a professional, but we assure you that most of these methods won’t use advanced technical knowledge or skills. You can do them on your own, and they won’t take up much time.

Keep calm, follow each step, and you’ll see for yourself!

Ice Jam

If your Samsung refrigerator dispenser is prone to delays in dispensing ice, this might cause ice jams to happen. When there is a delay, ice can get trapped when the chute closes prematurely.

Trapped ice can melt over time, but since they’re still technically inside the fridge and haven’t exited, they could also refreeze and get misshapen. When ice is reformed, it can block the chute entirely.

Furthermore, as trapped ice melts, the water will drip down from the chute where it’s trapped. As a result, the dispenser won’t be able to deliver new ice and only the melting ice will drip onto the ice bin.

Delays in the delivery of the ice usually happen when the ice gets too big to slide down the chute when there is mold buildup around the flapper assembly, or simply because the dispenser’s flapper is already worn out.

Solution: Clean out the ice chute to rid of any ice blocking it. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to do this:

  • Step 1: Unplug the refrigerator or cut it off at its power source.
  • Step 2: Using a Phillips screwdriver, unscrew the dispenser panel from the unit. Depending on the model of your fridge, there may be one or two screw(s) holding the panel in place.

Once unscrewed, carefully pry off the panel from the fridge body. Don’t pull too forcefully as it’s still connected via an electrical plug.

  • Step 3: Disconnect the electrical plug by depressing its locking tab and pulling it out. Afterward, unscrew the ice route or flapper assembly and pull it out.

Be careful as this part have sharp components that may injure you if you pull it out recklessly.

For fridge models that have a large flapper assembly, you’ll have to take out the water hose as you’re prying the assembly off.

Moreover, this part is still connected via a plug, so you’ll have to pull that out as well.

For models like the RF27T5501SRAA51, which has a smaller dispenser, you’ll need to reach back with a flathead screwdriver to disconnect the plug holding the flapper assembly in place.

  • Step 4: Once the flapper assembly is disconnected, you can start cleaning the chute. You can clean the assembly using any type of mildew remover, but we advise double-rinsing to make sure that no soap residue is left.

Make sure to clean the inside/backside of the dispenser panel as well.

  • Step 5:  Take the flapper or chute door out and clean it.

Similar to the difference in assembly size in different models, the flapper also varies. Smaller dispenser models may use a spring coil to keep this part in place, while others only have locking tabs.

Either way, you will have to remove both of these to detach the flapper. Once detached, you can now clean it.

  • Step 6: Reconnect the flapper to the assembly, then check it for any signs of wearing out. You can do this by depressing the flapper and observing if it comes back up freely.

There also should be an audible click as you do this. This is the sound of the chute opening and closing when it dispenses ice or water.

If the flapper shows any difficulty coming back up, it needs to be replaced. Make sure to consult your user manual for the type of flapper assembly compatible with your Samsung refrigerator model.

Quick Tip:

The following conditions may also contribute to ice forming inside the ice chute and causing a blockage:

1. If the entrance to the chute is exposed to room temperature. This is similar to leaving the fridge doors open, which can cause moisture to form where warm air from outside the fridge meets cold air from inside.

Once exposed to the cold temperature of the fridge, moisture will turn to ice, thereby creating a blockage in the chute.

2. If the dispenser opens and closes too frequently. Likewise, if you use the dispenser too many times within an hour, any residual ice up in the chute will melt faster and cause moisture to form within the chute.

Loose Water Line

As mentioned above, if the water line connected to the control panel or hinge cover is loose, there won’t be enough water to make ice in the first place.

If you found the water line connection stable but there still isn’t enough water supply to the fridge to dispense ice, the issue might lie in the entirety of the water line itself — from the supply source to the pipe connections in between.

Your Samsung refrigerator’s water line consists of at least two pipes connected to each other: one coming from the water supply valve itself, and the other being the one connected directly to the fridge.

If the water supply is too far from the fridge, you might find more connections in between. When any of these connections come loose or are blocked, water won’t travel smoothly and rapidly into the appliance.

Solution: To check and fix the pipe connections, you’ll need a pair of pliers. Then, follow these steps:

  • Step 1: Unplug the refrigerator or cut it off at its power source.
  • Step 2: Shut off the water supply valve. Locate the valve at your fridge’s water source and shut it off by rotating it 90 degrees clockwise.
  • Step 3: Locate the junction of the pipes. As mentioned above, regular water lines have two separate pipes: one that’s connected near the valve, while the other is connected directly to the fridge.

Some models use different colors for each pipe, which will make it easier for you to distinguish where their connections meet. 

If your appliance doesn’t use different-colored pipes, look for a pipe connector or coupler near the center.

  • Step 4: Loosen the pipe connector using a wrench. Pipe connectors are typically tightly fitted to prevent leakage, so a wrench or a pair of pliers will make this task easier.
  • Step 5: Once the pipe connector is loose, disconnect the water lines. Be careful of water residue coming out of these pipes.

