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Chillin' Troubles: When Your Fridge Stops Makin' Ice, Do These Easy Fixes!

by Ann Ferguson

When it's hot outside, there's no denying the feeling of drinking from something ice-cold (emphasis on the ice, and lots of it!). But what happens when the ice maker isn't working? Epic sadness, that's what.

While this problem is frustrating, it's not uncommon; Thankfully, most ice makers operate the same way, so the fixes are simple! So, if you keep trying the ice dispenser with no luck, it might be one of these reasons!

Control Arm

Ice maker with no control arm

The most common reason your ice maker stopped producing ice is trouble with the control arm. If the control arm is in the horizontal position, it's not on, so it's not making any ice. In that case, gently push down on the arm until it's vertical, and voila! Ice ice, baby!

The Water Supply

Another reason your ice maker isn't working is an issue with the water supply. If the ice maker has access to water, then it should be producing ice. So, double-check that there's running water by pushing on the water dispenser. If there's no water, then do the following steps:

  • Pull the fridge out from the wall, check behind it, and locate the water valve.
  • Turn the valve counterclockwise as far as it'll go to open the water supply (Note: some valves only turn 90 degrees, so they need to be in line with the water tube to the fridge).
  • If there still isn't water, the line might be frozen — give it time to thaw out!

The Water Fill Tubes

Let's say the ice maker is producing ice, but the cubes are small or misshapen—this means that the water fill tubes could be the issue! If so, try:

  • Disconnecting the fridge from the power and water source.
  • Inspect the fill tube and cap at the back of the ice maker, and check that they're not frozen.
  • If there's ice buildup, double-check there isn't any blockage.
  • If there isn't any blockage or the tubes are damaged, they'll need to be replaced!

Water & Ice Filter

Closeup of someone replacing the water filter

Every refrigerator has filters to keep sediment and any other yucky stuff out of your water and ice. But sometimes, these can cause issues with the ice if the filter is too old or clogged. First, check the refrigerator manual to locate the filters, then clean it thoroughly (or replace it).

Remember to replace your water filter every six months, and you'll avoid future problems with the refrigerator!

Clogged Ice Chute

Another issue that could make your fridge stop producing ice is a clogged ice chute. For this, you'll need to open the section with the ice dispenser and check the chute where the ice travels. Reach in and pull out any ice clogging it, throw it in the sink, and double-check that the chute is clear!

If there are still problems with the ice maker, you'll need to check if a different issue causes it!

The Temperature

Closeup of hand adjusting the temperature on refrigerator

The freezer is supposed to be frozen, but did you know it can get too cold? If your freezer section is set to a temperature lower than 0 degrees Fahrenheit, this could cause the water lines to freeze. If the lines are frozen, there are a couple of steps you'll need to take, including:

  • Move the freezer's contents to the fridge section, unplug the fridge, and leave the freezer door open to thaw the ice buildup.
  • Put any remaining ice in the fridge section and leave the door closed (to keep the food cold).
  • Once the freezer section is thoroughly thawed out, plug the fridge back in, and put the frozen food back in.
  • Reset the freezer temperature to 0 degrees F (or the recommended freezer level stated in the manual!).

Clogged Ice Bin

Another place that can cause trouble with your ice maker is the ice bin. When this gets clogged, it'll keep the ice from producing regularly. So, you'll need to take it out and check it out.

  • Pull out the ice bin and double-check that the auger (the round metal device running through the bin) has no ice caught in it.
  • Reach to the back of the compartment where the bin sits, grab the two-pronged metal fork, and turn it clockwise or counterclockwise (some mild resistance is normal).
  • If you hear a whirling sound, it's working okay, but if it doesn't turn at all or easily, the auger motor and gearbox need fixing (let the pros, aka us, handle that part!)
  • Push the bin all the way back until it clicks; otherwise, it won't dispense ice.

Water Inlet Valve

If your fridge still isn't making ice, the problem might be with the water inlet valve, which means there could be a couple of things wrong with it. First, if the valve has a screen to filter out debris, it could be plugged up, resulting in small or layered ice cubes. In this case, remove it and clean the screen.

But if your household has low water pressure or hard water, the water inlet valve might not be shut off entirely and create a similar situation. For that, you'll need to do the following:

  • Disconnect the fridge from the water and power source.
  • Remove the rear access panel, locate the water inlet valve, and look for any signs of loose connections, cracks, or damage.
  • Inspect the outlet tubing for embrittlement, abrasions, cracks, or other damage.
  • If there aren't any leaks or damage, contact our service team for further assistance!

Ice Maker Heating Element

The last reason to consider when your ice maker stops producing ice is that it could be trouble with the heating element. Yup — ice makers have heating elements! Ice makers use heat to move cubes from the trays or molds into the receptacle.

But if there is a problem with the heating element, you'll need to leave it to the pros since it'll require a live voltage test!

Chilling Out!

Family having a party outside, with ice-cold drinks

We know how frustrating it can be when your ice maker quits — especially during hot days! But we hope these fixes help you get back to chill town quickly. And if your ice maker is still calling it quits, don't worry; our service team at Culligan of Le Mars is happy to take on the challenge!

Have any questions? Give us a call or stop by — our service techs have the expertise to help!