Why is my Whirlpool Ice Maker Not Working (How To Fix )

Whirlpool is a popular brand of refrigerators. People like that their ice makers make a lot of frozen water without them having to worry about ice cube plates. Having ice cubes close at hand makes hot summer days more fun.

So, what happens if you find your Whirlpool ice maker not working? In some cases, you don’t have to be an expert to solve a problem. Many things can go wrong with an ice maker, such as a jam, a water filter that needs to be replaced, or the ice maker is turned off.

But the truth is that ice makers don’t last forever and need to be changed sometimes. Repairing or replacing a refrigerator can cost hundreds to thousands of dollars. Thanks to Cinch House Services, you can pay a little money to protect your house. So let’s get started.

Let’s take a look…

What are some common Whirlpool ice maker problems and solutions?

Most problems with a refrigerator’s ice maker can be tied back to a few main parts, such as the water valves and lines, the water filter, the ice maker control arm, the temperatures in the different compartments, the ice bin, and more. Click on one of the topics below to learn how to fix problems with your whirlpool ice maker.

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Why is my Whirlpool Ice Maker Not Working?

If your whirlpool ice maker doesn’t work, it can feel like a waste of valuable room in your fridge or freezer. Check out some of the usual reasons listed below, which may help you determine why your whirlpool ice maker stopped working right or isn’t making enough ice. There are also some simple fixes you can try on yourself.

Clogged water filter

Problem: Your filter works hard to help reduce contaminants in your water, but over time it can get clogged up with the bits it catches. If the filter is jammed, less water can reach the ice maker. It can slow or stop the ice maker from making ice.

Solution: Make sure to change the water filter in your refrigerator every six months, and look out for signs that the filter is getting old. Some signs are water or ice that tastes odd, water that comes out slowly, black spots in water or ice, and little or no ice production.

Defective water inlet valve

Problem: If your water filter is up to date, it could be the water entry valve for your ice maker. When the water pressure is right, the valve opens and closes to let water into the ice maker. If the pressure on a valve is less than 20 pounds per square inch (psi), it won’t be strong enough to let the right amount of water from the ice maker.

Solution: First, use your tools or ask a professional to check the water flow into the valve. If the pressure is high enough, at least 20 psi, you may need to change the water inlet valve.

Refrigerator or freezer compartment is too warm

Problem: If the refrigerator or freezer temperature is set too high, your ice maker may be unable to keep up with the amount of ice it is supposed to make. It could lead to slow ice production, too small cubes, or no ice production at all.

Solution: Check the temperature of the refrigerator and freezer. The freezer needs to be set to 0°F (-18°C), and the refrigerator temperature is somewhere in the range of   33–40°F (0–4°C).

Control arm mispositioned

Problem: In some models, the ice maker’s control arm is a big plastic or metal handle on the side or top of the ice bin. It measures how much ice is in the bin and stops making ice when it is full. If the control arm comes loose, breaks, or gets pushed into the “off” position by chance, it could stop making ice.

Solution: Make sure the control arm is in the “on” position by checking it. If the arm seems loose, tighten it. If the arm is fully broken, call a professional.

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Frozen water inlet tube

Problem: A frozen water line can happen when the temperature in the freezer or refrigerator is too low, or the insulation around the water line isn’t doing its job to keep it from freezing.

Solution: The water line is behind the whirlpool ice maker, so accessing it typically requires removing the ice bin and maker. You can use warm water or air to unfreeze the pipe at home, but it’s best to let a professional do it because they have special tools that make the job easier.

Whirlpool Ice maker is making ice, but is not dispensing

It cannot be very pleasant when the ice bin is full, and the dispenser won’t give you ice cubes. Some of the most common reasons and possible ways to fix them are:

Ice clump in the bin

Problem: The auger inside the bin of your ice maker is meant to break up pieces of ice that form, but if you use your ice maker sparingly, the ice may get too big for the drill to handle. It is probably why your ice maker makes a loud grinding sound when you try to use it.

Solution: Small chunks of ice can be removed or taken out with your hands, but larger or more solid chunks may need to be removed from the ice bin and fully melted.

