Ice cube makers are a modern convenience provided with many side-by-side refrigerator models. However, if your ice maker is not producing ice, or if the ice produced is too small, the convenience is not so great. Often this is due to a frozen fill tube, which may be caused by ice backing up in the bin, or a refrigerator thermostat that is set too low. You could unplug the refrigerator to thaw the lines, but this requires emptying the contents of the refrigerator. A more convenient option is to use a hairdryer to quickly thaw the lines.
Confirm first that your ice maker is not malfunctioning. Pour about 1/2 cup of water into the ice maker’s water reservoir.
Wait two hours so that the water has time to freeze and dispense the ice. If it does not make ice, the ice maker may have a mechanical problem that requires service. If it does make ice, then you know the ice maker is functional and you can continue thawing the lines.
Unplug your refrigerator to turn off the power to the ice maker. You do not have to remove the contents of the refrigerator or freezer because it should remain cold for the short length of time you’ll have it off.
Lay a towel beneath the ice maker. Remove the ice bin and dump out any ice inside. Set the bin aside.
Pull down on the metal retaining clip to remove it from the housing that holds the fill tube. Note that not all ice makers will have this clip.
Apply heat with a hairdryer to the ice maker fill tube, which is usually a white, rubber-like hose. Hold the nozzle of the hairdryer at the front of the ice maker so that the heat will blast into the fill line. Set the hairdryer to its lowest heat setting to avoid melting the plastic lines and parts of the ice maker.
Move the hairdryer constantly so that the heat doesn't concentrate in one area for any length of time. Avoid allowing water to drip into the hairdryer. This can cause an electric shock.
Continue to apply heat until you see moisture dripping onto the towel. Turn off the hairdryer and wait until the moisture no longer drips onto the towel.
Turn the thermostat up a fraction and plug in your refrigerator. Turn the ice maker on again. This should resolve the freezing problem.
Things You Will Need
If you’d rather not use a hairdryer, you can soak the supply tubes with hot water instead. Place the bin back into the ice maker and apply hot water to the tube with a turkey baster. Let the water overflow into the ice bin.
If your ice maker repeatedly freezes up, it should be pulled and inspected by a qualified service technician.