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  • Why Your Ice Maker is Not Working & How to Fix It

Here's Why Your Ice Maker isn't Working (And How to Fix It)

Key takeaways:

  • Ice makers are essential but prone to malfunctions, affecting daily routines and requiring frequent fixes or maintenance.

  • A range of common issues includes not producing ice, slow production, leaks, and freezing, each with specific causes and solutions.

  • Brands like Kenmore, Frigidaire, and Samsung have unique problems with ice makers, often necessitating professional repairs.

  • Repairing or replacing ice makers can cost between $100 and $600, highlighting the importance of maintenance to avoid higher expenses.

  • Considering the complexity of ice maker problems, professional assistance or warranty plans can provide cost-effective solutions and peace of mind.


How many times per day do you use your ice maker? For some, there's nothing like iced coffee with breakfast. For others, adding ice to a protein shake after a workout is an absolute must as they cool off. Additionally, ice makers are top-rated when hosting parties and get-togethers with cocktails. Considering all these scenarios, it's easy to see why a broken ice maker can be frustrating.  

Unfortunately, ice makers have proven to be one of the most consistently tricky components of refrigerators and can be the cause of recalls. This is true even for some of the industry's more recognized and trusted brands.  

While some of these common issues are design flaws, there is also a wide range of problems that can be avoided by routine maintenance. This article will help you diagnose and treat some common issues with ice makers.


Common ice maker problems

Before you can fix a problem, it is essential to understand the problem. Here are some major and minor issues that may arise with your ice maker. Once you know what you're looking for, it will be easier to decide the help you need for your ice maker.


The ice maker is not working, but the water is working

a compartment of ice thats build up in the ice maker


✔️Solution: Is your thermostat set too low? If so, the ice maker may not detect that ice cubes are frozen. 


The ice maker slows down


✔️Solution: This is often caused by a large buildups in the ice container. The best solution is to check and clear large clumps of ice in the maker or the chute. Call a repair professional to run further diagnostics if this doesn't work.  


Dripping water


✔️Solution: Leaks can also be caused by multiple issues. Simple things like ice clumps or the refrigerator not being level could be the culprit. If neither is the case, ensure the valve and cap are correctly aligned to avoid water leaks. 


Ice maker freezing up


✔️Solution: Defrosting the auger motor can be hard on the motor, and the melting moisture may damage it, so it's best to reach out to a professional for help getting everything running smoothly again. 


The ice maker light is blinking


✔️Solution: A blinking ice maker light can indicate many problems depending on the make and model. A blinking light could mean a full bin or signal a broken component that needs to be replaced. Refer to your guide manual if you encounter a blinking ice maker light.   


Blocked dispenser


✔️Solution: If you see a handful of loose cubes, jiggle them free to release them. If the ice in the chute seems lodged or stuck, placing a catch under the dispenser is best to give the ice time to melt on its own. 


Clogged water filter 


✔️Solution: Change out your filter every six months to avoid this issue. 


Faulty thermostat


✔️Solution: Check the refrigerator temperature and freezer temperature, ensuring that the freezer is set to 0°F (-18 °C) and the refrigerator temperature is somewhere in the range of 33–40°F (0–4°C). 


Water line problems


✔️Solution:  The water line is behind the ice maker, so accessing it typically requires removing the ice bin and maker. You may unfreeze the waterline at home with warm water or air, but it's best to leave it up to a professional with unique tools that assist with the job. 


Water valve issues  


✔️Solution: First, check the water pressure feeding the valve with your equipment or the assistance of a professional. If the pressure is sufficient at 20 psi or higher, it means you may need to replace the water inlet valve 


Ice tastes funny 


✔️Solution: This could be caused by a variety of issues. Start by checking the filter. If the filter is good, move on to changing out the current ice in the bin and checking your freezer for any poorly wrapped food items that could contaminate your ice. 


Malfunctioning ice maker assembly  


✔️Solution: If the ice maker assembly isn't working, it could be an issue with the motor, there could be a jam, or the arm could be malfunctioning. We recommend bringing in a certified repair technician to fix this problem. 


As you can see, troubleshooting your ice maker can be simple or complex, depending on the problem. When your ice maker is not working correctly, look at some of these simple solutions, and you could save significant amounts of money on repairs and replacements. 

If you run into more complex issues, call a repair professional to ensure it doesn't become a more severe problem from attempting a DIY fix.


A brand-specific guide to fixing your ice maker

Here are some of the common brands of ice makers that people have and some brand-specific resources and tips to get your ice maker up and running.  


As a maker of all sorts of appliances, Kenmore also makes high-quality ice makers. Most commonly, Kenmore issues tend to occur more with the water lines than the motor or components of the appliance. If your Kenmore ice maker is on the fritz, the connection is an excellent place to start when running diagnostics. 


Frigidaire ice makers have had some unique issues - including a recall and occasional motor issues. Unfortunately, problems with this brand usually require a skilled technician for repair. 


Whirlpool is a trusted producer of ice makers. Unfortunately, ice makers do not last forever, so you should know how old your Whirlpool ice maker is. On the shorter end, they last three years, and on the long end, they last ten years, so if your Whirlpool ice maker fails, it might be time for a new one. 


From jammed ice buckets to more severe problems like auger motor defects, LG ice maker issues typically require a full diagnostic. Don't try to fix it on your own and do more damage.  


As a leader in tech and appliances, Samsung ice makers tend to be more technical in their fixes. Thankfully, they are easier to maintain and track things like the water psi and the temperature. If your Samsung ice maker breaks, though, it typically requires the help of a trained repair professional to address it. 

Craft Ice

Craft Ice is a leading maker of portable ice machines. Since they are more akin to refrigerators, the problems of portable ice makers can be more complex. 


How much does it cost to repair ice makers?

Whether you have a portable ice maker or one incorporated into your refrigerator, replacing or repairing a faulty one can be pricey. While our article has focused on identifying and solving everyday problems, knowing the costs of repair and replacement is essential. 

According to Angi, the average cost of a new ice maker has a reasonably wide range and is between $100-$600. This does not include any issues that could arise with your refrigerator or water lines from DIY solutions that do not go well. Whether you are handy or not, having a home warranty plan that covers crucial appliances like your ice maker can net you significant savings in repair or replacement. 


Get professional help for peace of mind

You may be able to solve minor issues with your ice maker. This includes replacing a loose switch or adjusting the freezer door when it's not closing properly. However, when fixing your refrigerator's internal components, you may need professional help.

Cinch Home Services offers various home warranty plans that cover your refrigerator and other major appliance repairs. Cinch's 180-day workmanship guarantee backs these warranty plans. 

* The product being offered is a service contract and is separate and distinct from any product or service warranty which may be provided by the home builder or manufacturer. 

Disclaimer of liability: The content on this Cinch article is for general information only. It is not intended to amount to specific advice on which you should rely. You must obtain professional or specialist advice before taking, or refraining from, any action on the basis of the content on this Cinch article. 

There are many issues that can cause your ice maker to stop working. We have the solutions to fix them.