Turning off your ice maker is not something most people expect to find themselves doing. Automatic ice is a wonderful thing and we all enjoy never having to fill another ice tray again. But sometimes, the circumstances are such that turning off the ice maker is your best choice. Maybe you’re leaving town for a month, maybe you’ve already got more ice than you can use re-freezing together in the ice bin.
For whatever reason, we’re here to hunt down the off switch for your refrigerator’s ice maker and help you switch that thing off.
Ice Maker Deactivation Tips
Before you get started, there are a couple of helpful tips to consider about the whole process of turning off your ice maker. First, there’s the filling ice mold. Then there’s the ice bin itself.
– Switch Off Right After Ice Drops
If you want to time your switch-off perfectly, wait until right after you hear ice drop into the bin. This means that the ice mold is now empty. You have the chance to turn off the ice maker before the mold begins to fill again. Save yourself the trouble of cleaning out the ice mold or coming back to a mold with partial cubes inside.
– Clean Out the Ice Bin When You’re Done
After you turn off the ice maker, don’t forget to clean out the ice bin. The bin is full of any ice that has already been made and dropped. The problem with this ice is that it can go bad if it sits to long. Ice bins can grow mildew or the ice can melt and re-freeze together during the freezer defrost cycle. Be sure to empty and clean out the ice bin when you’re going to stop using fresh ice.
How to Turn Off an Ice Maker
Now let’s switch off your ice maker. Every fridge model has a different ice maker design. There are four different standard ways to turn off an ice maker and we’ll cover each one just in case it suits your fridge design.
– Use the Touchpad Control Panel
If your fridge has one of those touchpad control panels for the water and ice dispensers, you can usually turn the ice maker off through the panel. Some panels, the process is an easy press-and-hold button. Sometimes, it’s a complex secret button combination revealed only in the user’s manual.
Inspect your control panel and look for any indication of an ice production off button. Skim the online or printed user’s manual for clues. If you can’t find the button or your control panel doesn’t work, don’t worry. There’s usually a secondary manual switch inside the freezer.
– Flip the Switch
Open up your freezer and take a close look at the ice maker. Some ice makers are designed with a simple and easy to understand paddle switch. This is a switch that flips back and forth and turns your ice maker off and on. From there, it’s easy to cut the power to the little appliance. Reach in and flip that switch. This should turn off your ice maker, but keep an ear out just in case that switch did something else.
– Flip-Up the Fill Bar
Look at where your ice maker connects to the ice bin. There is likely a long metal bar that extends horizontally over the ice bin. This is called the fill bar. It is designed to detect when the ice bin is full because the ice will push up on the bar. The same principle works to turn off the ice maker manually. If your ice maker has a fill bar, and most do, you can turn off the ice maker by flipping up the bar.
Reach in and touch the fill bar with your fingertips. Push the bar upward toward the ceiling until you feel or hear it click into a higher locked position. This is the off-position for your ice maker. –
– Disconnect the Wire Harness
If you can’t find any other manual power switch for your ice maker, you can always cut the power directly. Depending on the design of your freezer, it can be easy or complicated to simply pull the wire harness that powers the ice maker through the fridge.
Start by unplugging your fridge temporarily, so you can’t accidentally get a shock. Then trace where the wires from your ice maker connect to the back or side of the freezer compartment. You may need to unmount the ice maker or possibly open the back of the freezer compartment. When you find the correct wire harness, a clip that connects two wire clusters, disconnect the two sides to cut power to your ice maker. You can also fully uninstall your ice maker.
Reducing Your Ice Production
It’s also worth mentioning that you don’t have to turn off the ice maker to get less ice. If you’re finding that automatic ice makes way more ice than your household can consume, it’s smart to reduce that production. After all, you don’t want a bunch of old ice absorbing fridge smells, re-freezing together, and possibly collecting mildew and dust. You want fresh, constantly cycling ice.
– The Ice Bin Shelf
The way to reduce your ice production in an uncomplicated ice maker is with a simple shelf. All you need is a small plastic shelf, preferably slotted to drain melt-off. This will cause a smaller amount of ice to trigger the fill-bar and stop the ice maker to produce less ice. The solution is as elegant as it is simple.
—Whether you’re looking for less ice, no ice, or to put your ice maker in hibernation, it’s easier than you think to take control of your fridge’s automatic ice maker. Find the switch, flip the bar, pull the wires, or insert that shelf. You’ll have your ice maker stopped or slowed down with no trouble at all. For more great appliance repair insights and step-by-step guides, explore the blog! For appliance repair services, please contact us for an initial consultation.