An igloo ice maker is a convenient appliance that can provide a steady supply of ice for beverages, parties, medical needs, and more. However, like any appliance, ice makers can malfunction or stop working properly. Troubleshooting an igloo ice maker that is not making ice can be frustrating, but is often an easy fix. This comprehensive guide will provide tips for troubleshooting common igloo ice maker problems and getting your ice production back on track.
How an Igloo Ice Maker Works
Igloo ice makers, especially portable models, have a relatively simple operation. The key components of an igloo ice maker include:
- Water reservoir – This holds the water that will be turned into ice. It must be kept full for the ice maker to operate.
- Freezing tray – The water from the reservoir passes through a tube and fills cube molds in the freezing tray.
- Cooling system – This is the refrigeration mechanism that freezes the water in the tray to form ice cubes. It includes a small compressor and refrigerant coils.
- Ice basket – Once cubes are frozen, the ice maker ejects them from the tray into an ice storage bin.
- Control panel – Lets users select options like cube size and monitors ice making operation.
During normal operation, water flows from the reservoir into the freezing tray. The cooling system freezes the water into ice cubes. Once cubes reach the right size, the ice maker ejects them into the basket. The cycle repeats as needed to maintain a supply of ice.
10 Common Igloo Ice Maker Not Making Ice Issues
When an igloo ice maker stops producing ice, the problem is usually with one of these key components. Here are 10 common issues to check:
1. Ice maker is unplugged – Make sure the ice maker is plugged in and the power outlet is working. Reset the ice maker if needed.
2. Water reservoir is empty – Without water, the ice maker can’t function. Confirm the reservoir is full. Add more water if needed.
3. Frozen or clogged water line – Scale buildup or contaminants can block the water line, preventing water from reaching the tray. Defrost or clear the line.
4. Ice cubes are jammed – If ice gets stuck in the tray or chute, it can prevent the maker from producing more ice. Remove jammed ice carefully.
5. Dirty ice tray or mold – For ice to release easily, the tray and mold must be clean. Clean them regularly with vinegar or dish soap.
6. Ice basket is full – When the basket is full, the sensor arm tells the unit to stop making ice. Empty the ice bin so more can be made.
7.Temperature is too warm – Ice makers won’t function properly in temperatures over 90°F. Ensure ambient conditions are appropriately cool.
8. Error codes or faults – Most igloo ice makers have sensors that display error alerts if issues are detected. Check codes and act accordingly.
9. Damaged internal parts – Worn or defective internal components like valves and switches can prevent ice production. Call for service.
10. Needs descaling – Mineral buildup from hard water can clog an ice maker over time. Treat with a descaling solution.
Always unplug the ice maker and ensure safe conditions before doing any troubleshooting. With this overview of what can go wrong, let’s go through the troubleshooting process in more detail.
Step-by-Step Igloo Ice Maker Troubleshooting
Follow these steps to pinpoint why your igloo ice maker is not working:
1. Check Power Supply and Connections
The first thing to check with any appliance is whether it is getting power.
- Make sure the ice maker is plugged securely into a grounded power outlet. Try another outlet to ensure there is power.
- Check that any power cords or cables have not come loose or been damaged.
- For portable ice makers, verify the DC power cord from your vehicle or AC adapter plug is properly connected.
- Ensure any power buttons or switches on the ice maker are in the “On” position.
- If the unit has a display panel, check if error codes related to power supply issues are showing.
- Try unplugging the ice maker, waiting 30 seconds, then reconnecting power. This can reset any electrical problems.
- For ice makers hardwired into electrical lines, check your home circuit breaker or fuse box. A tripped circuit can cut power.
2. Add Water to the Reservoir
Ice makers obviously need water to function. If your igloo ice maker’s reservoir is empty, the unit will not be able to go through the ice making cycle.
- Remove any ice stored in the basket so it is not blocking access to the reservoir.
- Check the water level in the reservoir. Add more water if it is low. Fill to the marked “Full” line.
- Press down on the reservoir lid to make sure it is latched properly.
- Double check that the water tube or valve is not kinked and water can flow.
- Allow a few hours after adding water for the reservoir to chill down again before checking for ice.
3. Inspect Water Lines for Freezing or Clogs
For the ice maker to work, water in the supply lines must be able to move freely from the reservoir to the freezing tray. If water lines freeze up or get obstructed, ice production will halt.
- First, try gently pouring warm water over the external water line to melt any ice buildup. Do not use hot water that could damage plastic parts.
- Disconnect or unscrew the water line from the ice maker to inspect for mineral deposits or small particles clogging the line.
- Check the water inlet valve for any blockages or ice. Contact an authorized service center if valve needs repair.
