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Ice Maker Appliance Troubleshooting and Repair Guides

by 411HomeRepair on May 19, 2010

WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOUR ICE MAKER?

The ice maker is a separate appliance within the freezer section of your refrigerator/freezer. I have found that the most common refrigerator repair is the ice maker.

Even cheap fridge freezers have an ice maker because almost all refrigerators today have one. This is an important section of your refrigerator because ice cubes are almost a necessity when preparing cold drinks. It's important to take good care of the icemaker because it may be a little bit expensive to have it repaired. Below, you will find some of the common problems with icemakers and steps on how to fix it.

In-freezer ice makers are inexpensive. Often it's not economical to repair them after 6 to 8 years of use. When the problem is with the ice maker itself, we usually recommend replacing the unit rather than repairing it.

Warning! To avoid personal injury or even death, always disconnect your appliance from its power source--that is, unplug it or break the connection at the circuit breaker or fuse box--before you do any troubleshooting or appliance repair work. Also, because some components may have sharp edges, use caution while working on your appliance.

There are three common problems with icemakers:

There's no ice
Small or too few ice cubes
Specks in the cubes
More about ice makers
Ice maker replacement parts

Amazon.com delivers ice-maker kits

 

There's no ice

If your ice maker has stopped producing ice completely, check these, in this order:
  • It may be turned off. Look for the wire along the right side of the ice maker that looks a bit like a coat hanger. If the wire is in the raised position, the ice maker is turned off. If so, try one of these:
    • If your ice maker has a small red plastic lever, lower it to lower the wire.
    • If there's no plastic lever, simply lower the wire.
    In either case, the ice maker should begin producing ice again. Also make sure that the temperature is 8 degrees Fahrenheit or lower. If the freezer is too warm, the ice maker won't cycle properly.
  • The ice maker fill tube may be blocked with ice. If so, melt the blockage using a hair dryer-but be careful to not melt any plastic parts! Also replace the water shut-off valve or water-inlet valve, or both, if necessary.
  • The ice maker head assembly may have broken parts. Look to see if the gears are broken. Check to see if the small plastic arms that rest against the ice rake are broken. If the ice maker head assembly is modular and you've found broken parts, you can just replace it.
 

Small or too few ice cubes

If the ice maker is producing ice poorly--making small cubes or too few cubes--you probably have a clogged water line, a defective water-inlet valve, or a defective ice maker mold thermostat that isn't cycling properly. Check these:
  • The water line that's attached to the back of the refrigerator. Make sure you have good water flow. If the flow is poor, repair, clean, or replace the tubing or the shut-off valve that supplies the water.
  • The water-inlet valve. Replace it if it has failed.
  • Check the freezer temperature. If should be 8 degrees Fahrenheit or lower. If the freezer is too warm, the ice maker won't cycle properly.
  • The ice maker mold thermostat. Make sure that it's cycling properly.
 

Specks in the cubes

If you find black or gray specks in your ice cubes, have a look at the ice cube tray. If the protective coating is peeling away, the most economical solution is to completely replace the ice maker.
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