Refrigerator: Ice maker not making ice

Several problems can interfere with making ice—the ice maker could be jammed, the freezer might be too warm, a dirty water filter or kinked water line could be blocking water flow, or the water valve could be shut off or faulty. If none of these problems is the cause, the ice maker could be malfunctioning and require replacement. We have repair guides for many of these repairs, as well as the right replacement part for your refrigerator model.

These repairs may help solve your Refrigerator problem:

Replace the refrigerator ice maker

Ice maker

This repair involves replacing the entire ice maker assembly, which is available for most models of refrigerators. Replace the entire ice maker if it is not harvesting ice correctly, or if the ice mold is damaged.

For manuals, repair guides, and specific part recommendations, enter your model number.

Replace the refrigerator water inlet valve

Water inlet valve

The water inlet valve assembly of the refrigerator controls water flow to the ice maker and the water dispenser. Replace the water inlet valve if it doesn't open or shut off the flow of water properly.

For manuals, repair guides, and specific part recommendations, enter your model number.

Repair the refrigerator defrost system

Defrost Heater

The refrigerator automatic defrost system periodically melts frost from the evaporator to improve heat exchange. During defrosting, the compressor stops, the defrost heating element turns on, and frost melts from the evaporator fins. The condensate drips to a evaporator drip tray below the evaporator and then flows through a defrost drain tube to a drain pan next to the compressor in the machine compartment. The condensate water evaporates from the drain pan before the next defrost cycled. If the defrost process fails, diagnose and repair the problem.

For manuals, repair guides, and specific part recommendations, enter your model number.

Clean the refrigerator condensor coils

Condenser

Dust-covered refrigerator coils can prevent the refrigerator and freezer from running efficiently and cooling properly. Follow the instructions in your owner's manual for cleaning the condenser coils. Unplug the refrigerator before accessing and cleaning the coils. On most refrigerators, the coils are behind the bottom front grill. Clean the condenser coils with a coil brush.

For manuals, repair guides, and specific part recommendations, enter your model number.

Replace the refrigerator defrost sensor

Defrost sensor

The refrigerator defrost sensor—also known as the defrost bi-metal termination thermostat—trips when it detects that the temperature of the evaporator is getting hot enough that it might overheat. When the defrost sensor trips, it shut off power to the defrost heater. If the defrost sensor trips because it’s not working correctly, frost builds up on the evaporator fins, eventually making the refrigerator and freezer not cool well.

You can use volt/ohm meter to check the defrost sensor for continuity. Replace the defrost sensor if it shows no continuity at around 0 degrees F.

For manuals, repair guides, and specific part recommendations, enter your model number.

Replace the refrigerator condenser fan

Condenser fan

The condenser fan is in the machine compartment of the refrigerator next to the compressor. It moves air across the condenser coils to help cool the hot refrigerant coming out of the compressor. The refrigerant is cooled before it moves through the expansion device and into the evaporator. If the condenser fan is defective, replace it.

For manuals, repair guides, and specific part recommendations, enter your model number.

Replace the refrigerator electronic control board

Electronic control board

The electronic control board—also called the main control board or the power control board (PCB)—controls the compressor and the defrost cycle. When it senses that the compressor must run to keep the refrigerator cool, it sends voltage to the compressor and fans. The electronic control board also receives signals from temperature sensors to monitor the temperatures inside the refrigerator and freezer. With this information, the electronic control board controls the defrost cycle. You can usually do a diagnostic test on the electronic control board to see how well it's working. The test varies by model, but the most common is the Forced Defrost test. See the tech sheet for instructions on running the diagnostics. Replace the electronic control board if it's not working correctly.

For manuals, repair guides, and specific part recommendations, enter your model number.

Replace the refrigerator compressor start relay

Compressor Start Relay

The start relay is the electrical device that energizes the start windings of the compressor motor when the motor is initially started. The PTC start relay shuts off voltage to the start windings shortly after the compressor starts so that it continues to run using the run windings of the motor. Replace the start relay if it is broken, as the compressor will not get proper voltage to operate. In some situations, a wiring failure could be causing the problem and a repair of the Start relay wiring will fix the problem.

For manuals, repair guides, and specific part recommendations, enter your model number.

Adjust the freezer or refrigerator door

Refrigerator door

The refrigerator or freezer doors swing on hinges that can be damaged or bent. Over time, the doors may begin to sag, allowing warm moist air into the refrigerator or freezer door that creates excessive frost that can eventually cause the drain tube to freeze. This refrigerator repair involves adjusting or repairing the hinges so that the doors work properly and stay aligned.

For manuals, repair guides, and specific part recommendations, enter your model number.

Replace refrigerator water system tubing

Water supply tube

Many refrigerators have an ice maker and/or water dispenser. The connecting water line between the water components inside the refrigerator can break, resulting in a water leak. This repair involves replacing of water lines inside the refrigerator.

For manuals, repair guides, and specific part recommendations, enter your model number.

Replace the refrigerator defrost timer

Defrost timer

The defrost timer is an electro-mechanical device that controls the intervals between automatic defrost cycles in the refrigerator. The defrost timer motor runs and moves the components in the device. When the contacts for the defrost cycle are engaged, the compressor will stop and the defrost heater will turn on for a specified period of time to melt frost off of the evaporator fins. This promotes a more efficient exchange of heat across that component. When the specified period of defrost ends, the contacts will switch back to allow normal cooling operation in the refrigerator. You will need to replace the defrost timer if it does not advance when voltage is applied to it. Faulty contacts in the timer can also cause the defrost heater to either not energize at all or constantly energize. In that instance, the defrost timer will also need to be replaced.

For manuals, repair guides, and specific part recommendations, enter your model number.

Replace the refrigerator compressor

Compressor

Repairing the compressor in the refrigerator usually involves the replacement of the start device and/or overload on the motor. If the compressor looks to be in working order but will not start, then replace the start device and/or overload. If the compressor is locked up, or it runs but will not compress the refrigerant, then replace the compressor. A refrigerator service technician will need to complete this repair since it involves the recovery and recharge of the refrigerant (Freon).

For manuals, repair guides, and specific part recommendations, enter your model number.