If your ice maker isn’t working anymore, there are a few things you can try before calling a professional. We will talk about the common problems you may run into, as well as ways to fix them. That way, you can have a machine that works and produces delicious ice.
Though many of these fixes require cleaning and other things, you may need to reset your ice maker. Thus, we will also give you step-by-step instructions on how to reset Igloo ice makers. Covering all the bases ensures that you can get your machine working again.
How Does an Ice Maker Work?
Ice makers are simple; they turn water into ice, but the process between a freezer and ice maker is different. Water in the trays can take hours before freezing while an ice maker spits the cubes out in about 15 minutes.
In a sense, the ice maker is like a mini ice-making facility. The process is automated and quick. Just provide the water by filling the reservoir or through a water line and empty the basket when it gets full.
Generally, water passes through a variety of molds, which allows the refrigeration system to freeze the water into cubes. A heating system is also there and unstucks the cubes so that they fall into the basket.
Potential Ice Maker Problems
Here are some problems you might observe with your ice maker, plus some suggested troubleshooting:
1. Not Working
If your ice maker doesn’t make ice, this is likely a problem. It might be sudden, but often, there are indications that something is wrong. You may have ignored those concerns and now have no ice.
Regardless, there are many possible causes. These include:
- You’ve turned off the ice maker.
- The ice maker isn’t getting power.
- Your ice maker hasn’t gotten any water.
- Somehow, the water is there but isn’t getting delivered to the ice-making component.
- The ice bin is full.
- There’s a clog in the water supply line.
If your ice maker was working and now isn’t, you should first check the power supply. The plug could have worked its way out of the socket, or the outlet is faulty. Though seemingly obvious, check to ensure that the machine is on.
Most ice makers have a pause button; you could have hit that on accident. If the ice bin is full, you should empty it so that new ice can be made. However, those might not be the issue, and it could be a problem with water getting to the ice maker.
When you’ve got a clogged tube, you should find out why and remove it. If there is frozen water, you can use a hairdryer to melt it. You should also check the reservoir levels; if it’s too low, the ice maker won’t work.
If you worry that the water can’t reach the area where ice is made, you should check the tube that provides the water to the ice tray. It might be clogged, or there could be a pump problem. Often, pump issues require a professional to fix them.
2. Ice Doesn’t Eject
You may initially believe that the machine isn’t making any ice because there’s none in the bin. However, you open it up and see ice in the tray. Therefore, it’s making ice, but the cubes aren’t being ejected into the collection bin.
This can be caused by a faulty heating or ejector mechanism. It might be possible to fix the problem yourself.
The ice maker features a heating system to heat up the bottom of the tray to unstuck it. Then, the ejector mechanism sweeps the cubes out and into the basket. You can then scoop them up and put them in your cup.
If the heating or ejector mechanisms fail, you can fix it. You’ll have to inspect the individual components and check for corrosion, loose wires, or broken pieces. Some things can be replaced by yourself, but you may require the help of a professional.
3. Smelly or Funny-Tasting Ice
At some point, you’re bound to encounter the problem of smelly ice. Quality ice cubes are just like water. They have no odor or taste.
If you make a batch that smells or tastes funny, it means something went wrong during the process. Most people tend to describe the taste as stale or like it has been in a space without air for a while. This staleness can transfer into the beverage.
There are a few possible causes here. For one, the ice maker might be dirty. For another, you might have left the ice in its bin for too long, or the water quality is low.
- Clean the Ice Maker
The first thing you should do is clean your ice maker. You’ll need to refer to the manual to find out how to clean each component and remove it from inside. Also, make sure you wipe down the tray thoroughly.
If your ice maker is new, it could take on a “plastic” taste. You can get rid of that issue by cleaning the unit before making usable ice. Consider running a cleaning cycle and then two “rinse” cycles to complete it.
Sometimes, though, the problem lies in the water. If you’re using tap water, those impurities will stay in the ice. Check to see if your machine features a built-in filter; if so, it might be time to change it.
An ice maker with a water line may not have a filter installed. You could add a filter directly to the line. For a portable ice maker, you should only use filtered or bottled water in the reservoir.
- Always Have Fresh Ice
Sometimes, staleness isn’t an issue with the machine itself. Your ice could be “stale” because you left it in its basket for too long. After a couple of hours, the ice won’t taste fresh anymore.
This is quite common with machines that reuse the melted ice water. If you don’t empty your bin, the ice will melt. Then, the water is pumped back into the reservoir to make more ice.
The issue is that the stale ice is melted, and the water takes on the stale taste. It’s a good idea to use the ice as soon as possible. You may also want to change the water inside the reservoir every day.
