As a long-time KitchenAid refrigerator owner, I know how frustrating it can be when the ice maker stops producing ice. An automatic ice maker is supposed to make life easier, not leave you desperately trying to figure out why it’s not working properly.
Over the years, I’ve learned to troubleshoot a variety of common ice maker problems with my KitchenAid models. While not every issue is DIY fixable, there are solutions you can try yourself before calling in an appliance repair technician.
In this guide, I’ll walk you through the top troubleshooting tips for a KitchenAid ice maker not working. I’ll also provide advice on refrigerator maintenance, repairs, and when to seek professional help. Let’s dive in!
Common Reasons An Ice Maker Stops Working
Before jumping into the nitty gritty troubleshooting steps, it helps to understand why KitchenAid ice makers fail in the first place. Here are some of the most common culprits:
1. Issues With the Water Supply
Lack of water is one of the most obvious reasons an ice maker won’t produce ice. If the supply line is kinked, clogged or leaking, the ice maker won’t get sufficient water to function properly.
A clogged water filter can also restrict flow. And if your home’s water pressure drops below 20 PSI, the fill valve may not open fully. Checking the water supply is one of the first troubleshooting steps I take when my KitchenAid ice maker is not filling.
2. Frozen or Clogged Ice Maker Parts
From the fill tube to ice ejector arms, any number of ice maker parts can freeze up or get blocked. This prevents the proper harvest and dispense of ice cubes.
A low freezer temperature combined with a defrost issue is often to blame. Ice buildup on key components can stop the ice maker in its tracks. Thawing and cleaning the ice maker may get it working again.
3. Faulty Control Board or Motor
The control board is the ice maker’s main control center. When it malfunctions, the entire ice making process can grind to a halt. The motor is what powers the ejector arms to push out ice. If it burns out, ice won’t get dispensed.
Replacing defective control boards or motors is the only remedy. Thankfully, these repairs are straightforward for handy homeowners to tackle. Just be sure to install the correct replacement part for your KitchenAid ice maker model.
4. Broken or Obstructed Ice Maker Sensor
The optical sensor in the ice maker detects when ice cubes reach the proper size and quantity to stop further production. If this eye-like sensor gets blocked or fails, the ice maker won’t know when to stop making more ice.
Carefully cleaning the sensor to remove debris can often fix this issue. If the sensor is damaged, a new one will need to be installed.
5. Problems With Refrigerator Door Switch
To prevent accidents, refrigerators have a door switch that pauses ice production when the door opens. If this switch sticks or fails, it will disable the ice maker even when the door is closed.
Testing the door switch for continuity and replacing it if faulty is an easy repair. Just be sure to unplug the refrigerator first for safety.
Step-by-Step Ice Maker Troubleshooting
Now that you know why KitchenAid ice makers malfunction, let’s walk through a systematic troubleshooting process. I like to start with fast and easy DIY fixes before attempting more complex repairs. Here are the steps I follow:
1. Confirm the Ice Maker is Turned On
Before anything else, check that the ice maker is powered on. There is usually a toggle switch located on the control panel that controls the ice maker. Flip it to the ON position.
The switch may have accidentally gotten turned off during cleaning or while stocking the freezer.
2. Check if the Freezer Temperature is Cold Enough
Ice makers are designed to operate between 0 – 10°F. If the freezer temperature rises above this range, ice production will decrease or stop completely.
Examine your KitchenAid’s user manual for the proper temperature setting. Then, use a thermometer placed in the center of the freezer to check the actual temp. Adjust the temperature controls as needed to achieve 0-10°F.
3. Inspect the Water Supply Lines
Take a close look along the water supply line running from the wall to the refrigerator. Check for any kinks, crimps, cracks, or blockages that could restrict water flow.
Uncoil any kinked sections of tubing. Clear out any trapped sediment or ice. Tighten any loose fittings. Replace any damaged supply lines.
