Is Your Whirlpool Ice Maker Not Working? Here’s Why

March 6, 2024
Refrigerator Repair

An ice maker is one of those extra features that people are often prepared to pay a premium for when shelling out for a new refrigerator. Providing both filtered water and refreshing ice cubes any time of day, it brings that extra bit of luxury to your home.

Therefore, when the ice maker on your Whirlpool refrigerator fails to work, it can be disheartening. But don’t stress! Thankfully, you can often fix the ice maker yourself with some simple troubleshooting steps. You should only need to call in an expert for the worst-case scenarios.

This guide will list all the most likely reasons why your Whirlpool ice maker isn’t working, along with what you need to do to fix it.

Why is my ice maker making ice, but not dispensing it?

If your ice maker is making ice but not dispensing it, there can be several possible reasons why this is happening. If you’re unsure whether your ice maker is making ice, simply check the ice bin in the freezer compartment to see if it is.

If your ice maker isn’t making ice, move on to the next section; if it is, follow these three troubleshooting tips.

Is the ice chute blocked by ice?

The ice chute directs the ice cubes into your glass or container when they are dispensed from the ice maker. If the chute becomes clogged with ice, the ice cubes won’t be able to flow out.

To check, kneel down and take a look up the chute. If you can see a few loose ice cubes blocking the chute, you may be able to gently dislodge them with your fingers or a utensil. However, if the chute looks completely iced over and frozen shut, you will need to defrost it using a clothes steamer or a hair dryer.

However, don’t use the hottest setting on the hair dryer, as you don’t want to melt or deform the plastic.

Are the ice cubes stuck together?

If there are large clumps of stuck-together ice in the bin, your ice maker will likely have trouble breaking them up and dispensing the ice cubes. Can you see large clumps in the bin, and does the ice maker make a grinding sound when you attempt to use the ice maker?

If so, this is probably the issue, and you can resolve it by discarding all the ice from the bin. Once it’s empty, let the machine create a fresh new batch of ice that hopefully won’t be stuck together.

If you notice that the ice keeps clumping together in large blocks, there may be temperature fluctuations in the freezer compartment that allow the ice to melt slightly, then refreeze and stick together.

The auger motor may be frozen

Another possible reason your Whirlpool refrigerator may be producing ice but not dispensing it is that the auger motor is frozen. This can sometimes occur if the ice maker is not used for long periods.

The auger motor rotates the auger, which moves the ice cubes toward the ice chute for dispensing. You can refer to your user manual for its exact location in your Whirlpool model. To defrost the auger motor, unplug the refrigerator, remove the ice bin, and leave the freezer door open for a few hours so it can thaw naturally.

Why is my ice maker making very little or no ice at all?

If your ice maker is making no ice at all or very little ice, follow these troubleshooting tips to resolve this problem.

Issues with the water supply

Whether you have a kinked water supply line or the water valve is turned off, if your refrigerator isn’t receiving enough water, it can’t produce ice.

To check, pull the refrigerator away from the wall and check that the water line is connected properly to the appliance and the water supply valve. Then, check there are no kinks in the line and that the valve is fully open.

Additionally, you might want to check the water pressure by attaching a pressure gauge to the end of the water supply line. If the water pressure is less than 20 psi, this is likely the cause of the issue. 

The water filter is clogged

The water filter ensures that the water supply is clean by filtering out particles. However, it needs to be replaced every six months or it can become clogged.

If the filter is clogged, less water can reach the ice maker, which thwarts ice cube production. If your water filter is due to be changed, install a new one to see if it helps with the ice maker issue.

The control arm is stuck in the wrong position

On many models of Whirlpool refrigerators, the ice maker has a control arm that measures the amount of ice in the bin and halts production when it’s full. It looks like a metal or plastic handle that sits on the top or side of the ice bin.

If the control arm is stuck in the off position, perhaps because something is obstructing it or it was accidentally pushed there, moving it back to the “on” position should restart ice production again. 

The freezer is too warm

If the freezer compartment or the ice maker itself is too warm, it might produce less or no ice at all. To check if this is the case, place an appliance thermometer inside the bin of the ice maker. 

After leaving it there for a while, check the temperature; ideally, it should be around 0° F, but if it’s higher than 10° F, this will definitely cause issues for the ice maker.

There can be various reasons why your freezer compartment might be too warm; however, some of the most common things to check include:

  • Are the temperature settings for your freezer compartment set correctly?
  • Is the door seal (gasket) damaged, dirty, or does it have gaps?
  • Are the condenser coils on your refrigerator dirty?
  • Are you opening the freezer door too frequently or leaving it open for long periods?
  • Are the air vents in the freezer compartment blocked by ice or food items?

If you’ve checked all of these and the freezer is still too warm, you may need to check if any of the major components are damaged, obstructed, or frozen. The problem could be caused by a problem with one of the fans, the evaporator coils, or the thermostat. However, it’s best to call in a professional to help you assess these parts, as it requires you to disassemble the appliance.


Leave a Reply