How to Test a Water Valve Solenoid on a Whirlpool Icemaker


The water valve solenoid is the part which directs water from your house's water supply to the icemaker inside your Whirlpool refrigerator. Sometimes a solenoid can go bad, resulting in no water reaching your icemaker. Even if the solenoid is feeding water, it may be feeding too slow or dripping water slowly into the icemaker when it shouldn't be. This can cause the water line to freeze. Learn how to test your solenoid to see if it may be the problem.

Things You'll Need

  • 1/4-inch nut driver
  • 5/16-inch nut driver
  • Crimping/skinning pliers
  • Hot cord
  • Large cup or bowl
  • Pull your Whirlpool refrigerator out from the wall until you have adequate room to work behind it. Unplug the refrigerator. Remove the screws that hold the bottom back panel to the refrigerator. These screws may be 1/4 inch or 5/16 inch. Set the panel to the side.

  • Look for the water solenoid in the bottom right corner. It will have one or two water lines coming from the top of it, and one water line coming into the bottom. Remove the 5/16-inch screw that holds the solenoid into the refrigerator. Unscrew the water line which goes up through the back of the refrigerator to the icemaker. Unplug the two-wire plug that corresponds with the icemaker water line. The solenoid is now ready to test.

  • Make a hot test-cord from any 110-volt electrical cord. Use crimping/skinning pliers to cut the end of the cord, and skin the two wires back. Attach two alligator clips to the wire ends.

  • Clamp the two alligator clips onto the two bare terminals on the water solenoid. Place a bowl on the ground beneath the solenoid; orient the solenoid so that the top is pointing into the bowl. Plug the hot-test cord into an outlet, but be careful--the current will be flowing into the solenoid through the alligator clips. Don't touch the clips or the terminals on the solenoid. If the solenoid shoots water into the bowl, it is good. If no water comes out, replace the solenoid.

Tips & Warnings

  • There are two very popular Whirlpool water valve solenoids. Part # 4318047 is a single valve, and part # 4318046 is the single valve.

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  • Larry Harding, Professional Appliance Technician
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