Whirlpool Refrigerator Not Making Ice but Water Works: Here’s Why

November 6, 2023
Refrigerator Repair

If your Whirlpool refrigerator’s water dispenser works, but it’s not producing ice, you’ve come to the right place. From simple user oversight, like an accidentally turned-off ice maker, to more complex concerns, such as clogged filters, malfunctioning components, or temperature fluctuations, this guide explores the main causes of this problem. 

For each potential cause, we will provide practical solutions to ensure your Whirlpool refrigerator once again delivers a steady supply of ice for all your cooling needs.

All major Whirlpool refrigerators are covered by this guide, including:


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Your Ice Maker Might Be Turned Off

If your Whirlpool ice maker is not making ice, but the water dispenser is working, it could be because the ice maker is set to the “off” mode. Most Whirlpool refrigerators are equipped with a wire shut-off arm that controls the activation and deactivation of the ice dispenser. The arm is designed to halt ice production when it is raised. To activate your refrigerator’s ice maker, simply lower the wire shut-off arm, and ice production will resume. If your ice maker still doesn’t work after turning it on, check out the next possible cause.

Your Ice Maker Might Be Jammed

It’s possible that temperature fluctuations can cause the ice to melt but then later refreeze. When this occurs, large clumps of ice will form in the ice maker unit, preventing individual ice cubes from flowing through. This will result in the ice maker failing to work even though the water still is.

Here’s what to do to fix a jammed ice maker:

  1. Switch the refrigerator off.
  2. Open the refrigerator door to access the ice dispenser.
  3. Identify the chute through which the ice drops.
  4. Insert a long wooden spoon into the clumped ice within the chute to break up the ice and remove the blockage.
  5. Close the refrigerator door and switch it back on.
  6. Monitor the ice maker for an hour or so to ensure it is now working correctly. If it still fails to produce ice, check out the next possible cause. 

The Water Hose Might Be Frozen

Another common reason a Whirlpool refrigerator isn’t making ice even if the water is still working is a frozen water hose. When this occurs, water will flow into the fridge, but it will be blocked from getting to the ice maker, meaning no ice can be made.

Here’s what to do to fix a frozen water hose:

  1. Begin by checking your freezer’s temperature. Ensure it falls within 0 to 5 degrees Fahrenheit. If the temperature is lower than this, the hose might freeze. If the temperature is set correctly, you can go straight to the next possible cause below.
  2. If the temperature needs to be reset, you will need to defrost the water hose. The first step is to switch the power off to your refrigerator.
  3. Next, switch the water supply valve off.
  4. Loosen the two screws securing the ice maker to the freezer wall and lift it off its brackets.
  5. Carefully unplug the ice maker from the wire harness inside the freezer.
  6. Place the ice maker out of the fridge on a soft surface. 
  7. You can leave the water hose to defrost by itself for a few hours or use a hair dryer to blow hot air onto the fill tube to speed up the defrost process. If you use a hair dryer, continue blowing hot air for about 15 minutes until the ice melts and water ceases to drip from the tube.
  8. Reconnect the ice maker to the wire harness and secure it back into the freezer.
  9. Turn the water supply valve back on, then switch the power to your fridge on. You can then monitor your ice maker for a few hours to ensure it starts making ice again. If it still fails to produce ice, check out the next possible cause.

The Water Filter Might Be Faulty

The primary function of your Whirlpool water filter is to eliminate impurities such as mineral deposits and chemicals from the water. As time passes, these impurities may accumulate within the filter, leading to blockages that diminish the water flow to your ice maker.

While Whirlpool recommends changing the water filter every six months, you will need to replace it immediately if it becomes blocked. To ensure a seamless replacement process, we recommend consulting your owner’s manual for guidance on selecting the appropriate replacement filter and step-by-step instructions. Once the water filter has been replaced, monitor your refrigerator for a couple of hours to check if it can now produce ice. If not, check the next possible cause.

The Dispenser Switch Might Be Defective

The dispenser switch is a crucial component responsible for providing power to the water inlet valve to enable the release of water or ice. If the dispenser switch malfunctions or fails to operate, it disrupts the signal transmission to the water inlet valve, resulting in the inability to dispense either water or ice.

Here’s how to check the dispenser switch:

  1. Switch the power off to your refrigerator.
  2. Locate the dispenser switch and disconnect the wires from it.
  3. Use a multimeter to test the switch for continuity. No continuity means it’s faulty and must be replaced. If it does have continuity, reconnect the switch and move on to check the next possible cause.
  4. If you replace the dispenser switch, turn your appliance back on and monitor it for a couple of hours to see if it can now produce ice. If not, check the next possible cause.

The Inlet Valve Might Be Defective

When you want to release ice or water from the ice maker unit, you press the appropriate button, and the control panel then sends an electrical signal to activate the water inlet valve. This enables the release of water or ice. However, over time, the water inlet valve or its associated tubing can develop faults or damage, disrupting the flow of water or ice. In such instances, it becomes necessary to replace the inlet valve. Replacing the inlet valve should be your last action when trying to fix a faulty Whirlpool ice maker. You can do it yourself or get a technician to do it for you. If replacing the inlet valve doesn’t fix the ice maker, you must consider replacing the entire unit.


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