Potential Problems When An Ice Maker Won't Make Ice

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Ice makers are supposed to freeze water coming in through an inlet valve and then shove off the completed cubes into a tray or bin to make room for more. You should be able to open your freezer door or hit your ice button and find well-formed ice cubes ready to chill your drink.

But sometimes problems arise in the ice maker process that leave you without any ice. Here are a few of the potential problems, tips to fix the simple issues, and when to throw in the towel and call an appliance repair or plumbing services company.

How It Works

To understand why your ice maker isn't producing ice, you first need to know how the ice maker works.

A water pipe below your refrigerator connects to a water supply line that leads up the appliance to the ice maker. There are valves on each end of this supply line: the shut-off valve down by the pipe and the inlet valve where the line enters the fridge. After the inlet valve is a fill tube that then feeds the water into the ice maker mechanism for freezing. A solenoid sends the signal to the tube to send more water into the ice maker.

Inside the freezer, your ice maker has a bin that catches all of the completed ice cubes coming off the mechanism. There's likely some type of lift bar that goes over this bin that measures when the bin is too full and stops the ice production.

Quick Checks: Lift Bar, Fill Tube

There are a few fast checks if your machine stops making ice. First, make sure the lift bar over the bin isn't stuck in an upright position due to frozen water or a pile of ice cubes. The bar needs to be down for more ice to be produced.

You can then check to see if the fill tube is frozen. The fill tube should stick inside your freezer from the back wall and come out right at the ice maker. If the fill tube is a solid block of ice, you can use a hair dryer to defrost the tube and then check the ice maker to see if it's working.

Advanced Checks: Valve, Supply Line, Solenoid

You can test a couple other potential problems at the same time. Twist the turn-off valve at the bottom of the water supply line. Unscrew the water supply line from the end that's connected to the refrigerator. Hold that end into an empty bucket and turn the water supply back on.

Do you have a steady, strong stream of water? You now know that the water pipe, shutoff valve, and water line are all working fine. So that leaves you with the inlet valve and the signaling solenoid. You want to entrust these repairs to an appliance repair professional to make sure the job is done correctly.

Did the hose test fail? If no water or a slow spit of water came out, then the problem could be in the shut-off valve, the hose line or the water pipe itself. You can purchase a new hose and install it to test that route. But you should leave the shutoff valve and water pipe problem to a plumbing services technician. Contact a company like Steve Burke Plumbing, LLC for more information.

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27 March 2015

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