January 13, 2015

Freestanding ice maker troubleshooting

By Sears PartsDirect staff
Freestanding ice maker troubleshooting.
Freestanding ice maker troubleshooting.

Troubleshooting a problem with a freestanding ice maker is an easy way to avoid an unnecessary—and possibly expensive—service visit. Some common problems with freestanding ice makers are easy to fix and require no repair.

These troubleshooting tips can help you narrow down what the problem might be, plus give you advice on how to fix it. If you find your ice maker does need repair, our DIY ice maker repair guides can help save you time and money, while making it easy to do the repair yourself.

Ice maker doesn’t work

  • Make sure the unit is plugged into a working outlet.

  • Check that the control is turned on.

  • Ensure the room temperature is above 55°F, because the bin thermostat may shut the ice maker off at lower temperatures.

  • Remove kinks from the drain line that could be blocking the flow of drain water. 

Ice maker is noisy

  • If the ice maker makes a whooshing sound, make sure the water supply is hooked up and turned on.

  • If the ice maker is rattling or vibrating, make sure the ice machine is level.

  • A loose drain cap can rattle, so check to see that it’s secured tightly.

  • For whooshing or rattling noises, also make sure the drain pan pump is securely attached. 

  • The sound of water running in the reservoir is normal—water overflowing in the reservoir helps purge minerals removed from the water during the ice-making cycle.

Ice maker runs but doesn’t make ice

  • Make sure the ice maker is turned on.

  • Make sure the water supply is properly connected.

  • Tighten the drain cap to prevent water draining from the pan.

  • Make sure there are no kinks or clogs in the drain line— replace the drain line if it’s damaged.

Ice maker isn’t producing enough ice

  • A dirty condenser coil will restrict airflow, causing a reduction in ice production—clean the condenser if needed.

  • Make sure the ice system is free of scale buildup and clean if needed.

  • Tighten the drain cap to prevent water draining from the pan.

  • If the ice maker has a water filter, make sure it’s correctly installed and replace it if it’s clogged.

Symptoms common to all freestanding ice makers

Choose a symptom to see related ice maker repairs.

Main causes: failing compressor, bad condenser fan motor, faulty drain pump, bad recirculation pump, water supply problems, bad water valve
Main causes: dirty evaporator plate, untreated water supply, food items being stored in ice storage bin
Main causes: water supply problems, control board failure, weak recirculation pump, clogged water distributer, faulty cutting grid
Main causes: lack of electrical power, bad power cord, wiring failure, bad control board, faulty bin thermistor, bad evaporator thermistor
Main causes: bad bin thermistor, condenser fan failure, faulty control board
Main causes: wiring failure, broken cutting grid, faulty electronic control board
Main causes: bad electronic control board, water supply problems, faulty recirculation pump, sealed system failure, broken cutting grid
Main causes: cracked water supply line, leaky drain line, broken drain pump, cracked water reservoir, leaky ice bin

Repair guides common to all freestanding ice makers

These step-by-step repair guides will help you safely fix what’s broken on your ice maker.

How to replace a freestanding ice maker cutter grid

When the cutting grid is broken, ice cubes don’t drop into the ice bin. Use the steps in this repair guide to replace a broken cutter grid.

Repair difficulty
Time required
 15 minutes or less
How to replace a freestanding ice maker electronic control board

When the electronic control board won’t activate the ice maker components, follow these steps to install a new one.

Repair difficulty
Time required
 45 minutes or less
How to replace a freestanding ice maker recirculation pump

If your ice maker isn’t making ice, the pump could be the problem. Here’s how to replace it.

Repair difficulty
Time required
 45 minutes or less

Articles and videos common to all freestanding ice makers

Use the advice and tips in these articles and videos to get the most out of your ice maker.

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