Ice clump in the chute

Problem: Ice that comes out at odd angles can briefly block the chute, and big chunks that aren’t broken up enough can completely block it. Bend down and carefully look into the chute to see if ice is stuck in the pump.

Solution: If you see a bunch of loose cubes, move them to get them to fall out. If the ice in the tube seems stuck, put a catch under the dispenser and let the ice melt. If the ice is chipped away, it helps keep the chute from getting dinged up or broken.

Frozen auger motor

Problem: Ice makers that don’t get used much may have parts that freeze over, like the auger motor behind the freezer wall. If the drill is frozen, it might not move new cubes toward the chute, so you might only be able to get a few cubes before the ice maker stops making ice.  

Solution: Defrosting the auger motor can be hard on the motor, and the melting moisture may damage it, so it’s best to call a professional for help getting everything back to normal.

The ice maker is making too much ice

Ice maker control arms are made to sense when the ice bin is full and stop making ice at the right time. If the ice bin is overflowing, this could mean that something is wrong. As you figure out why your ice maker is making too much ice, it may help to turn it on and off as needed to stop it from overflowing. The good news is that the reasons for and solutions to overproduction are often easy.

Ice bin isn’t positioned correctly

Problem: An incorrect ice bin may cause ice to miss the bucket when it’s ejected from the mold, giving the appearance of ice overflowing.

Solution: Double-check the bin’s location, ensuring it’s positioned correctly to catch any ice from the mold above.

Broken control arm

Problem: Your ice maker’s control arm likely looks like a large plastic or metal handle that rests on the side or top of the ice 

bin and is designed to raise or sense the ice level and shut the ice maker off once the bin is full. A broken or damaged control arm may not signal the ice maker to stop ice production, leaving you with excess cubes to clean up.

Solution: Check that the control arm is firmly attached and has no breaks or cracks. If it appears broken, contact a professional to help diagnose, replace, or repair it.

Missing shelf

Problem: Some refrigerator models may require a shelf designed to elevate the ice bin and aid the control arm in judging the ice level in the bin. You may experience an over-active ice maker if your refrigerator lacks this shelf.

Solution: Check your user manual or use and care guide to ensure all shelving is accounted for in your refrigerator, and contact your manufacturer if you need a replacement.

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The ice has an odd taste

Ice maker control arms are made to sense when the ice bin is full and stop making ice at the right time. If the ice bin is overflowing, this could mean that something is wrong. As you figure out why your ice maker is making too much ice, it may help to turn it on and off as needed to stop it from overflowing. The good news is that the reasons for and solutions to overproduction are often easy.

Expired water filter

Problem: A worn-out water filter is one of the most common reasons ice and water taste funny. The filter catches dirt and dust, but if it isn’t taken care of properly, it could get too full of dirt and dust to do its job well. Your filter is important to ensure your water supply doesn’t give your ice strange tastes.

Solution: Change your water filter every six months as a normal maintenance task to avoid the strange taste and contaminants that come with old water filters.

Old ice cubes

Problem: Ice in the freezer for a long time is more likely to be contaminated than ice that has just been put in. Ice that has picked up smells from food in the fridge or freezer can also go bad.

Solution: Try dumping old ice and steadily rotate ice from the ice maker if you don’t plan to use it regularly.

Poorly wrapped freezer items

Problem: Placing poorly wrapped food in the freezer, especially next to the ice bin, allows ice to absorb potentially potent odors as food goes from fresh to frozen.

Solution: Use freezer-friendly supplies for packaging and wrapping frozen foods to help ensure that frozen food maintains its quality longer and that ice cubes are spared exposure to odors.

The ice maker is leaking

A leaking ice maker could drip into the ice bin and cause clumps of ice to form, or it could leak out of the fridge or freezer and make a puddled mess on the floor below. Some of the most common reasons why a refrigerator’s ice maker leaks and possible ways to fix it are:

Jammed ice clumps

Problem: Ice clumps can form in the ice bin or the dispenser chute for various reasons, which may result in a leak when compartment temperatures fluctuate, or ice in the chute comes in contact with warmer air outside the refrigerator.

Solution: Gently break up blockages with a long plastic or wooden handle, like a spatula, for hard-to-reach places. Some ice clumps may be too large or lodged to break up without damaging the unit. In this case, remove and defrost the ice bin or, if ice is lodged in the dispenser, place a towel and dish below the chute and allow the ice to thaw naturally.