Place a container below the junction of the lines you’ll disconnect to avoid spillage.

To disconnect them, simply pull each pipe away from the other. You can use a pair of pliers if the pipes are connected too tightly.

Also, keep an eye out for any holes along the pipes. If you find any, the pipes will need to be replaced.

  • Step 6: Once you’ve disconnected the pipes, reconnect them securely. We recommend using a pair of pliers in tightening the couplers or connectors!
Quick Tip:

While you’re checking the water pipes, check also the water inlet valve of the fridge. This component is located on the back panel of the appliance.

This part connects the water line directly to the fridge. When it is misaligned, it can interrupt the water flow.

Incorrectly Installed Ice Maker or Dispenser

We’ve shown you above how to remove the dispenser panel from the fridge body. If by any chance you’ve already tried it before and noticed the leaking happening after the deed, then you simply might not have reinstalled the panel correctly.

Likewise, if you’ve recently replaced the ice maker assembly, you might have installed the replacement haphazardly.

In both cases, it’s only natural to have ice forming in the fridge but not dispensing.

Solution: To refresh your memory, here’s a step-by-step on how to install a new ice maker. You retrace your steps through this method and follow them to ensure that you’ve installed your new ice maker correctly.

You can also use this method to remove your current ice maker (even if it’s not damaged) and reinstall it to make sure that it’s even and aligned.

For this, you’ll need a Phillips screwdriver and a flathead one. Afterward, do the following:

  • Step 1: Unplug the appliance.
  • Step 2: Open the freezer door and remove the ice bucket by depressing the locking tabs on its side, and then pulling it out.
  • Step 3: Take the old ice maker cover off by squeezing the sides lightly, then pulling out the cover.
  • Step 4: Unscrew the panel by first taking out the four Philipps screws on it, then pressing on the two locking tabs on either side of it. For the locking tabs, we suggest using a flathead screwdriver.
  • Step 5: Once the locking tabs are released, gently lift the panel. Remember that this is still connected to the fridge body by wires behind it, so you cannot pull it all the way.
  • Step 6: Using a flathead screwdriver, push down on the locking tabs to free the wires and plugs from their connections.

Once disconnected, set the panel down on a flat surface and proceed to take out the old ice maker assembly.

  • Step 7: Unscrew the three Philipps screws holding the base plate in place. Carefully pull the plugs through the cutout underneath.
  • Step 8: Afterwards, take the base plate off the ice maker using a Philipps screwdriver.

Once removed, inspect the ice maker for any damages.

If you’re looking to install a new ice maker, simply follow the same steps backward. Make sure that you have the right model of ice maker compatible with your fridge.

As you’re installing the ice maker replacement, ensure that all connections are secured and that all panels and covers are aligned.

As for the dispenser assembly, you can retrace your steps through the method we provided above. Make sure all parts are aligned and even!

Quick Tip:

After making sure that the ice maker and dispenser panel are correctly installed, double-check the evenness of your fridge as well. An uneven fridge can have difficulty closing its doors, leading to faster ice buildup in the fridge, including the ice chute.

Furthermore, this will give ice — especially cubed ice — a hard time sliding down the chute. This may even lead to a blockage in the dispenser.

To check if the fridge is even, take a spirit level and place it on top of the fridge. Make sure that the doors are closed.

Samsung refrigerators have two leveling feet underneath their front sides. Use these to adjust the fridge’s grounding as necessary, until the bubble in the spirit level stabilizes in the middle of the two black lines.

Clogged Defrost Drain

Remember how we said that the root cause of water leaking from the dispenser isn’t always a plumbing or water line issue? Well, sometimes, the leak isn’t from the ice maker or dispenser at all!

Your Samsung fridge has a defrost drain beneath its evaporator panel. This is where the water escapes when the appliance goes into an auto-defrost mode to melt tiny ice buildups.

The auto-defrost function works as many times within a day as the appliance needs. Every time the temperature inside the compartments drops lower than your initial setting, this function starts automatically.

There is no option to stop this function. So when the defrost drain at the back of the fridge is clogged due to thick ice buildup that the auto-defrost function can’t melt, or due to mold or other obstructions, melted ice will leak inside the unit instead.

It can leak down the drawers, or the down the dispenser, as this part is located in one of the fridge’s doors.

Solution: Defrost the unit to get rid of any thick ice buildup. Samsung refrigerators have a Force Defrost function that turns on the heating in all compartments, including the freezer.

This can effectively thaw out ice of all thickness within at least 20 minutes — faster than if you’d leave the ice to melt by unplugging the unit and leaving its doors open!

To activate Force Defrost mode, follow these steps:

  • Step 1: Locate the two buttons that trigger Force Defrost (Fd) mode. This can vary from model to model, so make sure to consult your user manual about it.

Most dispenser models use the Freezer & Lightning buttons for this.

