When we moved into this house, it lacked most appliances and so we bought various things. One was a refrigerator with an ice and water dispenser built in. This was a thing I’d seen, but never had at home, but the idea of always having cold water (tap water is merely cool, at least city-supply seem to be) and not having to fiddle with ice trays had appeal. And it was great – for many years. The only hitch was that a couple times if we left for a while during cold weather, the lower temperature of the house in Winter, combined with our absence and thus lack of water flow, and rather good appliance insulation resulted in the water line freezing. This could be dealt with by use of a hair dryer we discovered or were informed. And that was well enough – until a few months ago.
I’m not sure when it happened, but the water stopped. The ice did not – that’s a different line. And out came the hair dryer and a check of water line routing was done. Heat was applied supposedly all along where the line was most likely to have frozen. Nothing. Well, maybe it was the solenoid/valve setup. The switch did cause a satisfying *clunk* like it was working, but nothing happened. There is a point in the water line that has a coupler which allows the line to be checked well before the freezer. Nothing. Sure seemed like a valve issue. And we’d get to it… ‘eventually.’
‘Eventually’ went from days to weeks to months, as while a solenoid is an electric device and thus no big deal for myself or $HOUSEMATE, the thing is also a valve in a water line. That’s plumbing. Even admittedly simple plumbing. But I dislike dealing with plumbing so ‘eventually’ grew ever longer. I’d about had enough of dealing with tap water, never truly cold, and not filtered and had decided that before Summer ended (yeah, I know, it only just started) the problem would be Dealt With.
And not long after this decision had been taken and a mental flag set, I was in the kitchen and looking in the fridge, and in the freezer section (side-by-side setup) and found what I was after. I was just leaving the kitchen when there was an odd burbling sound, like water flowing but past air bubbles or such. That was abnormal. And suspicious. I tapped the control for the water dispenser… and got wet. Huh. Being unsure if there had been an ice plug that had finally melted or some other peculiarity, I figured the thing to do was to run a lot of water through things to clear the lines of whatever – and the water that might have been ‘at rest’ in the line for months. Did that. Filled a jug and poured it down the drain. And again. And again. And… it seems to still be working. Weird, but I’ll take it. No additional spending on parts and no fiddling doing plumbing work – or calling someone to replace a perfectly good valve and apply a heat gun for a fee.
For what it’s worth, the fridge is branded Amana. It amuses me as I recall the microwave oven commercials, “If it’s not an Amana, it’s not a radarange.” so I associate the brand with cooking or at least heating. If that wasn’t enough, the stove is a Fridgidaire. We didn’t select them to be jarring contrasts, that Just Happened. Surreal? That’s my “normal.”