There are many luxuries in life that we are all guilty of taking for granted on a regular basis.

One of those luxuries you may take for granted is having ice at your fingertips whenever you want. You can just take a cup up to the door of your refrigerator and get ice at the touch of a button. Well, that is, until nothing comes out!

Like everything else, your ice maker can fail.

If your ice maker isn’t getting any water, first check the input filter. A blocked filter is a common cause of an ice maker not getting water. Otherwise, make sure to check the ice maker water supply valve, water supply lines, and power.

While that sounds complicated – don’t worry. It’s not.

In this article we’ll walk you through the 5 simple steps to fix common causes of an ice maker not getting water.

If that sounds good, then let’s dive in.

What You’ll Need

  • Ice maker filter
  • Screwdriver
  • Heat lamp
  • Hair dryer
  • Hot water
  • Washcloth

Step One: Check the Ice Maker Power Source

Many people incorrectly assume that because their refrigerator is plugged in and working that their ice maker should be working as well. However, the ice maker has its own power source that is separate from the refrigerator itself. Therefore, you should ensure the ice maker is 1) plugged in, and 2) turned on.

Usually, the power cord for the refrigerator’s ice maker is located at the back or left wall of the freezer. The ice maker should have an indicator icon or some type of switch that allows you to know that it is on. Check to ensure it is indeed turned on before moving to the following step.

Ice maker plug
Ensure the ice maker plug is fitted securely

Step Two: Check the Filter

First, make sure that your ice maker has a filter. Without a filter, it could cause problems with the ice maker receiving water to create ice cubes. Therefore, make sure it has a filter to begin with.

The next thing you need to worry about is whether the filter is clogged. Just like the filter in your home’s heating and air conditioning system, ice maker filters require regular changing. Ideally, you should change this filter every six months (no longer than every 12 months for sure). This helps to ensure that the water moving through the ice maker stays fresh and clean while also preventing bacteria from building up.

In the event that your filter has not been changed within the last six months to a year, there is a high chance that it is clogged and causing issues. Once an ice maker filter has caught an excessive amount of debris, it will be unable to perform its job, leading to clogs. To remedy this issue, simply replace your existing filter with a brand-new one.

If you continue to have water flow issues, move on to the next step.

Step Three: Check the Water Supply Valve

Next, you want to check the water supply valve for any leaks. Usually, there is a cooper or plastic line that runs to the refrigerator. Located at the back of the fridge, this is your water supply line. The water supply valve itself will be located either at the back of the refrigerator or beneath the kitchen sink.

Generally, it will be noticeable if you have a leak. You will notice moisture around the valve or possibly even on the floor beneath the valve. If there is none, then you are probably good to go.

Copper pipe for water
Check that the water pipe connection doesn’t have a leak

However, you will want to ensure the valve is actually open. This can be a little tricky. The best thing you can do is to turn it so that it’s fully open. Wait for roughly an hour or so and see if the ice maker begins to produce ice. If it does, then the water supply valve wasn’t properly open.

Step Four: Check the Water Supply Lines

If you are still having issues with no water getting to your ice maker and no ice being produced, then there is likely an issue with the water supply lines. These lines may be kinked, or they could be frozen. Whatever the case may be, you will need to pull the refrigerator out from the wall so you can get behind it and have easy access to the supply lines.

In order to see all of the supply lines, you will likely need to remove the access panel on the back of the fridge. This is a very simple task that can be performed with a screwdriver. Once you have removed the access panel, check for any visible kinks in the supply lines.

Look for any signs of blockages as well, such as ice inside the line. If you notice that there is an ice blockage and/or the line is frozen, that ice needs to melt! You can solve the problem in one of two ways.

The first way you can melt the ice is by unplugging the refrigerator and defrosting the freezer and fridge. This process will take several hours, and you will need to remove all of the food inside of the refrigerator and freezer and find something to do with the items that could go bad during that time.

In the event that you don’t want to remove all of your food and/or worry about the potential of spoiled food, you can work on manually unclogging the water line with heat. To do this, again, you’ll want to first unplug the fridge from its power source.

You’ll need something warm to melt the ice. There are several things you can use here, such as a heat lamp, a hair dryer, or even hot water.

A heat lamp can be set up so the light (aka heat) is directed toward the supply lines with the ice clog. If using a hair dryer, make sure to move it back and forth over the supply line to evenly distribute the heat. Make sure to use a washcloth with the hot water. Dip the washcloth into the hot water and drape it around the supply line. You can rub it back and forth or just hold it tightly on the line until it cools off, at which time you dip it and start all over again.

Whatever method of heat you use, make sure to continue the process until the ice has completely melted.

Once you’re done, return the access panel, plug the refrigerator back in, and push it back into place. Now, it is time to test everything out and see if it is working as it should. Keep in mind that it will take a couple of hours before the ice maker will begin to produce ice.

Step Five: Contact a Service Repair Technician

In the event that none of the aforementioned steps solve your water flow and ice making problem, it is time to contact a professional refrigerator service repair technician. He or she will be able to take a look at the unit, diagnose the problem, and perform the necessary repairs.


Hopefully, you’re able to remedy the problem on your own with the troubleshooting steps above.

Thank you for checking out this article, and if you run into any other problems in the house, be sure to check out some more guides and our other helpful reads!