Ice Maker Troubleshooting Problems and Solutions

By Ian | Jun. 01, 2017 12:39 pm PST

ice maker troubleshooting and tips

If your ice maker isn’t working, a simple fix might get it going again. Always unplug your refrigerator and turn the water supply line off before troubleshooting.

Common Ice Maker Problems

An ice maker can stop working for a variety of reasons. Ice makers receive water through a small water supply line that runs from the refrigerator to a water pipe, funnel, or a water filter. The most common reasons for ice maker problems are:

  • Pause feature enabled
  • Water line malfunction or setting
  • Clogged filter
  • Faulty water inlet valve
  • Thermostat set too low

Ice Maker Stopped Working

Control Arm Out of Position

Many ice makers have a control arm that activates a pause feature when the ice bin is full. The control arm may have inadvertently been moved, or possibly fallen off, which can pause ice maker functionality. Check the owner’s manual for information about the pause feature and make sure it’s not enabled.

Water Line Is Turned Off or Clogged

Every ice maker has a water supply line. Check to make sure the water supply valve is not shut off or restricted by a bracket or fastener.

Clogged Filter

Clogged filters are a common problem if they are not maintained according to manufacturer specifications. Use the owner’s manual to locate the filter and check for debris.

Clogged or broken water inlet valve

The location of the water inlet valve depends on the manufacturer but Kenmore ice maker and Whirlpool ice maker water inlet valves are typically located behind your refrigerator. Before checking on the valve, unplug the refrigerator and turn off the valve’s water supply. Once you’ve located the valve, check to see if the screen, or filter, is plugged with debris. Check the line feeding the valve to see if it’s bulging or restricted by a bracket.

Ice Maker Not Making Ice

When you’re sure that all the items listed above are not the cause, a frozen water line may be the culprit. If you locate a frozen line, unplug the refrigerator and turn the water supply line off. You can defrost the line with a hair dryer. Always keep the hair dryer above the water source to avoid electrical shock.

Once power is restored and the water line is turned on, you should be able to hear the water running into the ice maker after thawing. If you don’t hear water running or the water is discolored, it’s time to make a call for an ice maker repair service.

Ice Maker Not Making Enough Ice

If you are still getting ice cubes but it’s not as much as before, your line may be in the beginning stages of freezing up. Check for a frozen line.

New update of information as of July 8, 2022.

The ice maker won’t make as much ice if the freezer temperature is too high. A freezer temperature of 0 degrees is typically low enough to produce adequate ice for your daily needs.

Check the freezer temperature setting and set it at 0 degrees if it’s set higher than that. If the freezer temperature is set at 0 degrees but the freezer is actually warmer than 0 degrees, follow the troubleshooting steps on this page: Refrigerator: Why is my freezer not cold enough? Correcting a freezer cooling problem may help your ice maker produce the right amount of ice.

If your freezer is set to 0 degrees and maintaining that temperature properly, then considering setting the freezer temperature to -1 degrees so ice cubes will freeze faster.

Ice Maker Leaking

Perhaps your ice maker is making ice but it’s leaking water in the freezer or leaking onto the floor.

  • Check your refrigerator and make sure it’s perfectly level
  • Check your ice maker unit and make sure it’s level
  • Check the water supply line for damage, pinching, or kinks
  • Check the fill cup; make sure it’s aligned correctly with the water funnel

If those items check out, make a service call and we will troubleshoot your refrigerator and ice maker to find a solution. A small leak can turn into a much larger leak and damage flooring and surrounding walls.

Ice Maker Frozen

Check your thermostat setting and make sure it’s set to the manufacturer’s recommended temperature in the owner’s manual. If it’s set too low, water will freeze before it gets to the mold.

Whether you have a side-by-side refrigerator, an armoire-style refrigerator, or a standard freezer-on-top model, these ice maker troubleshooting tips may help you avoid that service call.

If you’ve tried all the tips above and your ice maker is still not working, plug your refrigerator back in and take advantage of Sears Home Services online flexible repair scheduling for your refrigerator repair. Our technicians have an average of 11 years’ experience and are ready to serve you.

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