Let Papa Fix It

Sometimes you don’t realize how much you need something until it’s gone.

We have a water/ice dispenser on our fridge and I hit that puppy many times a day. Slowly but surely, it went out. No water, no ice. I had a week of buying drinking water at the store. A huge hassle.

So there’s a few reasons for this with a Whirlpool fridge:

  • Low water pressure
  • Clogged/messed up filter
  • Iced up resevoir
  • Bad valve
  • Worn filter mount (it has a valve)
  • Bad main card not feeding juice to the valve


I was certain water pressure was OK, as was the filter. I replaced my chinese knockoff filter with an OEM one, which worked a bit better. But then it crapped out and the water pulsed out. Weird. Turns out that was a clue I missed.

The Fridge I have doesn’t have a cold water resevoir. In it’s place is has a hundred feet of tubing in a coil. That said, I use it a lot. No way in hell water is in it not moving for more than about six hours. (Keep in mind, it’ll make ice all night to replenish what was used in the evening).

I knew the mount was busted a bit, but it seemed to work in the past. And since I could hear the valve engage. So I reasoned it was the valve and ordered one.

You need only a screwdriver to do this. Seems we aren’t a tool culture any longer and something simple as a compression fitting can’t be fathomed. Also turns out, access is inside the fridge.

Had to move a lot of crap to get to this point.

You simply take a 3/8″ wrench to push those connectors in, and the tubes come out. And the valve clicks into place. All that’s needed is a screwdriver to pop it out. Took five minutes.

Pro tip: Never button things back up before testing. Figure out how to see it works first. It’s bad juju to put it all back together.

So I popped it in, turned on the water and tried it.

Better. Not much. Slow filling. Like a week ago. Crap.

So I pressed the filter while pressing the door switch (Doors have to be closed for water to work). It howled. Turns out, the last piece that broke off it screwed things up. So I did a quick web search for the filter mount. .

It doesn’t exist for sale far as I can tell.

Then I had a moment of clarity. Why the hell am I looking to spend a ton of money to replace amount for filters that cost anywhere from $20-$50, and it wants one every few months.

So I snipped it out.

Those little white star shaped things press in to activate the valve. And only one was, more than likely. See the busted part?

I plugged the supply line into the valve.

Worked great, although it was unfiltered water.

Then, I ordered an inline filter on Amazon. Why? Because no one else had one with compression fittings, like my line.

My water connection

Supposed to show up Sunday.

Saturday when I went to walk the dogs there was an Amazon pack on the porch. I chucked it inside and went on my walk.

When I came back, I opened it.


It was my filter. I planned on planting my Olive trees, then working on my garden, then the tea cart I’m building. Nope. ADD kicked in and I went to get my hoard of connectors and got busy.

What I had were 1/4″ fittings – Male on the fridge tube, female on the supply.

I got tons of compression fittings.

How hard could it be?

Makes sense. Cut the line, put on a compression nut. Bolt up the filter. Done.

Hold up. None of the fittings work.

The damn line was too big. Turns out it’s 5/16″. The filter has 1/4″ compression fittings, or I can pull those out of the plastic push in connectors (the compression ones were adaptors, it seems) and insert a 1/4″ line directly.

Crap. Gotta hit the hardware store.

On a Saturday.

And rules of the universe designate a minimum of three trips to hardware stores for any given project on a Saturday. Fuck. The day’s already half shot.

So I head out the alley towards Home Depot and realized one – I hate going there on Saturday, and two- chances are they don’t have what I need, or won’t have any in stock. So I u-turned and went to Ace.

  • Ace had exacty two 5/16″ fittings. A compression nut in 5/16″ (Too big) and a 5/16″-1/4″ MIP adaptor. Don’t know what MIP is but the threads looked to coarse for what I was doing, and it was male besides. While I was there a big dude came and stood next to me looking at fittings as I was. He said something about people being rude and stormed off. Huh? I can’t help it if, big as you are, you aren’t man enough to simple say, “excuse me can I have a turn?” I’d have stepped aside. Man rules. So I shrugged my shoulders and headed off.
  • Home Depot was a shitshow. They had exactly zero 5/16″ fittings. As big a waste of time that I knew it would be.
  • So off to Elliott’s in Plano, where I probably should have gone in the first place. But getting there was trying. Every nitwit and their mother was on the roads. They had a better selection, as I figured. What I ended up getting was a 5/16″ to 1/4″ compression. I have tons of 1/4″ tubing.

That’s when I had a moment of clarity. I have tons of 1/4″ compression fittings. I could’ve done this without any trip to the store.


Took 30 seconds to bold on and get working

The finished product

I pushed the fridge back, tossed the old valve in my hoard (It’s probably still good) and went on with my day.

I’m thinking I need to connect water to the icemaker in the old fridge that lives in the garage.

Coming soon – the tea cart:

‘Tis a start