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6 Common Reasons Why Your Icemaker Isn’t Working Properly

Posted on: August 31, 2018

Updated May 2022

It’s the middle of the summer, and you have just come in from mowing the lawn.

You sit down to pour a big glass of ice water only to release your ice maker isn’t working!

Or maybe when you go to get some ice, your entire freezer looks like a winter wonderland!

Either way, you have an icemaker problem.

Should you call a professional? Or can you tackle it yourself?

Chances are, you can save some money and solve most icemaker problems right at home.

Here are the most common reasons why your icemaker is not working correctly and how you can fix them!

How Does an Icemaker Work?

Before we get into why your icemaker isn’t producing ice, it’s essential to know how an icemaker works.

There are two common types of icemakers:  the first type uses a timer-controlled, flexible ice tray that twists to release ice cubes, and the second type contains motor-driven “fingers” that push ice out of the tray into a holding bin.

Both types produce a batch of ice every 1-2 hours on average. During the icemaking process, water passes through a fill tube into the icemaker.

This tube is usually a quarter-inch water supply line that runs from the refrigerator to a water filter or pipe and into the icemaker. From there, it only takes a few minutes for the water to turn into ice.

The good news is that it doesn’t matter what type of ice maker you have; all the solutions below apply to both.

Common Icemaker Problems and Their Solutions

  • Malformed Ice Cubes – If you have small or distorted ice cubes, it could be a sign that your water supply is low, or your water filter is blocked or clogged. Visually check the filter and remove any block or clog to remedy the situation.
  • Frozen Walls and Ceiling – Does it look like your freezer is gearing up for a snow day? Ice cubes may be blocking the evaporator (the vent in the back of your refrigerator) and causing ice to form all over the walls and ceiling of your freezer. Remove excess cubes and check to make sure nothing is lodged in the evaporator.

  • Warm Room Temperatures – The number of ice cubes your icemaker can make depends heavily on the water and air temperature. If the air is too warm, your icemaker may struggle to produce ice. Try adjusting the internal temperature setting in your freezer to a lower setting. In most models, the thermostat is on the back wall of your freezer.

  • Non-ejecting Ice – It’s not uncommon to accidentally shift your icemaker’s setting by moving groceries around. When this happens, your icemaker may stop ejecting ice. The first thing you should do is locate the icemaker’s control arm lower it.

If the icemaker still isn’t making ice, even when the control arm has been lowered, you may have a mechanical or electrical problem.

To fix this, make sure all your electrical connections are correctly seated. Then, slide the refrigerator away from the wall, turn the water supply valve off, and disconnect it from the power.

Behind the freezer, you should be able to see a small, quick release plug. Unplug it and reconnect it. Then remove any ice that is stuck in the mold, using warm water.

Finally, restore power to your refrigerator. Turn the control arm off by pulling it up, then push it back down and wait a few seconds to observe if the mold begins to fill with water.

After three to four hours, check again to see if the ice is freezing and ejecting correctly. If it isn’t, you may need to have your motor or gearbox replaced by a professional.

  • No Ice at All – If you are experiencing no ice at all, most likely water has frozen in the line. The fastest way to remedy the problem is to let the refrigerator sit unplugged for about two hours and allow it to defrost.

Next, restore the power and listen for the sound of water beginning to refill the ice mold.

  • Huge or Tiny Ice Cubes – If you are noticing extra-large or abnormally small Ice cubes, you just need to adjust the amount of water filling each cycle.<l/i>

Remove the cover of the icemaker to check how much water is going into the ice mold during each cycle. You should also see a screw (attached to a spring) with a plus or minus sign next to it.

Turn the screw in or out to decrease or increase the amount of water depending on the size of ice cubes you are getting.

  • Warm Water Temperature – Water that exceeds 90 degrees takes a long time to freeze and can trip the freeze cycle timer. When this happens, the ice machine is prone to shutting down.

Most often, the problem is related to another appliance like the dishwasher sending hot water into the cold-water line. In this situation, a professional would be better suited to solving your icemaker troubles.

Why Choose Bud Matthews Services in Chapel Hill and the surrounding areas?

We believe that you shouldn’t have to pay for simple solutions, that’s why for over 40 years Bud Matthews Services has shared information from our home improvement professionals to help local homeowners get more value out of their homes and feel confident next time they need professional assistance.

If you need all-encompassing professional home service company, we would be honored to help you out. You can check out what clients have to say about us or contact us today to schedule a service appointment!

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