Is your ice cream maker not working? The size of your batches could be causing all your problems. Here are all 8 known issues & fixes.

Ice cream makers are convenient and easy to use. Regardless of your flavor of choice, these appliances will provide you with the necessary tools to create the dessert you want, which is why it seems almost illogical not to own one in this day and age.

But, as wonderful as they are, from time to time, they will fail, just like any other household appliance. And while, at first sight, they do not seem that complicated, pinpointing the culprit behind the issue can be difficult. Especially considering that the ingredients you use, are just as likely to blame, as a technical fault.

There are many reasons why your ice cream maker might not be working. From under or overloading it, to a damaged cord, a bad outlet, or a jammed paddle. The possibilities are nearly endless. 

Who knew an appliance so convenient could create so many inconveniences?

The research process can be tedious, but luckily, I’ve already taken care of it and prepared a list below. In it, you’ll find the most common causes of this issue, and the actions you can take to address them, so that you can get back to enjoying your ice cream in no time. 

Are you ready? Let’s dig in!

Fixing a Failing Ice Cream Maker

The most common mistake I see a lot of people make, is trying to find an internal component to blame, before looking at the external factors that could be contributing to the issue.

To a certain point, I understand why you’d want to look at the least obvious factors first, but remember, troubleshooting is most productive when you analyze every component individually, and go from general, to specifics. From the outside, to the inside.

This will not only save you precious time and money, but also prevent unnecessarily tampering with your appliance, risking to cause more damage.

Your ice cream maker might not be working due to:

  • A bad outlet
  • A damaged power cord
  • A jammed paddle
  • Underfilling
  • Overfilling
  • Rust
  • A blown fuse
  • Overheating

For most of these repairs, you will not need any kind of tools, but when trying to check your internal components for viability, a screwdriver, and a multimeter will come in very handy.

#1 You Have a Bad Outlet

testing outlet for continuity
Use a multimeter to test your outlets for continuity

Let’s start off this list by crossing off your energy sources.

If your ice cream maker is not working, there is a good chance that the problem lies not in the component itself, but in your wall outlet or power cord. These can be easily overlooked during the troubleshooting process, but you’d be surprised at how many times they’re the answer.

A faulty power outlet can be the symptom of a myriad of issues, ranging from something as negligible as a loose wire behind it, to more concerning situations, like a general malfunction in your home’s electrical layout.

Whatever the case, there’s one thing for sure. Your ice cream maker is not working, and this could be the reason why.

Solution: Carefully unplug your appliance, and take it to a different section of your house. Preferably, as far away as possible from the outlet you normally use.

Once you have done that, plug it back into a different outlet and see if the issue is resolved. If it is, great! If it isn’t, worry not, there’s still a lot of ground to cover.

Additionally, if you’re up for a challenge, you can try and test your outlet with a multimeter. While this is optional, it’s strongly advised.

As I said before, a faulty outlet could be the symptom of a larger electrical failure that might give you trouble later on. Best to nip it in the bud.

#2 Your Power Cord Is Damaged

Moving down the power supply, it’s time to look at your power cord.

Most cords in our household appliances look sturdy and thick, so you’d think that they would be very resilient, but they’re not.  In fact, small bad practices, like storing them improperly, pressing them against a wall, or keeping them tangled, are more than enough to do them in, and cause a lot of problems.

The severity of the damage will also determine what the symptoms are.

For example, if the cord is completely broken, your ice cream maker won’t turn on, but if it’s only partially damaged, it could cause a short circuit, and kill your appliance.

Provided that this is the issue, It goes without saying that you should avoid using your ice cream maker until you replace the cable.

Solution: Get a new cord.

I know you probably don’t have a spare one lying around, but in the off chance that you do, you can use it to try and power your appliance, as long as it meets the damaged one’s amperage and voltage specifications. This will save you money, and effort.

If you’re like most of us and don’t have a spare cable lying around just waiting to be tested, don’t worry.

Finding a new one should be fairly simple. All you have to do is run a quick Google search on your appliance’s make and model, and you should be able to find a replacement for less than $20 at any online marketplace.

#3 The Paddle Is Jammed

chocolate ice cream in ice cream maker bowl
If the ice cream maker’s paddle is jammed, try removing the residue stuck in it and sprinkle some salt into the mixture

If both your power sources are alive and well, we can start looking at the parts that are actually attached to your ice cream maker.

Let’s begin with the paddle. Can you imagine having to churn your ice cream by hand? Not only would it take hours, but by the time you were done, your entire arm would be cramping and sore. No, thank you.

Your ice cream maker’s paddle will save you all that trouble, but several user-related errors can cause it to jam, and put you in a very inconvenient position. This can happen due to an overly-frozen ice cream mix, or other, more concerning factors that we’ll cover below.

Solution: Carefully unplug your appliance, and remove the paddle if your model allows for it.

Try cleaning all the residue stuck to it, and add a little more salt to your ice cream mixture. This ingredient will melt the ice through a chemical reaction with the water in it, and make it a little more manageable.

If that does not resolve the issue, the problem might lie with the motor, in which case, you’re better off calling a specialized technician that can take a look at it, and repair it.

#4 You’re Not Adding Enough Ice Cream Mix

Your ice cream maker is specifically engineered to properly freeze a certain amount of ice cream mix. Putting too much or too little can yield unwanted results.

If your ice cream maker is not working, you might be underfilling it, or not adding enough ice cream mix to your recipes.

