9 Tips To Stop Your Ice Maker Freezing Over & Jamming
So you’re tired of your ice maker freezing over and jamming. I feel your pain. Very little is as frustrating as going to fill a cup with ice and finding it jammed or opening your freezer and finding it covered in unwanted ice.
Thankfully, there are some quick and easy solutions that should prevent this from happening in the future.
Ready to get started? Let’s do this. From simplest to most involved, here are —
9 Tips to Stop Your Ice Maker Freezing Over and Jamming
1. Check the jam.
Sometimes it’s easy to overanalyze or over-diagnose a problem with an appliance. The first step to take if your ice maker is jammed is to simply take a wooden spoon and carefully try to unjam any obstructions. Be careful not to create any new complications, of course, but if this works, you could be back to sipping your ice-cold drink in no time.
Quick note: If the ice maker isn’t used enough or if—for any reason—the ice has slightly melted and then re-frozen, the ice can actually start sticking together in giant clumps that make it nearly impossible to dispense. If this is the problem and a wooden spoon won’t solve the issue, remove your ice bin and break up the clumps to see if the problem is solved.
It could simply be that ice fell at an angle in the ice box that is causing the backup. If you try this, and it isn’t the problem …
2. Check your freezer’s temperature.
This is an easy solution, but it’s also an easily overlooked solution. If the temperature in your freezer is too cold, all the water—including water that should remain water—turns to ice. And suddenly your freezer is a giant block of unwanted ice. So check to be sure your freezer temp isn’t too low. The FDA recommends you keep your freezer at 0° F (-18° C).
Quick note: Depending on how thick the ice has gotten in your freezer, it can take 12 hours for ice to melt or thaw. So don’t expect changing the temperature to quickly fix the issue. If this isn’t isn’t the problem …
3. Check your water filter.
A clogged water filter can easily stop your ice maker from making ice.
If it’s clogged, this can cause unwanted water pressure problems that may be creating freezing and jamming as the water gets backed up into your freezer. But as complicated as this sounds, it’s really another simple problem with another simple solution.
Simply change the water filter and clean up the current mess. If this isn’t the problem …
4. Check your water pressure.
If the pressure of the water going into your refrigerator is too low or too high, your ice maker may freeze over or jam. Specifically, water pressure that is over 120 PSI can lead to freezing and jamming. Check the water pressure and adjust it accordingly. If this isn’t the problem …
5. Check your water line for freezing.
Reminder: If any of these steps become overwhelming or feel impossible, keep in mind that repair technicians can typically help fix the problem quickly and efficiently.
First, you want to make sure your water line is not frozen. Consider removing your ice maker and checking for any signs of a frozen fill tube. Is it working properly? Is it frozen? It’s not uncommon for the water line between the valve and the ice maker to freeze up. This can happen for many reasons. If you discover that your water supply line is frozen, start by defrosting the entire refrigerator. Or—if you don’t want to go through the hassle—use a hair dryer to carefully defrost the single, frozen water line. This is a tricky process that requires utmost care and caution, but it can be done. If you notice that your water line freezes with any regularity, try turning up the temperature of your freezer to maintain the integrity of your water supply line. If this isn’t the problem …
6. Check your water line for positioning.
Next, check to make sure your water line is positioned correctly. This may seem like a minor thing, but if your water line is shoved too far down into the valve, it can actually cause an unwanted splash-back that allows water into parts of the freezer where it doesn’t belong. This can create unwanted freezing throughout your freezer.
Double-check that the water line (located behind or below the fridge) is positioned correctly. If this isn’t the problem …
7. Check for defects.
If any individual component in the ice maker—from the motor to the circuit board and everything in between—fails to work correctly, your ice maker will start freezing over or jamming. And, as you may know by now, it will typically do it at the least opportune time.
So look carefully at each component in your ice maker. Does anything look off? Is anything making a new or strange sound? Is anything silent that should be making a sound?
If so, remove the defected part and replace it. If you can’t locate the defective part, reach out to a repair technician for help. If this isn’t the problem …
8. Check the ice fill tube.
If your refrigerator has an ice fill tube (and most refrigerators do), you should check to see if it is frozen. The ice fill tube is a separate line from the water lines, but it is the tube that specifically delivers water to your ice maker. Look behind your ice maker and slide out your ice maker (if necessary) to access it. If your ice fill tube is frozen, remove it carefully and run it under hot water to thaw it. If that isn’t the problem …
9. Check the water inlet valve.
The water inlet valve is responsible for the flow of water into your refrigerator. If your water inlet valve is broken or defective, it can actually overfill your ice cube bucket and cause the whole thing to freeze. So, if none of the previous tips work to find the problem, check your water inlet valve on the back of your refrigerator. If you’re able, check it with a multimeter in order to see if your solenoid is working. If it appears to be malfunctioning, replace it.
Ice makers freeze over and jam for many reasons, including frozen tubes, faulty valves, improper temperature settings, or outdated filters. Hopefully with a little investigation and some elbow grease you’ll be able to find and fix the problem using this handy list. If not—or if you have other issues with your appliances you’d like help with—let us know. We want to help you succeed!
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