Ice Maker Making Icebergs Not Ice Cubes? 4 Tips To Fix


If you’re tired of chipping away at icebergs just to get some cubes you can use in your drink, it’s time to fix the problem. Getting smaller cubes isn’t just good to cool down your liquids, it can also save your machine from breaking.

To fix your ice maker from making icebergs, not ice cubes, check the temperature and defrost cycle and make sure it is functioning properly. Irregular temperatures could cause clumping.

Ready to get regular-sized ice cubes again? Let’s dive in.

Getting An Ice Maker To Stop Clumping Ice Together: Step By Step

Step 1: Check Your Freezer’s Functionality

If your freezer is making huge icebergs, the most common problem is irregular temperatures.

There are several methods you can try when you’re having trouble keeping your freezer at the same temp.

The first method is to check if the freezer is functioning correctly. The easiest way to do this is to check the light that comes on when the freezer door is open.

The light should turn on when the door is open and off when it closes. If you aren’t seeing any light action at all, it’s a sure sign that something is off.

Of course, check your light bulb first to see if that may be the issue. If your bulb is working then your freezer is having functional problems.

Consult your manual to see if you can figure out what the problem may be. More than likely, you’ll need to reach out to a professional.

Step 2: Make The Freezer a Little Colder

If your freezer is functioning just fine then the next problem area you want to focus on is the defrost cycle.

The defrost cycle in the freezer helps to get rid of any continual frost build-up over time in the freezer. You could potentially have icicles running down your entire freezer if it’s cold enough and runs long enough.

To prevent this, your freezer temporarily shuts itself down to let some of the frost melt while still keeping the food frozen.

If you don’t have the right temperatures set on your freezer, the defrost setting can run too often. When that happens, your ice could partially melt and then freeze again.

When the ice melts, it will attach itself to other pieces of ice when it freezes back up. This is why you might be getting Titanic-sized ice chunks instead of perfectly shaped cubes.

Set the thermostat in your freezer just slightly colder than what you normally set it to. Check back within several hours to see if you continue to have the same problem.

Empty out your ice maker of any chunks before changing the temp so you can get a realistic view of what’s happening.

Step 3: Add More Food to Your Freezer

Loaded freezer
Adding more food to your freezer will regulate the temperature more easily

If setting the freezer to a colder temperature doesn’t work, it may just need a little help from you.

Try loading up your freezer till it’s about 2/3 full of food. The idea here is that you are spreading the temperature among more items rather than your ice taking the brunt of it.

As the defrost cycle starts, it sends heat throughout the freezer. If there isn’t anything in your freezer but ice, all the temperature is absorbed by the ice cubes.

Shoving more food into your freezer helps regulate that temperature across all the items instead of just the ice.

Of course, this means you’ll always need to have a stocked freezer in order to make proper ice cubes. Not exactly the ideal situation but it does work.

Step 4: Manage Your Ice Maker

Your best bet to keep chunks from forming in your ice maker is to keep an eye on them throughout the week and months.

Check on it periodically to see how much ice you’re actually using. If you notice you have more ice than you can use on your own, turn off your machine.

Allow the machine to remain off while you use up most of your ice. When you are low on cubes, turn it back on again.

This will prevent the defrost cycle from melting and refreezing your ice, making huge clumps in the process.

Although this method will take more of your energy to remain vigilant about your ice, it’s the surest way you won’t have to get an ice pick just to get some cubes.


Is It Bad to Turn Your Ice Maker On and Off?

It isn’t bad to turn your ice maker on and off and it can actually prevent issues with ice clumping together. You do need to be wary of constantly switching your ice maker on and off.

If your kid gets hold of your ice maker and has a field day there’s a good chance it’s going to break.

But if you manage it properly with the intention of regulating how many ice cubes are made, then it should be fine.

How Do Ice Makers Work?

An ice maker works just like a tray of ice in that it fills up a tray full of water, freezes the water, and then pops the ice into a bin below. The only difference is that the process is completely automated.

The maker uses an electric motor, electrically operated water valve, and an electrical heating unit.

The ice maker is connected to your water line in your home and it automatically fills up the molds in the ice tray with exactly enough water for each mold.

Slowly but surely, the ice cubes begin to freeze and the built-in thermostat in the ice maker reads the temperature of the ice cubes. When it knows they are frozen, it begins to eject them from the mold.

In order to do that, it needs to loosen the ice from the molds because many times they are literally frozen together.

There’s a heating element inside the mold at the bottom that slightly warms up the ice just enough so they loosen.

Finally, it activates a shaft that has a series of ejector blades for each mold. The ejector blades push each cube out of the mold and into the tray beneath.

Then, it starts the process all over again and continues to fill up your ice tray.

Ice trays
A heating element inside your ice maker should allow ice cubes to separate properly

How Long Do Ice Makers Last?

You can count on your ice maker in the freezer lasting anywhere from 3-10 years. The large difference in time is dependent on the quality of water used and how often the machine is used.

If you are properly taking care of your maker and turning it off when it’s made more ice than you can use, you are extending the life of the ice maker.

If you never turn off your ice maker and use it to give your whole neighborhood ice, it’s not going to last very long.

The quality of water also makes a big difference in how long your ice maker will last.

Hard water is the worst for your ice maker because there are more minerals that could get stuck in the water lines. If you get too much of a build-up you won’t be able to have any ice at all.

Try adding a softener to your water so that the minerals are taken out and your ice maker, as well as your water lines, will last longer.

Making Perfect Ice Cubes With an Ice Maker

You can get perfect-sized ice cubes as long as you regulate the temperature of your ice maker, the most common problem for ice clumping. Thanks for reading and make sure you read any related articles and guides below to keep your refrigerator running in perfect shape.

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