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Want to make your ice maker work faster?
Everyone who’s owned an ice maker knows the frustration of waiting for ice on a busy night with friends over.
It can be common to use up all your ice on a super busy day, but your ice maker shouldn’t run out of ice regularly. If it is, it might be functioning too slowly. The good news is that we can speed it up.
To speed up a slow ice maker, try lowering the freezing temperature, checking for blockages, checking the door seal, and changing the water filter. Switching off the ice maker and letting it defrost may also help it clear and frozen blockages.
If you want to go through these solutions in detail, then read on. We’ll cover how to speed up your ice maker, and more tips that are important to know about ice maker ownership.
Why Is Your Ice Maker Not Working Appropriately?
Is your ice maker not working appropriately? If so, this can be frustrating. There are several common reasons why your ice maker is not functioning as it should. These include:
The temperature in the freezer might be too high. If the freezer temperature is too high, it is going to take much longer for your ice maker to create ice cubes. This might be why the ice cubes are slow coming out of the freezer.
There could be an issue with a thermostat. The thermostat could actually be the reason why the freezer is too hot. If the thermostat is not calibrated appropriately, it could be telling the freezer it is cold when it is actually too warm. This is something that has to be addressed.
Ideal freezer temperatures should be around 0F (-18C), and refrigerator around 37F (3C).
There could be plenty of ice cubes in the freezer, but there could be a clog in the ice dispenser chute. This could restrict the area through which the ice cubes are supposed to pass.
There might also be a mechanical issue with the ice bin auger or auger motor. If the auger assembly is not functioning properly, then it may take the ice cubes a bit longer to reach the shoot.
There are plenty of other reasons why your ice maker might be too slow, but these are the most common examples. What can you do to address some of these issues?
Materials Needed: Make Your Ice Maker Work Faster
The exact materials you need to make your ice maker work faster will depend on the exact nature of the problem. Therefore, you may not need all the materials below. A few examples of materials you might require include:
- You’ll need to have access to the thermostat in the freezer.
- You might need a new seal for the refrigerator or freezer door.
- You’ll also need to have access to plenty of cleaning supplies including a brush, a microfiber cloth, a vinegar solution, some warm water, some lemon juice, and a spray bottle. Make sure you do not have anything that is going to scratch the inside of the ice maker.
- You will also need a clean water filter.
After you have gathered these materials, it’s time to get started fixing the ice maker. What do you need to do?
Speeding Up An Ice Maker: A Step by Step Guide
If you want your ice maker to work faster, there are several steps you need to follow.
This can also relate to your freezer – as the two systems can be interconnected (especially with an ice maker relying on the cool temperature within the freezer).
#1 Reduce the Temperature of the Freezer
First, you need to reduce the temperature of the freezer. If you want your ice maker to work faster, you need to reduce the temperature so that the ice cubes freeze more quickly. Therefore, take a look at the thermostat in the freezer. If you want your ice cubes to freeze more quickly, you should reduce the temperature by 3 to 5 degrees Fahrenheit. You may want to start with a smaller number and give the freezer time to cool off. Then, see if it is working faster. If it is not, you may want to drop the temperature by a bit more.
Most ice makers will not function properly if the temperature is above 15F (-9C). Ideally, a freezer should be around 0F (-18C).
If you find this is still not working, then you may need to replace the thermostat. There could be an issue with the calibration.
#2 Check the Door Seal to the Freezer
Next, you should take a closer look at the door seal to the freezer. You need the freezer to be as cold as possible if you want it to create ice cubes quickly. If there is something wrong with the door seal, and cold temperatures could be leaking out of the freezer. Another sign that there might be something wrong with the door seal is that your utility bills are going up, although refrigerators don’t cost too much to run.
Let’s take a look at the seal. If you notice any tears or cracks, then you may need to replace the gasket. Make sure you have a fresh door seal with you. If you have questions about how to install a new door seal, you may want to reach out to someone with experience in this area.
As part of a good maintenance routine, you can add a very light coating of Vasoline (petroleum jelly) to the surface of the gasket. This will keep the gasket flexible, and help protect from sticking/tearing over time.
#3 Clean the Freezer Thoroughly
After this, you must make sure you clean the freezer thoroughly. For example, you may have too much food in your freezer compartment. This makes it harder for the freezer to circulate cold air efficiently. As a result, the temperature rises, making it harder for you to keep your ice cubes cool. If you remove food from the freezer, make sure you clean it thoroughly. That way, there is no gunk blocking the circulation.
You also need to pay close attention to the individual parts of the freezer. Ice cubes might be slow coming out of the ice maker because it is dirty. You should use a water and vinegar solution to clean the ice maker thoroughly (or an alternative – just make sure it’s safe for consumption! It may leave behind residue which could touch ice cubes).
Make sure you wipe it down with a microfiber cloth afterwards. You may want to run through a fresh batch of ice cubes after the cleaning process. Dump out this batch so your ice cubes do not have a funky aftertaste.
#4 Install a New Water Filter
Finally, you should also make sure you install a new water filter. You should rotate your water filter every six months. This will improve the speed of the ice maker. If the water filter has been clogged, then water is going to have a hard time flowing through the filter. This can reduce the speed of your ice production. Change the water filter in your ice maker should get faster.
#5 Defrost The Ice Maker
If all else fails, the slow speed could be due to frozen parts. This isn’t uncommon on an appliance which works with ice – especially if you’ve had it for a few years.
I’ve listed defrosting the ice maker last as it can be a bit of a hassle. If it’s attached to your fridge, you’ll need to empty the fridge (or not have any easily perishable items in there). Then turn off the ice maker for around 12-24 hours, until it’s been given enough time to fully thaw out. Make sure to leave the doors open to help.
You can speed up the defrost process by having a fan blowing warmer outside air toward the open refrigerator.
A good way to check is to leave some ice cubes in there, and wait until they’ve fully turned into water. That way you know that your ice maker’s components will all be ice-free and working fully.
Frequently Asked Questions About Slow Ice Makers
It can be frustrating to deal with an ice maker that is too slow. Fortunately, there are ways for you to deal with this issue. A few common questions people have about a slow ice maker include:
How often do I need to clean my ice maker?
It depends on how often you use it. Monitor the quality of the cubes for any debris. Many times older ice maker mold’s teflon coating will begin to flake off due to age. Obviously we don’t want this in our drinking water, so when this type of damage is found, this will require a new ice maker.
You should also replace the water filter every six months. If you do not clean your water filter and ice maker regularly, this is going to impact the ability of your freezer to produce ice cubes quickly.
Is there a way for me to force my ice maker to cycle?
Many ice makers have a reset or test button on the ice maker itself that you can use to do a test cycle.
Otherwise, if you want to force the ice maker to cycle, you should open the freezer door and remove the ice bin from underneath the ice maker. Empty the ice from the bin, and toggle the ice maker switch to the on setting. This should force the ice maker to make a clean batch of ice cubes.
How can I increase the rate of water flow to my ice maker?
If you want to increase the rate of water flow to the ice maker, you should change the water filter. That way, you know there will not be any blockage between the water source and the ice maker itself. You may also be able to use a Phillips head or a flat head screwdriver to change the water level in the ice maker. If you increase it, you should force water to flow to the ice maker more quickly.