Do I need to replace my icemaker?

I got this call recently and decided it would make a good post:question_PoP

“There’s a mini-iceage happening in my fridge!”

I also decided “Do I need to replace my icemaker” was more descriptive and wouldn’t crash the site with a giant influx of geologists searching for a fabled fridge.

Now, on to business. You can skip this part if you just want to view the steps below, but I highly recommend learning just a bit about how your icemaker works. If nothing else, you can whip out your amazing icemaker factoids at the next cocktail party.

There are 3 key components to an ice maker –

  1. Power – ElectricityIce Maker
  2. Water
  3. Heating unit

The ice maker is hooked up to an electrical circuit within the refrigerator, a water hose and a heating unit.  Heat, in an ice maker?  Keep reading and you’ll see.

The process is a cycle.

  • It starts with a water valve opening to fill a mold. The mold is usually semicircular with a small notch so that the ice cubes will be connected to each other.
  • Once full the water is left to freeze in the mold. A sensor will detect when the water is frozen and close a switch.  When the switch closes an electrical current will run to the heating unit.
  • Yes, this is where heat comes in. Ice will stick to most surfaces so the heating unit slightly melts the ice just enough to provide a thin layer of water so a motorized arm with blades can push the ice out of the mold and into a storage bin.
  • Remember, the individual cubes are all connected so the ice moves as one piece and breaks apart as it falls into the bin.
  • The cycle continues until a sensor determines the storage bin is full.


So do I need to replace my icemaker?  You may not need to replace the unit, there are a few things to check first.

  1. Check the storage bin for clumps of ice. Break up any clumps or remove ones that won’t break apart.  Sometimes the cubes don’t break apart when they fall into the bin or they refreeze together creating an ice clump.
  2. Check the blade arm making sure it’s free of ice.
  3. Check the ice chute for build up

If everything looks good then the icemaker may need to be replaced ….  How to Replace an Icemaker -well that’s another post.

May your ice cycle blockage free,


This entry was posted in Repair Tips. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s