When it comes to ice maker problems, you might eventually expect your ice maker to manifest one problem or another that will stop it from making ice altogether. However, an ice maker that simply won’t stop producing ice is not something that we anticipate having to deal with in our appliance’s lifetime. You can only enjoy so many ice cold drinks before they lose their allure, and then it becomes a battle of stopping your ice maker from taking over your freezer with ice. It wastes water, it wastes energy, and it needs to stop. When this issue manifests, there are several potential culprits that you can easily fix, but you need to determine which is most likely and fix the issue fast so as to not create more ice than you need and continue wasting energy.
Resetting Your Ice Maker
Every freezer comes with a way to reset the ice maker. This technique can be used to fix an ice maker that won’t make ice, but it can also be a way to stop an ice maker from making excess ice in some cases. The issue, however, is that the way for resetting the ice maker often differs from model to model.
In older models, resetting your ice maker will be less intuitive, often requiring you to unplug your refrigerator for 30 seconds, then depress the feeler paddle in your ice maker three times. In newer models, they may have more specific instructions on how to reset your ice maker. Some models, such as newer Samsung models, even come with a specified button. You will want to consult your owner’s manual for your specific brand of freezer to discover how to effectively reset your ice maker to see if that fixes this issue.
Cleaning Your Ice Maker
Similar to resetting an ice maker, sometimes an ice maker may simply require the removal and a solid cleaning. This is particularly true if you have been having defrost issues recently. Frost or ice can build up inside the ice maker or on the crucial parts like the feeler arm. If this happens, they may not function as designed. One of the issues that this loss of function can manifest is making too much ice. If you have even moderate frost build up in your freezer section, you may want to just let the ice maker thaw out and see if it returns to proper function.
If the ice maker does return to normal function, what you will really want to address is why the defrost is no longer functioning in your freezer. Older models may not come with built-in defrost, but newer models do. If it is functioning properly, you will never see visible frost build up. So instead of an ice maker issue, you are instead faced with troubleshooting a defrost issue or risk ice maker issues popping up again due to frost build up.
Common Culprits of an Ice Maker That Won’t Stop
While resetting or cleaning your ice maker can be a fix in many cases, if a part is indeed malfunctioning, resetting your ice maker will not be able to fix the issue because it does not magically repair the malfunctioning part. In essence, when a reset fails to fix an ice maker that won’t stop producing ice, what you do know is that some part in your ice maker is in need of replacement.
Shut Off Arm
In truth, unless you can visibly see that your ice maker shut off arm is in some way damaged, this is probably the least likely culprit. The arm functions as a way to turn the ice maker on and off as needed, so it becomes a pretty obvious culprit for most homeowners.
If you turn the shut off arm to the off position, but your ice maker keeps making ice anyway, then it may, in fact, be a problem with the shut-off arm. This part is easy to replace as you just push it back and pop it out of its alcoves then replace.
If your shut off arm does indeed still work, but your ice maker never stops making ice when it is turned on, then your problem is not with the shutoff arm, but rather the feeler paddle. Inside every ice maker, there is a plastic paddle that has the sole purpose of discontinuing ice flow once the bin is full. If the feeler paddle is malfunctioning, it will not stop ice production once the bin is full and the ice will then spill out into your freezer.
The feeler will be located underneath the actual ice maker. In some cases, it may be frozen up or lack lubrication to function properly. However, if there is no obvious reason for it to malfunction, the paddle can be replaced by loosening the bolt holding it on and securing the replacement.
If the shutoff arm and feeler paddle all check out, then the last potential issue is one with the actual water inlet valve to the freezer. Typically you will be able to tell if your ice maker is manifesting an issue with the water inlet valve because the ice will not be as neat as you are used to. If it is a water valve issue, then it is an issue with the valve not closing and continuing to distribute water. This will result in frozen drips and frozen puddling in your ice maker.
Unlike the above issues, replacing a water inlet valve to your ice maker is more complex. You will want to shut off the water and power to your refrigerator ahead of time. Be sure that once you disconnect the inlet valve that you have a towel or bucket underneath to catch the excess water. You can test for continuity, but if a valve is not closing it is just better to replace it. If you are uncomfortable replacing this part located in the back of your refrigerator, you may need to call in professional help.