The Real Reason Your Ice Maker Isn't Working

When an ice maker sounds like a dead battery making a strong attempt to start, it's definitely disheartening. Whether you hoped to make a smoothie, prepare an ice bath for something on the stove, or grab an ice-cold glass of water, it's frustrating when the ice maker doesn't do the only job it has to do. From clumping ice to no ice at all, there's a reason your ice maker isn't working. Good news, though — there is something you can do about it.

Depending on the severity of the situation, you can always call someone to make the repair — or you could do your homework and order a part to fix your ice maker yourself. With a little troubleshooting and basic understanding of what could be going on inside your refrigerator's freezer or ice maker, you just might be able to have ice pouring out in no time again. Sometimes it's just a matter of giving your freezer a little love and care.

How to fix your ice maker

A common problem with ice makers is clumping ice. Assess the problem by checking the temperature of the contents of your freezer (via Home Guides). If they are not as cold as they should be, it could mean that the equipment is performing a defrosting cycle too often. If this is the case, you can simply adjust the thermometer to a colder setting and remove any clumped ice from the collection bin. Next, add more frozen foods or jugs of water to your freezer to act as a buffer during the defrost mode. This will help keep your ice from melting and refreezing, which causes it to freeze together again in one large chunk. Check your freezer often to monitor the system and adjust as necessary.

Another common problem is when ice is not being made at all. This is typically a clogged filter or a frozen water line (via CNET). If it is the filter, which is usually located inside the refrigerator, then you might need to replace it. A frozen water line is an easier fix, though — it can be remedied by unplugging the refrigerator, turning off the water valve, and pouring warm water over the frozen water line.

To best maintain your refrigerator, regularly check parts that typically malfunction such as the water line, the filter, the water inlet valve, and the thermostat temperature (via Sears Home Services). Keeping a close eye on these components and factors just may save you a visit from the service repair person.