How to Replace an Ice-Maker in Your Refrigerator

Grime and debris bog down a refrigerator ice maker's gears as it ages.

The ice maker mounts in the refrigerator's freezer compartment.
Over time, the extra effort required to turn the gears destroys the ice maker's motor. Grime and debris also affect the ice maker's trip lever. The trip lever activates the ice maker's timer. The timer operates the refrigerator's water valve and the ice maker's motor. A replacement ice maker's electrical harness, mounting style and body shape must match the refrigerator's original ice maker. .

Pull the refrigerator away from the wall and disconnect its electric plug from the kitchen's wall receptacle.

Turn off the refrigerator water-supply tube's shut-off valve. Turning the valve's handle counterclockwise closes the valve. One end of the water-supply tube connects to the refrigerator's water valve and the other end connects to the water shut-off valve.

Remove the ice bin from the freezer compartment. Remove the freezer's shelves, if needed.

Remove the ice maker's trim plate, if equipped. The optional trim plate snaps in place.

Locate the ice maker's wiring harness, usually found behind the ice maker. Squeeze the wiring harness' locking tabs and separate the two halves of the harness.

Remove the ice maker's mounting screws with the correct screwdriver, usually a 1/4-inch hex screwdriver. Many ice makers have three mounting screws, one below the ice maker and two above the ice tray. Some screws hold L-shaped clips against the ice maker. The L-shaped clips hold the ice maker in place. If the ice maker's wiring harness uses a retaining clip, remove the screw holding the clip against the freezer's wall.

Pull the old ice maker out of the freezer. The water supply tube slides out the water inlet port, located on the back of the ice maker.

Align the water supply tube with the new ice maker's water inlet port and position the ice maker against the freezer's wall.

Secure the ice maker to the freezer wall with the mounting screws. If the ice maker uses L-shaped clips, hold the clip against the ice maker in its proper place and finger tighten the mounting screw. Tighten the ice maker's mounting screws with the screwdriver.

Connect the new ice maker's wiring harness to the refrigerator's wiring harness. Press the two halves of the harness against each other until the locking tabs snap together. Replace the wiring harness' retaining clip, if used.

Press the trim plate onto the ice maker, if used. The trim's locking tabs snap onto the ice maker's body.

Set the ice bin in the freezer. Turn on the water shut-off valve and plug the refrigerator into the wall.

About the Author

Based out of Central Florida, Robert Sylvus has been writing how-to and outdoor sports articles for various online publications since 2008. Sylvus has been a home improvement contractor since 1992. He is a certified HVAC universal technician.