Once you’ve confirmed which buttons can trigger Fd mode, press and hold them together for at least 8 seconds or until the display goes blank. Most models use the Power Freeze & Fridge buttons for this.

  • Step 2: Once the display is blank, press any other button on the control panel until “Fd” appears on the screen. A beep will signal that the defrost cycle has started.

The unit will continue beeping until the defrost cycle has ended.

Once in Force Defrost mode, remove all the bins and shelves in your refrigerator to access the evaporator panel in the back.

Use a Phillips screwdriver to unscrew the evaporator panel, but be careful of the wires connecting it in place. Carefully disconnect them to remove the cover completely.

Exposing the evaporator panel will also help thaw out the ice around it faster.

Once all the ice has melted, take a turkey baster or a syringe to suck out the water pooling in the drain pan below the evaporator coils.

Afterward, clean the area out using a mixture of water and baking soda. You can also use a mixture of water and bleach.

Using the turkey baster or syringe, pump the mixture into the drain to dislodge any ice or dirt stuck in it. 

The drain pipe leads to the back of the unit, next to the condenser coils, where you can later pull it out to clean it.

After cleaning out the drain pan, wipe down the rest of the unit, put the evaporator panel cover back in place, then the shelves and bins, then restart your fridge.

Quick Tip:

When defrosting the fridge, make sure to observe two things:

Don’t use a hair dryer or any heating devices to melt the ice. Heating devices such as hair dryers can harm and melt the material of the fridge, so avoid using them to thaw the ice.

We recommend just leaving the doors open instead.

Reset the fridge settings upon startup. Once you restart your appliance, the control panel might display error codes or you might encounter glitches on it.

These usually don’t mean anything serious. They’ll go away once you reset the control panel. 

You can do that by pressing the Power Cool and Power Freeze buttons at the same time for five seconds.

You can also reset settings by powering off or unplugging the appliance for five minutes, then starting it back up.

Furthermore, we recommend force defrosting your refrigerator at least once a month to avoid thick ice buildup, as well as to keep your appliance in good condition. Make it your regular cleaning routine!

Inappropriate Water Filter

Similar to a clogged defrost drain, when the water filter you use has issues, this can cause the fridge to leak in other parts — especially through the dispenser since this part makes use of the water filter directly.

Samsung refrigerators are very particular about the water filter they use. If the product you’ve installed isn’t authentic, or if it’s not compatible with the fridge model, it will cause a leak.

Moreover, when the filter is damaged or not installed properly, it can be dislodged or cause a leak.

Solution: Make sure that the water filter is installed correctly. You can follow the step-by-step instructions below on how to install a water filter to retrace if the water filter you’re using is securely fixed in place:

  • Step 1: Make sure that the water supply to the fridge is turned off to avoid further leaking. Then locate the water filter between the deli drawers at the bottom of the fridge’s compartment.
  • Step 2: Turn the knob of the filter counterclockwise until you hear a click. Then, carefully pull out the water filter.
  • Step 3: Inspect the filter for authenticity or any damage or cracks. Inspect also the housing for any cracks.

To check the authenticity of the product, look out for two things:

  • A serial number. Authentic Samsung water filters have a serial number printed on the filter body, not towards the nose or the head.

The type of filter for your refrigerator will depend on the model type of the appliance. Consult your user manual for the specification you need.

  • A rib on the filter body. Counterfeit water filters can be easily dislodged from their housing because most of them do not have a rib to lock them into place.

Some Samsung models use a 2-rib lock for their water filters, while newer models typically use a 3-rib lock.

If the ribs on your water filter don’t match the requirements of the housing, it can easily be dislodged or damaged, even if it’s authentic.

Once you’ve verified the water filter’s authenticity, proceed to the next steps.

  • Step 4: Reinstall the new water filter with the gasket facing the housing. Hold it by the knob the way you pulled it out.
  • Step 5: Apply pressure to the water filter body as you’re pushing it in place. Keep turning it clockwise until it can’t turn anymore.

Locking the filter in the housing won’t make the same clicking sound as when you remove it, so make sure that you continue to apply pressure to it as you’re turning it.

Quick Tip:

To avoid issues with the water filter, we suggest replacing the water filter every 3 to 6 months. Your Samsung refrigerator will also remind you of this by sending out a signal on the control panel when the filter needs to be replaced.

While the average lifespan of a water filter is 6 months, this can shorten if your household’s water consumption is high. We suggest looking out for changes in the water quality — for example, its taste and color — to signal when to replace it.

Once you’ve installed a new water filter, remember to run at least two gallons of water to flush out any impurities in it.

In summary, when your Samsung refrigerator’s dispenser starts delivering water instead of ice, this is usually a result of a blockage: whether in the chute itself, in the water line, the drain pan, or the water filter.

It doesn’t usually get any more complicated than that, but if none of the methods above work for you, then it’s time to give your nearest Samsung service center a call.

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