5 Common Ice maker Problems

Ice Maker

Question 1: Why is there an ice or water dispensing problem?

Answer 1: The ice and water dispenser system for refrigerators is very complicated. There are many components working together that provide your ice and water. Make sure the household water is turned on to the ice maker, and make sure that there are no kinks in the water line.

Next, inspect the feeler arm of the ice maker and make sure that it is down and not blocked by any ice cubes. If it’s raised, it has turned the ice maker off. This arm needs to be in the lowered position to activate the ice maker An over-abundance of ice in the bin will make the arm stay up as a safety feature to keep the ice maker from making more ice than the bin can hold.

The water filter may be plugged with sediment, or you may have low water pressure. The water pressure for ice makers needs to be at least 40 psi, and up to about 120 psi for proper operation. Water filters need to be changed every six months. If you would like to test your water pressure, we have an Ice maker Water Flow Tester available from our website. This will help you to determine if the water pressure at the supply line is high enough for the ice maker to function properly.

To determine if your filter is plugged, look for water both before and after the filter. It may be hard to determine if there is water flowing through the filter. Sometimes it is necessary to pull the filter out of the feed line to see if water is flowing from the exit of the filter into the refrigerator or freezer. You can do this over a bucket to catch any dripping water. Some models have a filter bypass plug to help determine if the filter is clogged. If so, you would remove the filter and replace it with the filter bypass plug. Now test your water flow.

If your refrigerator has a water dispenser, you can hold a large cup or glass under it for 20 seconds. You should have poured about 13-14 oz. of water in that 20 seconds. If the amount is less, try removing the filter and bypassing it. If you now get the 13-14 oz. of water, the filter was clogged and it’s time to replace it. If not, you have low water pressure in the line, and your ice maker may not work properly. You can also purchase this Ice maker Water Flow Tester to determine if the water pressure at the supply line is high enough for the ice maker to function properly.

On occasion, the water inlet tube will freeze where it enters the ice maker This can happen because the water is dripping slowly, or the freezer is just set too cold. A hair blow dryer can be used to thaw this, but be careful around the plastic tubing. You don’t want it to crack or deform. You may want to turn the thermostat up a little bit if this is a regular occurrence. If you have a constant, regular drip, you may want to invest in a new water control valve.

Question 2: Why don’t I have any ice?

Answer 2: Do you have the icemaker turned on? The wire along the right side of the icemaker should be lowered as far as it goes. If this is in a raised position, your icemaker is off and the icemaker will not make any ice. Some units allow you to lower the wire to turn the icemaker on. Some models require you to lower a red plastic lever to lower the wire. If the icemaker wire is in the correct position, check the freezer temperature. It should be somewhere between 0 and 8 degrees Fahrenheit. If it gets above 10 to 12 degrees, your icemaker may not work.

A newly installed icemaker may not work until the ice mold temperature has dropped to about 15F – 16F degrees. So, if you just installed it, give it some time to cool down first. It may take up to 24 hours for a newly installed icemaker to start working initially. If you have just added a water line to the refrigerator, it may take up to about an hour and a half for the icemaker to start working. Also, a newly installed water line may have air in the line. It can sometimes take a few icemaking cycles to clear the line of air.

Make sure that there is water flowing to the icemaker. Check for kinks in the tubing, for frozen areas of the water tube, and that the household water supply is turned on. Sometimes the water inlet valve can go bad. If there is water in the icemaker, but it’s not freezing, use a freezer thermometer to verify that the temperature is cold enough for it to freeze.

Make sure the copper supply line to the refrigerator is turned on under the sink, or coming from the basement.

If the freezer is cold enough, and the icemaker still won’t make cubes, feel the bottom of the icemaker unit. If it is hot or warm, it is possible that the little heating element that turns on to melt the bottom of the cubes so that they can be released and harvested by the ejector blades is stuck on. You will probably have to replace the control module in this case.

Question 3: Why does my ice have a bad odor and taste?

Answer 3: You need to change the water filter every six months to a year. A bad odor or taste may mean it’s time to change the filter. If the ice is old, you may want to dump the old ice and start making fresh ice. The ice can absorb refrigerator and freezer odors after awhile. Fridge Aid Deodorizer is a good product to use to absorb those odors before the ice absorbs them.

Question 4: What is the cause of the white specks in my cubes?