- De-scale or de-lime scale buildup in water lines using vinegar or a commercial cleaning solution made for ice makers.
4. Remove Jammed Ice Cubes
It only takes a few stuck ice cubes to bring ice production to a stop. Check for any jammed or clustered ice stuck in the tray, chute, or bin.
- Carefully remove any cubes blocking the ice mold. Do not use sharp tools that could damage the tray.
- For clustered cubes stuck in the release mechanism, try pouring warm water to help melt and loosen them.
- Ensure any release levers can still swing freely to eject ice.
- Check that the ice bin is aligned properly so cubes can drop down. Remove ice holding the bin open.
- Make sure the ice chute is clear. Check for anything obstructing ice flow like small shards or loose insulation.
5. Clean Ice Trays, Mold and Bin
Over time, mineral scale from water, grease, and other contaminants can build up on ice maker parts. For optimal performance, the ice mold and bin should be cleaned periodically.
- Remove all ice and wipe down the interior bin with a microfiber cloth and warm, soapy water or a mild vinegar solution.
- Check ice cube trays and molds for any grease, grime, or scale deposits.
- Soak trays and mold in a cleaning solution for 15-20 minutes then scrub clean. Avoid abrasive scrubbers.
- Rinse thoroughly and dry all parts. Confirm scale is removed before reinstalling trays.
- Replace any heavily stained trays or mold. Use care when handling to avoid cracks.
6. Remove Excess Ice from the Storage Bin
If the ice storage bin is overfilled, this can press against the sensor arm and prevent the ice maker from starting new cycles.
- Empty the ice bin completely. Discard any stale or melted cubes.
- With the bin empty, confirm the sensor arm moves freely and is not jammed by ice flow.
- Allow the ice maker to replenish the bin. Do not let it overfill again.
7. Check Ambient Temperature
In order to freeze water into solid ice, an igloo ice maker needs to maintain proper internal temperatures below freezing. If the surrounding room gets too warm, this can disrupt ice production.
- Review the product manual to confirm the ideal operating temperature range. Most portable ice makers require between 40-90°F.
- Move the unit to a cooler location or turn down the thermostat if room temperature exceeds 90°F.
- Keep the ice maker out of direct sunlight or away from heat sources like ovens and heaters.
- Ensure adequate ventilation around the unit. Lack of airflow can reduce cooling capacity.
- Check that the door is sealing properly and cold air is not escaping.
8. Check for Error Codes
Many ice maker models have digital displays that provide error codes to indicate issues detected during operation.
- Note any error letters, numbers, or icons visible on the display panel.
- Check the user manual for your particular ice maker to decipher the error codes. This will point to the component with problems.
- Codes may indicate issues like high or low temperatures, compressor problems, clogged air filter, overflow, power supply, etc. Act accordingly.
- If error codes persist after troubleshooting, call for repair service. Provide the technician with the specific error code details.
9. Test Internal Components
If simple troubleshooting steps do not fix your ice maker, the issue may lie with defective internal parts that require replacing. Testing can help isolate faulty components.
- Carefully unplug the unit and remove panels to access key mechanisms like the compressor, condenser fan motor, switches, valves, thermostats, heating coils, etc.
- Check for any leaking connections, loose wiring, or obvious damage.
- Measure resistance across electrical parts with a multimeter for continuity. Replace if out of normal range.
- Use a probe thermometer to check if temperatures are dropping properly during operation.
- Evaluate the refrigeration system. A problem with low refrigerant levels, insufficient pressure, or compressor failure can prevent freezing. Call for service to recharge refrigerant.
- Replace any non-functioning or damaged parts like mechanical timers, float switches, solenoid valves, thermostats, etc.
10. Give the Ice Maker a Deep Cleaning
Hard water and mineral scale buildup inside the ice maker can interfere with performance after prolonged use. A deep cleaning helps remove limescale and other contaminants.
- Mix up a bucket of cleaning solution – vinegar, citric acid, or ScaleAway are good options.
- Remove all ice and parts that come in contact with water like trays and baskets.
- Soak removable parts in the cleaning solution to dissolve mineral deposits.
- Use a soft brush to gently scrub stubborn scale off mechanical parts. Rinse.
- Run a few cycles of the cleaning solution through the unit to remove scale from lines.
- Flush with clean water until flow runs clear.
- Check that all scale is removed before returning parts and making new ice.
