Refrigerator - Ice Maker-Water Dispenser Problem, solved

Reference: Whirlpool Refrigerator, Model ET1FTTXK B02; mfg 2003
Perhaps this will help somebody. About a year ago, our relatively new Whirlpool refrigerator has a filtered water system, and both the ice maker and the dispenser suddenly stopped working. I could hear the electric water solenoid operate, but no water would come out. The water filter had been changed recently, so I was fairly confident that it wasn't the source of the problem, but removed it nonetheless.
(As an aside, the manual states that although it is recommended, the filter is not necessary for the system to operate (but considering the difference it makes in the taste of our water and ice, i wouldn't even think of not using one!) and the filter is easily removed and replaced without having to shut off the water at the wall valve.)
The system still failed to operate without the filter in place. Naturally i then checked for good water flow at the line, and it was fine. Not knowing what else to do, I called for a repair tech.
A repairman came out and disconnected all the lines, valves, etc. and could find no problem. Yet when he reinstalled everything, the water flowed normally! All he could say is there must have been a small blockage somewhere in the line that resolved itself with his disturbance of the system parts, and consequently charged us for a service call.
Fast-forward 1 year: the system suddenly stops working for the 2nd time. Again, I had changed the filter about two month previously, so routine maintenance wasn't suspect - but I removed it and emptied it out (you be amazed at the black particles that come out, after only a month or 2!), and tried the water dispenser - still nothing. Again, i disconnected the water line and verified good flow.
I reconnected the water line and reinstalled the filter (which I had emptied), and upon trying the water dispenser again I could hear water flowing into the filter - and then stopping. This told me - and I think this is a key point to check - that water was at least getting that far into the system.
Determined not to call out the repair man again, I then went online searching for a solution, and read somewhere that a user reported finding a "frozen water tank" in his refrigerator's water system (make and model not mentioned) which of course prevented his ice maker from working which he subsequently determined was caused by a blockage. Suddenly it hit me: Recently I had taken a beer from the fridge, and found it to be slightly-frozen, which was unusual (we keep both the fridge and the freezer temperature settings slightly colder than the "normal" mark.) I mentioned this to my wife, and she remembered that she, too, had removed something from the refrigerator section that was also frozen. Could it be that our problem was as simple as a frozen water line, tank, etc?
Consequently, we removed everything from the freezer, placing the contents temporarily into ice chests, and unplugged the refrigerator power cord. Thirty minutes later, I reconnected the power and - whatddya know, the water flowed! (Note: the fact that the repair technician had the power off for about half an hour is no doubt what "fixed" the problem the first time, as well; i.e., the ice blockage had time to thaw.)
I changed the thermostat setting of both the fridge and the freezer sections to a "hair" on the warm side of normal, and I fully expect that this will solve the problem.
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add a $10 digital display thermometer with a min-max button and monitor the fridge product temperature in a one unmoving glass of water daily for a week, resetting thermometer off/on after 24 hour readings of temp and minimum and maximum each day. desired temp 35-40 degrees. like this one: (Amazon.com product link shortened)39832143/sr=1-22/ref=sr_1_22/103-0610568-1891850?%5Fencoding=UTF8&v=glance&n(4507
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Great advice, BB. Thanks! rr

(Amazon.com product link shortened)39832143/sr=1-22/ref=sr_1_22/103-0610568-1891850?%5Fencoding=UTF8&v=glance&n(4507
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Rick,
I had the same exact problem on my Whirlpool. I used weed trimmer line to feed down the plastic lines to feed out any obstructions and then lowered the temp. Been working fine ever since.
J
rick wrote:

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Joey, I never woulda thought to use weed trimmer line. Great idea - just hope I won't have to use it! :)
rr

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By the way, I'm paying $23.95 + s/h for the Whirlpool #8171413 water filters. Does anyone know of a better deal that this online site?
https://www.apcoinc.com/forder.asp?mgroupid 004&msgroupid004
Thanks, rick

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Plumb in a standard water filter available from the local home improvement store upstream of the refrigerator and just replace that, rather than replacing the cartridges. That is how everyone used to handle water lines into icemakers in refrigerators, until the refrigerator manufacturers figured out that if they designed the fridge to use weird-shaped nonstandard water filters that they could create a cash cow for themselves.
Ted
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We had the same problem a few months ago with our Kenmore Refrigerator. I believe it's actually made by Whirlpool, also. The source of our problem was ice build up in the tray near the water supply tube. Eventually, the ice built up so much that it reached the supply tube and blocked it with an ice cap. That, in turn, blocked the water from flowing, and froze the water in the tube.
A hair dryer quickly defrosted the water supply tube, and the problem was fixed.
g
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rick wrote:

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My water dispenser stopped working last night and I was really hoping that I wouldn't have to call for repair..... so I found this site and this is exactly what was wrong. The water line from the frig to the freezer was frozen solid. Not sure why everything in the veggie drawer got frozen because my controls didn't change. I thawed the line out and now the water dispenser works. Does everything freezing in the bottom of the frig. mean there's more to worry about? Thanks for posting your fix!
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On Thursday, March 9, 2006 7:44:00 PM UTC-5, Lindeloo wrote:

Did you ever get a reply to this? I am wondering the same thing as we didn't adjust the temperature and have about the same amount of food/stuff in the fridge as we usually do.
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On 2/12/2014 1:33 PM, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Sounds like a thermostat gone wild. Check the position of the sensor if visible to be sure it did not get blocked or damaged Be sure air is circulating in and around the food properly.
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I wonder of the OP is still following her thread considering that it's 8 years old.
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I just wanted to add my personal experience here for others that find this discussion. Via a web search. My Whirlpool model WSF26C3EXF01 just had an i ssue with the dispenser not working but I could hear it trying because the solenoid was actuating. The ice bin looked usually frosty. My issue was the top shelf of the freezer was overpacked with food. It obstructed the hole/ handle of the ice bin. This hole/handle is needed for airflow. If it is blo cked, the ice bin gets too cold and the water line freezes. Clearing the pa thway for airflow by clearing food away from the hole/handle, dumping the i ce bin and leaving the door open five minutes fixed it.
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