A refrigerator ice machine makes it easy to enjoy a cool beverage even when the weather outside is heating up. Ice machines are capable of producing as much ice as you need fairly quickly, which is far more convenient than the old-fashioned ice trays. But ice machines, like all home appliance units, can suffer some malfunctions that cause them to stop working properly – or stop working entirely.
Here are a few of the potential causes if your refrigerator ice machine stops working. If you don't want to make the fixes yourself, contact a local appliance repair technician for help.
Check the Temperature and Control Arm
Two quick potential fixes involve checking your freezer's temperature setting and making sure the control arm for the icemaker isn't stuck.
The freezer temperature needs to be set around 0 degrees Fahrenheit for proper food safety and for the ideal temperatures for ice creation. If the freezer temperature is set too high, your ice machine won't be able to work properly. If the setting is at 0 degrees, but it seems like the contents of the freezer are warmer, have an appliance repair technician come and see if the temperature reading is malfunctioning.
If the freezer temperature isn't the problem, you can check the control arm on the ice machine, which controls how much ice fills the bin before the arm shuts off the machine. The arm can sometimes get wedged behind existing ice, which prevents the arm from moving down with the ice supply. So the arm will never trigger the unit to start making more ice.
Check the Inlet Valve and Supply Line
The machine uses water coming through a supply tube to make the ice. The supply tube attaches to both the machine and to a main water supply line that runs between your pipes and refrigerator. There's a water inlet valve between the supply line and tube that controls the pressure of the water coming into the freezer. If the inlet valve malfunctions, the ice machine can stop working.
You can check both the supply line and inlet valve for problems at the same time. Head to the hardware store and purchase a residential water tester and follow its package directions to test the water pressure coming through the inlet valve with a goal of at least 20 psi.
If the inlet valve is letting through proper pressure, it is time to check the supply line. Visually inspect the line for any kinks, damage, or spots that look frozen. If you see any of those problems, turn off the water supply and then remove the supply tube. If there is damage, replace the tube with a new one from the hardware store. A frozen tube can be held under hot water for a few minutes until the tube defrosts.