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Ice Maker Not Working? Here’s How to Troubleshoot

Ice Maker Not Working? Here’s How to Troubleshoot

Whether you have a top freezer, bottom freezer, or side freezer, the ice dispenser is a feature that becomes part of your day-to-day life. It can be frustrating when your ice maker stops working — especially if you don’t know why.

Without the ice maker, you can’t make your favorite iced coffee, DIY an ice pack for a skinned knee, or instantly cool down that room-temperature drink. To get your ice maker back in working order, here are five common issues and how to troubleshoot them.

1. Damaged or Maladjusted Control Arm

If the ice maker in your refrigerator is not working, one of the first things you should check is the control arm. Most ice makers have an arm or lever that goes up when the ice bin is full and tells your freezer to stop making ice. When the arm is in the wrong position, damaged, or missing, it could cause issues with your ice maker.

How to Fix a Control Arm

Luckily, the control arm tends to be an easy fix. If you temporarily put the arm up and forgot about it or you have something in your freezer blocking its path, all you have to do is move the arm back into the down position. If the arm is stuck in the up position because it’s frozen, you can run a defrost cycle on your freezer to loosen it. However, if the arm is missing, physically damaged, or keeps popping up, you may need to replace it.

2. Clogged Filter

The water filter could also be a reason your fridge ice maker is not working. This filter should be replaced regularly and can become clogged if you wait too long between replacements. When the filter becomes clogged with debris, it can be hard for the tap water to flow through it and reach the ice maker.

How to Fix a Clogged Filter

The water filter is usually located either in the grille at the bottom of your fridge or in the upper-right corner, but you’ll want to check your owner’s manual for the exact location. Once you’ve found the filter, examine it for debris. If it’s looking a little worse for wear, it’s likely time to order a replacement. After swapping out the filter, check your owner’s manual again for advice on how often to replace the filter to avoid future problems.

3. Blocked or Frozen Water Line

If both your ice maker and water dispenser are not working, this could point to an issue with the water line. The water line carries water to the dispenser and ice maker. When it freezes or becomes blocked the water can’t get to where it needs to go, preventing your ice maker from creating and dispensing ice.

How to Fix a Water Line

Use your owner’s manual to locate and access the water line so you can check for a blockage. An ice blockage will be easy to see and should be transparent. If you discover ice in the water line, you should be able to find a frozen water line tool at most home improvement and hardware stores to help you clear it. If you find something else clogging the water line, it’s usually a good idea to have a professional technician take a look.

4. Bad Water Inlet Valve

Ice maker not making ice but water works? Check the inlet valve, which is responsible for supplying water to the ice maker and dispenser. A defective inlet valve will lack the pressure needed to send the water all the way to your ice maker.

How to Fix an Inlet Valve

This valve is usually found behind your fridge, but its location can vary based on the manufacturer. Once you’ve located it, unplug your fridge and shut off the valve’s water supply before inspecting it for signs of damage or clogs. If it is clogged with mineral build-up, you may be able to clear it. However, if it’s damaged or failing, you will likely need to replace it.

5. Thermoset Is Set Too High or Low

Another reason for the ice maker in your freezer not working is the thermostat. When the freezer is too warm, the water won’t freeze into ice cubes. However, a freezer that’s too cold can also affect the ice maker. When the temperature is too low, the water can freeze before it reaches the ice mold, leaving you without any ice cubes.

How to Fix a Misset Thermostat

The owner’s manual for your freezer should tell you the correct temperature range. Check this number and adjust your freezer accordingly. If you adjust the thermostat but your problem persists, check the thermistor, which is essentially a temperature sensor. If the thermistor is malfunctioning, it can cause other problems, like a fridge that doesn’t work even though your freezer does.

What If My Ice Maker Still Isn’t Working?

Is your old ice maker still on the fritz despite the fixes above? It may be time for a new refrigerator. Fortunately, your nearest Rent-A-Center has you covered. Shop our wide selection of refrigerator options from trusted brands like Whirlpool, Maytag, and Amana in styles that are sure to modernize your kitchen. Plus, with our same-day delivery* and flexible payment options, you can have your new refrigerator (and working ice maker) as soon as today!

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