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Like any other appliance, ice makers come with their own set of faults and challenges.
One of the main culprits is a leak in your ice maker. Let’s take a look at what’s going on with your ice maker when it leaks, and more importantly – what you can do about it.
Ice makers typically leak for several reasons. The most common causes of a leak are an unsecured water line, a punctured water line, an ice buildup within the ice maker, or a clogged drainage tube.
If you’re in a rush, here’s some quick tips to fix a leaking ice maker:
- Use a layer of newspaper or old towels under the fridge to catch drips and mess.
- If doing any sort of D.I.Y to your fridge, disconnect it entirely from the power source FIRST.
- NEVER use boiling water in an attempt to melt ice – you may crack shelves or housing components in the fridge due to the extreme change in temperature.
- Look after your appliance’s components and finish – never use metal implements, steel wool scourers or abrasive cleaning agents on your appliance – these lead to damage, scratching and wear.
- D.I.Y may void your appliance warranty, so check with the manufacturer/retailer before you dig in!
- Keep your appliance manual safe and easily accessible, for example in a kitchen drawer, and refer to it often for advice, technical information and warranty information.
For those of you who want details and not fast fixes – let’s dive into the details and fix this ice maker properly.
Why is my Ice Maker Leaking Water?
Our first step here is to check that it is the ice maker that’s leaking. Sounds straightforward right? What else could it possibly be? Well, often a clogged defrost drain line is causing water buildup inside the freezer. Many times this clogged line is misdiagnosed as a leaking ice maker. So, don’t be fooled.
If it is your ice maker that’s leaking – keep reading! Here are some common causes of a leaky ice maker:
- You have an ice jam. The ice in your ice maker is getting jammed up and causing the ice maker to over-fill, or prevent the ice maker arms from rotating fully.
- Your fridge is not standing level.
- The ice cube fill valve and ice fill cup are not aligned properly.
- The defrost drain line is clogged.
- Faulty or leaking water supply pipe.
- Loosened or leaking connections.
- The fill tube for the ice maker is damaged and leaking.
Solve Leaky Ice Maker Problems with these Quick Fixes
|Ice jamming, built up or clogging the ice maker.||Put a large sturdy bowl below the ice maker to catch any residual water. Pour a cup of warm water down the chute and wait a few seconds, then test the dispenser again. Repeat several times, this may be enough to thaw the built up ice.|
|Ice jamming, built up or clogging the ice dispenser.||Holding the ice dispenser open and using a long handled wooden spoon, break up the ice accumulated in the dispenser chute, especially at the bottom. You may need an extra pair of hands here. The large bowl below the dispenser will catch any falling ice. Once the ice is cleared, wipe down the chute with warm water, dry it, and then try the dispenser again.|
|Fridge isn’t standing level.||Using a bubble/laser level reader, check if the fridge is standing level. If it isn’t – either extend the fridge’s feet to level it, or use a wooden wedge to level the appliance.|
|Fill Valve & Ice Fill Cup not aligned.||If either the fill valve or fill cup look like they may be out of place, carefully refasten them into alignment. Once they’re properly lined up, the leak should stop.|
|Clogged Defrost Drain Line.||If there’s a layer of ice over the defrost drain line, pour hot (not boiling) water over it to melt it. Soak up all water afterwards to avoid that water freezing and causing another ice block. Verify that the drain line is clear of any debris or other blockages.|
Many brands will utilize a black rubber duck bill on the end of the drain line. This is designed to allow water to exit, but keep air from entering. However, it’s also a very common place to develop a clog.