Answer 4: The white specks in your cubes are caused by calcium carbonate deposits. As the water for your cubes gets colder, the less mineral content can be suspended in the water. As the cube freezes, these formerly invisible particles start to become visible. You can reduce the amount of specks, or completely get rid of them, with the use of a water filter.

Question 5: What are the noises I hear from inside my freezer?

Answer 5: A quick rundown on some of the many noises your freezer makes: clicking sounds are caused by defrost timer switches, temperature control units, compressors starting, and solenoids opening and closing the water valve; bubbling and gurgling sounds may be due to the circulation of refrigerant, and water flowing through feed lines or draining during defrost cycles; crackling or popping sounds may be related to water dripping on the defrost heater, coils expanding or contracting, or refrigerator panels expanding or contracting; drips may be related to the defrost cycle or a leak; and a buzzing sound may be related to the compressor or from the water dispenser a few seconds after using it.

For more appliance repair help, and for all your appliance part needs, visit www.apwagner.com.

70 thoughts on “5 Common Ice maker Problems

  1. bob warner

    my icemaker continues to dispense water into the icemaker cavities long after the cavities are full. Hence, a single large ice block ends up in the ice cube bin because liquid water has overflowed the individual ice cube cavities in the icemaker and, at least, partially filled the ice cube bin below. Is there some sort of ‘float’ shut-off inside the icemaker assembly in the freezer that needs to be adjusted?

    Reply
  2. Kristin

    I have a Maytag French door with water filter inside above the top shelf on the right. The bypass valve will not come out. I’ve gone to Lowes and tested to see how it comes out and mine doesn’t budge. Would water pressure make it stuck? Could it get jammed? It doesn’t appear to be broken. The refridgerator is no longer under warranty.

    Reply
  3. apwagner Post author

    Kristin:

    That was a good idea to test to see how others would come out.

    Have you tried turning off the water to see if that would help the situation?

    If you send me the model number of your refrigerator, I might be able to give you some more specific information. There are 4 places where your model number might be: below the door behind the grill panel, on the inner left wall of the food compartment, on the left wall, or on the left wall of the freezer compartment.

    I hope I was of some help, but let me know if you have any more questions!

    Reply
  4. Kristin

    Ok just turned off the water and there is no change, the bypass valve does not turn. I am turning it counter-clockwise and it doesn’t budge. FYI: Water did come out of the dispenser before turning water off, so water was going through the system. Once the water was off, no water came out, so I doubt there’s a pressure issue due to water.

    Reply
  5. Matt

    Have you ever heard of water pressure dislocating the water line going from the back of the fridge into the ice maker? My contractor is saying that happened and not that they forgot to attach it.

    Reply
  6. apwagner Post author

    Hi again Matt,

    Sorry it has taken me so long to reply to your question.

    If you noticed water immediately after the icemaker was installed and the water was turned on , then the icemaker was probably never attached. However, if it worked for awhile and then you noticed water, then it was probably the water pressure. Keep n mind it would take a very large amount of water pressure to dislocate a properly installed line.

    Reply
  7. Pingback: Common Appliance Problems « APWagner Appliance Parts Blog

  8. chip

    Our new replacement icemaker is not working. Seem that it`s not getting power. It has been 16 hours and the temp is good. I will give it a few more hours before tearing it back out.

    Reply
  9. Lanny

    My icemaker makes ice! But it will only drop 2 or 3 times over the entire night. The temp in the freezer is minus 15F and is 30F in the fridge. Any ideas?

    Reply
    1. apwagner Post author

      Hi Lanny,

      How is the ice quality? If the ice cubes are hollow or too small the water pressure is not high enough. To test your water pressure, check out this page:

      http://www.apwagner.com/index.php?main_page=page&id=918

      Check the feeler arm of the icemaker and make sure that it is down and not blocked by any ice cubes. If it’s raised, it has turned the icemaker off. This arm needs to be in the lowered position to activate the icemaker. An over-abundance of ice in the bin will make the arm stay up as a safety feature to keep the icemaker from making more ice than the bin can hold.

      On occasion, the water inlet tube will freeze where it enters the icemaker. This can happen because the water is dripping slowly, or the freezer is just set too cold. A hair blow dryer can be used to thaw this, but be careful around the plastic tubing. You don’t want it to crack or deform. You may want to turn the thermostat up a little bit if this is a regular occurrence. If you have a constant, regular drip, you may want to invest in a new water control valve.

