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Appliances Three quick fixes for broken ice makers

Published on April 17th, 2013 | by Chris Zeisler


Three quick fixes for broken ice makers

The most common problems with a refrigerator ice maker are the following:

1.) Producing hollow or thin ice

2.) Failure to produce ice at all

As we welcome in warmer weather and cooler drinks that need ice, here are three possible quick fixes to keep in mind, should you have a troublesome maker:

Make sure the freezer’s temperature is zero degrees F (-18 C) or lower.

A freezer’s temperature should be zero (-18⁰ C) to 10 degrees F (-12⁰ C). If you discover the temperature is above this range, your refrigerator may be having difficulty properly removing heat from the unit. The most common culprit for this is dirty condenser coils. Coils attract dust, dirt and pet fur. Accumulated layers make it harder for the coils to release heat. Making the coils work harder means greater energy consumption and higher bills for you – and eventually, rising temperatures and failures. Tweet these tips.

Simple fix: Clean those coils! Condenser coils are mostly commonly found beneath the refrigerator unit. These should be cleaned every 12 to 18 months. If you have pets, you may need to increase cleaning frequency to every six months. If your dog is like our dogs, the front of the refrigerator is favorite hangout spot.

On most models, you can access these radiator-like coils by removing the bottom grill or kick-panel located at the front or an access panel at the back. A flashlight will be helpful in this dark area to prevent any damage to the fan. Using your vacuum’s crevice attachment or a convenient long hose attachment, carefully remove dust and fur on and around the coil. We like this one because it’s also great for cleaning beneath other large appliances. Be sure to remove stubborn dirt by gently running a long-handled bristle brush over the coil. Vacuum again, if necessary, and restore power to the unit.

vaccuum attachment for cleaning dryers and other appliances

If your refrigerator’s coils are located at the back, you can gently brush away dust and dirt with a long-handled bristled brush like this one.

Remember to disconnect power to your refrigerator before cleaning or performing any kind of maintenance.

Check the frost buildup on your freezer’s evaporator coils

Next, check the evaporator coils for frost buildup or lack of frost buildup. has disassembly videos to help you quickly and easily access the evaporator coils. There should be a consistent amount of frost on each coil. If only a few coils have frost, it’s likely the system has developed a leak or there is a restriction. You will need to check the defrost components for a failure. With your refrigerator’s model number handy, head to our repair help for information about how to do this. Tweet these tips.

Make sure you have sufficient water pressure.

The most common problem with ice makers doing a poor job or failing to do their job at all is water pressure. There must be a minimum of 20 PSI of water pressure in order for the ice maker to work well.

Testing is simple. Turn off the water, disconnect the supply line from the water inlet valve usually located behind the refrigerator, hold the line over a bucket and then turn the water back on. If the water flow is weak (indicating low water pressure), there’s likely something wrong with your home’s water supply. If the water stream is steady (indicating proper water pressure), the water inlet valve may have a restriction and will be need to be replaced. Tweet these tips.

RepairClinic has replacement parts for ice makers, water dispensers, refrigerators, freezers, ice machines, dishwashers and many other major home appliances as well as outdoor power equipment and HVAC equipment.

For helpful troubleshooting and how-to repair help information, have your refrigerator’s model ready and head to our free online repair help.

Additional helpful information

Refrigerator Maintenance tips


Learn something from this post? Share it! Tweet this or click on the other social shares icons to the left. Thank you!

Something broken? We’ll help.’s free online repair help system will help you find the most likely causes of ice maker problems as well as the correct, recommended replacement parts. There you’ll also find how-to repair help information with 1,000+ expertly-produced videos. has replacement parts for  refrigerators, ice machines, ranges, stove tops, ovens, dishwashers,washing machines, dryers, lawn mowers, chainsaws, furnaces and more.



Since its founding in 1999, has helped three million do-it-yourselfers save 225 million dollars in repair costs by successfully repairing appliances and outdoor power equipment on their own.

RepairClinic’s free online repair help system empowers do-it-yourselfers to fix common problems associated with major home appliances, outdoor power equipment, HVAC equipment, water heaters, floor care, and more. DIYers can enter a model number to choose from a list of common symptoms for that particular model to then troubleshoot and watch expertly-produced videos to learn the most likely causes and conditions and purchase the correct, recommended part. stocks more than one million parts and accessories for 160 brands of furnaces, air conditioners, air handlers, heat pumps, washing machines, dryers, dishwashers, vacuum cleaners, lawn mowers, snowblowers, leaf blowers, edgers and many other products.

Since 1999, the company has served more than three million customers including homeowners, first-time and beginner DIYers, advanced DIYers, appliance repair professionals, small engine repair shops and landscaping and lawn care business owners. RepairClinic orders are backed by a 365 Days. Period.™ return policy that enables customers to return any part. Of the more than one million parts available on the website, 95 percent of parts ordered are in stock and guaranteed to ship the same business day. RepairClinic ships within the United States and Canada.


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About the Author

Chris Zeisler is an appliance expert with expertise earned through years of experience as an appliance repair pro. As a technician for major appliances, HVAC equipment, hot water heaters and outdoor power equipment brands, he regularly completes manufacturer training. Chris joined RepairClinic in 1999 as the lead technical guru. He is credited for creating much of RepairClinic’s pioneering DIY repair information that has helped millions of people complete repairs on their own and save money. He remains a leader in content development for RepairClinic’s repair help information and how-to videos. He’s also frequently called on for technical advice and press information for journalists and bloggers. Chris keeps RepairClinic staff abreast of industry trends and relevant news. He develops and leads frequent Customer Care staff training programs. He serves in a supervisory role, offering counsel on technical issues to staff. Outside of RepairClinic, Chris and his wife are busy with their four children and coaching soccer, baseball and softball teams. He also enjoys restoring and maintaining muscle/performance cars. He lives with his family in metro Detroit.

3 Responses to Three quick fixes for broken ice makers

  1. evaporatorseo says:

    I am using much similar PRODUCTS, I thank you for the detailed information about this.

    Evaporator Supplier

  2. Greg says:

    would this work for a power cooler ( koolatron cooler )

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