It’s summer and you can’t wait to get some ice-cold water. The only problem is, even though the ice maker says it’s full, it’s shooting blanks. Nothing is more disappointing, and that’s why I searched all across the internet to bring you these tips on how to fix it.

To fix an ice maker that says it’s full when it’s not, you need to test the ice slideway to see if the magnet is still connected to the on/off switch. The magnet tells the switch whether or not the bin is full, but it could be stuck, causing an incorrect reading.

Ready to fix your ice maker so you can actually have ice when it says you do? Then let’s dive straight in.

Fixing an Ice Maker That Says It’s Full When It’s Not

Here’s what to do to fix an ice full light coming on when your ice maker is empty:

  1. Open your ice maker
  2. Check your slideway
  3. Remove any debris
  4. Rotate the slideway to test functionality
  5. Check back within 2 hours

Chances are there is some frost build-up or a burr on the magnet or panel. This would cause the two to become separated.

Burrs are common manufacturing issues that aren’t really a problem until your ice maker is messing up. You could file it down with some sandpaper if you feel the burr is causing the issue.

When you rotate the slideway and the magnet is touching the panel again, look at the LED screen on the front of the door.

Check that the light turns off when the magnet touches the panel. If everything operates as it should, go ahead and close the freezer and wait to see if you have ice in a couple of hours.

How the Ice Full Light Works

The freezers that have an LED display on the front of the door have mechanisms in place that can automatically tell if the ice is low, the filter needs cleaning, etc.

Sometimes these mechanisms break down over time or something in the refrigerator is causing the readings to be wrong.

With your ice maker, there is a slideway mechanism with a magnet attached to one end. The slideway rotates when the ice bin gets full and as the slideway rotates, it keeps the magnet from touching a panel on the ice maker.

This separation is what causes your ice full light to come on.

When your ice bin is empty but the ice full light is on, something is keeping the magnet from touching the panel on your ice maker.

What Causes an Ice Maker To Say It’s Full

The slideway being separated from the panel on the ice maker is why your ice maker tells you it’s full. There could also be a shortage in the circuitry of your ice maker.

The reason for the slideway being forcefully separated from the ice maker is either a buildup of:

  • Debris
  • Frost
  • A burr

Take a small cloth and dampen it with some soap water to clean away any debris or buildup on your magnet. Do the same for the panel on the ice maker.

You might have to chip away at the frost or mess with your temperature controls. The defrost cycle might not be running effectively.

Ice tray
Remove the ice tray and take a damp cloth to clean away any debris or buildup on the magnet

A burr is an imperfection left by a machine during manufacturing. A little piece of the plastic will stick out, causing the magnet to get stuck before resting on the inside panel.

You can fix it by using some sandpaper to make it even with the rest of the mold.

Why Doesn’t My Ice Maker Ever Get Full?

There could be several reasons your ice maker isn’t filling up your ice bin even after you’ve been waiting for hours.

Not Enough Water

Your ice maker is hooked up to your water line and if it isn’t getting enough water pumping through the line, you aren’t going to get enough ice.

Check the line running to your ice maker to see if there are any clogs in the pumps. If you have hard water in your home it could cause a buildup over time.

There is a sensor on your ice maker that tells it when it’s time to add more water to the ice tray. The sensor could be broken or there could be an obstruction blocking it.

There’s a Mechanical Issue

With ice trays, you have to manually fill them with water and place them gently inside your freezer for a few hours to get ice. With your ice maker, the entire process is done automatically.

The only way for the ice maker to know which step it’s at is to have a series of mechanisms and sensors in place.

Each one lets the ice maker know important information like:

  • When it’s time to add water
  • When the water has frozen
  • When it’s time to pop the cubes out
  • When it’s full

If the mechanisms and sensors are damaged in any way, the machine won’t be able to complete its cycle and keep popping out fresh cubes.

Ice maker switch
Check that the sensors and mechanisms are in good working order

If you are having trouble keeping your ice bin full, make sure all your pieces are working correctly.

It’s Not Cold Enough

If your ice machine isn’t cold enough to freeze your cubes, your ice machine won’t be able to know when it should make another batch.

Your ice maker has a built-in thermometer that allows it to know exactly when the water has frozen to make your ice cubes.

When the water hits the freezing temperature it sends a signal to the machine to pop the cubes out onto the tray below.

If the water never hits that freezing point, your machine won’t keep trying to crank out more cubes.

Lower your temperature inside the freezer little by little. Make a small adjustment and then wait a few hours to see if that improves the situation.

Keep making small changes to the temperature over time if it doesn’t work at first. You don’t want to lower your freezer temp as low as it will go. You’d be putting unnecessary stress on the freezer and cause something to break.

How to Reset an Ice Maker That Keeps Saying It’s Full

Even if you followed all the steps in this article your machine might still be telling you it’s full when it’s obviously not. 

The good news is you have at least one last strategy to fix the light of doom you can still try. Resetting your freezer machine altogether just might trip the lights on the display panel and get everything back to way it was when you bought it. 

The best way to make sure you do this properly is to check your manufacturer’s guide. Each freezer is different and has a different way to reset. 

Some freezers have a reset button that makes it super easy to get everything back to normal. Other freezers require a complicated set of specific actions that need to be done in a specific order to reset the machine. 

If you reset the machine and it still doesn’t work it’s time to call a professional. Reach out to a repair person and have them take a look at the issue. You should feel good knowing you did all you could to get the problem fixed. 

Fixing an Empty Ice Maker That Says It’s Full

Having an empty bin of ice on a hot day when all you want is a cold drink is soul-crushing. The tips in this article should help and remember you can fix an ice maker that keeps saying it’s full even though the bin is empty by checking the slideway. Thanks for reading and make sure to check out the other helpful articles and guides below!