Ice Maker Arm Stuck? Here’s 6 Tips to Free It


Ice makers are a convenient addition to the modern home. However, those ice maker arms always seem to be getting stuck and can often feel like more trouble than they’re worth. As it turns out, repairing a stuck ice maker arm is very easy.

You can repair a stuck ice maker arm on your own without having to call an expensive appliance repair technician. Most of these fixes don’t even need any tools.

The ice maker feeler arm tells your ice maker when it needs to make new ice and when to stop. When it gets jammed, you can either run out of ice or your freezer can overflow. You can repair your ice maker arm as simply as setting your freezer to defrost. You can also repair it by replacing a broken ice maker arm quickly and without needing to use any tools. 

Are you ready to get your ice maker up and running? Let’s dive into our guide.

What You’ll Need to Fix Your Ice Maker Arm

Fixing a stuck ice maker arm is incredibly easy. You often don’t need any tools to fix a stuck ice maker arm. All you’re going to need for most of these fixes is a little free time.

 Here are a few tools that can help you out when you go to fix a stuck ice maker arm.

  1. Flathead screwdriver
  2. Philip’s screwdriver
  3. Needle nose pliers

A Few Safety Tips

One thing you will need is a good understanding of appliance repair safety.

Refrigerators are heavy, slippery, and they also operate using electricity. This is a recipe for danger if you don’t take some basic safety precautions.

Always unplug your refrigerator before you start any repairs. Even if it doesn’t feel like you need to unplug it for safety. It’s better to be safe than sorry when working with appliances.

Refrigerators are also very heavy. Never try to balance on your refrigerator or stand on any of the shelves. Make sure to have a friend with you while you do these repairs so that they can help you out.

It’s fairly easy to repair a stuck ice maker arm, but it’s nothing worth getting injured over. 

Let’s start with the quickest fixes first. 

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Tip 1: Clear an Ice Maker Arm Jam

One of the most common ways for an ice maker arm to jam is for packaged food products to press against it.

There’s a good chance that if your freezer is very full, there might be something blocking your ice maker arm from moving freely. Make sure that nothing is accidentally blocking the movement of your ice maker arm. 

Tip 2: Try a Manual Reset

Your second strategy for fixing a stuck ice maker arm is about as easy as it gets.

  1. Press down on the ice maker arm to reset it to a lower position

An ice maker is turned to the OFF position by fully raising the feeler arm. So, pushing it down, turns it back to the ON position. So that’s all you need to do. However, don’t press too hard, or you could risk breaking your ice maker arm. This is a great fix when it is just stuck in the upright position and only needs a little pressure to lower it back down. 

Ice maker tray
Press down on the ice maker arm to reset it to a lower position

Tip 3: Defrost

It makes sense that your ice maker arm can be stuck in the upright position because it’s frozen. This is especially the case if you have a problem with icicles forming inside of your freezer. All you need to do is activate your freezers defrost setting and let it run on a cycle. 

This should free up a stuck ice maker arm. 

Tip 4: Hard Reset Your Freezer

Similar to a computer, many times a stuck ice maker arm can be fixed with a hard reset. Here’s how it works.

  1. Unplug your freezer
  2. Wait for 30 seconds
  3. Plug your freezer back in

Leaving your freezer unplugged for 30 seconds should reset the internal computer. This will also force the computer to recalibrate a stuck ice maker arm position.

Reset your freezer by unplugging it for at least 30 seconds

Tip 4: Aligning the Ice Maker Arm

Your ice maker arm connects into the ice maker assembly at 2 points. One of those points will connect into the ice maker body while the other side connects to the opposite side of the ice maker and acts only as a pivot point for the ice maker arm to move freely up and down.

 It’s very common for your ice maker arm to get knocked out of place. This is especially the case if you accidentally knocked it out of alignment the last time you were loading your freezer up with food. Thankfully, the fix is really easy.

