Troubleshooting a Malfunctioning Ice Maker

An ice maker is one of those luxuries we take for granted so much that we usually only ever think about it when it stops working. But when that day eventually comes, it can be extremely frustrating. There are many different things that can go wrong with an ice maker, but the good news is that most common ice maker issues are pretty easy to fix. So, before you shell out your hard-earned cash to a technician or handyman, take a look at this quick and easy ice maker troubleshooting guide.

Safety First: When working with the electrical components of any major appliance, disconnect the appliance from its power source. If you run into a problem that you do not feel comfortable fixing yourself, call an appliance repair professional to avoid risking physical harm, or damaging your appliance further. Call Absolute Appliances Repair for appliance repair in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Not Producing Ice

Problem: If your ice maker isn’t producing ice, the first thing you should do is check the shutoff arm. The shutoff arm is a bar that extends away from the ice maker over the ice cube bin. When ice piles up in your ice maker, it raises the bar up, automatically stopping the ice production process when the bin is full. However, it is quite common for people to accidentally nudge the shutoff arm into the off position when moving things around in the freezer.

Fix: This is a simple fix. Just locate the shutoff arm and move it into the on, or down position and you should be good to go.

Problem: If your shutoff arm is in the on/down position, but your ice maker still isn’t producing ice, you might have an issue with your water supply line.

Fix: The water supply line connects to a valve that’s usually located behind the freezer, or under the kitchen sink. If the supply line is pinched, or dented, or the valve is not opened wide enough to allow for the proper pressure, the water may not fill the ice mold. If you don’t see any kinks or dents in the line, try to open the valve a little more and see if that solves your problem. But, if the supply line or valve does appear to be damaged, it is best to replace it.

Problem: If the ice cube bin is filled with ice, but the shutoff arm is in the down/on position, the problem is most likely with the motor, gearbox or electrical connection.

Fix: Slide the refrigerator out from the wall, unplug it, and turn off the water supply valve. Find the quick release plug located on the rear wall of the inside of the freezer. Unplug the connection it and reconnect it to make sure it is fully connected. Remove any ice from the mold. Plug the refrigerator back in and lift the shutoff arm to the off position. Then lower the arm back down and wait 10 seconds or so for the mold to begin filling with water. Wait a few hours for the ice to freeze and then test the ice maker. If ice still won’t eject, you most likely need to replace the motor or gearbox.

Frozen Fill Tube or Mechanism

Problem: If your ice maker stops working, and you’ve noticed that the cubes have been getting smaller and smaller, that could indicate that your fill tube is frozen. Sometimes ice can get backed up around the mechanism, causing the fill tube to freeze, which will slow down and eventually stop ice production.

Fix: Unplug the refrigerator and remove the ice bin and any loose ice from the ice maker. Locate the fill tube. This should look like a white rubber hose that delivers water to the ice maker. Some ice makers have a small metal clip which holds the fill tube, if yours is one of those models, pull the clip off the housing that holds the fill tube. Warm the hose and surrounding mechanism with a hair dryer to melt any ice blocking the mechanism. It is best to keep the hair dryer on the low setting to avoid melting the plastic. Be very careful to collect the ice melt to avoid any potential risk of electrical shock.

Producing Too Much Ice

Problem: If your ice maker keeps making ice even when it’s full, this could be another problem with the shutoff arm.

Fix: Make sure that the arm is firmly in place and that nothing is impeding its movement. Then test it by raising it into the off position and leaving it there. Check back later to confirm that no ice has been made. If it still continues to produce ice, you might need to replace the control module.

Final note: Whenever you are working with the electronic components of your appliance, be sure that your appliance is disconnected from its power source. And if you run into a problem that you do not feel comfortable fixing yourself, it is always best to call an appliance repair professional to avoid risking physical harm, or damaging your appliance further. Call Absolute Appliances Repair for appliance repair in San Francisco Bay Area, and the surrounding areas. We serve customers in places from San Rafael, Novato and Larkspur to Marin County, Mill Valley, and more.