4. Plastic Bits Inside the Ice
If you notice that your ice contains plastic bits, this is a significant issue and a safety hazard. It can happen whether it’s new or you’ve used it for years.
Most people see foreign objects, such as plastic bits, embedded in the cubes. In most cases, this happens because of a broken component somewhere inside your machine.
Primarily, these plastic bits had to have come from inside your unit. Most of these machines use many plastic parts, which could end up breaking and getting into the ice.
It’s not common, but it can happen. Whether from manufacturing errors, transportation, or aging, components can get loose or broken. They might even mix into the water while it’s being frozen.
If this happens and your machine is over five years old, the best thing to do is buy a new one. You’ll find many affordable ice makers available now.
Sometimes, there might be a few fragments from the factory. You should try cleaning the unit to see if that helps. If it’s under warranty, send it back and get a new one.
5. Misshapen Ice Cubes
Though you may not care how the ice cubes are shaped, a sudden change can indicate a problem. You may find the cubes are too small, too big, or oddly shaped. This can happen because of a defective water valve, the type of water you used, or a faulty cutting mechanism.
Before you worry that there is a problem, find out the shapes and number of cubes that your ice maker could produce. Many machines can make two different sizes and multiple shapes.
In some cases, you might have accidentally changed the settings. If that wasn’t it, the issue could be mechanical. Many times, the water valve is the issue, as it controls how much water is dispensed into the ice-making area.
Sometimes, the valve allows too much or too little water, which affects the standard shape and size of your ice. A clog could cause faulty valves. This means that mineral deposits don’t allow the valve to open and close properly.
You may find that the valve just needs to be replaced. First, you should try to clean it and the inlet area for water. If that doesn’t help with the shape problem, it’s time to get a new valve.
6. Cutting Grid Issues
You might find that the ice comes out as a chunk, or the cubes aren’t fully separated. In this case, it could be an issue with your ice cutting grid. This mechanism features heated wires to cut the block of ice into cubes.
The problem might be mechanical or electrical. You can check to see if something is blocking the mechanism or if the wires are loose. Some parts might need to be replaced.
If it’s not the cutting grid or the valve, you may have hard water, which has plenty of dissolved solids in it. When water is frozen with the machine, the solids might cause it to take on unusual shapes. It’s best to use filtered or bottled water to get high-quality ice.
7. Machine Leaks
You don’t want to see your ice maker leaking because it indicates that there is a serious problem somewhere inside. With an ice maker, it’s likely you’ll see water on the floor near to the machine. There might be other issues, as well.
For example, you may notice that your machine doesn’t work at all, or it produces tiny ice cubes. In most cases, a broken hose is to blame.
Open the ice maker to check for defective components. You’ll probably find a broken tube or hose somewhere. If it’s a serious leak, you’ll notice the issue immediately upon inspection.
That said, a small leak may be harder to find. It will take longer for there to be a pool of water. Plus, it might make it harder to locate the problem.
Consider checking the pump, valves, and water outlet, too. Once you found the issue, you will need to get a replacement component. You may also need to hire someone to install the new part.
If you’ve got an older machine, it might be time to consider replacing it with a newer model. Many times, a leak is a sign of aging, and more problems are yet to come. Sometimes, the leak might not be water; it could be coolant, which is even more serious.
8. Coolant Leak
While a coolant leak is less common, there could be issues with the cooling system. The liquid that’s used to freeze the ice could leak out of the machine. Therefore, the ice maker won’t produce as much ice, if any at all.
You’ll notice that the substance on the floor is oily and might also be on the inside components. It can be caused by rough handling when you carried the machine into the house or a sign of age.
You’ll have to call on a professional to fix this problem. They might be able to repair the leak, but it might be costly. Instead, it might be better to purchase a new one.
How to Reset Igloo Ice Maker
If you’ve found out the problem and have tried other solutions without success, now is the time to reset your Igloo ice maker. To do this, you’ll need to follow the instructions below:
- Unplug the power cord. This is a safety precaution, but it also has to be done before step two can be completed. It’s not enough to turn off the machine.
- Adjust the ice shovel position manually. You will need to press the ice shovel right in the middle firmly. Make sure it moves toward the backside of the unit and then pull it towards you. Then, you will push it all the way back once more. It is important to repeat this action sequence three times. When you do it, you’ll hear a zipping sound because you’re manually moving the motor.
- Then, you can plug the unit back in and turn on the ice maker. Everything should be working correctly now.
Ice makers aren’t perfect, and issues can arise. Many times, all you have to do is reset the machine. We talked about how to reset Igloo ice makers so that you understand the process completely.
You’ll also find a variety of common issues and potential fixes. We believe it is better to be prepared and try to fix the problem yourself when at all possible.