Is your shaved ice machine not working properly? You might be overfilling it. Here are 6 known fixes.

Shaved ice machines are the synonym of nostalgia. You’ll be hard-pressed to find someone who does not have a fond memory with one of these units.

Whether you enjoyed a delicious snow cone during a field trip, or at home after receiving good grades, it’s undeniable that our childhoods would not have been the same without them.

The fact that these appliances are not only simple to use, but also a very popular, goes to show you that not everything has to be extremely complicated to work.

That being said, as wonderful as these machines are, perfection is a feature they lack, which means they might fail from time to time, either due to user-related errors, or poor maintenance.

If you’re reading this, your machine is probably already having trouble working. Why?

There are several factors that could be causing your current situation. From an issue with the power supply, to overfilling, and overheating. Whatever the case may be, the only undeniable truth is that you’re stuck with an expensive doorstop unless you do something about this malfunction.

Below, I’ve prepared a list of the most common causes that could be contributing to the appearance of this inconvenience, and the steps you can take to address each one of them. Rest assured that, if you follow them to a tee, your shaved ice machine will be back to normal in no time.

Are you ready? Let’s dive in!

Fixing a Faulty Shaved Ice Machine

Most people make the mistake of looking at the problem from specifics to general, from the inside, to the outside.

This is not only a great way to waste precious time, and money, but also to risk damaging your unit further, and making the issue greater. Ideally, the troubleshooting process should be done in the exact opposite way.

Your shaved ice machine might not be working due to:

  • A faulty outlet
  • A damaged power cord
  • An engaged safety lock
  • Overfilling
  • An overheating motor
  • A fried circuit board

#1 A Faulty Outlet

replacing faulty outlet
External factors like your broken wall outlet can cause a short circuit or permanent damage to your appliance

Before prying your machine open, it’s important to consider an external factor.

If your shaved ice machine is not working properly, there’s a good chance that all of its internal components are fine, but the power source is not.

Depending on the severity of the issue, your unit could be failing partially, or completely. Believe it or not, the former is much less concerning, as an intermittent power supply can put your appliance at risk of short circuits and permanent damage.

As soon as you suspect this to be the issue, it is strongly advised that you refrain from using it until the malfunctioning factor is resolved.

Solution: Try changing the outlet.

Carefully unplug your appliance, and take it to a different section of the house, preferably, as far removed from the outlet you normally use, as possible.

Once you have done that, plug the unit back into another outlet, and see if that does the trick.

If you’re up for a challenge, and happen to have a multimeter handy, you can use it to test the suspicious outlet for continuity. This is completely optional, but strongly encouraged, as a failing wall outlet could be the first symptom of a larger problem within your home’s electrical layout.

#2 A Damaged Power Cord

Provided that your wall outlet turned out to be fine, it’s time to move on to the next chain in the power supply link. The power cord.

While this cable might look sturdy, there are smaller cables inside it that can be damaged very easily.

In fact, seemingly negligible bad practices, such as storing them improperly, keeping them tangled, or pressed against an object in a weird angle, are more than enough to do them in.

Depending on how long you’ve owned your shaved ice machine, the damage to the power cord could either be partial, or total. The latter is much less concerning than the former, as having a partially damaged cable can provide an intermittent supply of energy, putting your appliance at risk of short-circuiting.

Just as it happens with a faulty power outlet, as soon as you suspect this to be the issue, please refrain from using your machine until you have replaced the cable.

Solution: Test a different cord.

Provided that you have another cable, you can go ahead and use it for testing, just make sure that it meets the same amperage and voltage requirements, as the broken one.

This will save you both time, and money

If you don’t have a spare, that’s fine too. You can do a quick Google search on your unit’s make and model to find the right replacement at any online marketplace. It’s not a bad idea to test the new cable on a new outlet to rule out any possible interferences.

#3 Your Safety Lock Is Engaged

If you think about it, shaved ice machines are basically spinning motorized blades, which makes it unsurprising that most manufacturers implement certain safety measures to protect their consumers.

This is not true for all models, but if your shaved ice machine is not working, and is equipped with a safety lock mechanism, chances are it might not be fully engaged.

This mechanism will not allow the machine to operate unless it’s fully secured, and properly positioned.

