How to troubleshoot your Whirlpool refrigerator ice maker

How to troubleshoot your Whirlpool refrigerator ice maker



Whirlpool is a popular brand of refrigerator. People like the convenience of their ice makers, producing large quantities of frozen water without worrying about ice cube trays. The ease of having readily available ice cubes at your fingertips makes those hot summer days more enjoyable.

So, what happens if you find your Whirlpool refrigerator ice maker not working? In some instances, you don’t have to be a professional to address the problem. Many ice-maker fixes can be a DIY job, whether the cause is a jam, needing to replace a water filter, or something as simple as the ice maker somehow being turned off.

However, the truth is ice makers don’t last forever and sometimes need to be replaced. Refrigerators are expensive kitchen appliances that can cost hundreds or thousands of dollars to repair or replace. Thankfully, Cinch Home Services offers quality home protection plans to save you from a single big outlay of cash.


Whirlpool refrigerator not making ice? Here’s how to fix it.

Refrigerator ice makers generally last three to 10 years, with their longevity often determined by how much they’re used and the quality of water used in them. If you’re looking to do some troubleshooting for your Whirlpool refrigerator ice maker, we will walk you through ways to address different common issues. 

Make sure the ice maker is turned on

While this seems like a no-brainer, it’s surprising how often this simple problem comes up. It’s just like telling an IT support person about a computer that won’t turn on. The first thing they’ll ask is if the computer is plugged in because, well, often it’s not.

Check that the wire shut-off arm is lowered to make sure the ice maker is turned on. If this doesn’t work, check to see if ice or debris is preventing the arm from descending fully. If your ice maker has a reset button, you can also use this. Additionally, try unplugging and plugging in your fridge.

If you want to turn off the ice maker, raise the arm until you hear a click. The arm will raise as your ice maker fills up until it automatically shuts off. One reason you would want to turn off your ice maker is if the water-supply line isn’t connected. If you hear a buzzing sound as the ice maker tries to make ice without any result, a disconnected water line could be the case.

Freezer temperature issue

A Whirlpool ice maker may not make enough ice or produce strangely shaped cubes if the freezer temperature is too high. To get the best ice-production results, put your freezer temperature between zero to 5 degrees Fahrenheit.

If your freezer temperature is at the proper setting but the temperature is still too warm, you might have to ​​clean the refrigerator's evaporator and condenser coils. Frosted-over evaporator coils could indicate a malfunctioning defrost system. 

Generally speaking, your freezer and refrigerator performance can affect your ice maker. On an ongoing basis, you should make sure they are clean, not overly cluttered, and set at the right temperatures.

Jammed ice maker

During the ice-production process, the ice maker’s metal fingers that eject the ice cubes can bring up icy water at the same time that freezes on the fingers and other ice-maker components. This issue creates an ice bridge that prevents new cubes from falling into the ice bin. As a result, you might start getting smaller ice cubes, or production could stop altogether.

To fix this problem, remove the accumulated ice with a soft tool, such as a plastic utensil, so as not to damage any of the ice maker’s components. Anything metallic or sharp could cause damage.

Water-supply issues

When dealing with a Whirlpool refrigerator ice maker not working, a common issue is that a refrigerator water line has clogged or frozen. It could be due to an incorrectly connected water line or a faulty water inlet valve. If it is the latter, and the valve is stuck in the closed position or not opening completely, you might have to get it replaced by an appliance service professional.

Make sure that the water-supply line is correctly connected to a cold-water supply and that you have turned on the water-supply valve. If there is a kink in the line, you can straighten it out with your fingers.

While there are many other reasons for a clog, one of the most common is ice that has frozen somewhere along the ice maker’s supply chain. Here, you should shut off power to the refrigerator, close the valve that controls water flow into the ice maker (often under the sink or behind the refrigerator), and carefully use a hair dryer on a low setting to unthaw it. Often the freeze is in the ice maker’s fill tube. Alternatively, you could leave the refrigerator unplugged for a few hours or overnight to solve this problem.

Other kinds of clogs may require professional help.

Defective water filter

A refrigerator water-filter malfunction could be another reason your ice maker isn’t working. It could be an improperly installed filter, or a filter clogged with sediment and other built-up particles. If the filter is dirty and the ice maker still produces ice, the cubes might impart a bad flavor to drinks.

Whirlpool recommends replacing the filter every six months to avoid clogs that impede ice production. Refer to the Whirlpool refrigerator’s user manual for the proper way to install and use the recommended water filter. 

Failed ice-maker components

Another reason that your ice maker isn’t working could be a failed component. A common problem is that the ice maker’s mold thermostat isn’t working. This device is supposed to regulate the temperature of the ice mold (or ice tray) and tell the ice maker when to eject the ice cubes and refill the ice maker with water. 

If you suspect a problem, check the thermometer for cracks or leaks, or use a multimeter to check the wires for resistance. (If the multimeter is not reading, it means the thermometer isn’t working.) 

Another problem could be the ice maker’s motor stopped working, meaning the ejector arms won’t cycle to release ice, or the water inlet valve won’t open.

Unless you have serious DIY skills, getting a qualified service technician is advisable to replace the defective parts.


How much do ice-maker repairs cost?


According to HomeAdvisor, if your refrigerator ice machine breaks down, the average refrigerator-repair service cost for an ice maker is between $90 and $250, depending on the specific issue. To replace an entire ice maker would cost between $300 and $420, although it could be much higher with some modern stand-alone models.  

However, replacing the ice maker is still cheaper than replacing the entire fridge, which costs $1,500 on average.

Specific average ice-maker appliance repair costs include:

  • Water line: $100 to $200
  • Water inlet valve: $150 to $200
  • Ice-maker motor: $100 to $350
  • Drive blade: $85 to $150
  • Filter: $85 to $250


Refrigerators and ice makers are covered under a Cinch warranty

A refrigerator that breaks down and needs to be repaired — whether it’s due to the ice maker or some other component — can be very costly and inconvenient.

It is good to consider getting a Cinch home warranty. This annual service agreement provides coverage for repairs and replacements on home systems and major appliances, including all the components and parts of refrigerators and free-standing ice makers.

Unfortunately, machines break down over time, and even newer models can break through no fault of your own. Without a home protection plan, you might have to cope with a huge unexpected bill. 

At Cinch, we offer different protection plans to suit your needs, all with 180-day workmanship guarantees, protection for unknown pre-existing conditions, rust and corrosion coverage, and discounts on new appliances.

Contact us now for an instant quote! We’d be happy to break the ice and help you find peace of mind with protection for your home’s major appliances and built-in systems.


Don’t let the heat get you down if your Whirlpool fridge ice maker stops working. Here are some cool ways you might be able to fix the problem.

Your home protection is ready and waiting!