I've been puzzling over the problem for a couple of hours now, where my fridge has very low water pressure at the outlet of the ice maker supply line.

The line is 1/4 in copper and uses a 1/4 outlet on the sink cold supply as its source, with an in-line 1/4 needle valve (no saddle valve). The line presumably runs through the attic.

Water pressure at the sink is fine. Water pressure on both sides of the needle valve is fine (I replaced it anyway because the seals started leaking when I fooled around with it). Water pressure at the back of the fridge is almost nothing.

What has me puzzled is that if I disconnect both ends of the copper line, water seems to flow out of the line without much restriction. I'd expect it to dribble out, but it seems to flow normally.

After hooking the line back up... no pressure.

What am I missing?

Update: I replaced the fridge with a new unit (due to a presumably unrelated compressor failure) and the problem persists. Looks like I need to run a new line.

  • bad electrically operated valve in the fridge maybe ... or a clog between the point where water enters the fridge and the dispenser
    – jsotola
    Mar 23, 2018 at 0:26
  • "at the outlet of the ice maker supply line", so you have checked line pressure prior to hooking it to the fridge, yes? Like by opening the outlet at the sink and the needle-valve and directing it into a bucket? You need to eliminate the fridge as being part of the problem so you know where to focus your energy. Mar 23, 2018 at 15:35

2 Answers 2


When you talk of bad flow at the refrigerator ice maker I am assuming you are looking after the fill valve of the fridge .. because an open ended copper pipe should flow plenty of water - if the pipe has no restriction (clog or kinked).

If that is fine and you are checking at the fridge valve:

  • Fridge Valve is defective partially sticking.
  • Fridge Filter Cartridge is bad or defective.
  • Prior to the fill valve of the fridge. I suppose i could rig up a direct connection to bypass the existing line as a test. Mar 23, 2018 at 13:21
  • @EricHauenstein The fill valve is what shuts the water flow on and off so unless you can catch water quickly.. You will need to easily be able to shut the water off and on with your manual valve. You can shut off the fridge water, open your connection and place copper pipe into bucket. Turn fridge water back on, check the flow.
    – Ken
    Mar 23, 2018 at 15:45

Look into possible ice in the water line. GE fridges are famous for that.

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