      Reply
  10. Lois J. Lee

    Sir: My ice maker stopped making ice, but prior to that I noticed the ice was hollow and sometimes very thin on one end. I am spending a fortune buying ice. Please help me what might be the problem.

    Thanks!

    Reply
  11. Lisa

    I have a GE Profile fridge withice and water dispenser. Recently it has stopped dispensing the ice. It still makes ice but seems like there is no power to dispense it. The water works, but sometimes it doesn’t and then after a few minutes it will. the light on the door dims when this happens.

    Reply
    1. Jill

      I have a GE PROFILE refrigerator (PSH23PSSD) with an intergrated Ice Maker. It doesn’t work properly. It makes ice, but not enough, and I can’t figure out how to fix the problem. Can anyone help or offer suggestions?
      Thanks, Jill

      Reply
  12. Carol

    I have a whirlpool gold refrigerator. It makes plenty of ice but when you go to dispense it is SO slow… it cranks and then finally drops a few… It is full of ice but just have to wait and be patient.

    Reply
  13. Denise

    Hi Carol – I just fixed my Whirlpool machine because of the same issue – it sounds like you need a new motor – the cost is about 48.00 plus shipping at most appliance places online. The motor is easily accessible (refer to your owners manual) – the motor works the heating element below the cubes to help them release, once it starts to go the ice release slows down – and finally (like in my case) stops releasing ice all together. If you call in a repairman this will cost you more then a replacement ice maker. So I would suggest doing it yourself. If you are worried about how to do it – just do a search on youtube using the words replace module on refrigerator, that is what I did – when I saw how easy it was I did it myself – took me less than 5 minutes!

    Reply
  14. Shannon

    I turned the water off for 10 days while I went on vacation and now my icemaker won’t work. It’s been 24 hours and I have no ice cubes. It worked perfectly prior to this. Any suggestions?

    Reply
    1. Charles Graham

      Ice maker turned off while gone for winter months. When I returned in April it will not make any ice.

      Reply
  15. Angelo

    I have a side-by-side fridge, PFSS6PKXASS, that appears to have the dispensing mechanism stuck in the open position. I cant get the ice dispensing to stop; the ice off/lock has no apparent affect. When i select water, then water is dispensed continuously even though i’m not depressing the dispenser cradle. My temp solution is to leave in the water mode and simply turn off the water inlet to the fridge from the shutoff valve. How and where can I troubleshot?

    Reply
  16. Jeff

    All tests on my i/m were showing no faulty components, but the i/m was not filling with water. An L to V jumper energized the water valve solenoid during the test, but when the ice maker without the test jumper cycled through its valve-open sequence to fill the icetray, it would not open/fill ! Reason: test leads were providing adequate amperage to the coil in the solenoid to pull the valve open, the internal contacts in the i/m, much smaller than the test leads were not supplying adequate amperage to open the valve—Why? because here in Tampa the city water is full of dissolved minerals and the valve was clogged with CRAP! It needed all the amperage it could get to pull it open passed all the calcium-crud build-up! I pulled the valve apart, cleaned it with lime-away! FIX! Now the poorly-matched contacts (can only handle a little current) provide enough kick to the coil such that the valve will open. Normally, such a mismatch causes an overheating problem, but the valve is only open 5 to 6 seconds per cycle so it’s never a problem.

    Reply
  17. dennis garrett

    I have anew icemaker in my Kenmore freig. It works makes ice when i push the arm down, after it make a few ice cubes, the arm automaticly goes up & stays, cuts ice off, until i push it back down. What is the prroblem?

    Reply
    1. carol palmertree

      Dennis, have you found a solution for this problem? My Kenmore frig is 9 yrs. old, works great, but just started getting the same problem with the arm automatically raising when ice bin is full, but won’t come back down unless I lower it. Not a big deal, but would like for it to work correctly. Thank you.

      Reply
      1. Shelda Mckenzie

        this is also happening to my jenn air, after the ice maker fills with water the arm dose not go back down, if you slightly bump it it goes down, if you dont catch this then the fill tube freezes??

  18. brent

    i checked my ice maker and the soleniod worked when i put 120v to it by taping off the comp. wire but it wouldent work when pluged in to its normal wires . do you recken its the ice maker not sending voltage back to the solenoid or the voltage is stoped at the board or one of the plugs?