Solution: Give your user manual another read through. If your machine is equipped with this safety mechanism, you can easily locate it with the diagram included.

Once you have done that, do your best to operate your appliance more consciously, and always double-check the mechanism is engaged adequately.

#4 Overfilling

Never exceed your machine’s recommended maximum capacity

If none of the previous solutions have worked out for you, chances are you’re putting too much ice in your recipes.

Hey, I get it, snow cones are delicious, and so are chilled Margaritas. I understand how you would be eager to consume either of them as soon as possible, but overloading your unit could be catastrophic.

Exceeding the recommended amount of ice in your preparations can strain your motor far too much, and cause it to overheat, or even break down completely over time.

If your shaved ice machine is not working, you might want to cut back on the size of your batches.

Solution: Give your user manual another read through, I’m certain you’ll find the recommended capacity for your specific model in there.

Alternatively, if you constantly find yourself in the need to prepare larger batches for both friends, and family, thinking of getting a larger shaved ice machine is not a bad idea.

It’s better to prepare several smaller batches, and keep your motor healthy, than prepare fewer larger ones, and kill your appliance.

#5 Your Motor Is Overheating

This issue is closely related to the aforementioned bad practice.

Letting your motor overheat is a surefire way to cause problems, and reduce your unit’s lifespan significantly.

If your shaved ice machine is not working properly, chances are you’re either overfilling it, or operating it restlessly, putting unnecessary stress on your motor, and causing it to jam, and overheat.

These appliances need your constant supervision to operate optimally. I know it can be tempting to walk away from them briefly, but try to avoid doing that as much as possible if you want to have your machine last for years and years.

Solution: More often than not, allowing your shaved ice machine to rest between batches can make a night and day difference. I’d suggest operating it for 10 minutes, then give it 20-30 minutes to cool down, and then operate it again.

That being said, this can vary from model to model, so, if you want to make sure you’re doing everything right, you can always read your user manual again, and find all the information you require there.

#6 Your Circuit Board Is Fried

electronic circuit board
A large power spike may damage your circuit board

Lastly, let’s take a look at the possibility of a fried circuit board.

If this is happening to you, it’s terrible news. As you know, your appliance’s circuit board is its heart and soul. Without it, the unit is incapable of registering the inputs and commands that you, the user, dial in.

This can happen for a number of reasons. From overheating damage, to a large power spike caused by a blackout.

While this component is built to be resistant, and there are several countermeasures built into your appliance which are specifically designed to prevent this occurrence, it will, sadly, always be a possibility.

If your shaved ice machine is not working, and addressing all the issues above did nothing for you, chances are this situation is to blame.

Solution: Depending on your warranty status, there are a couple of routes you can take.

Provided that you’re still under coverage, you can call your manufacturer, and send the appliance in for repairs. It should usually be free of charge, unless specified otherwise in your document.

On the other hand, if you’re no longer under coverage, things can get a little trickier. Let’s explore your options below.

When Should You Call a Professional?

As stated above, this shouldn’t even be a question if your warranty is still active, but if it isn’t, you’ll have to weigh the cost of repairs vs the cost of going shopping for a replacement unit.

While the cost of buying a new circuit board is not very high, the cost of labor to have it repaired and configured, can be, so calling a technician might not always be the best way to go.

As a rule of thumb, paying for a repair that equals 50% or more of the cost of a new model, is a bad investment.


To have your shaved ice machine not work properly can be very frustrating. Sure, it’s not the most essential appliance in your home, but you bought it to make your life easier, and as of this moment, it’s doing the exact opposite. Disastrous!

That being said, as you’ve learned on this piece, repairing your unit is not very complicated or time-consuming. More often than not, the apparent issues, are actually user-related errors that can be addressed in the blink of an eye.

While the purpose of this article is to help you troubleshoot your unit, and do your own repairs, it’s of the utmost importance that you keep safety as a top priority at all times.

If you ever feel unsafe, or doubtful during any part of the DIY process, please do not hesitate to call a technician for help.

You can still learn by watching the professionals work.

Thank you for sticking with me all the way to the end. If you found this resource useful, why not keep learning through our incredible knowledge base below?

Enjoy the snow cones!