Single vs Dual Ice Makers: Differences Explained & Compared

Researched & Written by Craig

Fridges today are an appliance mainstay of the ordinary household.  Due to high demand and a huge market of consumers, fridge makers have had to offer bigger and better product innovations such a dual ice maker fridges, like this one:

A dual ice maker fridge, vs a single one

 Now, many refrigerator models today offer an ice maker, it’s become more and more common as a standard feature.  So what’s the difference between single ice makers and dual ice makers?

Comparing Single & Dual Ice Makers

Simply put, the main difference between the two types of ice makers is LOCATION

A single ice maker fridge will have one ice maker dispensing ice from the door of the fridge.  There’s a recess for you to put your glass into for it to be filled with ice. 

A single ice maker model fridge:

Standard single ice maker fridge

 A dual ice maker model fridge like the one pictured at the top of this article will have BOTH an ice maker in the door of the fridge, AND an ice maker in the freezer compartment of the appliance, with a bin for collecting the ice.

Ice Production

You’d think that dual ice maker fridges must make much more ice, and you’d be totally correct! 

The ice production of a single ice maker fridge is about 3 lbs. of ice per day.  In contrast, the dual ice maker fridge is churning out about 6 lbs. per day, essentially double the amount.  So, a prime diff between the two is in the ice production.

Price

Cost wise you’re also going to see a difference.  For a single ice maker model fridge prices can vary quite a bit given the product range available, the other features, and the manufacturer.  However, as a general guide, you can usually pick up a single ice maker fridge for less than $1 500.

A fridge with dual ice maker functionality by the same manufacturer is going to set you back closer to $2 500

Reliability

Another thing to consider when comparing the two models of fridge is their mechanical reliability.  In other words, how many faults/issues is your new appliance going to give you?

Here at Appliance Analysts we like to give it to you straight without fear or favor. So consider the following points and questions to help you along in your buying decision:

  • Have you done enough research on the different models of fridges available?  Both single and dual ice maker fridges come with their own set of potential problems and challenges.
  • A good general principle to follow with appliances is – the more features it has, the more potential there is for stuff to go wrong/break down.
  • A common complaint from users of fridges with ice makers is that the single (door) type ice maker is prone to faults in some models. 

Also, some fridges with dual ice maker capability have problems with the freezer ice compartment icing over completely, which can lead to usage and mechanical issues. 

These are things you can ask the technical sales person about when you’re looking into buying a new fridge.

  • Have you worked out a proper budget for your fridge purchase?  Have you included ‘hidden’ costs and things like shipping and insurance? 
  • Are you certain about the functionality you require in terms of ice production and how does this relate to your budget – both for initial cost and for potential mechanical issues out of warranty?

A dual ice maker model fridge is wonderful for large volumes of ice, and would be a wise buy for somebody that lives in a very hot climate or that entertains on a large scale.

Are you that person?  Are weekly cocktail parties at your place on the menu or could you save money and perhaps hassle with a single ice maker model fridge and be quite happy with it?

  • Is the company selling you the fridge (single or dual ice maker) prepared to support you with technical assistance if needed?  Do they have 24/7 customer service available?  What about the guarantee on your new appliance?  Are they prepared to guarantee the performance and mechanical soundness of your new appliance for a decent period of time?
  • If buying locally – check with friends and family!  Local retailers will have a ‘rep’ and it’s up to you to get the low down.  Have other people you know had good experiences with the store and the customer service, or has it been a nightmare start to finish?

As we’re asking ourselves all these questions, here’s another interesting one we thought we’d include in the article, perhaps you’ve wondered about it before –

How do Ice Makers Know When to Stop Making Ice?

Fridges have both mechanical guards and electronic things like sensors installed to tell the ice maker(s) when it has made the right amount of ice. 

If your fridge is mechanically and electronically sound, you should always get the right amount of ice for your needs, but not be drowning in it either! 

If you’re having issues with your ice maker’s production, here are some things you can try:

Too Little Ice

  1.  Check that your refrigerator is standing completely level.  If the refrigerator is slanted or uneven water may not be getting into the water delivery pipes or ice maker.
  2. Check the ice maker unit and make sure it’s also level.
  3. Check the water supply line – if it’s twisted, damaged or has a kink in it, water won’t be getting into the ice maker.
  4. Check the fill cup and make sure it’s correctly aligned with the ice funnel.

Too Much Ice

  1. Check that the bucket is properly positioned directly under the ice maker.
  2. If your refrigerator has a small shelf that sits directly above the ice bucket, make sure this is firmly and properly in place, not skew.
  3. Check that the feeler arm is not broken.  The feeler arm is either a metal rod on the side of the ice maker OR a plastic paddle that sits horizontal under the ice maker.  If the arm or paddle is broken, you will need to replace the ice maker.  Contact your fridge’s manufacturer to get the right part for your model fridge.
  4. Check that the metal arm is not moving up and down on its own.  The ‘off’ position should be all the way up. 
  5. The plastic paddle is moving in and out when the ice maker cycles.  When the paddle is pushed in under the ice maker, it is then in the ‘off’ position.  To turn the ice maker off, find the on/off toggle switch or slide switch on the side or front of the ice maker and turn it off.
  6. In some fridges there’s a freezer shelf that has to be installed correctly so check this too.  The shelf is there to lift the ice bin.  If that shelf isn’t put in properly, the feeler arm can’t correctly judge the level of the ice in the ice bin, causing the ice to overflow.

Conclusion

We’ve discussed a number of aspects of both in this article, but it really comes down to what YOU need and want as the appliance buying consumer.

We’ve provided some valuable tips for shopping wisely and making smart appliance choices in this article. 

Both single and dual ice makers are great innovations, and for hotter climates and entertaining, many people simply couldn’t picture life without them!

Examine your lifestyle, space, and the budget you have available, remember the top tips given in articles like this one, and we wish you exactly the right amount of easily available ice for any occasion!