If you’re encountering ice maker problems, there’s no need to panic. While there may be a problem that’s keeping the ice maker from working properly, troubleshooting these issues is relatively easy. Use this guide to help you find why your ice maker is not making ice and what you may be able to try to fix it.
What causes an ice maker to stop working?
There are several reasons you may find your ice maker not working all of a sudden, including a blocked water dispenser, issues with your water supply line, or a clogged water filter.
Ice maker turned off or pausedDepending on the type of ice maker your refrigerator has, you may have a button that needs to be switched on or a lever that needs to be pushed down for ice production to begin again.
Blocked dispenserIf your dispenser is blocked, chances are that it’s by ice. Low water pressure or the freezer compartment thermostat being set too low could be the cause.
Clogged water filterTo keep your ice maker working in tip-top condition, replace the water filter when your filter indicator light turns on, or at least every six months, especially if you live in an area with hard water. Check your owner’s manual for the location of your filter.
Temperature set too lowKeep your thermostat on the setting recommended by your refrigerator’s manufacturer. If the thermostat is set too low, the water may freeze before it even gets to the ice mold.
Water line problemsA frozen water line or a kink in the water line may cause the water flow to slow or stop altogether. Ensure the house water line is turned on and free of kinks as well.
Water valve issuesThe water valve needs a water pressure of at least 20 psi to function properly. Using the incorrect valve adapter can also affect the water flow, slowing it down or halting it completely. Make sure you read your installation instructions to find the correct parts you need for the water valve and how to install them.
Ice Maker Troubleshooting for Common Ice Maker Problems
Some of the most common ice maker problems that you’ll encounter include little to no ice production, the ice produced is either too small or tastes funny, or the ice maker is leaky. Below are the possible causes and how to troubleshoot your ice maker.
1. Not Dropping Ice
If your ice maker is not dropping ice, it could be that there’s a blockage in the ice tray, or an ice cube is jammed between the bin and the lever. If this happens, here are some things you can do:
- Double-check that the lever is pushed down and/or the ice maker is switched on. Consult your owner’s manual if you’re not sure where your lever or switch is located.
- Remove the ice bin to see if there’s ice accumulation.
- Remove any blocked ice by carefully chipping at it with a plastic knife.
- If the ice is too large, you may have to let the ice melt by defrosting your fridge.
2. Not Making Enough Ice
There could be several reasons your ice maker might not be making enough ice, including low water pressure or a kink in the water line. To check if that may be the case, follow the steps below.
- Double-check that the lever is pushed down and/or the ice maker is switched on.
- Unplug your refrigerator.
- Cut off the water supply.
- Move your refrigerator to access the water line.
- Disconnect the water line and place it in a bucket or in your sink. Turn on the water supply again.
- The stream should be a steady flow with a good amount of water pressure (30–120 psi).
- When replacing the water line, make sure everything is connected tightly and that the water inlet valve is fully open and free of any debris.
If you notice that the water stream is weak, check your water line for any kinks, brackets that could be affecting the flow, clogs or damage. Ensure that the water supply is also turned on all the way. Additionally, if your water filter hasn’t been replaced in over six months, it could affect the amount of water reaching your ice maker. Your owner’s manual will have details on what water filter to use and the location of the filter.
3. Not Making Any Ice
The culprits behind your ice maker not making any ice may cover a wide range, as listed below:
- Make sure your freezer’s thermostat is set to 0ºF for maximum ice production. Your ice maker won’t make any ice if the temperature exceeds 5ºF. Learn more about the best refrigerator and freezer temperatures with this guide.
- If your freezer has an arm lever, make sure it’s pushed down. If the arm is up, your ice maker won’t make any new ice. Additionally, if your ice maker is controlled through your refrigerator’s settings or has a switch, make sure they’re on.
- Check for blockages like ice build-up or jammed ice cubes. If you find any, remove them with a plastic knife, or let your freezer defrost.
- Change your water filter if it’s older than six months or has any clogs or debris.
- Check your water dispenser’s water stream. If the stream is weak or if no water is coming out, there could be a problem with the water line.
- The water line might be blocked or damaged. Use the same steps as above to check the water line.
- Ensure that your water valve is fully opened and that it has no blockages.
4. Leaking into Freezer or On Floor
Water leaking from the ice maker could mean that either your refrigerator or ice maker isn’t level. A faulty water line could also be responsible.
- Level your refrigerator if you find that it’s unlevel or wobbly. Not sure how to do that? Use this guide on how to level a refrigerator or refer to your owner’s manual.
- Your ice maker should also be level inside the freezer. Adjust the bin if you see that it’s crooked or out of place.
- Check your water line the same way as you would if your ice maker wasn’t making any ice using the instructions above.
- Ensure that the water fill tube is also positioned properly. The location of your water fill tube will vary by model, though it’s generally above the ice maker tray or inside the water fill cup.
5. Ice is Too Small or Tastes Funny
Ice that has a weird taste or ice cubes that come out too small could be caused by the water line, or food odors from your freezer being absorbed by the ice.
- Check your water line and look for any kinks, bulges or damage. If you see any, you’ll need a replacement.
- If possible, try to use a copper water line. Some materials could interact with the water, giving it an unpleasant taste.
- Store food in airtight containers and wrap tightly in plastic to avoid any odor transfer.
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