by Zhishui Fan on March 28, 2022


Instead of grabbing your phone the first thing after you realize your ice maker is not working, try these troubleshooting techniques first. Down below, we are explaining the most common ice maker problems and giving you hints on possible causes and potential solutions to help you spare yourself the frustration.

1. Ice Maker Is Not Working

Common Ice Maker Problems and How to Solve Them

1.1 Problem Description

An ice maker machine doesn’t start the ice making cycle nor is it giving away any signs of life not even after the start button is pressed.

1.2 Possible Problem Source

  • A faulty power source (the wall socket is not giving the power)
  • The power cable is not plugged in properly
  • There is no water input in the ice maker
  • The ice basket is full, and the sensor prevents ice production

1.3 Potential Solutions

The best possible solution to a problem like this is resetting the unit. Disconnect the ice maker from the electrical socket and the water inlet, then empty it, and plug everything back in after a couple of hours.

If you have a more brand-specific problem with your little Igloo, check our comprehensive blog on Igloo ice maker is not working.

2 Ice Cubes Are Cloudier Than Usual

2.1 Problem description

An ice maker is producing cloudy, entirely cloudy, or “muddy” ice that doesn’t have the typical, cubed shape.

2.2 Possible Problem Source

  • Filthy water inside the reservoir
  • The water has been recycled from ice that melted in the basket

2.3 Potential Solution

It could be that some dirt got stuck in the freezing cycle or the your water reservoir is faulty and should be replaced. If draining the water completely out of the machine doesn’t help, clean the ice maker thoroughly – especially the water injection system inside the machine and other large parts where dirt gets stuck easily.

3. Ice Cubes Are Starting To Smell And Taste Weird

Ice Cubes Are Starting To Smell And Taste Weird

3.1 Problem description

An ice maker is producing ice that has a weird, almost moldy, and stale taste.

3.2 Possible Problem Source

  • Dirty or low-quality water source
  • Ice maker parts got filthy from the inside
  • Recycling went on for more than two cycles

3.3 Potential Solution

Once an ice machine has accumulated dirt around some of its core parts, there will be some funny tasting ice coming from it. This means that it’s about time for a cleaning session. It would be best to clean the unit once every ten days if you use it daily. Depending on the degree of filth gathered, use one of the following cleaning methods:

  • White vinegar and lemon juice cleaning solution – homemade and pretty mild, this mixture will not harm any ice maker. Dilute vinegar in a glass of water and add a couple of lemon or lime drops to prepare the mix that will make the machine smell fresher.
  • Bleach with water – use this solution only when your ice maker starts smelling really bad or when the dirt inside the machine is quite noticeable.
  • Store-grade ice machine cleaning agents – usually stronger than typical homemade solutions. Keep in mind that products like this should be used exactly as instructed, otherwise might cause damage to the unit.

Pro tip: use the dissolved cleaning solution and fill the ice tray with this liquid. Press the power button of an ice maker and produce a batch of two of the ice. This will clean the machine from the inside. Throw this ice away as soon as it is produced.

4. Ice Not Falling Into The Ice Basket

4.1 Problem Description

An ice maker us producing strange sounds while producing ice but doesn’t transfer it to the ice basket or it is ejecting a few cubes only. The machine is gathering ice in the hull where the cubes get stuck.

4.2 Possible Problem Source

  • Broken or stuck heating mechanism
  • Broken or stuck ejecting mechanism
  • Stuck security doors that separate the ice making part from the ice bin, if the ice maker has any.

4.3 Potential Solution

Open the ice maker with utmost caution. If the small heaters, parts that make it possible for the ice to slide down into the basket, are loose or broken, call a professional maintenance specialist.

5. The Ice Keeps Ejecting Even After The Ice Basket Is Full

5.1 Problem Description

The basket gets full from previous ice batches, but the ice machine doesn’t stop producing, and it quickly starts overflowing with fresh ice. It could also be that the machine is continually producing ice, even after the time set on the timer.

