You’re longing for an ice cold beverage. You go to the ice maker and find the worst case scenario: there’s no ice. Now you have a lukewarm beverage and a question: what’s wrong with my ice maker? To help you with this quandary, here are some tips for troubleshooting a broken ice maker.

How an Ice Maker Works

First, you need to understand how an ice maker works. First, there is a ¼ inch water supply line that goes from the refrigerator to a water filter or water pipe. This is how the water is supplied to the ice maker. This supply line leads to the water fill valve in the refrigerator, where it is controlled by an ice maker thermostat. The fill valve sends the water through a fill tube into an assembly line that includes a mold for ice, where the water freezes and becomes ice cubes. Once the water is frozen, the thermostat turns off the water supply with a solenoid. A heater is then turned on so that the ice is slightly warmed enough to be released. An ice maker motor then turns on to rotate the ice ejection arm. The ejection arm works to push the ice cubes out of the molds and into the ice collection bin. Then, the cycle repeats. Once the ice collection bin is full, the ice raises a bail wire, which shuts off the ice maker until the ice level lowers.

Ice Maker Doesn’t Make Ice

An ice maker that doesn’t make ice has a couple potential causes. Here is how you can troubleshoot for these problems:

  • First, check the bail wire and make sure it’s in the down position. If it is locked in the up position, ice won’t be made.
  • If this isn’t the issue, look at the water supply line. This is probably the issue if you can see the ejection arm swing and you hear a buzz for about 10 seconds. This means it is asking for water, but not getting any. Check to make sure the supply line isn’t kinked behind the refrigerator. Shut off the water by pulling the valve behind the refrigerator or under the sink, unscrewing the copper line from behind the refrigerator, put it in a bucket, flip on the water valve, and see if water comes out.
  • It may be that you have a bad tap valve, which is what connects the water supply tube to the water pipe. If this is the case, you may need to replace it, as well as the inlet valve. It’s possible to buy a kit to do this yourself, or you can contact us for refrigerator repair in Cleveland.
  • Finally, check the solenoid. This attaches to the waterline behind the refrigerator and travels to the ice maker. Your ice maker may not be making ice because the solenoid is either defective or is not getting power. Unplug the refrigerator. Then, try removing the sediment screen that is inside the solenoid and flush it with water. Inspect all of the seals to make sure that they haven’t been compromised. You may need to replace the solenoid outright if this is the case.

Of course, there are other problems you can run into with your ice maker. For these dilemmas, be sure to watch out for our next blog, where we continue to give you ways to troubleshoot your ice maker woes. In the meantime, when you’re looking for refrigerator repair in Cleveland, give us a call!