When to Call for Igloo Ice Maker Repair
While many issues can be fixed with basic troubleshooting, some malfunctions require more advanced repairs. Contact a qualified appliance technician if:
- Electrical problems occur with the power supply, cords, or internal wiring
- There are leaks in the refrigeration system or defective seals
- The compressor, condenser, or refrigerant lines are damaged
- Scale buildup clogs internal tubes that cannot be cleared
- Internal parts like pumps, valves, switches, or circuit boards fail
- Error code alerts continue despite troubleshooting
- Ice maker problems return shortly after fixes
- The unit is no longer covered under warranty
Look for an experienced icemaker repair technician certified to work on commercial equipment. They can accurately diagnose issues, order replacement parts, and provide preventative maintenance to maximize the life of your ice maker.
DIY Igloo Ice Maker Maintenance
Regular cleaning and maintenance helps prevent many common ice maker problems. Follow this maintenance routine:
- Daily – Quickly wipe down exterior and remove any melted ice from the bin.
- Weekly – Check for scale buildup in water lines. Clean trays and bin with soap and water.
- Monthly – Inspect parts like gaskets and valves. Test for leaks. Make sure drain tubes are clear.
- Every 6 months – Clean condenser coils and filters. De-scale water lines and interior. Check temperatures.
- Annually – Schedule preventative service from a technician. Replace water filters. Verify refrigerant charge.
Keep the owner’s manual handy as a reference for proper cleaning methods and maintenance schedule for your particular model. With regular upkeep, your igloo ice maker should provide reliable ice production for years.
Troubleshooting Problem with Your Igloo Ice Production
If your igloo ice maker is still making some ice, but output is lower than normal, there are a few additional things to check beyond the steps outlined already:
- Ice size setting – Make sure the ice size is not set to small cubes. Larger cubes take longer to freeze. Set size to medium or large for max ice production.
- Water filters – Clogged water filters restrict water flow. Replace disposable filters per manufacturer recommendations, typically every 6 months.
- Mineral scale – Limescale buildup in the water system can block water flow and ice formation over time. Descale as needed.
- Low refrigerant – Not enough refrigerant slows the freezing process. Have an HVAC technician recharge the refrigerant system if low.
- Ambient warmth – Double check room temperatures are cool enough for the ice maker. Hot days or a nearby oven can reduce output.
- Door seals – If cool air is escaping from poor door seals, this makes the unit work harder. Replace worn or loose seals.
- Ice scoop – Using a small ice scoop lets more cold air escape each time you get ice. Use a larger scoop. Open door less often.
- Water supply – Weak water pressure or an improperly sized supply line causes insufficient water for maximum ice production.
- Voltage stabilizer – Low voltage from unstable electrical supply can reduce performance. Consider adding a voltage stabilizer.
- Reverse osmosis – Water purification like reverse osmosis removes minerals and makes water freeze more slowly. Less ice output may result.
- Descaling products – Chemical descaling can damage the ice maker if not thoroughly rinsed. Use cleaning products made specifically for ice machines.
If you’ve checked for all common issues and ice output is still low, call the manufacturer. Defective components inside the refrigeration system may need repair.
Preventing Future Ice Maker Problems
To minimize future breakdowns and malfunctions, keep these ice maker care tips in mind:
- Use filtered water – Unfiltered tap water leads to more limescale buildup and mineral deposits inside the ice machine. Use filtered water whenever possible.
- Clean regularly – Follow the cleaning schedule to keep your ice maker free of contaminants for better performance.
- Remove ice – Take out ice cubes frequently to prevent overfilling the basket and blocking the sensor.
- Check supply lines – Inspect water supply lines for twisting, kinks, cracks or obstructions that prevent water flow.
- Keep exterior clean – Dust buildup on the condenser coils reduces cooling efficiency. Keep coils clean.
- Check door seal – Verify door gaskets seal tightly to prevent cold air leaks as this strains the ice maker.
- Level properly – An uneven ice maker can cause issues with water drainage or ice cube ejection. Keep it level.
- Use surge protector – Electrical surges from storms, etc. can damage the control board. Plug into a surge protector.
- Avoid direct sunlight – Heat and UV rays from direct sunlight exposure can damage plastic tubing and degrade seals over time.
- Disconnect before moving – Always disconnect water lines and power cord before relocating an ice maker to avoid damage.
- Check warranties – Make sure to register your warranty and keep receipts. Honor all terms for coverage of repairs when needed
Resetting an Igloo Ice Maker: How to Reset Igloo Ice
If you’ve tried the usual troubleshooting steps and your igloo ice maker still won’t produce ice, resetting the unit may help. Resetting can resolve small control board errors or glitches preventing ice production.
There are a few ways to reset an ice maker:
- Power reset – Unplug the ice maker from power, wait 30 seconds, then plug back in. This resets the power supply.
- Breaker reset – For built-in ice makers, flip the circuit breaker off then back on. Allows a full power reset.
- Water reset – Turn off house water supply to the ice maker for 3-5 minutes. Turn back on to reset valves.
