Ice makers don’t just stop making ice for no reason. There is always a reason. It might be that the ice maker is old, but even then replacing the right part will be the fix. However, often the solution for your reticent ice maker is simpler than that. Ice makers are not complicated machines and several malfunctions or environmental factors can cause your ice maker to stop dispensing ice. This doesn’t mean your ice maker is beyond repair.
In fact, often the fix for your ice maker is quite easy and can be done by anyone at home. Before you call for repairs or arrange for replacement parts, try fiddling with your ice maker in the following specific ways. It may well start making ice again sooner than you think.
Break or Melt Ice Clogs
The first thing to check for, the very first, is ice clogs. Your ice maker might otherwise be working well, but some ice may have melted and re-frozen in the chute. This is incredibly common and is the number one cause of ice makers stopping with ice dispensing. If your ice maker makes noise and rattles but nothing comes out, check out your chute pathways.
A little warm water (with a towel ready to mop) melts away any ice clogs. This works anywhere there is too much ice, fluffy or clumped, built up and causing problems. You can also use the handle of a wooden spoon to break up some areas.
Lower the Control Arm
Next, take a look at the control arm. The control arm is a metal bar that sits above the ice bin. When the ice bin is full, the control bar is pushed upward, which turns off the ice maker until there’s room for more ice.
In effect, the control arm functions as an off-switch. It can be used as such by flipping it up on purpose to work on the ice maker or turn it off for a while. However, it’s also easy to accidentally flip up the control bar while rummaging through the freezer.
Reach in and make sure the control arm is flipped downward so the ice maker knows that there is room for more ice.
Change the Water Filter
Some refrigerators are designed to stop dispensing ice or water when the water filter needs changing. When your water filter light turns on, your ice maker may very well turn off. The best solution, naturally, is to change out your water filter. This ensures that you never dispense ice that is contaminated or poor quality and never drink water from the fridge that is unsafe or that tastes bad.
So find your water filter and the right replacement model. Usually, changing it out is as simple as opening the cover, twisting and pulling the old filter out, and then twisting the new filter in. Be sure to look up the water filter changing instructions specific to your fridge to be sure.
Turn The Ice Maker Off and On Again
If your ice maker has a switch other than the control arm, find it and toggle it. This is a simple matter of resetting the power to your ice maker. By flipping the switch off and back on, you may be able to reset the functionality so that your ice maker begins to dispense ice again. Sometimes, toggling the power can cancel any existing errors and encourage your ice maker to try again at ice from the beginning.
Reset the Ice Maker Settings
If you have a touch panel that controls the ice maker, among other things, for your fridge then try to reset it. Use the buttons on your control panel to select the ice maker. Toggle the power. Change any settings. Reset the entire control panel back to default. There is often a combination of buttons you can press and hold to reset the settings for any of your fridge’s touch-pad systems, including the ice maker.
Rinse Out the Ice Molds
It’s possible that your ice maker is trying to make ice, but it just can’t fill the molds. This can be because old ice is stuck in the molds, or just shards of ice so the ice is coming out shattered or incomplete. Fortunately, there’s an easy way to clean out ice maker molds and you don’t necessarily need to remove the ice maker from the freezer. Pour a little warm water through the molds so that the old ice will melt and new ice will form. This is a great way to deal with ice sticking in the molds and leftover ice making the molds irregular.
Secure Electrical Connections
If your ice maker is not responding at all, start hunting down electrical connections. If you find or see a connector, press it together. Find where the wires lead into the ice maker and press them in firmly. This quick connections check may be all you need to get your ice maker back online if the electricals were pulled or jostled earlier.
Secure Plumbing Connections
Finally, check the seals and components in the plumbing lines. The water line leading to the ice maker is, naturally, how the ice maker fills the molds and where cold water comes from. A clog in the line or a closed valve could easily account for a sudden lack of ice if no new ice can be made. Some refrigerators are designed to stop using the ice maker if water can’t be reached. Some simply grind to a halt with no water left in the system.
Make sure every plumbing connection is secure. Check the lines, valves, and connectors for leaks. Look for clogs and kinks in the line. If you find anything, fix, tighten, or replace it as necessary.
Replace the Ice Maker
Finally, if all else fails, you might have to replace your ice maker. The good news is that you don’t have to replace the whole fridge. A replacement ice maker, or just component parts, can be identified and ordered online. You can perform the swap yourself or hire an experienced repair technician to ensure your ice maker is in good working order by the end of your reinstallation. Getting your ice maker to work again is not as hard as it sounds. By understanding the basics of your ice maker, you can easily get it back to dispensing ice or replaced with an ice maker that can.