5.2 Possible Problem Source

  • Most likely the sensor is worn out or got disconnected/broken

5.3 Potential Solution

Check the ice maker’s sensor (the part that sends the signal to the machine not make or not to make any more ice). If the sensor broke, a professional handyman or the manufacturer will have to replace it. Alternatively, turn off the ice maker manually or unplug it from the wall outlet.

6. Water Leaks Appeared Around The Ice Machine

Water Leaks Appeared Around The Ice Machine

6.1 Problem Description

Water drops are collecting underneath the machine and it is certain no one have spilled any water on the floor.

6.2 Possible Problem Source

  • Leaking inlet pipe
  • Leaking inner tubes of the ice machine

6.3 Potential Solution 

If the unit’s inlet pipe or internal mechanism tube starts leaking, unplug the machine right away and dry the surface around it, as well as the unit itself. Inspect the pipe and the water valve to see where the leak is coming from and replace it if necessary.

It could also be that the leakage originates from the smaller intricate tubes which transfer water through the system. If this is the case, patch the hole with some duct tape, and call a professional that will replace the tubing. Even the best commercial ice makers can need this.

7. Something Leaks, But It Is Not Water

7.1 Problem Description

There’s a small puddle around the machine and the liquid is smelly.

7.2 Possible Problem Source

  • Refrigerating coolant leaked due to inner damage of the unit
  • Transfer tubes broke inside the ice maker

7.3 Potential Solution

Turn off the ice maker and get rid of any ice that’s already sitting in the ice bin.

8. Ice Cubes Come Out In Strange Shapes

8.1 Problem Description

An ice maker is producing ice cubes in various sizes and shapes, way different than the ones it is supposed to make.

8.2 Possible Problem Source

  • Water reservoir valve partially clogged
  • The water hose is not providing enough or too much pressure
  • Ice cutting mechanism fails

8.3 Potential Solutions

Reset the control panel to see whether the setting on the ice maker has been accidentally changed so the machine is making other types of ice cubes than the ones it is typically producing.

Check the inlet pipe, unplug the machine, and disconnect the inlet water pipe. Double-check if the valve is clean, and if the water coming out of the pipe is within normal pressure limits. If it is not, adjust the pressure, and the ice cubes should go back to normal.

Another possible solution for the portable, countertop, and sonic ice makers that use water reservoirs is to remove them (if possible) and giving them a thorough cleaning. Sometimes, dirt and sediment from reservoir water can clog the path to the freezing chamber, which may affect the size and shape of the ice cubes.

Lastly, the problem can be in the ice cutting mechanism. Some models utilize hot wires to cut larger ice into smaller ice cubes. Open up the ice maker and look for any loose wires and broken parts around the cutting mechanism. If there are any suspicious parts or if anything is out of place, contact a licensed technician and get it repaired by a professional.

9. Ice Maker Making a Knocking Sound

Ice Maker Making a Knocking Sound

9.1 Problem Description 

The knocking noise is coming from the outside of your ice maker while it is producing ice. Also, the machine itself tends to vibrate and it is quite unstable.

9.2 Possible Problem Source

  • Faulty fan
  • The compressor is starting or stopping
  • Insufficient water levels
  • Blockage in the water pump

9.3 Potential Solutions 

Place your ice maker on a stable and even surface or against the wall and fill the ice tray with water so it can start the ice making cycle. If this doesn’t help, unplug the machine from the electrical supply, locate the water pump, remove the filters and wires, and try to determine if there is any dirt or debris on the inside. Mix vinegar and lemon juice and apply the mixture wherever you can see the dirt using an old toothbrush.

However, keep in mind there’s a whole story behind the question of why do ice makers make a knocking sound. Don’t worry – we’ve already explained this topic in detail, in another blog!

Wrap Up

Although ice makers are not that delicate, you should still maintain them properly to ensure their optimal performance. If any of these 9 common ice maker problems occur, you’ll most likely now know how to handle it. Oh, and let us know how it went!

About Aaron Walters

Aaron Walters is a code writer by day, and a cocktail enthusiast by night. Once he realized that high-quality ice is equally important as other ingredients, he started researching ice machines of all types and sizes. Icemaking101.com is a library of researched topics regarding all things ice he made along the way.



9 Common Ice Maker Problems and How to Solve Them (icemaking101.com)