Sunday, January 17, 2010

Refrigerator ice and water dispensor has brown stuff coming out of it.

Heather writes:
We have a Kenmore refrigerator with a filtered water/ice dispenser on the front. For the past few months, a very strange brown gunk has been coming out of the water dispenser in little flakes. Most of the time, we'd just pour the water out and get another glass and the brown gunk wouldn't be there. I went to do that tonight, got a glass of water, got a brown flake, poured it out, went to get another glass, and this one was FULL of the brown gunk. It was disgusting. What is happening? Is there something in the filter? Or in the line of water? Help.

My response to Heather is:
You might have two to three faults to look at. First, the water filter attached to the cold water of the refrigerator might have to be changed. Most water filters that are attached to the refrigerators have a six month lifespan. Second, If you fill the glass with ice first and then water, you might have to check the ice maker mold. Inspect the ice cubes for brown pieces. The ice maker sometimes peels off brown flakes from the ice maker mold. This is caused by the minerals in the water that react with the finish on the ice maker mold. Take a mirror and inspect the ice maker mold. If its cruddy and missing pieces replace the ice maker. Third possibility, If your refrigerator model has a water tank stored behind the lower drawers in the fresh food compartment, it might have to be cleaned out or replaced.

Heather, I hope these tips are helpful. Good luck, let me know if that worked for you. Remember to send your appliance questions to

Heather writes back:
Thanks. The timer on the fridge didn't say it was time to replace the filter, but we live at the beach and I think we have hard water that's softened, or something. We can never get rid of the rings around the toilets. We have just put in a new filter and are purging it now to see if it helps. This has only been happening with the water, not the ice. Next is to see if we have a tank. Is that something that will be visible? Or will I have to dig for it?

Thanks for your help.

My response is:
The water tank is located behind the two bottom drawers in the fresh food compartment. Good Luck.