Informational Guide

How Long Does An Ice Maker Take To Make Ice

by Ian Haynes

Ice makers are an essential piece of equipment to have in your home. Not only does it make ice production a breeze, but it also ensures that you won’t run out of ice easily.  

If you’ve always wondered ‘how long does an ice maker take to make ice?’, this guide will help answer that question. In this guide, we will also elaborate on the possible reasons why an ice machine might be taking too long to make ice. 

An ice maker’s cycle refers to the entire process of ice cubes being made by your ice maker.  

  1. 1
    Water is first released into the back of the freezer. This is typically done through a small tube.  
  2. 2
    The water is then dumped onto an ice cube tray and frozen.  
  3. 3
    A temperature gauge within your ice maker will signal when the ice cubes are cold enough to be ejected. Your ice maker has a heater at the bottom of the tray to provide just the right touch of warmth to facilitate this.  
  4. 4
    A small motor will trigger the sweeper arm to push the cubes out of the tray and into the ice bin.  

If your bin isn’t full, it will then proceed with repeating this cycle.  

Related Article - How Does An Ice Maker Work?

How Long Does An Ice Maker Take To Make Ice?

If you have a refrigerator ice maker, they will typically produce from 3.5 to 6.6 pounds of ice per day. They will also hold about 4 to 11 pounds of ice per day.

This means that in a 24-hour cycle, it’s likely that your ice maker will make enough ice for about six to eight glasses of water. If you have a high-quality refrigerator ice maker, it will have an ice maker cycle time of about 90 minutes, producing between 8-10 ice cubes each cycle.  

With standalone ice makers, on the other hand, the amount of ice that they produce varies between models. It also depends on the ice density, the size of your model, ambient air, and water temperature. 

Some standalone ice makers also offer various ice sizes for you to choose from. Large bullet ice, for example, will take longer, while smaller sized ice will take a shorter period of time.

Generally, however, after you have added water, standalone ice makers will produce ice in about 7-15 minutes.  

If you feel that your ice maker isn’t working at full efficiency, it’s important for you to diagnose the problem to ensure that it’s working properly. 

Learn More - Types Of Ice Makers Explained

how long does an ice maker take to make ice

Why Is My Ice Maker Slow At Making Ice? 

If you believe that your ice maker is slow at making ice, you could be dealing with any one of the issues below:  

Low Water Pressure  

It's possible that the water pressure of your refrigerator’s water line is too low and isn't filling your ice maker tray correctly.

In terms of water pressure, your refrigerator's water line should be supplying at least 40 psi of pressure. Otherwise, ice production would either be delayed or come to a halt.

Dirty Water Filter  

In some instances, your water filter could be clogged and needs to be changed. Clogged water filters will restrict the water supply into your ice maker and cause your ice machine to be slow.

As a rule of thumb, your water filter should ideally be changed every six months or so.

Read Also - How To Clean An Ice Maker

Your Ice Maker Is Off  

While this might sound obvious, it is possible that your ice maker was accidentally switched off without your knowledge. It's also possible that the feeler arm of your ice machine could have been stuck in a certain position that would have caused your ice maker to stop working after the bin has been filled.  

Issues With The Door  

If you have left the door of your ice maker open or frequently opened it, that could also be an issue. Continuously opening your door can alter the temperature of your ice maker, and it will not be cold enough to produce ice. It’s important to keep the door of your ice maker securely closed.  

how long for ice maker to make ice

Ice Maker Slow When Producing Ice? (Popular Brands & How To Fix Them)

Wondering how to fix certain ice maker brands when it’s running slow? We’ve provided some tips below. Just remember, however, that you should always refer to the owner’s manual for proper guidance.  

Frigidaire Ice Maker  

The Frigidaire ice maker is fantastic. If your ice maker is slow, you could consider turning down the freezer temperature to see if it helps. Ideally, your freezer should be set between 0 and 5 degrees Fahrenheit for quick ice production.  

Kenmore Ice Maker 

Kenmore ice makers are popular ice makers. If your ice maker is slow at producing ice, it’s important for you to first check the contents of your freezer. Interestingly, if your freezer has little to no food inside, it will be much harder to maintain the temperature required to create ice.

To mitigate this problem, try and keep your freezer at least half-filled, as it’s important that you’re not overfilling it either.

Whirlpool Ice Maker  

Whirlpool ice makers are great ice makers to have. If your Whirlpool ice maker is slow at producing ice, check to make sure that your water line isn’t clogged and that you are not having any water pressure issues.

If your fridge has a water filter, you should also make sure that it’s replaced if it hasn’t been replaced lately.

Bosch Ice Maker  

Bosch is known for their advanced ice makers. If the ice maker isn't working, make sure that you aren't opening the freezer door frequently. Doing so will dramatically slow ice production as it increases the temperature inside.

Only open the freezer when you need to – which can be particularly hard when you want to make sure that your ice maker is making ice properly.  

GE Ice Maker  

With your handy GE ice maker, if it isn't making ice, it's typically because there is a clog somewhere along the supply line.

It could also be possible that you have items in your freezer that could be too close to the ice maker, causing it to stop working. Make sure that the sweep arm of your ice maker isn’t too close to any food or other items.  

Related Article - How To Reset Ice Maker

how fast does an ice maker make ice

People Also Ask (FAQs)

How do I get my ice maker to make ice faster? 

A great way to do this is to lower the temperature of your freezer. This will help with triggering the tray thermostat and releasing ice. To do this, simply lower the temperature of your freezer by about three to five degrees, and you’ll be good to go.

How long before the new ice maker fills with water? 

If you have just gotten a new ice maker, you should wait for at least a day before it fills with water. If you have already installed your ice maker, but the water line was not added till later, once both the ice maker and water line are good to go, your first ice cubes should be ready in about 1.5 hours.  

How do I force my ice maker to cycle? 

To do this, you will start by removing the ice bin and emptying the ice from the bin. Then, make sure that your ice maker is switched to the "on" setting before popping off the front cover and rotating the gear on the front until you hear a click.

Once that’s done, replace the cover and push the wire arm of your ice maker onto the downward position.  


As seen above, it shouldn't take long for your ice maker to produce ice. If you’ve noticed that your ice maker seems to be a little slow at making ice, troubleshoot and see if you may be experiencing one of the issues mentioned.

If not, it’s always a good idea to seek the help of a professional to ensure that your ice maker is working at full efficiency.  

Ian Haynes is an expert writer who has successfully deployed over 500 plumbing pages and other related content. He has an excellent understanding of home plumbing issues and translates his experiences via Plumbing Lab so readers can have a better understanding of common household problems. Outside of his work, Ian likes exploring Brooklyn with his Labrador.