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No water flow with filter bypass plug installed

Hey all, working with a Kenmore Elite 78333801

So when my refrigerator stopped dispensing water and making ice, i first tested water supply pressure and flow to the fridge, that was fine, so i suspected a faulty water inlet valve.

I shut off the water supply to the fridge, disconnected the water inlet valve, then turned the water valve supply back on, and got zero flow through the loose hoses which had been disconnected from the inlet valve. At this point I’m thinking the inlet lines are possibly frozen.

On this fridge the water passes through a filter before entering the water inlet valve. I dont have a filter, just a bypass plug installed. NOW, if i slowly unscrew the ¼ turn bypass plug out of the filter connection while pushing the dispense button on the fridge door I can get flow through the door.

It appears the blockage is in the water tank assembly where it couples to the bypass plug. I previously replaced the water tank assebly because my old one was leaking after replacing too many filters. Ive had the same bypass plug installed in this water tank assembly for the last 3 years.

Any advice before i replace my water inlet tank assembly again?

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The filter head could be the problem. Have you been hearing a water hammer noise prior to this ? With all lines hooked up, the water supply on with the bypass in place, bleed the water line at the water dispenser. Hold a glass under dispenser until water comes through. This could take up to 15 min or more if you have a lot of air. You should hear the water valve engaged. You can also view the water tank for air bubbles or movement. The water tank shouldn’t effect the ice maker though. I think you might have drawn air into the lines when you backed out the plug. Flush the lines Be patient, it’s boring. I’ve had to wait up to 30 min before any water came through on some of these. Don’t rush it.

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Thanks for your answer! I tried running the water for a long time, to no avail..

There was never any water hammering before the water/ice stopped working, and the bypass plug has been left in place for 3+ years without touching it. I've only started messing around with the bypass plug since the water stopped working..

Am I right to assume that with the bypass plug installed and the water inlet valve removed, I should be getting full water pressure shooting out of the hoses which would connect to the inlet of the valve?

I can't see any bubbles in the water tank, it appears to be full, and when I give the bypass plug a 1/4 turn, I can get some water dribbling out of the inlet hoses.

さんによる

Ryan Burke-in 33 yrs I’ve never bypassed a valve like that. Since your getting no water to both I/M and dispenser I’m thinking the problem is the filter head or the valve. The tank is only for the water dispenser. The the primary solenoid has to open and then a secondary solenoid opens depending on what is needed-ice or water. Do you hear a solinoid engaging when you try to dispense water? If not there might be a loose connection or issue with the dispenser control. Or the primary solenoid on the valve is bad.

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Ryan Burke, I’m thinking too much. LoL , it’s possible that the tank is frozen. They will freeze easily especially if not used. To be sure, careful use a blow dryer to thaw the tank. THE LINERS ARE VERY THIN AND WILL MELT QUICK. KEEP THE DRYER MOVING AND 6” OR MORE AWAY FROM LINER & PLASTIC PARTS. It won’t take too long to determine if the tank is frozen. Just gaining access by removing everything is a pain but needs to be done.

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I left the fridge unplugged and doors open for several hours in case the tank was frozen, but it doesn't seem to be.

I'm fairly certain now that it is the filter head which is plugged. The filter head is feeding the water inlet valve, and the water inlet valve is feeding both the ice maker and water dispenser. I can hear it actuating when I activate it.

Not sure what causes the filter head to plug up like this? We had to replace the filter head & water tank assembly a few years ago because the filter head was leaking. The prongs in the filter head had been worn away over time from changing out water filters, so when we replaced it we just installed a bypass plug and left it there. Can the filter head become plugged with calcium scale? our water is pretty hard here..

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So I changed the water tank and filter head assembly and water/ice are now flowing! The old tank freely drained water when I disconnected it, nothing frozen inside.. wish I could disassemble the filter head to see what it is that plugged up the inlet.

Thanks again for your insights! :)

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Hey @ladytech - I know I’m a little late to the party, but I’m having the same problem and found this thread via google. I have a bypass plug in place. No water going to dispenser or ice maker. I hear the solenoid engage when pressing the water/ice button - and - I HAVE been hearing a water hammer prior to the fridge not working. Any sage advice?

Thanks!!

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Laurahodge-you must be sure you have good water pressure from the home and there is no air in lines. Turn water off to the refrigerator and unplug the refrigerator. Have a towel and a 5 gallon bucket, or a large pan etc. remove the water line to the unit at the back. You’ll need to fly home that line into the bucket. Hold on to the waterline, once you turn the water on it with come out fast and hard. Open the valve all the way and let a few gallons fill the bucket. If you have little water pressure coming out, the problem is your home water supply. If it’s good and the water was clear hook it back to the refrigerator and check to see if it works.

To be continued

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You could also have a frozen water tank or water line. The water tank is located inside the refrigerator behind the crispers. You have to look for air bubbles or water moving while holding in the door switch so it thinks the door is closed, while at the same time dispensing water. The tank might also feel extremely cold. The water line in the door to dispense can also freeze. Thawing the lines should be done by turning off the unit and leaving the doors open for two days. Don’t use a blow dryer. They can melt the liner and there is no real fix for that.

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Try those suggestions and let me know what you find. Also, if you could send the model number I can check for any service bulletins that model.

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Thanks so much, @ladytech I'll try those things tomorrow. I need help pulling the fridge out. It is wedged tight between the wall and cabinets. I do appreciat e your response. What might the water hammer have to do with the situation?

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https://southeastwater.com.au/SiteCollec...

Here’s a link about water hammer. This refers to the home water supply, the pipes in your homes.

A water filter in the fridge could be needing replaced. A water valve could be faulty causing the valve to constantly close and open.

A water hammer noise will be difficult to diagnose without being at the refrigerator.

I’ve had several Maytag refrigerators that had failed water filter heads that caused a water hammer noise inside the refrigerator. In fact, of all the refrigerators I’ve repaired since 1984, that model Maytag was the only water filter heads I’ve ever had to replace. There was a service bulletin on that model for that problem. The replacement water filter head had been revised.

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Ryan Burke さん、ありがとうございました!
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