If your icemaker is not producing any ice, then it has failed in its primary function and is effectively useless. If this happens in the colder months, it may not be a huge deal, but you will want a working icemaker when things start heating up again. Nothing cools you down faster than an ice-cold drink made ice-cold by ice from your icemaker. However, while repairing this part of your refrigerator may seem daunting, the hardest part of any repair is always simply diagnosing the problem. If you are in a do-it-yourself mood, we can help you get to the root cause that made your icemaker fail by recognizing the symptoms.
Water Fill System
When you begin an icemaker repair, you don’t necessarily want the icemaker and its parts to thaw out. You will want to thaw and dry the icemaker to make any replacements, but leaving the icemaker as is will help you diagnose the problem. If the water fill system is frozen or otherwise not functioning, when you look in your icemaker, you might notice a lack of ice or very small ice cubes. This is a good sign to look into the parts the ferry water to the icemaker instead of the icemaker itself.
You will want to check the fill tube, which is the tube in back of the icemaker. If this tube has ice around it, then it is a strong indicator that it is damaged and leaking. If you squeeze the tube lightly and find it feels very solid, then it is likely that the tube has frozen and is preventing water from getting to the icemaker. If this is the case, you may also want to check the water pressure to your refrigerator as low water pressure will allow the fill tube to freeze over. If you notice ice clogs, you may want to replace these parts, though thawing them may temporarily solve this issue. Unless you keep your refrigerator wildly cold for some reason, freezing usually indicates that a part is malfunctioning and you will benefit from replacing it.
Water Inlet Valve
The water inlet valve is one of the most likely culprit when your icemaker stops working, especially if you find the icemaker empty of potential ice. No water is getting released into the system, and the water inlet valve can be majorly responsible for that as the part that lets the water into the system.
To check the water inlet valve, you will want to shut off the water to your refrigerator and unplug it for safety. Before removing the inlet host to the valve, you will want to have a catch container or a towel underneath it as there may still be water inside. You will want to begin by removing the inlet hose that transfers water from the home to your refrigerator. It should be free of debris which you can see in a little filter screen located at the end of the hose. While water comes in pretty clean, it is not always free of debris, and the screen should catch it to prevent clogs. You will also want to check the hose for clogs beyond the screen and ensure that is was not twisted or kinked, which can restrict water flow.
Next you want to ensure there are no blockages in the inlet valve itself. Finally, you will want to check the solenoid on the water inlet valve with a multimeter. If this part fails, it simply will not allow water into your refrigerator. It can also fail the reverse way and may let in too much water, but that will cause a different icemaker issue.
Not all refrigerators will run water through the water filter on the way to the icemaker, but if yours might, then it could be the cause. Water filters need to be changed every six months depending on use. When a water filter becomes dirty, it can reduce the flow of water to your icemaker. Furthermore, if your icemaker uses water ran through the water filter, and you use a lot of ice, you will need to change the water filter more often. This can prevent the icemaker from getting enough water that it needs to make ice and actually release ice cubes. Luckily, most water filters are easily accessible so you can twist them off and reinstall new ones as needed.
Once you have eliminated the possibility that it is the water transfer parts preventing the function of your icemaker, only then it is time to consider that the actual icemaker assembly is no longer working. This becomes a more likely culprit if you peek inside your broken icemaker and notice that there is in fact a bunch of ice that just has not released.
Unfortunately, there are many parts in the icemaker assembly that can fail, which will prevent the icemaker from actually releasing the ice. First, if the mold is in fact full of fully-formed ice cubes, you should consider checking the icemaker’s heater from continuity. While having a heater in an appliance that makes ice seems a bit odd, the heater serves an important function. Essentially, it heats up the mold so that the ice cubes melt just enough to slide out of that mold and into the drop tray. If the heat is not functioning, it is likely that none of your ice cubes will drop or only a few will.
If that doesn’t prove to be the cause, you can look into how to manually eject the ice from your icemaker. Most models have a way that if the actual automatic method fails, you can do so manually. However, it differs depending on the make and model of your refrigerator, so you will need to consult your owner’s manual. If even the manual function does not work, you should next check the motor of your icemaker for continuity. Even if all the other parts work, if the motor fails, the cycle will not complete.