How Do Fridge Water Dispensers Work?

Last Updated on February 2, 2022 by

How Do Fridge Water Dispensers Work? Perhaps, you already know that water getting to the fridge is hooked up from the wall. Now, how do fridge water dispensers work to give you a refreshing drink? Let us discover its engineering.

Water travels from the filter to the water valve which splits it into two destinations—the food compartment and the ice maker. The next destination is the cold-water reservoir and then finally to the water dispenser.

Before water arrives in the dispenser, it passes through the cabinet beneath the bottom hinge of the door.

The water filter is important in this process to filter dirt. If none is installed, you are getting unhealthy water for the drink.

How Do Fridge Water Dispensers Work?

The anatomy of the fridge water dispenser is no mystery. Water moves from the tube along the back of the fridge. The ice maker shape determines the ice cube shape, but the typical shape is ‘crescent’.

A sensor works to know if water has turned into ice and moves it to the receptacle automatically. If the receptacle is full, another sensor stops the ice maker from producing more ice to keep the container from overflowing.

As the ice dispenser runs, it causes a spring-like arm to turn which directs ice to the chute for dispensing. The ice then comes out of the door as crushed or cubed, same with water from the same spot.

Where Does Water Come from in a Fridge Dispenser?

Water from the dispenser comes from water pipes in the walls. Water pipes are fitted in the wall which dispenses water.

The pipes get plumbed alongside others except if there is a separate tank it has to fill. Typically, under the sink, there is a small copper line that lets water travel to the supply line.

Some dispensers are gravity-fed except plugged into the wall. They could also be plumped into the building supply line.

Unfortunately, if the dispenser is gravity fed, it results in a faulty valve or clogs the supply line.

Most of the time, the valve is replaceable, but can also be a clogged line in other styles. Typically, they do not use their pumps, therefore, they rely on the supply line pressure. Again, a faulty valve is replaceable or repairable.

How Do You Hook up a Refrigerator Water Dispenser?

When building a kitchen, no conscious decision is made about where the fridge goes. Nevertheless, a few homes anticipate placing or owning a fridge with a water dispenser and ice maker in the future.

Hence, an outlet is provided where the fridge will go. If your kitchen has no outlet for a water dispenser and ice maker, call a plumber to complete the installation.

A plumber is your best bet to handle this so you do not make a mess of the connections. Your DIY skills can go to other aspects of your home, but not hooking up the dispenser and ice maker. Otherwise, you could be flooding your home.

If you have to DIY, find the nearest cold water supply plumbing in your home. Next, shut off the water and drain it into a bucket till it stops flowing.

Open the cold water connection and splice a Tee inside with your compression fitting for copper. Find out and run the suitable quarter or three-eight tubing from the supply line to your fridge.

Finally, put a valve at the supply splice, connect the compression fitting and tubing to the fridge.

Best Fridge Water Dispenser

If you need a water dispenser in your kitchen, get a plumber to make you one. However, ensure to buy the right dispenser. If your fridge does not support a water dispenser at all, you have to buy a replacement.

Below are the best fridge water dispensers:

Brita UltraMax

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The Brita UltraMax is built to have all of what a dispenser should have. It pours water easily and brings clean tap water inside your home.

It uses an easy-pour spigot that makes filling your reusable bottle or glass convenient. Your children can now get the water ‘easy’. Of course, it features a replaceable filter.

Apart from its easy-use design, below are other attractive features:

  • Quality. The Brita UltraMax uses water filters to enhance the water taste for your healthy drink.
  • Health. Brita uses thoughtfully designed filters that eliminate the odor and taste of chlorine and reduce cadmium, mercury, and copper impurities. This way you drink healthy and experience no deteriorating health.
  • Multiple cupholders. The Brita water dispenser offers up to 18 cupholders. You can now comfortably fill up to 6-ounce reusable water bottles. Lest we fail to mention, the water dispenser is BPA (Bisphenol A)-free.
  • Design. Its careful design ensures that it perfectly fits into your fridge shelves. It uses a precision pour spigot and an easy lock lid.
  • Health.  The Brita UltraMax in your kitchen means water gets even cleaner. There is also an electronic indicator that reminds you about clogged filters. Click here to see on Amazon[easyazon_link identifier=”B015SY3VGM” locale=”US” tag=”realkal-20″]Click here to see on Amazon[/easyazon_link]


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Nakii is all about quality. It makes drinking completely refreshing while making sure you stay healthy.

