Published on April 17th, 2013 | by Chris Zeisler3
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 (-18⁰ 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.
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. RepairClinic.com 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
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RepairClinic.com’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.
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