Refrigerator - Slow Water Flow or Dribble from Dispenser

If water dispenses slowly from the dispenser on your refrigerator, there are a couple of things you may want to check:

  • New installation: Make sure the cradle on the dispenser has been held down for 2 to 3 minutes to allow the reservoir to fill completely. The water reservoir in the refrigerator stores the water so it is chilled. This does not apply to Top Freezer refrigerator models with a water dispenser because there is no reservoir.

  • Clogged or partially clogged filter: This can result in no water or slow running water from the dispenser. Please change the filter. Filters should be changed every 6 months. Purchase a GE Appliance part online at our GE Appliances Parts and Accessories site: Shop GE Appliances Water Filters.

    • To confirm that you have a clogged water filter, remove the filter and install the bypass plug. Try using the dispenser with the bypass plug in place. If the water flow from the dispenser improves, the filter is clogged and needs to be replaced.

    • If you need the bypass plug and one was not supplied with the refrigerator or has been misplaced, one can be ordered at no charge by calling 1-800-GECARES. In Canada, call 1-800-561-3344.

    • If there is new construction in your area, there can be more sediment entering the water system and supply lines. This extra sediment can clog your refrigerator filtration system more frequently than the recommended 6 months replacement time frame.


If water dribbles from the refrigerator water dispenser, please check out the following information:

Dribble is defined as a small amount of water (just a few drops) that may miss the glass ONLY AFTER USING THE WATER DISPENSER. This is due to a delay in the overall water distribution system.

  • Dribble can be minimized by the following actions:

    • Purge the water tank to remove any trapped air that may be creating a build up in the water pressure. This may cause water to dribble from the dispenser after use. Hold down the dispenser cradle for 2 to 3 minutes to remove any trapped air.

    • A few drops of water are normal. To help prevent water from missing the glass and dripping down from the cradle area, remove the glass more slowly so it has a chance to catch the dribbles of water.

    • You may need to periodically empty the recess grill on the refrigerator water dispenser and clean underneath. This will prevent the overfilling of water in the recess grill which may cause water to drip down the front of the refrigerator.

View a short video about troubleshooting water dispenser issues:



If you have a new filter or bypass plug in place and water is still dispensing too slowly, a repair may be needed. Schedule an appliance service appointment with GE Appliances Factory Service.