Unless your entire ice making unit has died a death and needs replacing, fixing a malfunctioning ice maker is often a simple and straightforward procedure. When looked at logically, ice is just frozen water so there has to be a simple reason for your ice maker not working properly. The problem must lie with the unit’s power or with the water supply.
The most common problems are:
- Thin or hollow ice cubes
- Water not freezing and no cubes forming
- Ice tastes bad
Of course, there are other technical problems which can arise but those will require an expert hand to correct so let’s concentrate on what we can do for ourselves.
All of the above problems can be traced back to one of two causes: the power source and water supply. Simple pre-emptive ice maker troubleshooting can avoid these problems ever arising and will often resolve the same issues.
· Condenser Coils. The freezer should be maintained at a temperature of between -12 and -18 degrees Celsius (0 to 10 degrees Fahrenheit) to function properly. The most common reason for a temperature malfunction is blocked condenser coils which can easily be reached and cleaned. The coils are normally located behind a front or rere access panel and can be cleaned using a long-handled bristle brush and a vacuum cleaner. The condenser coils should be thoroughly cleaned at least every eighteen months and preferably more often.
· Evaporator Coils. A bit trickier, and you will need to consult the manual to locate the evaporator coils, but these also need regular checking. There should be an even coating of frost on each coil and if this is not the case there could be a leak or blockage in the system. If cleaning the coils doesn’t work then, unfortunately, an electrician will be required to sort out the problem.
· Water Pressure. Incorrect water pressure is the single biggest reason for an ice maker not making ice. Water pressure must be at least 20 PSI or the unit will not function well or not at all. To test the pressure, simply disconnect the water inlet line from the inlet valve (usually at the rere of the unit) and run the water into the sink or a bucket. If the water flow is poor then the problem lies with the water pressure in your home but if this is not the case then the water inlet valve could be obstructed or damaged and need replacing.
· Water Quality. Sometimes the ice may taste “bad” or “slightly off” or is just discolored. This can be caused by chemicals or other additives in your household water supply. Fitting a filter to the freezer supply line will, as like as not, solve the problem. Other simple remedies include cleaning the ice making unit thoroughly and flushing out the supply line.
Other Simple Problems and Fixes
Cubes Too Small or Large. Make sure there is enough water getting through to the freezer unit by checking the water supply valve and line as well as the inlet switch and valve.
Water Leaks. Most often caused by the freezer unit not standing upright and level. Check both, as well as the water supply line for leaks.
Quite a lot of the reasons for your ice maker not working properly can be avoided with proper maintenance and care before any problems arise. However, not all problems can be resolved easily and if in doubt – take no chances! For safety’s sake it is worth spending a few dollars to call in a qualified electrician.
Never attempt any repairs, or even cleaning, without first disconnecting the power as a faulty unit can easily be replaced and not having ice cubes in your gin and tonic shouldn’t be a matter of life or death!