Diagnosing Ice Maker Problems in a Whirlpool ED5FHAXBV00 Refrigerator

If you are like many homeowners, then you likely rely on your refrigerator’s ice maker on a daily basis to keep your drinks cool and refreshing. Even as we enter into winter, your ice consumption will likely not slow down as most people do not want to drink warm water, soda, or cocktails. However, if the ice maker on your Whirlpool ED5FHAXBV00 refrigerator suddenly stops working, not only can this throw a wrench in your evening drink plans, but it can also leave you wondering what is wrong, and how you can get your refrigerator producing ice again. Before you start panicking and call an appliance repair specialist, there are a few steps you can take to try to diagnose what’s wrong with your ice maker and hopefully get it running again. Here are a few things you should do if your Whirlpool refrigerator suddenly stops producing or dispensing ice.

Make Sure That the Ice Maker is On

While this may sound like an obvious tip, it is important that you check to make sure that your ice maker is turned on if it suddenly stops making or dispensing ice. The reason for this is that many people do not realize how easy it can be to accidentally flip the ice maker control switch from the “on” to the “off” position when taking food out of your freezer, making it important that your first step is to check that the ice maker is on if it is not working. On this Whirlpool model, the control switch should be located on the wall on the right side of the freezer, next to the optics beam. It will clearly be labeled “on” and “off”; if your ice maker is off, try turning it on and see if that solves your problem. If this does not work, or if the ice maker was already on, proceed to the steps below.

Is There Ice?

After making sure that your ice maker is on, the first thing that you will want to do is to check to see whether there is ice in the tray where the ice maker freezes water into ice. If there is ice in the tray, this means that water is being supplied to the ice maker, and the ice maker is successfully producing ice, but it is not being dispensed for some reason. An ice maker that is not ejecting ice is likely suffering from an electrical or mechanical issue. In many instances, the ice maker motor assembly is broken and will need replacing, however, you may end up having to replace the ice maker entirely. In this particular model of Whirlpool refrigerator, another common reason for ice to stop being dispensed is due to the optic emitter failing.

Check The Optics Emitter

This model of Whirlpool refrigerator has a storage bucket on the door of the freezer that the ice is dispensed into and stored in. In order for the ice maker to know whether or not this bucket is full so that it knows when to make and dispense more ice, it utilizes an optics emitter that sends a beam of light from the wall of the freezer and through the ice bucket to a sensor on the other side. If the optic beam does not reach the sensor, the ice maker will know that the bucket is full and it will not produce or dispense more ice. However, if this optic beam fails, this can cause your ice maker to believe the bucket is full when it is not, causing it to not dispense ice.
Fortunately, it is fairly easy to check whether the optics emitter is working on your ice maker. When you open your freezer you will notice a small blinking red light on the right wall just forward of the on/off switch for the ice maker. When your freezer door is closed, this light should stop blinking and send a steady beam to the sensor on the left wall of the freezer. You can check this for yourself by pressing in the flap on the left side of the freezer that your freezer door presses when the door is closed. If the red light continues to blink when you press this flap, then the optics emitter has failed which is preventing ice from being dispensed. In this case, the optics emitter will likely need to be replaced. (You can learn more about this issue here).

Check The Water Supply Line

If the ice maker is on but is not producing ice at all (there is no ice in the tray), then you will next want to check for problems with the water supply line to the ice maker. Carefully pull your refrigerator away from the wall and check to see if the water supply line is kinked, twisted, or blocked in any way. If there does not appear to be any kinks, try disconnecting the supply line from the back of the refrigerator. You will first need to find the water shut-off valve behind the refrigerator or under the sink and turn it off, you will then be able to unscrew the supply line. Next, put the end of the line in a bucket and turn on the valve. If water pours out then you will know that there is an issue with your ice maker rather than with the supply line.

How Old is Your Water Filter?

The next thing to check if your refrigerator isn’t making ice, or if it is making smaller ice cubes than normal, is the condition of your refrigerator’s water filter. Many people are surprised to learn that the reason their ice maker wasn’t working properly is because their water filter needed to be replaced. However, if you use a water filter longer than recommended it can become clogged, preventing a sufficient flow of water from reaching your ice maker. This makes it important that you replace your water filter as recommended by the manufacturer, which is usually every four to six months depending on the manufacturer and how frequently you use your ice and water dispenser.

Know When to Ask for Help

When trying to determine what is wrong with the ice maker in your Whirlpool refrigerator, it is important to recognize when you need help from an appliance repair technician. Many ice maker problems are caused by mechanical or electrical issues that require professional diagnosis and repair. Contact us to learn more about why your ice maker isn’t working as well as to schedule an appointment to have your ice maker fixed.

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