When the ice maker works, it’s an amazing (and dare we say indispensable) tool in your kitchen. No longer do you have to fill those annoying plastic ice trays or plan ahead in order to have enough ice for dinner parties or house guests. But when the ice maker doesn’t work, it can quickly become a headache.

Not having ice on a hot day is annoying—and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. (See what we did there?)

If your ice maker is no longer dispensing ice, here’s what you need to fix it and to keep it from happening again. In this article you should find all the information you need to help your ice maker start running like new.

Ready to start? Let’s dive in—

10 Steps to Fix Your Ice Maker If It’s Not Dispensing Ice

1. Check your doors.

Fridge sealing
Check that your fridge door seals are in good condition and shut tightly

Sure, it’s an easy fix. Almost so easy you may be embarrassed if this is the solution. But don’t worry—believe it or not, it happens all the time. It’s the easiest fix, yet it’s often overlooked for its simplicity—check to be sure the refrigerator doors are completely closed before trying to dispense ice. If one of the doors is even slightly ajar or isn’t closing correctly, that may be your problem.

2. Check your display.

Again, another easily overlooked problem with an equally easy solution. If the display has been locked—either accidentally or with the intentional child lock—it won’t dispense ice. Press and hold down the lock key on the refrigerator display for three full seconds to unlock. Double-check that the child lock is not enabled. If either of those locks are the problem, you can quickly be on your way to a working ice maker!

3. Check the dispenser paddle.

Sometimes the dispenser paddle can be pressed too long, resulting in an automatic shut-off after three minutes of continual usage. This shut-off—while it may be annoying—is meant to prevent the ice maker motor from overheating and is a good mechanism when it works properly. If you think your dispenser paddle may have been pressed too long and be the current problem, try resetting the device. Simply release the dispenser paddle, give it a couple of minutes to rest, and then try again.

4. Check for jams.

If ice melted and re-froze due to infrequent use, recent power outages, or sudden swings in the refrigerator’s temperature, it’s possible that a jam is to blame for your malfunctioning ice dispenser. To fix this, take out the ice bin, thaw it, and empty the water. Thoroughly wipe down and dry the ice bin before putting it back in place. If a jam was to blame, the dispenser should work just fine once it has time to make new ice. This is a more time-consuming process, but it’s a good thing to do for your refrigerator and ice maker to keep them running effectively.

If you do remove and then replace the ice bin, be sure to avoid moving the auger in any way. A misaligned auger can be responsible for the ice maker not dispensing ice. It can also be the reason the refrigerator door fails to close correctly (and then you’re back to problem #1).

Ice tray
Remove the ice tray, empty and clean it then put it back in place carefully


 

5. Check the ice bucket auger.

The ice bucket auger is located inside the recycle bin and pushes ice out when you press the dispenser. The auger is propelled by the motor that is located behind the ice bin. If you believe the auger isn’t working properly, verify that the motor is working. If the motor is working, you should hear a noise from the gear box.

No noise? The motor is your next piece to investigate.

6. Check the water supply line.

If you press a cup against the dispenser as you normally would and—instead of getting ice—you hear a buzzing sound for approximately 15 seconds, this means the water valve isn’t getting the water it needs to make ice. Your next step is identifying the reason for the disruption in the water supply line. Sometimes it’s as simple as straightening out a kink in the line. Look for the tube behind or beneath your refrigerator.

If there is no kink in the supply line, check to be sure that the tube supplying water to your freezer isn’t blocked. First, locate and turn off the shut-off valve. Next, after dismantling the supply tube, take one end and put it in a bucket. Turn the valve back on and see if water comes out of the tube. If no water comes out of the tube, it may be time to change the tube.

7. Check the fill tube.

Maybe you’ve noticed that your ice cubes keep getting smaller day after day. If this is the case, your fill tube is most likely frozen. Unfortunately, several parts may be responsible for this malfunction, so the best course of action is to call a repairman to come out and assess (and hopefully fix) the problem.

8. Check the ice mold.

If the water supply line is okay and the fill tube isn’t to blame for your ice maker not dispensing ice, the next step is to check the electric connections. Specifically, these connections are the control center for the ice mold and fill valve. Again, you’ll need to call a repairman to come out and assess (and hopefully fix) the problem.

9. Check the Solenoid.

The supply line that brings water into your house attaches to the solenoid. The solenoid is typically found on the bottom or the back of your refrigerator. It’s critically important that the solenoid receive power and that it is working well, otherwise it may prevent water from getting into your ice maker. To check the solenoid, first disconnect the power to the refrigerator. Take off the solenoid sediment screen and clean it thoroughly with water. This is also a good time to check the condition of the seals that attach the solenoid. If you see anything wrong with any part of this process, the solenoid may be to blame. If so, replace the solenoid.

10. Check the tap valve.

The small device connecting your water supply tube to the water supply pipe for your house is called a tab valve. If this device is damaged, your ice maker won’t properly dispense ice. If the valve appears to be damaged in any way, replace it. But important note: If you do decide to replace your tap valve, be sure to order the exact size as anything else will not fit correctly and will continue to prevent your ice maker from dispensing ice.

Conclusion

The good news—if your refrigerator worked well for you in the recent past and you’ve taken good care of it, there’s a good chance you can get it back to working order by following this list. Take your time, move carefully through the list, and look for anything that looks wrong or isn’t functioning the way you’d expect it to. If you exhaust all of these steps and still don’t have the answer you’re looking for, reach out to a professional to help you diagnose the problem.

Thank you for reading. Take a look at the articles and guides below for more ideas and advice!