  1. Start by inspecting your ice maker arm to see if it has popped out on either side
  2. If you notice the ice maker arm is loose on one side, raise it to its highest position
  3. The ice maker arm can now be realized 
  4. Slowly guide the loose end of the ice maker arm back into its housing
  5. Verify that the ice maker feeler arm is installed right by making sure it can move to the up/down position freely.
  6. Your ice maker arm should now be up and running 

Tip 5: Replace a Loose Spring

Have you ever wondered what’s holding your ice maker arm up?

There’s a small spring inside your ice maker head that keeps the ice maker arm up. This spring can pop loose. This often happens if the ice maker has been knocked around or just through years of use. Here’s how you can realign that spring.

  1. Start by moving the ice maker arm up and down slowly. You might be able to force the spring back into alignment simply by manually moving your ice maker arm
  2. If that fails, you’re going to need to take apart a section of your ice maker. This will change based on your ice maker manufacturer
  3. Remove the ice maker arm by gently pressing it out of the ice maker head and then pressing the other side out of the housing
  4. Unscrew the cover plate on the ice maker housing
  5. You should see the assembly for the ice maker arm. You can take this time to realign the spring and check for any other problems

This video guide will show you how to remove and disassemble one of the more common types of ice makers

Tip 6: Replace the Ice Maker Feeler Arm Altogether

Sometimes the problem is the ice maker arm itself. If your ice maker arm is bent or broken, it’s time to replace it. Luckily, this is something that you can do quickly and on your own.

  1. Have your replacement ice maker arm ready
  2. Remove the broken ice maker arm by gently pressing it out of the ice maker head and then pulling the other end out of the ice maker arm housing 
  3. Insert your new ice maker arm into the ice maker head
  4. Gently guide the other end of your ice maker arm into the ice maker housing
  5. Test your new ice maker arm to make sure that it’s working just fine

Here is a good video guide on how to remove and install a new ice maker arm.

Ice Maker Arm Still Stuck?

If these tips haven’t helped – don’t worry. There may be other quick fixes you can try.

We’re fortunate enough to have a lot of readers on our website, but unfortunately I can’t answer everyone’s questions personally. To help, we’ve teamed up with JustAnswer to connect you to a qualified Appliance expert.

You can connect with an appliance expert below, who will help you solve your specific issue. They do charge a small trial fee, so just remember to cancel the trial once you get your ice maker working again.

What Does Your Ice Maker Arm Do?

The ice maker arm is also known as the ice maker feeler. It has one very important job.

The ice maker arm senses the current level of ice in your fridge’s ice maker.  The ice maker arm shuts off ice production if the level gets too high. This prevents the ice maker from overflowing and producing too much ice by acting as an ON/OFF switch. 

How Does an Ice Maker Arm Work?

The ice maker arm is connected to a series of sensors inside the ice maker head. The sensors are able to detect the angle of the ice maker arm. If the ice maker arm is unable to reset to its neutral position, the sensors in the ice maker will shut off ice production. 

What Happens When It Gets Stuck?

Your ice maker arm can either be stuck in the off position or in the on position.

An ice maker arm that is stuck in the off position will cause your ice maker to quit making any ice. This is typically caused by a problem inside the ice maker head. The opposite side of the arm acts as pivot point allowing it to move up and down.

Things can get worse if your ice maker arm is stuck in the on position. This causes your fridge to constantly produce ice. This can overflow leading to serious water damage if unaddressed. 


A stuck ice maker arm is one of the most common problems that you can face. Now you can tackle this DIY repair job on your own without having to call your local appliance repair technician.

Follow our step-by-step guides and you’ll be able to either repair your stuck ice maker arm and troubleshoot your ice maker. You’ll never get stuck without ice on a hot day again! 

Next time your ice maker arm gets stuck, you’re going to know exactly what to do.

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Have a great day!


Hi there! I’m Craig, and I’m the founder of Appliance Analysts. When it comes to appliances and anything electrical, I’ve always loved opening things up, figuring out how they work, and fixing them. This website is where I share free advice from myself and our experts to help our readers solve their appliance/HVAC problems and save money. Read more