You know the ice is in there. You can hear it clattering around. You can hear the fridge making and moving ice like normal. But when you put your glass under the chute with ‘ice’ selected, you get nothing. No ice comes out of the ice maker. The ice is in there, but your fridge is not ejecting the ice. And when you really wanted an iced drink, this can be a real bummer. Ice is one of the greatest luxuries of the modern world and we go through a lot of trouble to have fridges with built-in ice makers for the convenience of ice cubes on the go.
So when your fridge stops ejecting ice (even though it is clearly still producing ice) there are few things more confusing or frustrating. But don’t worry, we can help you fix it. A stubborn ice maker chute is not the end of the world and, in many cases, it’s something you can fix at home. Possibly using only the long end of a wooden spoon.
Possible Causes of Ice Not Dropping Ice
- Ice Lockup in the Chute
- Ice Cubes Stuck in the Tray
- Ejector or Dispenser Component has Worn Out
The Ice is Locked-Up In the Chute
So if ice is making in the trays correctly and dumping into the bucket but you’re not getting ice in the cup, the problem is most likely with your ice maker chute or dispenser system. The chute is where the ice is dumped from the tray into the hatch that opens into your glass. When you place your glass under the dispenser, ice tumbles down until you pull the glass away and the ice stops, But when it stops, there may still be some ice left on the chute.
When this happens, that ice can potentially melt a little from exposure to warm air at the end of the chute, then re-freeze into a serious irregular-block, traffic jam. What you have here is several pieces of ice all formed and refrozen together so that no other ice can get through and no ice near the chute opening is big enough to fall.
What You’ll Neet
- Warm Water
- Long-Handled Wooden Spoon
- Large Cup
Repairing a Jammed Ice Maker Chute
Start by placing a large (preferably unbreakable) cup or bowl underneath the ice maker dispenser. Then open your fridge/freezer door and locate the top of the chute in the door. Pour your cup of warm water down the chute and wait a few seconds. Then test the dispenser with your cup. This might have been enough to break up the jam. If not, you’ll need the spoon.
Holding the dispenser open with your bowl (you may need a friend), use the long-handled end of your wooden spoon to break apart the ice that has formed into a malformed block of multi-ice at the bottom of the chute. Soon, pieces of ice and frost should start falling into your cup. Once the jam is dealt with, wipe down the chute with warm water, dry it, and then try for ice again.
Chances are, now you have ice falling from your ice machine again.
The Ice Cubes are Stuck in the Ice maker Tray
Just like the chute, ice doesn’t always do what it’s supposed to. The ice maker tray inside your fridge’s ice maker is a remarkable device made to tip and clear many cubes of ice until the ice bucket is full. But sometimes the ice doesn’t come out completely or come out at all. This is most common when pieces of broken ice cube form jagged ‘sticky’ remains inside the ice tray.
You can note that this is your problem by inspecting the ice tray itself. If it has not been emptied and your ice bucket is not full, then something is amiss. You might notice that a particular row of cubes doesn’t clear or that they are malformed ice cubes like shards or partially filled and re-frozen compartments.
Fortunately, the fix for this problem is easy to do for yourself as well.
What You’ll Need
- Cup of Warm Water
- Cup of Vinegar
Start by drizzling warm water into the compartments that have lingering ice. This may be enough to loosen the ice-bond with the bold, releasing the ice that was stuck. Your next option, not as pleasant-smelling, is to drizzle a little vinegar into the ice mold tray. Vinegar is a great DIY melter and will do the same thing you were hoping warm water would take care of.
Dispenser or Ejector has Worn Out
Finally, we come to the conditions of your fridge that are more challenging to tackle on your own. There are several mechanical and electrical parts involved in dispensing ice. The dispenser assembly relates to the sensor button requesting ice and the ability to open and close the ice chute. The ejector assembly is associated with how ice cubes are made and then ejected into the ice bucket.
If your ice maker isn’t working even though there is little to no ice in the bucket, this could be a problem with either system. But the further deep you get into the actual wire and functionality, the more likely it is to be the ejector (related to ice making) as opposed to the dispenser (related to filling your glass with ice).
If your ejector or dispenser are worn out, you may need to call a professional appliance repair team to repair your ice maker functionality from the inside out. Whether your fridge is refusing to make ice efficiently or is failing to transition the ice to your glass, we can help! A professional appliance service team can get to the bottom (or top) of your fridge’s ice maker problems.
Contact our office today to learn about all the crazy little things that homeowners need to have repaired and how to troubleshoot your incredibly high-end fridge and freezer. We will be delighted to explain why ice makers stop working, then to get cracking on how to get them into condition again.