Have a refrigerator that has been turned off and left closed! It has a ice maker and water line. How do I go about making sure that it is safe to use the ice and water?

  • 2
    I would flush the system with fresh water and throw away the first couple of batches of ice. If it has a filter that should be changed also. If on city water the small amount of chlorine will help clean it if on a well you might want to add a couple of drops of bleach in the supply line prior to flushing and flush at least a gallon of water or until the smell is gone. – Ed Beal Nov 21 '17 at 19:39
  • Follow instructions from @Ed Beal, but you should bypass the filter when you flush the system, this will give a much higher flow rate through the system and hopefully blow out any crap. – Jimmy Fix-it Nov 22 '17 at 3:58

When using a home that has been left unused for quite some time, typically all you need to do is flush the lines before using. I suspect a refrigerator would be the same.

  1. Clean out ice maker
  2. Flush water lines by running 1 - 2 gallons though it
  3. Turn on ICE maker and dispose of first 2 full loads of ice
  • I'm inclined to upvote, but I wonder if you have any references that would convince me that dangerous bacteria (think Legionnaires') or your standard icky stuff (mildew) will be adequately removed this way? – isherwood Nov 21 '17 at 21:51

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