    Reply
  19. Amy O'Neil

    our ice maker seems to be working fine, except the tube that spills the water into the tray seems to be too short. every few weeks/month I have to break down a huge iceburg that builds up underneath the water tube. I have an LG model LSC26905TT

    Reply
    1. Beth Hall

      Hi Amy,
      My mother’s Frigidaire ice maker model # is M1 sa8868. For some reason the water flow tube has frozen resulting in a huge ice block down the back wall of the freezer and onto several shelves. She has paid $130.00 for repairs which solve the problem for less than a week. Then it freezes up again. We used a hair dryer sparingly to see if defrosting the area would help the flow into the ice trays improve. We also moved the settings to the next number making it slightly warmer.

      Please let me know what advise you’ve received and if you found a solution to what sounds to be a similar problem.

      Thanks for your help!
      Beth

      Reply
  20. Olivia

    I have a Roper by whirlpool. And the icemaker seems to be making a cracking sound. And wont dispense ice. I’ve used hot water to see if its frozen up. But it continues to do the same thing. It’s driving me crazy. It’s been doing this for a couple of days now.

    Reply
  21. debbie

    I had to shut my water off to fix a shower stem and when I turned the water back on I noticed my ice maker was not making ice. Instead of using a dryer to try and defrost the lines, I just shut off the freezer for a couple hours. The water works fine I am just waiting for ice.

    Reply
  22. DOUG LAKE

    ok.here goes…new samsung fridge…white side by side…model rs265 tdwp///from lowes///they installed it and set it up….about a week later i hooked up water line…i turned it on and waited…nothing…24 hours…the freezer reads -2….i have nice cold water but cant get ice….this is brand new……the tech came and ordered me a new door…..said its poss. that the line is too close to the freezer side of the door…..i have no water to the ice tray….
    DO YOU THINK HES RIGHT,IT WAS MADE WRONG?????
    SHOULD I POSSIBLY TRY A HAIR DRYER…OR WHAT IS FREEZING THE WATER LINE TO THE ICE?ITS UNDER FULL WARRANTY////IM STILL WAITING FOR A DOOR FROM KOREA……

    Reply
  23. shannon

    Hi, my name is shannon and i have a GE profile frig and the ice maker seems to be making ice very slowly. Please help me figure out what i can do to fix this. It only drops 7 ice cubes at a time an then it seems to take forever before it makes more ice. What could the problem be?

    Reply
  24. john

    Question 6. Arm function and water flow appear normal as the tray fills with water. water is freezing, but the cubes are not being pushed out of the tray. I cleared the tray by adding some warmwater and then waited several hours for first set of cubes to drop. However, cubes are now pointing up, but are frozen and don’t appear to be advancing. Do the fingers rotate clockwise or counterclockwise. It would seem pushing them clockwise would best to make them fall left to right down into the bin.

    Reply
  25. Terry

    I have a model GE GBS22HCPAWW frig the icemaker every time you open and close the door is the only time it takes on small amounts of water, not filling by any means and it won’t dump if it ever gets fill either. Any suggestions? Does the board control the water valve or does the icemaker? I appreciate any help, Thanks

    Reply
  26. donald wyant

    Icemaker still makes ice periodically but not nearly enough to support our family. I’m not sure what the cause of this could be. Please help.

    Reply
  27. wayne

    Good day,I just replaced the compressor on a scottsman ice maker,”industrial”.after doing so,the machine made ice of poor quality. I adjusted the settings on the pc board and the quality of the ice was much better. Then it didn’t stop making ice so I turned down the temp.that worked fine for about a week. About 2 weeks later it stopped making ice again and refuses to make ice now, What can the problem be? It is a very old machine,could it be that the pc board has gone faulty?please help.

    Reply
    1. starjay

      i have an icemaker and i’ve opened it up and tested it throughly. from my findings the thermostat was not good so i bypassed it with a switch. so now it icemaker seems to work because the heater is now getting hot and the motor to release the ice now spins. but what i notice is when i leave the icemaker in the freezer and the ice freezes the motor dosen’t start turning. i notice its because the motor is frozen inside somewhere because when i put the entire icemaker to defrost outside the fridge for half hour then put it back inside the motor spins again, but when the ice freezes again the motor dosen’t spin again. can an icemaker motor get frozen inside ? isn’t it designed to withstand freezer temperatures ?

      Reply
    2. Mike Novak

      Make sure unit is level.there’s a sensor that the ice hits to trip on the heating element to release the ice.