The Nakii uses dual filters, makes water filtering even faster, and can produce and filter up to 2.6 liters per minute. Use up to 300 gallons of water before your next filter replacement.

What more offers does the Nakii provide?

  • Hygiene. Nakii cares about your health. Its water dispenser uses non-toxic, BPA-Free material. Nakii is an NSF Filtration Certificate-awarded brand for meeting safety standards to promote good health.
  • Design. Apart from being contemporary, Nakii brings you a water filtration jug capable of holding 30 cups of unfiltered water. It can dispense 18 cups of filtered water, making it suitable for your kitchen. Your fridge should welcome this one.
  • Environmentally-friendly. To promote greener earth, Nakii reduced its use of plastic bottles. You can reuse the bottles or cups instead of buying and littering plastics around. [easyazon_link identifier=”B08H5NDNNW” locale=”US” tag=”realkal-20″]Click here to see on Amazon[/easyazon_link]

It seems the Nakii is our best bet for its hygiene. It meets quality standards and reduces your use of plastic cups and bottles. 

Are Fridge Water Dispensers Safe?

Fridge water dispensers draw water directly from your tap or public water lines. However, it uses a built-in filter to help give you a hygienic drink. Some dispensers feature dual filters.

Therefore, if your public water supply is safe, you get safe-to-drink water. Ensure to study your user’s manual to know when to replace the water filter.

Meanwhile, depending on your fridge or dispenser, you have a light indicator that notifies you to replace the air filter. Most cheapies will not have this feature, so you want to invest more money for quality and performance.

Replacing your water filter is easy, and is something you can DIY without a professional.

Water in some locations has a horrible taste, so the built-in filter attempts to sure fresher water flow to the dispenser.

Filters periodically clog up with debris, dirt, and other unhealthy elements arriving from the tap water. If you get the light, typically a red light, do not drink from it until you replace the filter.

Do Water Dispensers on Fridges Have Filters?

Fridge water dispensers have filters. Your product manufacturer is aware public water is not always the best and, thus, innovates to give you a refreshing drink.

On many occasions, people forget to replace their filters, and so traditional dispensers have no way to notify a household. With indicator lights now a thing, you no longer have to worry about forgetting it.

It is not healthy to drink from your fridge if the filter requires replacement. Bacteria eventually grow in the filter over time, and so you would be getting a bacteria-infested drink.

The water contains contaminants harmful to health. Moreover, the longer you hesitate to make a replacement, the more bacteria it collects.

In the United States, the product manufacturer’s suggestion regarding when to change your filter follows a national average. Unfortunately, this estimation is not always accurate.

If you reside in an area with a higher contaminant count, endeavor to replace your water filter more regularly than instructed.

How Long Can You Keep Water in a Fridge Dispenser?

How long you can store water in a fridge dispenser depends on the quality and usage frequency. Water in a dispenser that stays for 2-3 days develops an abnormal smell. Pour it out or discard the first 1-2 glasses of water.

Meanwhile, a medically reviewed Healthline publication explains that you can store and consume water for up to 6 months. The adverse side effect is minimal if you have the water in a well-filtered or treated storage.

Therefore, you may be able to store water for up to 6 months or less in your treated dispense. However, it is not advisable for taste maintenance.

If your tap water is carbonated, water could get flatted since gas eventually escapes from the liquid. Of course, this process changes the taste.

If you frequently get cold water from your dispenser, water can stay longer. Otherwise, empty your dispenser every month to discourage the growth of mold, algae, or bacteria.

You can always shut off the water supply when not using the dispenser for a long time.

Final Thoughts on How Do Fridge Water Dispensers Work?

Endeavor to change your filter regularly. When replacing your water filter, wash your hands and flush it with cold water. The flush can last for 15 seconds.

The first filtered water dispensed may contain dust, so you discard the first few glasses.

Repeat the replacement cycle periodically to drink healthily. Depending on your product manufacturer, you may have to replace the filter after every 2 months.