Ice makers are handy appliances for homeowners. Whether you need ice to keep your food fresh in the cooler or for your morning ice coffee, they give you the ability to access cubes at the push of a button. But there are several components to make an icemaker run properly, and if they fail, it’s a nuisance.
Most homeowners have a refrigerator with a built-in water line for the freezer and ice maker. The automatic ice maker has been known to cause trouble with homeowners in the past. However, modern ice makers do have fewer problems causing leaks and other headaches.
We have found that a vast majority of homeowners with icemaker issues often find a problem with the water valve. If you’re having issues with your water valve, you may be able to diagnose and repair a defective ice maker yourself. So before making a call to your Utah repair technician, read the following troubleshooting tips.
How an Icemaker Works
When you change the fridge from water to ice, the switch inside the electrical circuit energizes the solenoid-operated water valve. The solenoid water valve allows water to flow through the valve and into the ice cube trays freely. When the water has frozen, it will then dump the ice into the tray where it can be chopped or pushed as whole cubes through the system and into a cup.
Signs Your Icemaker Is in Trouble
An ice maker can start to show signs it needs servicing when you see ice cubes that are smaller than average or ice that has a lot of extra frost on them. Sometimes there is a large chunk of ice that is blocking the line. Other times, you may notice there is no ice being made at all. Any of these symptoms show that an icemaker is in trouble, which means it’s time to troubleshoot the issue and find a solution.
Malfunctioning Water Valve
Most of today’s refrigerators come with an automatic ice maker. The water valve supplying the automatic icemaker is a fundamental component of the ice-making system. It should be the first thing you check if the icemaker’s performance is inconsistent or if the ice maker stops working.
A water valve has a small screen on it that is designed to help remove minerals and sediment from water. When the valve screen is not cleaned, it can cause sediment buildup to occur and causes problems allowing water through the valve. The problem with a broken valve is that it can let too much water pass, causing the ice maker to overfill the trays, which leads to additional water drips and freezing inside the machine.
Turning Off a Water Valve
There is a water line connected to the fridge that has a shutoff valve you can use to turn off the water going into the refrigerator. The water line connected to the refrigerator is typically located under the kitchen sink, in the basement, or the cabinet next to the fridge.
The water line is typically a small copper line with a t-valve attached to it. Once you find the valve, you will be able to turn off the cold water running into the fridge. With the water turned off, you can make repairs to the freezer and ice machine as needed before turning the valve back on, and allowing water to flow into the freezer again.
It’s important to note that the water valve can fail either electrically or mechanically.
Test the Water Valve for Electrical Failure
To test your water valve for an electrical failure, locate the valve near the bottom of the fridge. You’ll want to check the continuity of the valve solenoid coils by using a digital or an analog multimeter. Here’s a step-by-step guide on testing your water valve for electrical failure:
- First, disconnect the water supply line connected to the valve.
- Set the multimeter to R X 1 ohms.
- Put a probe on one of the terminals, and place the other probe on the other terminal.
The multimeter should display a reading between 200 and 500 ohm. A meter with infinite Ohms of resistance means that the valve has no continuity. If this is the case, you’ll need to replace the component.
Test the Water Valve for Electrical Failure
An electrical failure can be determined by troubleshooting the water supply. Here’s how:
- Disconnect the water supply line from the water valve.
- Place a bucket beneath the water supply line.
- Switch on the water.
If the water pressure seems weak or irregular, the issue lies with the water supply.
Troubleshooting an Ice Maker
Some homeowners feel that it’s not the end of the world to live without an ice machine. Whether or not you determine if you want to keep your ice maker running, there are some things you need to be aware of with an ice maker. There is a small tube leading to the fridge to create cold water and ice. If your ice maker has been acting up, there is a strong possibility the problem could be with the waterline. The last thing homeowners want to deal with is water leaks as that can turn from a simple repair into a massive repair needing mold remediation, wall repair, and more. Don’t let your ice maker turn into an enormous problem! Call iFiX early on to diagnose and address your ice machine problem.
Additional Problems with Ice Makers
In addition to water line and water valve issues, we recommend troubleshooting the following before calling for repairs:
- Control arm out of position
- Clogged filter
- Clogged condenser
If All Else Fails, Contact iFiX, LLC
Ice makers can sometimes be temperamental. If you have gone through many of the solutions above and you are still having issues with your ice maker, give iFiX, LLC a call so we can visit you in Ogden, Utah and surrounding areas. At iFiX, we specialize in providing effective services for ice machine repair needs. If you are dealing with a fridge/freezer that is leaking or struggling to produce ice, call iFiX today at (801) 731-4349. We are in the business of keeping people happy, and we’re here to help. Contact us today to learn more!