Americans love ice! There is no denying our desire for cold beverages. But sometimes our portable ice makers or built-in counterparts go awry. Learn how to reset your ice maker so that you can get back to the cold drinks in no time.
Page Contents (Click Icon To Open/Close)
Understanding How Ice Makers Work
To troubleshoot your ice maker, you need to understand how it works. In simple terms, ice makers use an electric motor and a dedicated water line (or water basin) to freeze water into various ice shapes, such as cubes or little nuggets. Once the ice is formed, the motor pushes the cubes out into a collection bin for your use.
Check out this article from How Stuff Works on the science behind these amazing machines.
Ice Maker Won’t Stop Making Ice
If your ice maker has gone into overdrive and won’t stop producing ice, it is usually because the bail arm (sometimes called feeler arm) is off balance.
If moving the arm up and down manually doesn’t help, then pushing it to an “Off” position and resetting your ice maker is usually the answer.
If the problem persists after you've tried resetting the unit, check your user's manual for additional troubleshooting ideas.
Resetting Different Types of Ice Makers
How to Reset Portable Ice Makers
If your tabletop ice maker doesn’t have a reset button, simply turn it off and unplug it. You can check the water tray, or clean it up as necessary, but wait at least 10 minutes before you plug it back in to achieve the reset.
How to Reset Built-in/Refrigerator Ice Makers
Refrigerators are getting smarter, and many now have digital consoles to allow you to control their functionality built right into the doors. If you have an old-school fridge that needs to be reset, start by unplugging your refrigerator for 5-10 minutes.
How to Reset Commercial Ice Makers
Most commercial ice makers have a hard reset button built-in. Follow the instructions in your user manual to restart the machine.
While each brand and model will differ, if you can’t find your owner’s manual, then we’ve provided a place for you to start looking.
General Ice Maker Troubleshooting Tips
Thankfully, resetting your ice maker can go a long way in getting your machine back up and working properly. However, if that doesn’t work, there are still a few other things you can check before calling a professional.
- 1If your ice maker is running but not producing ice, check the thermostat. If it’s been set (or accidentally moved) too high, it may not get cold enough to produce ice.
- 2On the other hand, if your ice maker is too cold, the internal parts risk freezing. In this case, you will need to unplug the machine and allow it to defrost.
- 3Check that your water line isn’t clogged. If your ice is smaller or softer than usual, this may be the case.
People Also Ask (FAQs)
How do I know if my inlet valve is bad?
Sometimes the water inlet valve on your ice maker can become clogged or frozen. However, that doesn’t mean you need to call a service technician right away. To check your inlet valve, unplug your fridge or ice maker and follow the instructions here.
What should I do if resetting my ice maker won’t resolve the issue?
If resetting your ice maker doesn’t solve the problem, you may have an electrical or mechanical malfunction within the machine. The next step would be to call customer support for the specific model that you have.
Are all ice makers equipped with reset buttons?
While most ice makers do have a reset button, it’s not a general rule. Smaller ice machines may just have to be unplugged in order to trigger a reset. Look to your specific model for instructions.
Why is my ice maker not dispensing ice?
The primary reason ice makers stop dispensing ice is that the ice chute has been clogged. Usually, cleaning out the bin and manually checking the chute can resolve this issue. If the problem persists, you may have a clogged water line or built-up frost that needs cleaning out. This guide from GE can help.
Before calling your local repairman and spending a bundle of cash, try troubleshooting your home or commercial ice maker by giving it a reset. A few minutes of your time can have you back up and running quickly.
Holly Curell is the editor extraordinaire for Plumbing Lab. Having grown up in Michigan, Holly has spent time living in New York, Virginia, & currently North Carolina, where she lives with her husband & family. Holly loves DIY & has years of experience with at-home plumbing problems that arise from having 3 kids & living in colder climates. When she’s not writing about her plumbing knowledge, Holly enjoys reading, hiking & relaxing with family.