Ice Maker Troubleshooting: Problems and Solutions

Ellie Brooks

Written By Ellie Brooks

Published 12/19/22
Ice Maker Troubleshooting

Struggling with your refrigerator ice maker not working? Don’t lose your cool. While there are several potential causes for an out-of-order ice machine, many are easy to troubleshoot and can be resolved by yourself.

Liberty Home Guard’s team compiled a troubleshooting guide to help you get to the root of your ice maker problems. We’ll have your machine back up and running in no time.

How to Troubleshoot an Ice Maker Not Working

Problems with your ice machine can manifest in several ways. Maybe your ice tastes or smells funny. Maybe the machine is making ice, but it’s fusing together or failing to dispense. Maybe you’re dealing with a fridge ice maker not working whatsoever.

The nature of your problem will inform how you should troubleshoot it. Scan the headings below to find the symptoms you’re observing in your appliance. Note that this guide assumes that your fridge and freezer are otherwise functionally properly.

Ice Maker Not Making Ice

  •         Confirm the machine is on. It might sound obvious, but if your ice machine isn’t working at all, your first step should be to confirm that the machine is on. It’s easier than you think to inadvertently turn off your ice maker. In fact, most models turn off by themselves after producing a certain volume of ice.

The on/off mechanism varies by appliance model. Some ice machines have a toggle switch. Others use a metal bar that engages the machine when in the down position, and when enough ice accumulates, the volume of cubes in the bin pushes the bar up to turn off the machine. Modern refrigerators and freezers may feature a digital panel to control the ice machine. Check your appliance’s manual as needed and confirm that the ice maker is engaged before investigating further.

  •         Check for a clog in the waterline. If your ice machine is turned on but still isn’t producing ice, there’s probably something inhibiting waterflow. The most likely cause is a clog somewhere in the waterline, which can occur when water freezes within the thin conduit.

Thaw a frozen waterline by unplugging the unit from the wall. Turn off the water supply to the fridge or freezer. Refer to your owner’s manual as needed and locate the waterline. Use a cloth soaked in hot water or even a blow-dryer to warm the line and gently thaw the icy obstruction.

After you have turned the water back on and plugged in your appliance, confirm that the ice maker is engaged and give it a couple hours to start producing ice.

  •         Replace the filter. A clogged water filter can also impede waterflow, preventing your freezer from making ice. A choked filter is likely if you have especially hard water in your home, or if it has been a while since you last changed the filter.

Refer to your appliance’s manual for information on where to find the filter and how to remove it. You may need to replace it entirely, but some filters can be manually cleaned.

Ice Cubes Are Freezing Together

  •         Check your thermostat. Ice cubes that are freezing together indicate temperature control issues. The ice starts to melt but then refreezes, resulting in a solid mass of ice that won’t dispense.

Inspect the thermostat on your freezer. It can be easy to mistakenly bump the temperature up while cleaning the freezer or shuffling items around. Defer to the manufacturer’s advice for the ideal temperature setting, but most freezers should be set to approximately 0°F.

  •         Inspect the door gaskets. Another potential cause of poor freezer temperature control is an improper door seal. Check the rubber gaskets that run along the perimeter of your freezer door. If they are warped or deteriorating, buy and install replacements.

<H3> Ice Cubes Not Dispensing

  •         Check the dispenser for a blockage. The most common cause of ice failing to dispense is a blockage. A mass of ice can become trapped in the door’s chute.

If you see a blockage in the chute, use some warm water to thaw it until you can remove it manually.

  •         Examine the ejector assembly. When you depress the mechanism to dispense ice, do you hear the motor engage? If not, the motor needs to be replaced. If you do hear the motor engage, there is probably a comparatively minor issue with the ejector assembly.

Look over the assembly to see if anything is amiss. There could be ice or frost blocking the paddle that shuffles ice through the chute. A mechanical component may have become misaligned or broken. You can contact your freezer’s manufacturer for additional guidance.

Ice Cubes Taste Off

  •         Clean the filter. Ice that tastes strange can be due to poorly filtered water. An accumulation of dust or minerals can impart off flavors, and you may not necessarily notice anything suspended in the water itself.

First try replacing the water filter, especially if the fridge’s water also tastes unpalatable.

Deodorize your freezer. Ice can take on the smells of other items in the freezer. Clean out your freezer and discard old items—particularly those that aren’t sealed in airtight containers. Use a cleaning solution and wipe down the interior surfaces of the freezer. Discard the accumulated ice and wipe down the bin. Finally, consider leaving a container of baking soda in your freezer to absorb unwanted odors.

  •         Treat your home’s water. Tainted water will lead to off-tasting ice cubes. You may want to check your water softener to confirm that it is loaded with salt and working properly. You may need to clean it as well. The tank can accumulate bacteria and sediment, which may impart a sulfur-like smell and taste to your water.

When You Can’t Solve the Problem Yourself…

It’s possible that your ice troubles are related to a broken or failing component within the appliance. If that’s the case, save yourself the trouble of scheduling and paying for an independent technician. Liberty Home Guard’s warranty policies cover the repair or replacement of any necessary mechanical components in your refrigerator, freezer, or free-standing ice maker.

Use our website for a free quote or call (866)-432-1283.

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