Having an ice maker is a convenience that’s easy to get used to. If yours has stopped working, you’ll want it running again as soon as possible, so you don’t have to go back to manually filling an ice tray.
In this article, we are going to show you how to repair an ice maker. We’ll look at what you should check if yours isn’t making ice properly and what you can do to fix it without resorting to professional appliance repair.
10 Ice Maker Repair Methods if Your Ice Maker Won’t Make Ice
Plenty of things can go wrong in a machine that involves electricity, water, and freezing temperatures. As we look at how to repair an ice maker, we will see that the most common problems can be fixed by following simple troubleshooting.
Method 1: Check Your Ice Maker Controls
If your ice maker stops working, check that the appliance is switched on. If yours has a digital display, make sure that there aren’t any errors or warning messages.
It’s always good to reset the ice maker before trying any ice maker repair. This may be as simple as switching the unit off and on, or you might need to access a reset program in the touch panel controls. If you’re unsure, it’s best to check in the instruction manual.
Once you’ve reset the ice maker to its default settings, you can move on to the next steps if it hasn’t solved the lack of ice.
Method 2: Reset the Bail Wire/Control Arm in the Ice Bin
Check that the bail wire (also known as the control arm) located at the top of the ice bin is set in the down position. This metal bar is there to stop ice cubes from being made if the container is full. A bailer wire stuck up is one of the most common ice maker problems.
Try moving the bail wire up and down to its full extent a couple of times. Toggling the bar between open and shut can sometimes reset a troublesome machine.
Method 3: Check Electrical Connections
Check the electrical connections if your ice maker seems completely unwilling to work. If you have a stand-alone ice maker, ensure the power cable is connected correctly and check the fuse.
If you have a built-in ice maker and the refrigerator or freezer is working as expected, you’ll need to track down the internal wires that give power to the ice maker. Consult your user manual as, depending on the unit, this may be an appliance repair job that needs a professional. Remember that you should always disconnect the electrical supply before attempting any electrical work.
Some modular, built-in units have a clear connecting cable that delivers power from the freezer. If this is the case, check that it is properly attached.
Method 4: Inspect Water Pipes for Leaks or Blockages
A common reason for an ice maker to stop working is because it isn’t receiving water. Ensure that the main water supply line isn’t leaking and hasn’t got kinked or caught under the ice maker or refrigerator. Check for dripping water from leaks or loose connections.
If your ice maker appears to be working electrically, test the bail wire, hold it up, and lower it again. Listen for a buzzing sound inside the ice maker that lasts about ten seconds.
If you hear this, but water doesn’t flow, the ice maker’s solenoid valve isn’t delivering water. This could be because there is a blockage in the main water line or the internal tube in the fridge ice maker.
Switch off the main water valve, disconnect the ice maker and hold the open end of the water supply line over a bucket. Open the valve and check the water line to see if water comes out. Check that the water inlet valve connection between the external water pipe and the ice maker’s supply tube isn’t blocked.
The solenoid is the next part to assess. If water appears to be reaching the ice maker properly, the solenoid may be blocked or may not be receiving power. If possible, check the electrical connections.
You can clean a blocked solenoid. Disconnect the electrical supply to prevent electrical shock and remove the solenoid. Most types have a sediment screen that you can clean. If this isn’t clogged, then the solenoid probably needs replacing.
Finally, ensure that the fill tube that runs from the solenoid fill valve to the ice tray isn’t blocked. If it is frozen up, you can use a hair dryer or warm water to melt the ice carefully and let water flow again freely.
Method 5: Replace Your Water Filter
If water is flowing slowly, it’s probably time to replace your water filter. It may not be apparent, but a blocked water filter might still let water through, but the pressure may not be high enough for the ice maker to function.
Method 6: Make Sure Your Refrigerator’s Thermostat Is Set Correctly
If the refrigerator or freezer thermostat is set incorrectly, it can cause a built-in ice maker not to freeze correctly.
If your ice isn’t freezing properly, it could be the thermostat is set too warm, so adjust it to make the freezer colder. If the freezer is too cold, it can make the ice form too quickly and block the machine.
Method 7: Check to See if Ice Is Stuck in the Ice Mould or Chute
Check if ice is stuck in the fill tube, ice mould or chute. If any has clogged the ejection arm, it won’t be able to clear the mould, and new ice can’t be made.
Set the bail wire up to turn off the ice maker. You can then use a hair dryer or warm water in a turkey baster to melt the stuck ice.
Empty and clean the ice bin once you’ve melted all the ice, so it’s ready to collect the new production.
Method 8: Ensure Your Ice Maker Is Level
It may sound simple, but your ice maker needs to be level. If it’s not, water won’t be level in the mould, and the ejector mechanism might not be able to work.
Check the level of your fridge freezer and then the mounting of the ice maker inside and adjust if needed.
Method 9: Check the Ejector Assembly
Next, check if the assembly can eject ice. Look to see if the gear, flap and motor are all properly fitted and working. If the machine is producing ice in the tray, but it’s not getting delivered to the bin, and there aren’t any blockages, then a failed motor is a common cause.
Replacing the motor is a reasonably tricky task, although it can be done to save the expense of a completely new ice maker.
Method 10: Replace Your Ice Maker
If you can’t quickly fix your problem, you may need a replacement ice maker. Ice makers for freezers are modular in design, and it can often be cheaper to fit a new ice maker assembly yourself rather than pay a professional for ice maker repair.
Usually, you will only need to disconnect the electrical wiring harness and water supply and undo a few mounting screws to remove the old unit from the freezer for replacement.
Fix Your Ice Maker Yourself
Hopefully, these tips have helped show you ways to repair an ice maker. Once you’ve got back to the simple matter of making ice automatically, you’ll soon be enjoying cold drinks again!
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Tom is a former chef turned full-time food blogger. He has always been passionate about food, and loves nothing more than experimenting in the kitchen and sharing his recipes with others. Tom’s blog is one of the most popular food blogs on the internet, and he has won numerous awards for his cooking. When he’s not blogging or cooking, Tom enjoys spending time with his wife and two young children.