The Most Common Reasons Your Ice Maker Is Malfunctioning

The Most Common Reasons Your Ice Maker Is Malfunctioning

A malfunctioning ice maker can really put a hitch in your holiday cocktail plans. Discovering the ice maker is no longer, well, making ice might make you want to call in a professional, but there are some things to check yourself for before taking that step. Here are the most common reasons your ice maker is malfunctioning, and some things you can try to fix before calling in a pro.

How to fix an obstructed water line

The most common cause of a problem with your ice maker is that there’s an obstruction of some kind in the water line. If the filter needs to be cleaned, or if the valve is closed, that will cause the ice maker to stop making ice. These obstructions can be fixed by taking out the filter, located along the water line that goes to the ice tray/water spout in the refrigerator, and cleaning it by rinsing it out in the sink. When you check the filter, you should also make sure that the valve that goes to the waterline on the fridge is open. This will be located behind the fridge or under the counter next to it in most cases.

How to fix a blocked ice chute

In some cases, a jammed ice chute can be responsible for your ice-making woes. Ice can freeze and get stuck in the dispensing mechanism, so even though the ice maker is producing ice, it’s not coming out. If this happens, you can use a wooden kitchen tool to knock stuck ice out of the dispenser or you can pour warm water through a dish towel down the spout to clear it. Make sure to do this with a glass or bowl under the spout so you don’t spill water all over the floor.

Check your settings

If you suddenly don’t have ice coming out of a programmable ice maker, it’s important to check your settings. Sometimes a pause button has accidentally been pushed, and this will prevent the ice maker from making any cubes until you tell it to start again. You can also try resetting the unit if there are default settings, which might fix the problem. If you’re still having an issue with the ice maker after turning it off and then on again, you can also try unplugging your whole fridge and then plugging it back in again.

Check the shutoff sensor

Some ice makers have a mechanism that senses when the ice bin inside the freezer is full, and this will prevent more cubes from being made until it drops back down. Check to make sure that this piece is down, in the position it’s supposed to be in to make more ice. If it’s up, you can flip the little sensor bar down to get more ice to come out. This should be immediately obvious if it’s the cause, as ice will likely start coming out into the bin as soon as the switch is flipped.

Defrost your bin and check your temperature settings

The ejector assembly can sometimes get frozen or jammed, preventing ice from coming out of the machine. Try taking the bin out, defrost and clean it, then put it back in. Sometimes, a little bit of defrosting will go a long way.

And counterintuitively, sometimes your ice can actually be too cold. If the water in the ice maker freezes too quickly, it won’t make it to the ice tray or the ice-making part of the mechanism. This will cause a blockage in your water line, or frozen water in other components. To avoid this, check with the manufacturer website for your fridge to make sure your temperature settings are correct.

Call in some help

Once you’ve checked all these things, if your ice maker still isn’t working, you likely have faulty gears or some other mechanical issue that will require a professional repair or replacement. Replacing an ice maker yourself can be complicated and will void your warranty if you have one, so unless you have some experience, it’s better to have an expert do this for you.

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