      Reply
  28. Joe Nogueira

    Hi ,My name is ze : I have a Ge refrigerator and the ice maker does not work(it worked before) if I pour water in the apparatus I’l have ice but no whater cames in.I have changed the whater feeder but stil nothing what can I do?

    Reply
  29. helen

    good morning – problem .. my ice maker arm seems to be stuck…it’s in the on position and it seems like it’s trying to move up – as if the ice would be lifting it … hence it’s clicking every 30 secs or so … i’ve moved the arm up in the off position – turned off the power to the unit,,,but not working,, can u advise,,

    Reply
  30. Ice maker repair in Reno NV

    Repair don’t replace your appliances. If you’re under warranty, check your warranty for specific coverage. Call Us at Phone 775-525-5520 Ice maker repair in Reno NV for all your appliance repair needs.

    Reply
  31. Jon Macy

    I have a Maytag (whirlpool) MFF2558VEQ1 Refrigerator with bottom freezer. Every now and then I will find water has leaked overnight from under the freezer and puddled on the floor around the bottom. I assume it’s an ice maker problem. The valve and tubing on the back are dry. Please Help.

    Reply
  32. Don McMillin

    I have a 2007 Kenmore Elite 106.54606300 refrigerator. I am now on my third icemaker (2198597) and all have given me the same problem. The icemaker works until it is time to eject the ice. The heating element works sporadically, sometimes ejecting the ice, sometimes not. A simple 15-20 second blow with the hair dryer solves the problem when the heating element doesn’t come on. Is this a problem with the ice maker itself, or is it a control panel somewhere else in the refrigerator?

    Reply
  33. Don

    Hi all I have a side by side maytag about 15 yrs old the ice maker continues to desperate water after the tray is full thus leaving the bucket a big block of ice what do you suggest

    Reply
  34. brandy

    My I’ve maker is only making 4 cubes the arms is all the way down there’s noting blocking not sure y it was working fine about a month ago

    Reply
  35. Paulette

    I have an LG side by side with the water/ice dispenser on the outside. It keeps cycling, water, cubes, ice, water, cubes ice constantly and beeping incessantly. The door is closed, ice is not overflowing and the filter light is not on – it is extremely annoying. It is about 7 years old and about to get a new home if it it doesn’t quit soon.

    Reply
  36. Luke

    Hello,my fridgerator won’t make ice.i already check for water supply,and I did the ice maker by pass test from t to h and it cycle once and that was it.can you give any ideas?i was thinking possible bad ice maker.

    Reply
  37. Luke

    Hello,my fridgerator won’t make ice.i already check for water supply,and I did the ice maker by pass test from t to h and it cycle once and that was it.can you give any ideas?i was thinking possible bad ice maker.make is a whirlpool model number is gs6shexnl00

    Reply
  38. Karen

    I have a GE Profile that suddenly quit making ice and i keep having to reset the electric panel that notifies you when there is a problem such as a power outage. I finally discovered that there is no water running into the tray to make ice anymore. This was sudden, what happened? The water in the door still works. My husband wants to know if maybe the solinoid went out. hope thats the right spelling

    Reply
  39. Tim

    I have an ice maker that won’t stop making ice. GE side by side. The arm is all the way in the up and locked position, but ice still keeps coming. If it matters, I have not used the water / ice dispenser for about 3 years.

    Reply
  40. Jeremy

    My ice make makes ice. I just can’t get any ice using the ice dispensor I can get water using the dispensor.

    Reply
  41. Tia Smith

    I have a GE side by side and my ice maker just stop making ice. I cleaned out the tray thing because it had frozen ice all around it. My water dispenser works great. What else could be the problem?

    Reply
  42. Ishola Olufunmi

    My Samsung dubble door makes unusual noise every 30 mins at nite but day time every 1 hr , I did not connect d freezer wth the water and if I open d freezer I notice the ice maker shifting up and down making sound as if someone is using hammer to hit d wall my model no is s/n 147642bb500002w pls help me

    Reply
  43. M. Ali

    Hi

    I have Kenmore Elite, I am getting error message as ” 1F Er”
    I am not getting any water and no ice, I unplugged and plugged after few minutes, It will dispense water but again I get the same message as above after 15- 20 minutes. Fridge is 4 years old bought from sears, and warranty expired two years ago
    please help me

    Thanks

    Reply

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