As a long-time Kenmore refrigerator owner, I know firsthand how frustrating it can be when the ice maker stops working properly. There’s nothing more annoying than opening the freezer to find it void of those icy cubes you rely on to cool your drinks.
Over the years, I’ve learned to troubleshoot common ice maker problems in Kenmore models to get things flowing again. While repairs on refrigerators can seem daunting, many issues with ice makers come down to simple fixes you can try yourself.
In this guide, I’ll walk through the top troubleshooting tips for a Kenmore ice maker not working based on my personal experience. Whether your ice maker has stopped producing ice altogether or is not making enough, these DIY solutions can help identify and resolve the issue.
Common Kenmore Ice Maker Problems
Before diving into troubleshooting, it helps to understand the most common reasons a Kenmore ice maker can stop working properly:
- Ice maker not getting water – This is one of the most common reasons an ice maker stops producing ice. If the water supply gets disrupted, the ice maker won’t be able to fill and cycle properly.
- Frozen or clogged water line – If the water line that supplies the ice maker freezes up or gets a blockage, water can’t get through to produce ice.
- Faulty water inlet valve – The inlet valve controls water flow from the supply line into the ice maker. If this part malfunctions, it affects ice production.
- Problem with water pressure – Low water pressure can prevent the ice maker from getting sufficient water to keep making ice.
- Ice maker not level – If the ice maker assembly itself is askew or tilted, it can disrupt the ice production process.
- Faulty control board – The control board is the brain of the ice maker that cycles it through filling, freezing, and ejecting stages. If it’s defective, ice making can stall.
- Blocked or clogged ice maker mold – Scale buildup or foreign debris in the ice mold can prevent water from properly freezing into ice cubes.
- Broken ice maker parts – Internal parts like gears, sensors, thermostats, and heating elements can fail over time and stop the ice maker from working.
- Frozen ice in tray – If cubes freeze solidly together or to the evaporator, the ejection mechanism can’t dislodge them.
- Problem with water valve or supply line – Issues with the valve or supply feeding the ice maker prevent water from entering to make ice.
- Ice maker arm stuck – The arm that controls the ice making process can get obstructed and stop the cycle.
- Bad condenser fan – If the condenser fan fails, it can affect the freezer temperature and ice production.
- Refrigerant leaks – Low refrigerant causes warm freezer temperatures that prevent the ice maker from properly freezing water.
- Drainage problems – Clogged drains can allow water to back up and flow into the ice maker, preventing proper operation.
- Door seal leaks – If the door seal is not sealing properly, cold air leaks out causing ice maker issues.
By understanding what can go awry with a Kenmore ice maker, you can better pinpoint the problem when troubleshooting.
Troubleshooting a Kenmore Ice Maker Not Working
If your Kenmore refrigerator’s ice maker has stopped producing ice, there are several troubleshooting steps you can take:
1. Check if the ice maker is getting power
The first thing to check is whether the ice maker is getting electrical power. Make sure the unit is plugged in, the breaker has not tripped and other functions like internal lighting are working. If the ice maker is not getting power, solving that issue should get it working again.
2. Confirm the water supply line is turned on
Often the simple reason an ice maker stops working is because the water supply was accidentally turned off or shut off for maintenance. Double check that the water shut off valve feeding the refrigerator is fully open.
3. Inspect the water filter
Clogged water filters are a common culprit when ice makers fail, preventing sufficient water flow. If the filter is visibly dirty or hasn’t been changed in 6 months, swap it out for a fresh one.
4. Check for frozen, kinked or clogged water lines
The water line that supplies the ice maker should be inspected for any blockages. Look for sections that are frozen solid, kinked or bent. Also check for accumulations of sediment or contaminants. Clearing obstructions will allow water to flow properly again.
5. Clean out the ice maker mold assembly
Over time, scale buildup from hard water can clog up an ice maker’s mold where cubes form. Carefully remove any debris or mineral deposits. Make sure the mold is aligned properly for the rake to sweep through.
6. Ensure the ice maker is level
An ice maker that is tilted forward or backward can have issues producing ice. Use a bubble level to verify the assembly is evenly mounted. Readjust if needed.