4. Change the Water Filter
Over time, minerals and contaminants can clog the refrigerator’s water filter screen. This restricts water flow to the ice maker.
Replacing the water filter per the manufacturer’s recommendations restores optimal water flow. My KitchenAid typically needs a new filter every 6 months.
5. Clean the Ice Maker Interior
Unplug the refrigerator and let the ice maker fully thaw. Clean the interior with warm water and vinegar solution. Scrub off any ice or mineral deposits from key components like the metal ice mold, ejector arms and water fill tube.
Double check that fill tubes are properly aligned and ejector arms can swing freely. Re-install the ice maker and plug the refrigerator back in after cleaning.
6. Remove Obstructions Under the Ice Maker
Check under and around the ice maker housing for small obstructions that could block normal operation. I once found my son’s Lego minifigure jammed up in the ice maker motor!
7. Test the Water Inlet Valve
The inlet valve controls water supply to the ice maker. Use a multimeter to test the valve for continuity. No continuity means the valve could be stuck closed.
Try tapping the valve gently with the handle of a screwdriver. This may unstick a faulty inlet valve. If not, replacing the valve is the fix.
8. Check for Proper Water Pressure
Low house water pressure under 20 PSI can prevent the ice maker from getting sufficient water.
Attach a water pressure gauge to your main home water supply line. If pressure is low, inspect inlet hoses and valves for restrictions. Consider adding a booster pump if pressure remains low.
9. Ensure Proper Drainage
Any ice or water buildup in the defrost drain line can back up into the ice maker and prevent proper functioning.
Use a turkey baster or air hose to force water through the drain line and clear out any clogs. Pouring 1 cup of bleach down the drain monthly helps keep it clear.
10. Test the Ice Maker Molds and Ejector Arms
If the metal ice cube molds or plastic ejector arms get bent or damaged, ice formation can suffer.
Carefully inspect the mold and ejectors for defects. Use gentle force to realign any bent components. Replace damaged parts. Lubricate ejector arms with food-grade silicone spray.
11. Check for Condensation or Leaks
Excess moisture from condensation or leaks near the ice maker can cause icing, corrosion and electrical issues.
Tighten connections, re-seal leaks and improve refrigerator ventilation to eliminate excess moisture. Insulate cold water supply lines if needed.
12. Replace Defective Ice Maker Parts
If you’ve tried all other troubleshooting steps and the ice maker still fails to work, it may need key part replacements:
- Control board – Responsible for managing the ice make cycle.
- Motor – Powers the ejector arms to release ice.
- Water inlet valve – Controls water flow into the ice maker.
- Temperature sensor – Monitors ice cube size and stops water flow.
- Door switch – Pauses ice production when the door opens.
Consult your owner’s manual to find the proper replacement parts for your KitchenAid ice maker model. Installation is usually simple with basic tools.
13. Reset the Ice Maker
After replacing any parts, you’ll need to reset the ice maker per the manual’s instructions. This restarts the ice making cycle.
Allow 24 hours for new ice production to begin. Make sure ample water is available for the reset sequence.
14. Call an Appliance Repair Technician
If you’ve worked through all troubleshooting tips and the ice maker still won’t run, it’s time to call in a professional. Qualified appliance techs have specialized tools and expertise to accurately diagnose faults and make repairs you can’t do at home.
DIY Maintenance Keeps a KitchenAid Ice Machine Running Optimally
While KitchenAid ice makers are durable appliances, they require periodic maintenance to stay in peak operating condition. Here are pro tips for DIY care between service calls:
- Inspect water lines regularly – Replace cracked or bulging hoses. Tighten fittings. Clear mineral buildup.
- Change the water filter – A clogged filter reduces water pressure and flow to the ice maker.
- Clean the condenser coils – Dirty coils make the refrigerator work harder and run hotter which can affect ice production.
- Lubricate key components – Keep ejector arms, hinges and the ice mold lightly lubricated with food-grade oil.
