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How to Force an Ice Maker to Cycle

Forcing an ice maker to run through a cycle is a common troubleshooting technique if you have problems with ice production in your refrigerator. Ice maker components are equipped with a shut-off mechanism that halts ice production when the storage bin reaches capacity. To test the ice maker, you'll need to force a cycle to determine whether there is any problem with the equipment. You may also want to force a cycle if the ice maker has not been used in some time. No special tools are required.

Force the ice maker to cycle as a troubleshooting measure.

Step 1

Open the freezer door to remove the ice bin from below the ice maker.

Step 2

Empty the ice from the bin. Replace the bin in the freezer by sliding it all the way back into position against the back of the freezer; many ice makers include a cut-off mechanism that halts ice production if the bin is not properly in place. This also prevents ice from spilling out inside the freezer.

Step 3

Press the ice maker toggle switch to the "On" setting if it is not already activated.

Step 4

Pop off the front cover of the ice maker with the tip of a flat-blade screwdriver.

Step 5

Rotate the gear on the front of the ice maker clockwise until you hear a click, then replace the cover.

Step 6

Push the rectangular wire arm on the side of the ice maker into the downward position. This sensor arm alerts the ice maker to shut off ice production when the storage bin is full. When the wire is in the upright position, the unit will not make ice.

About the Author

James Clark began his career in 1985. He has written about electronics, appliance repair and outdoor topics for a variety of publications and websites. He has more than four years of experience in appliance and electrical repairs. Clark holds a bachelor's degree in political science.