Ice Maker Not Making Ice? All the Easy Fixes You Need to Know
Whether you're throwing a party or pouring a cold glass of water, an ice maker is an outstanding feature on a refrigerator. But when it stops making ice, that can put a damper on things quickly. There are many issues that could prevent your ice maker from producing ice. Dirty water or kinked water lines are typical culprits. However, if the issue remains, it might be due to a faulty part. Our friends at Sears PartsDirect have listed some common problems and how to fix them.
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Replace the Ice Maker
If the entire ice maker assembly is broken, naturally, no ice can be made. Even if there are broken components inside the assembly, they're typically not sold separately. Before replacing the entire unit, check out the fan, inlet valve and water lines to see if those are causing the issue. If the parts are okay and the temperature isn't affected, then replace the ice maker assembly.
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Replace the Water Inlet Valve
The water inlet valve regulates water flow into your refrigerator, helping to create ice and dispense water. Improper flow greatly hinders the ability to make ice. If the inlet valve doesn't open or shut down correctly, this is a clear sign to replace it.
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Repair the Refrigerator Defrost System
Your fridge's defrost system improves heat exchange by occasionally melting frost from the evaporator. This prevents ice from building up and blocking airflow in the appliance. When there's an issue and the ice doesn't melt, it can harm both the fresh food and freezer sections of your refrigerator. If the defrost system is broken, diagnose the root cause first before repairing.
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Clean the Condenser Coils
Dirty refrigerator coils can inhibit your freezer's ability to run efficiently. Get your owner's manual and follow its directions for cleaning the condenser coils. Make sure to unplug the fridge before cleaning the coils. Typically, they're located behind the bottom front grill. A coil brush will allow you to clean out these components thoroughly.
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Replace the Defrost Sensor
A defrost sensor, or defrost bi-metal termination thermostat, will trip when it detects that the temperature of the evaporator is reaching a level that may cause it to overheat. Once it trips, the power to the defrost heater shuts down. Frost can collect on the evaporator fins if the defrost sensor isn't working correctly, causing the freezer to lose cooling power. Get a volt/ohm meter to check for sensor continuity, and replace this part if no continuity is shown around 0° Fahrenheit.
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Replace the Condenser Fan
A refrigerator's condenser fan is located next to the compressor and blows air across the condenser coils, cooling hot refrigerant that comes from the compressor. A faulty fan increases the cabinet temperature, which also can overheat the compressor. This causes the compressor to eventually break down if the condenser fan isn't fixed.
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Replace the Electronic Control Board
The electronic control board is an essential piece to any fridge. Also commonly known as the main control board or the power control board (PCB), this part controls the compressor and defrost cycle. It senses when the refrigerator needs to be cooled, sending power to the compressor and fans. The control board also works with the sensor to maintain temperature in both the fridge and freezer, helping to control a proper defrost cycle. Run a diagnostic test to check if the electronic control board is malfunctioning. Tests can vary by make or model, so check your owner's manual or tech sheet for more information.
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Replace the Compressor's Start Relay
A compressor's start relay is what makes your refrigerator run efficiently. This component energizes the start windings of a compressor motor during an initial startup. The PTC (positive temperature coefficient) start relay shuts down voltage to the start windings after the compressor starts, allowing it to run using the motor's run windings. If a broken start relay is the culprit, replace it so the compressor can have necessary voltage to operate properly. You should also check the start relay's wiring. Wiring failure could be the root cause of the start relay's issues. If you fix the wiring, that might help cure the problem.
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Adjust the Freezer or Refrigerator Door
If the freezer door hinge has been bent or dented, it may cause the door to sag. This compromises the seal, allowing warm air into the freezer. This moist air may cause excessive frost to form on the drain tube causing it to freeze. Adjust or replace the hinges so the door shuts and seals properly.
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Replace the Water Tubing System
If your refrigerator includes an ice maker or water dispenser, these features include a line made of durable tubing to supply water for ice or drinking. Over time, various factors can cause this tubing to split or fade, and this deterioration can lead to leaks. Too much leaking prevents water from getting to the ice maker to make ice. Check the water lines for leaks, and replace the tubing.
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Replace the Defrost Timer
Your fridge's defrost timer controls the intervals between automatic defrost cycles. It makes sure the compressor is off before turning on the defrost heater temporarily to melt frost off the evaporator fins, allowing an efficient exchange of heat. Once the defrost cycle ends, the timer turns off the defrost heater to continue regular cooling. When this part isn't working properly, the defrost heater will run constantly or not run at all.
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Replace the Refrigerator Compressor
A compressor is one of the most vital parts in your fridge, moving refrigerant throughout the entire appliance's system. If the compressor looks good but will not start, replace the start device and/or overload. If it's locked up or runs without compressing refrigerant, the entire part needs to be replaced. In this case, it's recommended that you call a service technician because the job will require the recovery and recharge of refrigerant.
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