- Remove ice buildup – Ice or frost on the fill tube, mold or ejector arms can impede performance.
- Bleach the defrost drain – Flushing the drain prevents clogging that could back up water into the ice maker.
- Check door alignment – Doors that fail to close completely can disrupt operation of the door switch and ice maker.
- Verify adequate water pressure – Standard house pressure should be 35-60 PSI for optimal ice production.
Staying on top of maintenance and promptly troubleshooting issues can add years of reliable service to a KitchenAid ice machine. But despite your best efforts, failures can still occur. Being equipped with the right troubleshooting and repair knowledge helps you determine when a professional appliance service call is required.
My Personal Experience with KitchenAid Ice Maker Repairs
As someone who has owned numerous KitchenAid refrigerators, I’ve dealt with my fair share of ice maker problems. Here’s a real example from my own home:
Shortly after moving into our new house, we noticed the KitchenAid ice maker was not producing ice anymore. I tried adjusting the freezer temperature but still no ice after 2 days.
So I dug into basic troubleshooting – cleaning the ice maker, inspecting the water lines, and testing the inlet valve. Water flow seemed fine. But the metal ice mold felt too warm.
Turns out the cooling loop was low on refrigerant due to a leak in the compressor. Recharging the refrigerant got ice production going again. But a few months later, the ice maker failed again.
This time, the diagnosis was a blown circuit board. Replacing that $200 control board resolved the problem for the past 2 years. But it was beyond my DIY capabilities, so a service call was needed.
While repairs can be frustrating, I’m glad I took time to troubleshoot before calling a technician. Because I had narrowed down the issue, the final repair cost was minimal. Had I called at first sign of trouble, it could have wasted my money on unnecessary parts replacements.
In the end, a bit of patience and learning how to diagnose ice maker problems has saved me hundreds in repair bills over the years. Hopefully this guide helps you do the same! Let me know in the comments if you have any other troubleshooting tips that worked for your KitchenAid ice maker.
Frequently Asked Questions About KitchenAid Ice Makers
Why is my KitchenAid ice dispenser not working?
The ice dispenser may not be working if the ice maker itself is jammed or not producing ice. Check that the ice maker arm is down, the water supply line is connected, and the freezer temperature is around 0°F. Refer to your KitchenAid refrigerator user manual for ice maker troubleshooting steps. Replacing parts like the ice dispenser motor or control board may be needed.
How do I reset my KitchenAid ice maker?
To reset a KitchenAid ice maker, locate the reset button on the ice maker assembly inside the freezer and press it. This will reset the ice making cycle. Also ensure the wire arm that detects ice level is down. Allow 24 hours for ice production to begin again after resetting the ice maker.
How do I get my ice maker to work again?
If a KitchenAid ice maker is not working, check that the water supply line is turned on, the freezer temperature is around 0°F, and the wire shutoff arm can move freely. Also inspect the water inlet valve, ice mold, ejector blades, and replace parts as needed. Properly reset the ice maker after repairs.
Why is my ice maker not making ice but water works?
If the ice maker is getting water but not making ice, the issue could be a failed ice maker mold heater, faulty control board, stuck ice ejector, frozen ice maker, or incorrect freezer temperature setting. Check for error codes, inspect components, and test parts to get the ice maker making ice again.
Why is my KitchenAid freezer not making ice?
Some reasons a KitchenAid freezer is not making ice include incorrect temperature settings, a stuck ice maker arm, failed motor or water inlet valve, clogged water filters, kinked water supply line, bad control board, or issues with the mold heater or thermostat. Inspect all ice maker parts and troubleshoot using the manual.
How do I reset my ice maker?
To reset a KitchenAid ice maker, locate the reset button or tab on the unit inside the freezer compartment. Press the reset button for 3-5 seconds and make sure the wire shutoff arm can swing freely. Allow 24 hours for the ice maker to go through cycles and begin making ice again after a reset.
Why is my refrigerator not freezing or making ice?