7. Check if the ice maker arm is stuck
The arm that controls the ice maker cycle can sometimes get obstructed by ice buildup or other debris. Gently move it through its full range of motion to dislodge anything impeding it.
8. Test components with a multi-meter
Use a multi-meter to check key parts like the water inlet valve, ejector motor, control board and temperature sensors. This can isolate defective components that need replacing.
9. Reset the ice maker
Resetting your Kenmore ice maker essentially reboots the machine and can clear up minor issues. Locate the reset button and press it in for a few seconds. Give it some time to restart the ice making process.
10. Replace the water inlet valve
If testing reveals the water inlet valve that supplies the ice maker is faulty, replacing this affordable part is straightforward. Make sure to shut off the water first!
11. Check freezer and refrigerator temperatures
If temperatures are too high, ice production can suffer. Use an independent thermometer to verify the freezer is around 0°F and the refrigerator is 35-40°F. Adjust as needed.
12. Examine the door seals
Faulty seals can allow cold air to escape the freezer and impact ice making. Inspect them for wear, damage or gaps. Replace any problem seals.
13. Clean the condenser coils
Dusty condenser coils lowers the refrigerator’s cooling performance. Vacuum or brush the coils clean so air can flow freely again for proper temperatures.
14. Monitor for refrigerant leaks
If temperatures are warm and there are no other explanations, your unit may have a refrigerant leak. Have an HVAC technician inspect and recharge the system if low.
15. Unclog refrigerator drains
Clogged drains can back up water into components like the ice maker. Use a turkey baster or pipe cleaner to clear out any debris in the drain tubes.
16. Replace the ice maker
If troubleshooting reveals the ice maker itself is faulty beyond repair, replacing the entire unit may be the best solution for restoring ice production.
17. Call in a refrigerator repair technician
For complex issues or if DIY efforts don’t resolve the problem, calling a refrigerator repair pro is advised. An experienced technician can accurately diagnose and fix the issue.
Tips for Maintaining a Kenmore Ice Maker
Regular maintenance keeps a Kenmore ice maker working properly for the long run:
- Change the water filter every 6 months to keep water flowing freely. Use GE SmartWater filters for optimal performance.
- Periodically clean the ice maker mold assembly with a mild vinegar solution to prevent mineral scale buildup.
- Visually inspect key components like water lines and the ice maker arm for issues. Catch problems early.
- Wipe down the door seals occasionally to prevent freezing and leakage.
- Remove ice container and discard old ice regularly to prevent clumping.
- Keep the freezer organized to prevent items from blocking ice delivery.
- Verify adequate water pressure between 30-100 psi to the refrigerator.
- Level the refrigerator every few months to keep the ice maker functioning optimally.
- Vacuum dust from condenser coils every 6 months for proper cooling.
- Test components with a multi-meter annually or signs of trouble arise.
- Reset the ice maker once a year to clear any frozen settings.
By proactively caring for your Kenmore ice maker, you can optimize performance and extend its lifespan. But despite your best efforts, issues can still arise. Use the troubleshooting tips outlined to get your ice maker working again. And for complicated repairs, rely on a trained appliance technician. With the right attention, your Kenmore can keep churning out fresh ice for years of reliable service.
Final Thoughts on Kenmore Ice Maker Troubleshooting
Troubleshooting a Kenmore ice maker than has stopped working properly doesn’t need to be a frustrating, complicated process. In most cases, the issue comes down to a minor problem like a blocked water line or stuck arm. By methodically inspecting key components and connections, you can often get your ice maker going again.
But for more intricate repairs, don’t hesitate to bring in an appliance repair technician. Their expertise can accurately diagnose harder to detect issues and get your ice maker working reliably again. With a bit of attention and care, a Kenmore refrigerator can continue churning out crunchy ice cubes for many years past its prime.
Frequently Asked Questions About Kenmore Ice Makers
Why is my Kenmore ice machine not making ice?
There are several reasons why your Kenmore refrigerator ice maker may not be producing ice, including a frozen or clogged water line, faulty ice maker assembly, bad water inlet valve, failed temperature sensors, or issues with the fill tube, ejector arms, or mold thermostat. Checking all components and connections of the ice production system can help troubleshoot and resolve the problem.
How do I fix my ice maker not making ice?
