Do you have an ice maker that’s capable of dispensing ice and multiple shapes and sizes? If so, you likely rely on your ice maker to dispense crushed ice. It can be frustrating when your ice maker is not dispensing crushed ice as it should.
But don’t worry; you’ve come to the right place for answers.
If you want to ensure your ice maker is dispensing crushed ice, you should check whether the crushed ice option is selected. See if the ice isn’t clumping together, and double-check if the ice bin needs to be cleaned. There’s also a chance the ice dispenser chute is clogged.
Below, I’ve prepared an article with the most common causes behind an ice maker that’s refusing to crush ice and simple fixes for each one.
Ready to get your ice maker back to normal? Let’s go!
Craig has helped thousands of other homeowners repair their appliances since 2016.
Andy is one of our resident appliance repair experts with over a decade of experience. He currently runs his appliance repair company with a team of trusted technicians.
How Does a Refrigerator Crush Ice?
Before getting into why your ice maker is not behaving as it should, it’s important to understand how a refrigerator crushes ice. A valve controls the flow of water from the water supply to the freezer. The water valve is responsible for filling the ice molds with water. Then, because the temperature in the freezer is cold enough, the ice molds create ice cubes.
After creating ice cubes, there’s a crushing mechanism, such as an augur, responsible for crushing the ice cubes. Finally, when you select the crushed ice button, crushed ice flows out of the chute into the glass.
If you’re frustrated because your refrigerator is not producing crushed ice, there are several steps you need to follow to address the problem. Take a look at the list below.
Why Your Refrigerator Is Not Dispensing Crushed Ice: Steps To Follow
When your refrigerator’s ice maker is not crushing ice, many elements could be to blame. Here’s the process I recommend you follow to determine the source of the issue and how you can solve it.
#1 Check the Selection
When your ice maker is not crushing ice, you must ensure the freezer has been set to dispense crushed ice. You won’t get the right type of ice if you do not select the right option.
Provided you have selected the crushed ice option and are still getting other types of ice, there’s likely an issue with the control panel, as it’s not registering your inputs.
In such a case, you’ll need a replacement control panel, which can be expensive. Please get in touch with a technician you trust to get an estimate on a control panel for your specific fridge brand and model.
#2 Look for Signs of Clumping
The next thing I recommend you look for when your ice maker is not crushing ice is signs of clumping. Look at the ice in the storage bin. Sometimes, the ice in the bin will clump together, and no crushed ice will come out as a result.
The ice in the storage bin will come together if it’s been sitting there for a long time. If the ice begins to melt, it sticks to the other pieces that are present, causing the ice to clump and making it difficult to get it out. I find that if you have not dispensed crushed ice in a long time, you’re likely to encounter clumping.
To deal with the situation, you must take a sturdy object and break up the clumping (wooden spoons and spatulas work great). You should never use anything sharp to break up the ice clumps, as you can go right through the ice and break the ice machine.
#3 Check the Cleanliness of the Ice Bin
If your ice maker is not crushing ice and you haven’t cleaned the ice bin in a while, that could be the issue. My usual advice is to clean the bin at least once per month. Over time, ice shavings stick to the inside of the dispenser, and as a result, it will not function properly.
If you clean the ice bin and remove the shavings, you’ll ensure the crushed ice feature works properly.
To clean the ice bin:
- Remove the ice bin from the freezer.
- Empty any ice you see into the sink.
- Hand wash, rinse, and dry the ice bin completely. Vinegar is a good cleaning solution for the ice bin. You can mix vinegar with water in a 50-50 solution. Ensure you thoroughly rinse and dry the ice maker before you put it back in the refrigerator.
#4 Ensure the Ice Bin Is Correctly Installed
When your ice maker is not crushing ice, you should also ensure the bin has been installed correctly. If the ice bin has been recently removed and not properly repositioned, the crushed ice feature might not behave properly.
Use your fingers to remove the ice storage bin. Then, when you’re done cleaning it, place it back in its proper location. From what I’ve seen, there will be a click when the ice maker pops into the right place. Once repositioned, see if the ice-making function works.
#5 Ensure the Dispenser Is Unclogged
When your ice maker is not making ice, there’s a possibility the dispenser is clogged. Humidity causes ice to clump together. Ice particles can build up in the dispenser until it becomes completely blocked. You must clean the delivery chute to prevent the issue from happening.
I recommend using a warm, damp cloth to remove any clogged ice from the dispenser. Then, ensure the dispenser has dried completely.
#6 Check the Solenoid
An ice maker that’s not crushing ice could also be trying to tell you there’s something wrong with the solenoid. The solenoid is a component inside your fridge that moves up and down to control the type of ice that comes from the appliance. When the solenoid fails, it can stop supplying crushed ice or only provide that type.
If you want to call a professional, you’ll be looking at about $250 as the replacement cost. However, you can also try replacing the solenoid yourself if you feel you’re up to the task.
If you want to get any replacement part – or see how much one would cost – click to enter your model number in the search bar below. Our partners at AppliancePartsPros stock almost every part with free guides on how to install them.
#7 Take a Closer Look at the Motor
Finally, if you’ve followed all the steps mentioned above and your refrigerator is still having a difficult time dispensing crushed ice, there could be a problem with the motor inside your refrigerator. The motor is responsible for powering the projection mechanism. Eventually, the motor can burn out. If you find the motor is not working properly, you’ll need to replace it and get a quotation to see whether the repair is worth it.
Preventing Your Crushed Ice Maker from Malfunctioning
After you have fixed the problem, it is important to ensure it does not happen again. There are several important tips you should follow to make sure your ice maker works appropriately:
- Monitor the Temperature: You need to keep a close eye on the temperature in the freezer. The temperature has to be in the appropriate setting for your freezer to make ice. If you find that your refrigerator is not dispensing ice at all, there is a possibility the temperature is too hot. Consider lowering the temperature by approximately 3 degrees.
- Clean the Ice Maker Regularly: I strongly recommend cleaning the ice maker often, as it will get dirty occasionally. Old food particles can contaminate the ice and make you sick. Ice shavings could also end up blocking the dispenser.
- Use the Ice Maker: Furthermore, you must use the ice maker regularly. If you don’t use the ice maker often, the ice that is present is going to stick together.
- Check the Humidity Level: Finally, you also need to monitor the humidity level. If the humidity level gets too high, the ice will start to melt.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Often Do I Need to Clean the Ice Maker?
You should clean the ice maker at least once a month. You may even want to clean it every two weeks.
Why Isn’t My Ice Maker Dispensing Any Ice?
Your ice maker might not be dispensing any ice because the chute is clogged. Make sure there are not any ice shavings blocking the exit.
Why Does My Crushed Ice Taste Funny?
Your crushed ice might taste funny because you did not run it after cleaning it. If you use lemon juice or vinegar to clean your ice maker, the juice may end up in your first few ice cubes. Dump out some ice before you start adding it to your drinks.
Getting Your Ice Maker to Crush Ice
These are a few of the most common reasons why your crushed ice maker might not be behaving appropriately. It’s important for you to clean your ice maker from time to time. Cleaning can go a long way toward preventing problems. If you take care of your crushed ice maker, it should work for many years.
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Have a great day!