- Manual reset – Many units have a small reset button/switch on the control panel. Press to reset.
- Drain reset – Empty out all ice. If unit has a drain function, run 2-3 cycles to melt and drain any remaining ice.
After resetting, give the ice maker a few hours to go through 1-2 ice making cycles before expecting ice again. Monitor for problems and contact a technician if issues persist after resetting.
Igloo Ice Maker Repair Costs
The cost to repair an igloo ice maker varies based on the specific problem and parts needing replacement. Here are average costs:
- Ice maker diagnostic – $50-$100
- Refrigerant recharge – $150-$300
- Water line repair – $100-$200
- Replace water inlet valve – $65-$150
- Replace ice mold – $50-$100
- Control board replacement – $200-$400
- Labor/service call fees – $50-$125 per hour
Warranty coverage through Igloo will reimburse certain repair costs if the ice maker is still under warranty. Out of warranty, the owner must cover repair bills. Always get an estimate from the appliance technician before any major repairs.
When to Replace an Igloo Ice Maker
With repairs and proper maintenance, most igloo ice makers will function reliably for 5-7 years. Signs your ice maker needs replacing include:
- Frequent breakdowns and high repair costs
- Leaking water that cannot be repaired
- Permanent low ice production
- Not cooling adequately despite resets
- Electrical, compressor, or condenser failures
- Outdated technology lacking features
- Difficulty finding replacement parts
- Costs exceeding 50% of a new ice maker
- Persistent noise, vibration, or leaking
Look at the repair history and compare costs of fixes versus a brand new unit. For obsolete models, replacement is often the better value.
Best Practices When Using Igloo Ice Makers
To maximize ice maker lifespan and output, keep these usage best practices in mind:
- Empty the ice bin regularly to allow continuous production.
- Use the ice maker in a well-ventilated area from 50-90°F.
- Avoid placing near heat sources like ovens that raise operating temperatures.
- Change water filters as scheduled to improve water flow.
- Clean the ice mold, bin, and chute regularly to prevent scale buildup.
- Level the ice maker properly so water drains fully after ice harvest.
- Disconnect water lines before moving the unit to prevent leaks and damage.
- Turn off the ice maker if away for extended periods to avoid stagnant water.
- Follow the maintenance schedule in the user manual for your specific model.
- Don’t strike or place heavy objects on the ice maker that could bend components.
- Make sure outlets and electrical connections are properly grounded.
- Keep the owner’s manual handy for troubleshooting assistance as needed.
Ice makers are very convenient for keeping refreshing drinks cold in homes or offices. However, issues like an Igloo ice maker not making ice can arise. By troubleshooting potential problems using this guide, you can get your ice production up and running again quickly.
Check power connections, water supply, cleanliness, frozen lines, error codes, and ambient temperature. Try resetting the unit and replacing any defective parts. With routine care and maintenance, an Igloo ice maker should provide reliable service for many years. But when problems persist, don’t hesitate to call in a professional repair technician for assistance.
Igloo Ice Maker FAQs
To supplement the troubleshooting tips, here are answers to some frequently asked questions about igloo ice maker problems and solutions:
Why did my new igloo ice maker stop making ice suddenly?
On new units, suddenly not making ice can often be caused by air bubbles in the water line. Unplug and plug back in to reset, then allow 1-2 hours for bubbles to work their way out before expecting ice.
How can I get my portable igloo ice maker to make ice faster?
Make sure it is sited in a cool, well-ventilated spot. Set to make smaller cubes. Keep the reservoir full. Remove ice frequently so the bin does not get too full.
Why is there a humming noise, but my igloo ice maker is not making ice?
If the compressor or condenser fan motor hums but no ice is made, this indicates a refrigerant leak. Have an HVAC technician recharge the refrigerant system.
My ice has a bad odor and taste. What should I check?
Smelly or bad tasting ice can be caused by bacteria buildup from infrequent cleaning. Be sure to sanitize all parts with vinegar regularly. Or it could indicate issues with water supply. Try a different water source.
Why is my ice wet or clumping together?
Low temperatures in the ice maker can lead to wet, clumping ice. Check that temperatures are around 0°F. Improve ventilation. Reset if needed. Try shaking the basket to break up cubes.
The ice maker is leaking water. How can I stop it?
Excess water leakage could indicate cracked water lines, a valve not closing fully, a drain issue, or a problem with the water pump. Try troubleshooting, but have a technician inspect for any leaks needing repair.
My portable igloo ice maker stops making ice when not plugged in. Is that normal?
Yes, this is normal. Portable ice makers only operate when powered on and connected to electricity. The ice will melt in the basket without power. The unit needs consistent power to keep making ice.