Unlevel refrigerator or ice maker

Problem: Ice in your refrigerator may melt slightly when there’s fluctuation in temperature within the compartment. An unbalanced refrigerator can prevent melted ice from accessing the drain intended to carry it away, which may result in leaky water pooling in the ice bin or traveling outside of the area.

Solution: First, use a leveler to ensure the ice maker floor is level. If the results show any misalignment, you may need to reinstall the ice maker to ensure it’s level or adjust the refrigerator feet if the entire unit is unlevel.

Misaligned fill valve and cup

Problem: A water spigot near the tray fills the ice trays or cups built into your ice maker. If the stopper and fill cup are misaligned, water may not make it into the fill cup and will leak directly into the ice maker. This water pools and may leak out of the bin before it can freeze.

Solution: Locate your ice maker’s fill valve and check that the fill cup is aligned directly below the stopper of the valve.

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The ice maker is making ice cubes that are too small

Most of the time, empty or small ice cubes are caused by two main things: water flow and temperature settings in the freezer or refrigerator. Common reasons why ice cubes are small and how to fix them are:

Poor water flow

Problem: Poor water flow to the ice maker may prevent the trays from filling, resulting in small, hollow, or odd-shaped cubes.

Solution: A handful of causes may contribute to poor water flow, but you can expect a relatively simple fix with each. First, make sure your water filter is up to date to help avoid clogs that reduce water flow. Next, double-check that the fridge water line behind the refrigerator isn’t kinked or twisted. Lastly, use a leveler to ensure your refrigerator and ice maker are level so water distributes evenly throughout the ice tray.

Improper temperatures

Problem: Your ice maker may need help to keep up with its intended production rate when the refrigerator or freezer temperatures are set too high, but temperatures too low can also lead to small or hollow cubes. Freezer temperatures below -10°F can cause ice cubes to freeze too quickly on the outside, which may trigger the thermostat in the ice maker to eject the cubes before they’ve become completely solid in the middle.

Solution: Keep your refrigerator and freezer temperatures at their optimal settings, ensuring that the freezer is set to 0°F (-18°C) and the refrigerator temperature is somewhere in the range of 33–40°F (0–4°C).

The ice maker itself is frozen

When big ice-chunks block your view, figuring out why your ice maker is stopped can be hard. Luckily, it may take a little time to find and fix the problems listed below.

Refrigerator temperature too low

Problem: A refrigerator with freezing temperatures may cause the water inlet tube feeding your ice maker to freeze, making it difficult for liquid to pass through and fill the ice trays. You may experience this more often during uniquely cold times of the year.

Solution: Set your refrigerator’s thermostat anywhere from 33–40°F (0–4°C) and your freezer’s thermostat to 0°F (-18°C). Give both compartments 24 hours to establish their new temperature and thaw the ice maker and inlet tube.  

Frozen water inlet tube

Problem: It is possible that even refrigerators or freezers set to the proper temperature can suffer from a frozen water inlet tube, shutting the ice maker down before it can even get started.

Solution: The water inlet tube is located at the rear of the ice maker and can be defrosted with warm air or water. Though you may be able to unfreeze the waterline yourself, it’s best to leave it up to a professional to help diagnose and repair the problem.

Not sure how to fix your Whirlpool ice maker?

If you’re still wrestling with a faulty ice maker, it may be time to call a repair service or get your manufacturer involved. For Whirlpool® Refrigerators, take advantage of online resources like Whirlpool Customer Care or schedule a repair online.

How much do ice-maker repairs cost?

HomeAdvisor says if your refrigerator ice machine breaks down, the average refrigerator-repair service cost for an ice maker is between $90 and $250, depending on the specific issue. To replace an entire ice maker would cost between $300 and $420, although it could be much higher with some modern stand-alone models.

However, replacing the ice maker is still cheaper than replacing the entire fridge, which costs $1,500 on average.

Specific average ice-maker appliance repair costs include:

  • Water line: $100 to $200
  • Water inlet valve: $150 to $200
  • Ice-maker motor: $100 to $350
  • Drive blade: $85 to $150
  • Filter: $85 to $250


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