To fix an ice maker not making ice, first ensure the refrigerator has proper water flow and pressure, the freezer temperature is around 0 degrees Fahrenheit, and the ice maker is getting power. Check that the water inlet valve is functioning, no kinks are in the water line, and the fill tube and mold are clear of debris. If those items check out, test or replace parts like the water inlet valve, motor module, thermostat, and control board.
How do I reset my ice maker on a Kenmore refrigerator?
Locate the reset button on the ice maker assembly inside the freezer compartment. Press and hold this button for 5-10 seconds until the ice maker dumps any existing ice cubes into the bucket below. This resets the cycle and signals the ice maker to start a new ice production cycle.
What causes ice maker to not work?
Common causes for an ice maker not working properly include clogged or frozen water lines, faulty water inlet valves, broken gears or motors, dirty ice molds, issues with the thermostat or temperature sensors, problems with wiring connections, low water pressure, and failure of various components.
How do I adjust my Kenmore ice maker?
Consult the owner’s manual to find the ice maker adjustment or control dials, typically located on the ice maker itself or freezer control panel. Adjust the ice cube size dial for smaller or larger cubes. Use the ice dispenser dial to set how much ice is released per use. Adjust the sensor arm position to change when ice production stops.
How do I reset my ice maker?
To reset the ice maker cycle, locate the small reset button on the ice maker assembly and press and hold it for 5-10 seconds. The ice maker will dump the ice and restart the ice making process. This can fix issues with ice production or size.
How can I make my ice maker work faster?
Increase freezer temperatures slightly, clean the ice mold, remove ice bucket obstructions allowing air flow, check water line pressure is at 20 psi minimum, allow sufficient recovery time between ice batches, and replace old or faulty components like inlet valves and thermostats that can slow ice production.
How do I change the filter in my Kenmore ice maker?
Locate the filter housing inside the refrigerator compartment or behind the toe grille. Twist the old cartridge counter-clockwise to detach it. Insert the new cartridge into the housing and twist it clockwise until it clicks and locks in place. Run 2-3 batches of ice cubes to purge impurities and complete the filter change.
How do I test my ice maker water line?
To test the ice maker’s water supply line, begin by shutting off the water supply and disconnecting the line from the refrigerator. Place the line in a bucket and turn on the water supply for 1-2 minutes to check flow and pressure. Examine the tubing for cracks and leaks. Reconnect the line, turn on the water, and observe fill times and functionality.
How do I fix my ice maker filter?
If the ice cubes smell or taste bad, the filter needs replacing. Locate the cartridge housing, twist and detach old filter, insert and twist in a new one until it clicks. Flush 2-3 batches of ice cubes to clear impurities. Check filter housing fittings for cracks causing leaks. Replace housing if damaged.
How do I reset my Kenmore filter?
On the Kenmore refrigerator control panel, press and hold the reset water filter button for 10 seconds until the indicator light blinks. This resets the filter sensor and timer based on a new replacement filter cartridge being installed. New filters should be reset to maximize usage time.
How do you clean an ice filter?
Remove the old ice maker filter cartridge and rinse it under warm water to clear away any loose debris. Wipe down the plastic housing with a damp cloth and cleaning solution if very dirty. Dry both thoroughly before inserting a new filter cartridge and resetting the ice maker.
Why does my Kenmore freezer ice up?
Excess ice or frost buildup in the freezer is typically caused by a defective door seal, leaky freezer door, low refrigerant levels, abnormally high freezer temperatures, low air circulation, a dirty or cracked evaporator coil, or a malfunctioning defrost system. Identifying and fixing the specific problem is key.
How do I adjust my freezer settings?
To adjust freezer temperature on a Kenmore refrigerator with digital controls, press the freezer section buttons to toggle between temperature settings like Colder, Recommended, and Warmer until desired. Allow 24 hours for temperature change. Check Owner’s Manual for ideal setting range between 0-5 degrees Fahrenheit.
Where is the ice maker on a Kenmore refrigerator?
The ice maker is most commonly located in the upper left or right corner of the Kenmore refrigerator’s freezer compartment. Look for the ice maker assembly with small square molds, water fill tube, and the ice bucket just below the molds where finished ice cubes are deposited.