How to Repair a Clogged Ice Maker

When your ice maker produces small or hollow cubes, it's a sign the unit isn't getting enough water.

Dealing with a damaged water line

The cause could be a faulty thermostat or a bad water-inlet valve--problems you may want a professional to fix. Or if you're lucky, you may just have a clog in the water-supply system. You can handle that yourself following these steps.

Pull the refrigerator out from the wall and unplug it.

Turn off the water-supply valve. The valve may be under the kitchen sink or connected to a cold-water pipe in your basement.

Inspect the water-supply line that runs to the refrigerator, looking for crimps or kinks.

Carefully straighten any problem areas you find, using just hand pressure. If you can't remove the crimps and kinks, replace the water line.

Disconnect the line from the refrigerator and from the water-supply valve, using an adjustable wrench.

Buy a replacement line at your appliance store and install it, tightening the connections firmly to prevent leaks.

Checking and replacing a water filter

Turn off the water, unplug the refrigerator and pull it away from the wall.

Locate the water filter, if your ice maker has one. It will look like a canister or cylinder and will be attached to the water-supply line.

Using the adjustable wrench, disconnect the end of the filter that runs to the refrigerator while leaving the other end of the filter attached to the water-supply line.

Hold the filter over a bucket and ask a helper to turn on the water-supply valve. If water flows freely, the filter is good. If water dribbles or doesn't flow at all, the filter needs to be replaced.

Turn off the water-supply valve and disconnect the filter from the water-supply line, using your adjustable wrench.

Buy a replacement filter at your appliance store and install it. Tighten the connections firmly to prevent leaks.

Cleaning a clogged inlet valve

Turn off the water, unplug the refrigerator and pull it away from the wall.

Remove the bottom access panel on the back of the refrigerator, using a screwdriver or a nut driver and socket.

Remove the water inlet valve using the nut driver and socket.

Disassemble the valve and clean the screen, using the tools and steps outlined in How to Fix a Dishwasher That Fills Slowly.

Things You Will Need

  • Bucket
  • Adjustable Wrench
  • Replacement Parts
  • Screwdriver, or nut driver and socket

Tips

  • If your ice maker itself is faulty, think twice before having it rebuilt. Often replacement parts are so expensive, you're better off buying a new unit.
  • Still have problems with your ice? Check the freezer temperature. It must be 5°F (-15°C) or colder for the ice maker to work properly.

Warnings

  • To prevent possible electrical shock, always unplug your refrigerator before working on it.
  • Put carpet scraps or another soft material under the front legs before pulling your refrigerator away from the wall. Otherwise, the legs could damage the flooring.