How to Fix an Ice Machine That Is Not Getting Enough Water
Dec 08, 2016
If you are getting undersized ice cubes or no cubes at all from your refrigerator’s automatic ice making machine, check the water supply. A refrigerator’s ice machine can’t make ice if it’s not getting enough water because of a partial or complete blockage of its water supply. In most cases, you can repair water supply problems yourself and get your ice maker running again.
Unplug the refrigerator and turn off the main household water line that the ice maker’s supply line is connected to. Have towels handy to blot up water spills as you proceed. If your ice maker supply line has a filter screen or cartridge that has become clogged, clean or replace it. Check the ice maker itself for ice buildups that may be clogging the fill mechanism. Undo the screws holding the ice maker in the freezer compartment and disconnect it from the electrical and water supply lines. Take out the ice maker and allow it to thaw completely.
Check to see if the ice maker’s water feed line is plugged with ice. If it is, use a hand-held hair dryer to warm the feed line and melt the ice. Make sure the entire line is clear down to the inlet valve. Reinstall the ice maker in the freezer compartment and reconnect it to the power and water feed lines. Next, clear the saddle valve that connects the ice maker’s supply line to the household water lines. This needle-type valve typically straddles a cold water line in the basement or under the kitchen sink, and it can become clogged by mineral deposits. Clear the deposits from the valve by firmly tightening it, opening it and tightening it again.
Verify that no obstructions block the supply line from the saddle valve to the electrically operated ice maker inlet valve at the base of the refrigerator. With the saddle valve off, use a wrench to undo the nut connecting the supply line to the inlet valve. Put the end of the supply line in a bucket and have a helper turn on the water supply to the ice maker. If you get a strong flow of water into the bucket and the ice maker and its feed line have already checked out as OK, your problem is likely the ice maker’s inlet valve.
Remove the inlet valve by disconnecting the electric supply line and water lines to the valve and undoing the screws holding the valve to the refrigerator body. Take the old valve to an appliance supply house or look online for a matching replacement valve. Install the new valve by reversing the steps you followed to remove the old valve. Recheck that all connections are tight, turn on the water supply to the ice maker, plug in the refrigerator and check the ice maker for correct operation.