This will cause them to turn out frozen, full of ice, and probably hard to eat. Moreover, if the mix becomes frozen solid, your paddle will have a lot of trouble moving, which could make it look like it’s failing.

Solution: As stated in the previous point, a little salt can help soften the mix, but it’s best to get it right from the start without having to add any additional ingredients.

If the mix is too hard, but everything else seems to be working normally within your appliance, a quantity error could be to blame. Prepare another batch, and give it another go!

#5 You’re Overfilling Your Base

filled ice cream maker
Do not exceed your appliance’s maximum recommended capacity

This might sound like a bad joke, but underfilling your ice cream maker is not the only capacity-related issue on this list, as overfilling it, can also put you through some hard times.

While the former will make the mixture become too hard, the latter will cause it to be excessively soft, and watery.

This won’t make your paddle struggle, per se, but it could strain your motor, and overheat it, as the machine will have to run for longer to get you the results you want.

This is strongly advised against and could be the culprit behind your unit’s failure.

Solution: Always read your manufacturer’s user manual and follow the instructions to a tee. These are designed to help your appliance operate optimally, and increase its lifespan.

As I said before, if your appliance overheated and burned your motor, you’re better off calling a professional.

That being said, if you absolutely must do the repairs yourself, you can find tons of online resources that you can follow along step by step to disassemble your ice cream maker.

Once you have removed the faulty motor, you can do a quick Google search to find the right replacement that will fit your make and model, and then proceed to reassemble.

#6 Your Components Are Rusty

Rust is a nightmare, wherever you find it. Be it on playground slides, swing chains, or on your ice cream maker’s components. It’s always bad news.

You might be tempted to think that household appliances cannot develop rust in their components. I used to think that too, but it turns out, that even the moisture inside your kitchen can contribute to its formation, and the appearance of mold.

Now, this won’t happen in all scenarios, but if you’re in the habit of cleaning your appliance, and putting it back together immediately before letting it dry, you could be contributing to this issue.

Rust in the paddle or motor of an ice cream maker, can make it difficult for the components to move freely, and thus, compromise their adequate operation. If your ice cream maker is not working, this is likely the reason why.

Solution: Be very diligent when cleaning your ice cream maker’s components, and let them dry completely before putting them back in place.

This will not only prevent the formation of mold and rust in them, but also extend their durability and guarantee hygienic conditions during operation and serving.

If you’re still at a stage where preventive measures can save your appliance from further damage, this will work wonders for you. On the other hand, if there is already a significant amount of rust present in your components, it might be time to replace them.

#7 There’s a Blown Fuse

isolated ceramic fuse
A blown fuse is responsible to cut off all electric continuity inside your ice cream maker

Remember when I was talking about overheating? This is one of the main reasons why you want to avoid it.  If your ice cream maker is not working and none of the solutions above have proven effective, chances are there is a blown fuse inside your appliance.

In case you’re not familiar with what fuses do, they’re responsible for “blowing” to cut off all electric continuity inside your ice cream maker when they sense extreme heat, or power surges originating from blackouts.

A blown fuse is extremely likely to be the culprit if your ice cream maker stopped working right after a blackout or an extended period of operation.

Solution:  You’ll have to go in. To do so, please follow the steps from point #5 to a tee in order to expose your appliance’s guts, and identify your fuse.

Normally, I’d recommend using a multimeter to test the component for viability, but when it comes to fuses, the naked eye can easily spot them when they’re blown. All you have to do is look for signs of a small explosion, like blackening, and a broken filament inside the glass body.

Once you have determined the component is in fact, blown, you can find a replacement easily at your nearest hardware store.

#8 There’s an Overheating Problem

At this point, you’re probably thinking I love talking about overheating, but I don’t. I really don’t. It’s a very dangerous occurrence that can reduce the lifespan of an appliance dramatically. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves!

There are many reasons why your ice cream maker might be overheating. From a jammed paddle, and a strained motor, to a faulty power cord, or a damaged outlet. You name it, it’s a possibility.

That being said, if your ice cream maker is not working due to this condition, not all is lost, so don’t throw your appliance away just yet.

Depending on the severity of the issue, and the extension of the damage, something as simple as modifying your cleaning and operating habits, could be more than enough.

And even if the damage is extensive enough to have caused a blown fuse, there’s still a lot to do.

The only scenario where I would ask you to weigh your options, and consider the possibility of buying a new appliance, would be if you had a fried circuit board.

Solution: Follow the steps from point #5 to test the viability of all your internal components. This will help you assess the damage and determine which route to take.

Provided that not too much harm has been done to your ice cream maker, you can always try adjusting your operating and cleaning habits to prevent this issue from manifesting itself again.

But, if the damage is, in fact, severe, I would advise looking at your warranty status. If you’re still under coverage, you should try reaching out to your manufacturer and see if you can get it repaired for free.

If not, and provided that your circuit board is fried, looking into buying a new model would not be a bad idea.

Conclusion

Having your ice cream maker stop working can be a nightmare. Not only are you stuck without ice cream, but also in the uncomfortable position of having to find a way to repair your unit, and spend money on it.

Not all is lost, though. More often than not, when your appliance fails, it’s due to user error, a wrong amount of ingredients, or improper cleaning habits.

You should always try to rule out those factors first before prying your appliance open or paying for a technician. Chances are, your problem will fix itself, and not a dime will have been spent in vain.

That being said, while I commend you for trying to do your own repairs, you should always keep safety as a top priority.

Thank you for reading. If you found this article useful, why not keep learning with our other wonderful resources below?

Enjoy your treat!