If a KitchenAid refrigerator is not freezing, the compressor could be faulty, the condenser coils may need cleaned, refrigerant levels are low, the thermistor is defective, or the control board has failed. Have an appliance technician troubleshoot and make repairs if needed.
How do I turn the ice on my KitchenAid refrigerator?
Locate the ON/OFF ice maker switch inside the freezer and flip it to the ON position. The switch may be on the ice maker assembly or on the wall of the freezer compartment. Make sure the ice maker arm is down and give the unit 24 hours to start making ice after turning it on.
Why is my fridge ice maker not working?
Check the ice maker wire arm, water supply, freezer temp, ice mold heater, ejector blades, shutoff switches, and control board if the ice maker suddenly stops producing ice. Refer to the KitchenAid refrigerator manual for the specific diagnostic and troubleshooting steps needed to get it working again.
How do I set up my Kitchenaid ice maker?
To set up a KitchenAid ice maker, first install the ice maker kit into the freezer and connect the water line. Turn on the water valve. Flip the power switch to ON. Lower the ice maker arm. Set the freezer temp. Allow 24 hours for ice production. Discard the first few batches of ice made.
How do you use a Kitchenaid ice maker?
Using a KitchenAid ice maker involves turning on the water line to the ice maker, flipping the power switch to ON, lowering the shutoff arm inside the freezer, and setting the freezer temperature to 0°F. The ice maker will go through freeze and harvest cycles automatically, sending ice to the dispenser bin.
How often does Kitchenaid refrigerator make ice?
A KitchenAid refrigerator ice maker typically goes through 5-6 ice making cycles per day, producing 8-10 batches of ice cubes. So on average, a KitchenAid will make 40-60 ice cubes in a 24 hour period depending on model, temperature, and usage. The process from frozen water to harvested ice takes 60-120 minutes.
Why is my KitchenAid ice maker too slow?
If your KitchenAid ice maker is running slowly, check for low water pressure, a kinked water line, dirty filters, frozen ice in the mold, ejector blade issues, or a faulty water inlet valve. Make repairs as needed and ensure the freezer temp is around 0°F for proper ice production speed.
How do I turn on the ice in my fridge?
Locate the ON/OFF ice maker power switch inside the freezer compartment and flip it to the ON position. Also make sure the wire shutoff arm can move freely and is in the down position. Give the ice maker 24 hours before expecting ice production. Check your fridge manual for model-specific instructions.
How do you unlock ice on a refrigerator?
If ice is locked on a KitchenAid refrigerator, power off the unit to reset components. Use a hair dryer to thaw any frozen ice buildup. Check that the shutoff arm moves freely and the ejector blades are clean. Turn the ice maker back on and allow time for ice to be made and released into the dispenser bin.
Where is the ice maker switch on Kitchenaid?
The location of the ice maker power switch varies by KitchenAid refrigerator model. It may be on the left wall inside the freezer, part of the ice maker assembly on the top left, or behind the ice bin. Refer to your KitchenAid fridge manual to find the exact ON/OFF switch location for your model.
How do I clean my KitchenAid ice maker?
To clean a KitchenAid ice maker, turn off the unit and allow any ice to melt. Remove ice bin and all removable parts. Clean components with mild soap and water, rinse thoroughly. Use vinegar solution to descale mineral deposits. Do not use sharp objects. Make sure parts are dry before reassembling ice maker.
Does KitchenAid ice maker have a filter?
Most KitchenAid refrigerator ice maker systems have a replaceable water filter cartridge. The water filter is typically located at the top right of the fresh food compartment. This filter improves ice quality and reduces minerals, chlorine taste, and odors from the ice. Replace it every 6 months.
Does a KitchenAid ice maker need a filter?
While a filter is not an absolute necessity, it is highly recommended to install an inline water filter to improve performance and longevity of your KitchenAid ice maker. The filter removes sediment and minerals that can cause scale buildup and clogging issues in the ice maker over time.