It’s recommended to enlarge the water drain opening slightly by using a razor blade to cut a small triangle in the rubber duck-bill piece. This allows for better water flow while only allowing a small amount of air to enter the cabinet. More importantly, it helps to prevent possible future clogs in this drain line.
|Water Supply Pipe Fault.||Check that the water supply line to the ice maker is not kinked, damaged or pierced anywhere. If the supply line is leaking either perform a good quality seal yourself or have a technician replace the whole line.|
|Leaky or loose connections.||Check along the whole length of the water supply line for leaks and blockages. Repair any leaks or replace the water supply line if needed. Check all the connection points along the line, and if they’ve worked loose, tighten them. Use caution not to over tighten water lines or bolts.|
|Water Filter needs replacement.||If your water filter hasn’t been changed in 6 months or longer, replace it with a new one. If water is leaking from the water filter housing, call a technician as this will require a skilled repair and replacement parts.|
|Water Dispenser needs checking.||Check that there are no burn/scorch marks on the dispenser control board. Also check for signs of a short such as a failed capacitor. If these issues are found, you may need a professional to help replace the control board.|
For the last point, see this image to compare a bulged (failed) capacitor compared to the normal flat top:
What if it’s the Fill Tube that’s Leaking?
A common cause of the fill tube leaking is the fill tube freezing – causing a cracked tube – or being filled or obstructed by ice. See the image below:
If this is your problem, you can use a hair dryer on low heat (move it along the fill tube) to melt the ice and remove the obstruction. Soak up any melted water as you go to prevent it re – freezing and causing more leak problems. Also, make sure that the fridge is disconnected from the power source, water and electricity combined can be very dangerous.
No hair dryer? No problem! You can also use something like a turkey baster to drip warm water along the fill tube and melt the ice. Have a large bowl or basin ready underneath to catch drips.
Another thing to check is the fill valve (pictured above). A failing water valve not sealing fully will often have a slow/intermitent drip, which can cause a fill tube to clog with ice. If that’s the issue, remove the ice from the fill tube and replace the faulty water valve.
We’re a smart bunch of appliance enthusiasts, so we know that the ice maker relies on water to make ice. Here’s a question you might want answered though –
Will an Ice Maker Burn Up Without Water?
Since ice makers cycle based on the temperature of the ice mold. Ice makers will not continually run if the ice mold is not filled with water. So, an ice maker with no water is likely not going to be an issue.
However, we would recommend leaving the ice maker in the off position to play it safe and to avoid causing any issues, should something not go the way it should.
What Causes an Ice Maker to Stop Working?
None of us like broken down appliances and expensive repair bills, so here’s a list of the most common ice maker faults to help you understand your appliance better:
- Ice cubes aren’t ejected from the ice maker. Usually this means that the control arm/shut off arm for the ice maker is out of place or in the OFF position. This can happen if you accidentally nudge or move it. Take a look at it carefully, and if it’s out of alignment simply move it gently back into its proper position.
- The water supply is obstructed. In other words, no water is getting to the ice maker. Replace your water filter about every 6 months or AT LEAST once annually – if the water filter is clogged it’ll block your water supply.
- Check for electrical issues with the water valve solenoid, an electrical fault might mean that the solenoid is prevented from opening the water valve. If it’s a solenoid problem and you’re handy, undertake a D.I.Y repair. Alternatively, contact an appliance technician to do it for you.
- Make sure that the water supply line for the fridge/ice maker is actually getting water. It sounds obvious, but many problems have obvious solutions! Turn the water supply tap on, and check the water supply line for obstructions, tears or holes that may be leaking water. Also check any connections or valves along or connected to the line, either seal off damaged areas or replace the line. Tighten any connections or valves that seem loose, just don’t over-tighten them.
- The ice mold doesn’t eject the ice. This could be a fault with the electrical motor or wiring for the ice maker. Check that the gearbox or ejection fingers aren’t damaged, obstructed, or frozen over – this will cause the motor to stop working.
- Accidental moving of your appliance. Sometimes appliances get bumped or bashed, particularly during transit or when you’re moving house. Check that the electrical connections for the ice maker and its motor are still connected and aligned properly. If you have no electrical knowledge or skill, contact a skilled professional to assist you with an electrical fault of this kind.
Ice makers are fantastic appliances, but can be a real source of frustration when they’re doing their best waterfall impression.
I hope this short guide has helped you find and fix the solution to your leak.
If this content has helped you, please consider checking out our related articles below!
Thanks for reading, and have a great day.