One of the key accessories in refrigerators today is the ice maker. Long gone are the days of having to buy ice cube trays, storing them in the freezer, and the old twist-and-turn to dump them out. Who remembers dad yelling from the kitchen, “Who forgot to restock the ice tray,” just as he was getting ready to make his drink after work on a Friday night?
No, just about every refrigerator on the market today has an ice maker either in the door or inside the freezer. They make life a lot easier, as long as they are working. When they are “broken,” this can sometimes be a very easy and embarrassing fix, or you may have to call your appliance repair technician in to take a look.
Go Basic First
Now, this is going to sound silly, but have you checked the ice maker switch? I will confess that I have turned it off accidentally many times myself. For most units today, there is a metal or plastic arm mechanism that is either out or pushed in for the on/off switch of the ice maker. It is easy to hit that arm while grabbing something from the freezer to turn it off. Just check to ensure the arm is in the “on” position before looking for another fix.
Check Water Fill Tubes
Another common fix is the water fill tubes are clogged. Again, this is a fairly easy fix that you can do on your own. You will have to remove the lines and clean them out. Since you have them off, take the time to clean them thoroughly. Give them a brief soak in warm water with a little bit of dishwashing liquid and white vinegar. Once they soak and any debris is removed, give them a good rinse both inside and out before replacing them.
If you see that the tubes are iced over when you go to remove them, there is more than likely a leak, so we would recommend changing them out. While you have the tubes off, you can also check the filter screen and clean that out. This also will sometimes get clogged.
Changing Water Filter
Generally speaking, the unit’s water filter must be changed about every six months. This is a super easy fix that takes about two seconds to do. For instance, GE fridges use the RPWFE filter. You should see the filter compartment in the upper left or right of the refrigerator with a push button to open the chamber. The filter is easily removed and replaced. Original filters can be pricey (about $40-$50 to replace), but you want to ensure you get an authentic filter and not a knockoff. Some of those cheaper filters will still work, but you may find the flow rate significantly less than the approved filter, not to mention the risk to your guarantee by using a knockoff brand.
Check the Ejector
This is also something that will break down from time to time, especially if you have a leaking water-fill tube. Check the mechanism to see if there is an ice buildup in the gear assembly of the ejector. You can remove the entire ice bucket and ejector to allow the ice to melt. Just make sure the unit is dry before putting it back inside the freezer. This could also be something as simple as a dam of sorts being built up in the icemaker that prevents the ejector from letting the ice out. Just move the ice out of the way and you should be good to go.