Ice Maker Not Producing Ice – Here’s How to Fix It
An ice maker is no good if it’s not producing ice, or not effectively producing ice for your needs. No homeowner is happy when they go for a glass of cold ice water only to find nothing is coming out of their unit. Even further, food safety concerns can crop up when ice makers don’t run properly. If your ice maker is not producing ice, there are a few common problems to look out for. Luckily, most of these issues can be handled by a clever homeowner with just a little time and effort, and usually not too much money!
If you’re having problems with your ice maker not producing ice, read on in this guide for information on how to fix it.
Whenever you work on any appliance, in any capacity, it’s important to follow a few safety precautions along the way.
- Always unplug the appliance before working on it
- When moving the appliance, make sure that you don’t inadvertently disturb any connections, cords, or hoses
- Always wear appropriate clothing when working on an appliance (protective footwear, long sleeves, etc.)
- If an appliance is too heavy for you to move or lift, get someone to help
- Turn off any water supply to the appliance
- Turn off any gas supply to the appliance
- Don’t be afraid to seek professional help from an appliance technician if you’re over your head
Step One: Assess the water fill tubes
First, check the ice maker mold to be certain that there no ice cubes present. If there aren’t any cubes or only very small cubes, the problem probably lies with your water fil system. Consult your owner’s manual if necessary to locate your water fill tubes, and the fill cub area at the back of the icemaker and look for any potential problems with the fill system. Make sure that the components aren’t frozen up or blocked with frost. If you do not see a frost buildup, check for physical obstructions like particles of food or other debris. Finally, if you can’t see any obstructions or blockages, inspect your fill lines for bends, cracks, or any sign that they’ve been damaged. Any damaged parts will need to be replaced with identical parts.
Step Two: Water Inlet Valve
Second, inspect your water inlet valve. Use your owner’s manual to locate the inlet valve on your ice maker if necessary. Be sure to follow the safety tips outlined at the beginning of this article, specifically making sure that you have shut off the water supply to the refrigerator before working with the inlet valve. Disconnect the tubing that runs to and from the valve, and inspect for blockages and restrictions. Some inlet valves have filters or screens that act as a filter but may become clogged through continuous use. If necessary, remove and clean the screen.
Once you’ve removed the tubes and checked the filter, inspect the water inlet valve for signs of debris or dirt buildup. A partially blocked valve may be responsible for impartial ice formation, or small cubes.
Step Three: Ice & Water Filter
If your refrigerator/freezer/ice maker is equipped with an ice and water filter, you should check that next. If the filter is not replaced according to the manufacturer’s instructions (or every 6 months), there can be a buildup of filtered material in the carbon or fabric filter components. If the filter is clogged enough, it can reduce water flow to the ice maker, which may result in partially formed ice, small ice cubes, or no ice at all. Make sure you’re replacing your filter on time with the appropriate identical filter.
Step Four: Ice Maker Assembly & Replacement Ice Maker
Finally, if you’ve confirmed that there is no buildup of ice or debris in the inlet tubes, valves, or filter, you may need to inspect for issues with the ice maker control system. Most ice makers in modern refrigerators use heat release systems to release the ice cubes. Check this system next.
Following your manufacturer’s owner’s manual, locate the removable cover to inspect the unit. There is usually a set of electronic test points that can be used by service technicians to diagnose problems in the ice maker. If you feel comfortable working inside of the unit, you can manually test it by inserting a jumper wire into the test points “T” and “H” (if present) to perform a “test harvest” on your machine. When you insert the jumper wire (insulted, 14 gauge, stripped at the ends, and bent into a U-shape) for about ten seconds, the ice maker motor should trigger and cycle on its own.
This test will generally simulate a harvest cycle, including the operation of the ejector mechanism, shut-off valve, and shut off arm in sequence. Watch for the operation of each of these mechanisms to make a diagnosis on the problem with your machine. Note: this is a “live voltage” test that must be performed while the unit is plugged in. If you do not feel comfortable performing this manual test, seek the help of a qualified appliance service technician.
Need Some More Help?
We hope that this guide has offered all of the help and information you need to diagnose and fix your appliance problem. If not, don’t be discouraged. Home appliances are sophisticated machines, and it can be tough to understand and solve many of the problems that can occur over time. If you still need help, consider contacting a local appliance repair technician for more assistance. A professional technician skilled in icemaker repair will be able to diagnose and fix your problem in no time flat.