Solved! Why Is My Ice Maker Not Working?

Is your ice maker not working? Discover potential reasons (and solutions) for a broken ice maker in this handy guide.

By Danielle Fallon | Published Jul 19, 2022 5:11 PM

Ice Maker Not Working

Photo: istockphoto.com

Q: My ice maker stopped working and now I can’t get any ice cubes from it. Why is the ice maker not working and how do I fix it?

A: A broken ice maker can be incredibly frustrating, especially when all you’re looking for is a cold drink to quench your thirst. A multitude of factors can lead to an ice maker in the freezer that is not working, so you’ll want to understand the reasons behind the issue so you can fix it quickly. Read this guide to discover what caused the ice maker not working and how to get it up and running again.

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If there is ice in the tray, the ice maker might need to be reset.

Ice Maker Not Working

Photo: istockphoto.com

If ice cubes are forming in the ice tray but they haven’t dropped down into the collection bin, this means the ice maker is receiving water. The presence of ice signals that a mechanical or electrical problem, rather than a water supply problem, is most likely to blame.

The first refrigerator troubleshooting step to take is to check whether the control arm or wire is in the “off” (up) position, which stops the production of ice. (It’s easy to inadvertently bump into this while rummaging in the freezer.) If the control arm or wire is “off,” simply move it to the “on” (down) position. For refrigerators with ice makers controlled by touch panels, try toggling the power to reset it.

If the ice maker is switched to “on,” the tray is filled with ice, and ice cubes still won’t come out, the ice maker may need to be reset. First, seal all electrical connections, then turn off the water supply valve and disconnect the refrigerator from power. Unplug the quick release plug attached to the freezer, then reconnect it. After clearing the ice tray, reconnect the refrigerator from power. Lift, then lower, the control arm or wire; wait ten seconds for the ice tray to refill with water.

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If there is no ice in the tray, the ice maker’s water flow may be to blame.

If the ice machine is not working altogether—meaning there’s no ice in the tray—water flow issues may be to blame. A clog, leak, or damage in the water line may cause the ice maker to shut off automatically or otherwise stop working.

Check the ice maker inlet valve and water supply tubing for any leaks, damage, or blockages. Then, tighten any loose connectors, repair any broken seals or cracks in the water line, and remove anything blocking the water flow. A common culprit of clogs is frozen water in the line; in this case, simply shut off the valve and defrost the water line to get everything working again.

While a handy homeowner can often make these repairs and replacements themselves, those who aren’t comfortable or familiar should consider reaching out to a professional appliance repair service when the ice maker won’t work.

Ice Maker Not Working

Photo: istockphoto.com

The water filter might be dirty and need replacing.

Another potential reason behind an ice maker that quit working is a dirty water filter. Smart fridges will often indicate when the filter needs to be changed, but a good rule of thumb is to replace it every 6 months. Telltale signs of a dirty water filter include changes in the smell or taste of the ice and water and a slower flow from the fridge’s water dispenser. In some cases, the refrigerator may even be designed to stop dispensing ice or water when the filter is past its “replace by” date, which could make it seem like the ice machine in the fridge is not working.

Changing a water filter is usually fairly straightforward—homeowners can often simply remove the filter cover, twist out and remove the old filter, and twist in the new filter. It’s recommended to consult any refrigerator-specific instructions to ensure proper filter choice and installation.

The water dosage can be adjusted for cubes that are too big or too small.

In some cases, an ice machine will form cubes that are too small (in the absence of a water line clog) or too big. In this case, a small adjustment to the water dosage can get cubes back to that just-right size.

To change how much water fills the ice cube tray with each cycle, first remove the ice maker cover. Underneath the cover, homeowners can see a plus and minus indicator with a screw and spring assembly. Screwing in, or toward the minus symbol, will decrease the amount of water per cycle; screwing out, or toward the plus, will increase the amount of water per cycle. If all other issues with the ice maker have been resolved, the next batch of cubes should be at the proper size.

Ice Maker Not Working

Photo: istockphoto.com

Hiring a reputable appliance repair service might be the easiest and fastest way to get your ice maker working again.

Whether the ice maker in the fridge is not working or there’s frost in the freezer, kitchen appliance issues might be best left to a professional—especially for those who don’t have experience with plumbing, electrical, and other types of repairs. The most reputable appliance repair services will hire qualified, knowledgeable professionals who can quickly and easily fix the issue at hand.

When seeking a an appliance repair company, make sure the technician is properly licensed and certified as per federal and state laws. A reputable repair technician should also be up-to-date with a variety of technologies and procedures, as well as offer service warranties for their work. Asking the company directly about licensing, certification, and warranties can help homeowners make an informed choice.

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