My whirlpool fridge stopped making ice and dispensing water so after a lot of research and diagnosing (not that I really know what I'm doing!) I replaced the water valve, put it all back together, etc. However, once I plugged it into power I got asked to do something else. When I came back to the fridge project a couple hours later, I double checked the Part Select video I was watching to guide me, and I realized I had the plugs reversed. I had them on the correct sides, but I had them upside down. So here is a screenshot from the video showing how it should be:

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But I had the B where A should be and vice verse, and the D where the C should be and vice verse.

So I immediately unplugged the fridge, flipped the plugs to the correct way, and then put it all back together and plugged it in again. But the water and ice are not working. So I am wondering -- did I ruin the water valve by plugging it in wrong and running it that way for about 3 hours?!

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    It's possible you fixed the part and then broke it again with your misstep, but I would guess it's as likely that something else (the original issue) continues to be the problem. – John Sep 7 '15 at 23:57
  • Do you hear a "clunk" in the valve when you press the water switch? – Daniel Griscom Sep 8 '15 at 13:30
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    What diagnostic steps led you to the replacement of the valve? Did you measure voltage/current with a multimeter? If not, I suggest you try that to figure out if power is getting to the unit in the first place. – Aloysius Defenestrate Sep 8 '15 at 13:55
  • Yes, I measured the voltage with a multimeter to determine that the valve needed replacing. – zipquincy Sep 8 '15 at 15:30

If there are only two terminals on each valve's plug then reversing them should not be a problem, as the valve is probably driven by AC (no polarity), and is just a coil of wire (again, no polarity).

  • I can second this - when I was installing an "ice maker kit" last week, the instructions said that the water valve plug was reversible. This seems to be common practice. – DarthCaniac Sep 8 '15 at 15:26
  • ok that's comforting. my main reason is to want to know is -- if I ruined it, then I should replace it along with whatever other thing I fix next. – zipquincy Sep 8 '15 at 15:31
  • If you ruined it, of course you should replace it. We don't have evidence you ruined it. – keshlam Sep 8 '15 at 15:34
  • If the polarity did matter, they would use a polarized plug - otherwise the factory workers assembling them would be destroying dozens of them a day. – Grant Sep 12 '15 at 13:23

As far as I can tell, these are just solenoid valves (two of them), and solenoids, whether they are AC or DC, are not polarity-sensitive. If it's AC, it doesn't matter at all which is which. If it's DC, reversing the wires reverses the polarity, but because of how solenoids work, it doesn't change anything.

So no, by reversing the wires you didn't break the solenoid.

  • I was kind of grumpy that they hadn't labelled the plugs more clearly so I could avoid this but ... I guess if either way is allowed then they didn't mess up after all – zipquincy Sep 8 '15 at 17:01

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