How to Repair an Ice Maker

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How to Repair an Ice Maker

Many modern refrigerators have an embedded ice maker in the deep freeze compartment. These ice makers have a limited capacity and only produce small volumes of ice. A true ice maker is a separate unit. It can produce large quantities of ice on a daily or hourly basis. While it has a large capacity, this machine is simple and does not have many components. If it happens to break down, users can usually fix it with a handful of tools and some easily acquirable spare parts. Of course, an aspiring handyman can also use a few hints and tips like the ones provided in the sections below.

Make Sure it is Actually Broken

A common mistake people usually make is assuming that the device is broken without exploring other possibilities first. Start by checking the switch. Someone might have switched the device off by accident. The same goes for the power cord. Check if the cord is in the socket and that the connection is not loose. If neither seems to be the problem, check if there is actually power inside the socket. Just plug in another device and see if it works from the same socket. If the device has power without producing ice, check the water line. Open all valves along the line and make sure that water is flowing. Some ice makers even have an indicator that signals they are not receiving water.

Check the Lines

The power cord and water hose can cause trouble, so users should check them before they try to disassemble the ice maker. These are both vulnerable points where a small defect can cause the device to stop working. If the ice maker does not seem to receive power, check the power cord. Look for physical damage and signs of fire damage. Users can easily replace a power cord if the defect lies there. Some models even have a detachable cord, so users can simply plug in a replacement.

The water hose on the other hand usually suffers from blockage. If the ice maker does not seem to be getting any water, this is the first place users should check. Look for twists along the line. Users can replace the water hose just as easily as the power cord. If the line seems uninterrupted, remove it and check the fill tube. Ice can accumulate in this area causing a block at the very end of the line. Users can choose to turn off the machine and wait for the ice to melt, or aid the process with a blow-dryer.

Replacing Parts

If the problem with the ice machine is none of the above, then users need to look for a mechanical problem. Mechanical problems are usually model specific, so a general repair guide cannot provide accurate description on how users should behave. There are some problems that occur more frequently, but again, repairs depend on the model. Remember to unplug the machine and cut off the water supply before attempting any repairs.

Faulty Gears and Plastic Arms

The gears and the plastic arms are components that wear out over time. If the ice maker works non-stop for a long period, these components are usually the first to show weakness. Luckily, an observer can easily spot the defect in these components. The manual can help users determine which replacement part they should seek and how to approach the repairs.

Thermostat

If the machine seems mechanically fine and it does have power, then the thermostat might be the one causing trouble. A faulty thermostat can show different symptoms. It can shut down the machine completely or slow down the freezing process. To replace the thermostat, simply disconnect its power cable and detach it from the ice maker's wall. Each thermostat has a model number and most models are compatible with several ice makers and refrigerators. Users can easily find a replacement and installation takes almost no time at all.

Tools

Several tools can be helpful in an ice maker repair. These tools are quite standard, and users may even have most of them lying around the house. The chart below contains some of the more useful ones.

Tool

Description

Screwdriver

Helps users disassemble any segment of the ice maker

Voltmeter

Helps users determine if there is current in different parts of the electrical circuit inside the ice maker

Flashlight

Comes in handy when users inspect the mechanical assembly

Depending on the ice maker model, some additional tools may be necessary, such as a set of wrenches, a prying tool, and some isolation tape. Seek more information on the subject in the user manual.

How to Buy Ice Maker Parts and Tools on eBay

Those needing specific parts should definitely check out eBay. An online marketplace of this size can offer a vast spectrum of replacement parts. Use the search bar to find what you need. Enter a query that contains the item you seek, along with the model number. The search should return a set of highly relevant results users can manage with filters and subcategories. Note that some replacement parts may come from the used market. These parts can still be a good choice, but always inquire about their condition. Lastly, check out eBay's deals page. There are many different brands of these common tools and you might be lucky enough to catch some of them on sale.


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