Informational Guide

How To Replace Ice Makers

If your ice maker isn’t working, it may be time for a replacement. Learn how in this detailed DIY guide.

by Holly Curell

Choosing a fridge with a built-in ice maker is a popular choice for many homes; after all, who doesn’t love a refreshing ice-cold beverage?  

It is vital to ensure that your ice maker is well cared for to prevent issues, but sometimes you need to just replace it. Looking to learn how to replace ice makers?  

We have some handy tips in this guide. 

Severe Rust Or Corrosion 

Water can collect at the base or bottom of your ice maker. If you see this or puddles of water around your fridge, there is a potential leak in the system, and you must deal with this as soon as possible as part of a preventative maintenance strategy. Severe rust or corrosion is very costly to fix, making replacement a better option.  

Noisy Compressor 

A fridge’s compressor and condenser work together to move the refrigerant in your machine to the evaporator – the component that freezes water into ice. If these parts are damaged, your machine could completely break down

Compressors can fail for various reasons, such as overwork, electrical issues, poor ventilation, and dirt or dust in the condenser. Compressors that suck air, rattle, or screech need to be attended to by an ice maker technician as soon as possible. 

Further Reading - Why Is My Ice Maker Knocking?

Condenser Fin Corrosion 

In air-cooled machines, condenser fins allow the air to pass uninhibited and are typically located at the back. Rusted, corroded, and flattened fins impede airflow, creating a humid and corrosive environment.

These fins require routine maintenance and cleaning to stay in good condition. If your fins are damaged, there is a good chance that other parts in your ice maker are damaged, and it will be cheaper and easier to replace your ice maker.  

Evaporator Plate Separation 

The evaporator plate is where the ice is formed, and its dimensions and structure have an impact on your ice’s size and shape.

If you find that it has disconnected from the coils on your back panel, it is possible to reconnect them. Checking and cleaning or maintaining your evaporator plate regularly can aid in ensuring that separation does not occur. 

You might be able to clean the evaporator plate instead of replace the whole ice maker. Read through our step by step guide on how to clean an ice maker.

Evaporator Plating is Worn Off 

Some fridges have ice makers with nickel plating that can fade or flake off over time. It is vital to use a nickel-safe ice machine cleaner as harsh cleaners erode the coating.

If you find that your ice has a hard time releasing from the plate to the storage bin, it is a sign that something is wrong. The coating wearing off requires you to replace the evaporator plate, which is highly expensive. 

How To Replace Ice Makers (By Type & Brands)

How To Replace Ice Maker With A New One

1. Removing The Old Ice Maker 

Here is a general guide on how to remove an ice maker from a refrigerator. 

Supplies:  

Prep Before Removal:

  • Shut off the ice maker. 
  • Shut off the power supply at the breaker. 
  • Unplug the fridge from the outlet. 
  • Close the water valve. 
  • Empty the freezer into a cooler. 
  • Remove the ice bin. 
  • Remove the freezer shelves. 

Removal Process: 

  • Unmount the ice maker by loosening the back two mounting screws with the nut driver. Make sure that they hang loose and are not completely removed. 
  • Remove the lower mounting screw, which can typically be found along the left side, and place it to one side. 
  • Unhook the mounting slots from the upper screws by gently lifting and sliding the ice maker. Pull the ice maker away from the connector on the back wall but stop when the connector pulls. 
  • Press down on the central tab to release the wire harness. Once done, pull on the two halves to disconnect the wire connection. 
  • Remove the ice maker from the freezer. 

2. Replacing The Ice Maker  

  • Unhook the metal fill bar located on your broken icemaker. 
  • Hook the loop on the close end of your new ice maker, then push it to the far end. Make sure to stretch the fill bar to ensure that the metal tip fits. 
  • While carefully holding your new ice maker, connect the wire harness by clipping the two ends together. 
  • Lift and slot your ice maker onto the upper screws. Tighten those screws and add the lower-left screw. 
  • Open the water valve, plug your refrigerator in, and return the power. 
  • Turn the ice maker on and wait a few hours to see if ice is created. 

How Much Does It Cost To Replace An Ice Maker?

How much does it cost to replace an ice maker? The cost of replacing an ice maker depends on your model, the area, and the way you replace it, among other things.  

A replacement ice maker can cost an average of $200-$250 for most US brands, but it is possible to get deals or find savings on places like eBay or during heavy sales periods like Black Friday. Check out our guide to the best ice makers on the market to see which one will suit your budget.

Pay careful attention to warranties and discounts to get the most bang for your buck as well. In terms of the labor, it can cost between $100-$150 for the hour or less replacement job by a professional.  

dual ice maker

Popular Ice Maker Brands & How To Replace Them

1. Replacing Samsung Ice Maker

How to replace a Samsung ice maker: 

  • Turn off and unplug the refrigerator while turning off the water at the valve.  
  • Access the ice maker assembly according to manual instructions. 
  • Remove the freezer door. 
  • Remove the ice maker, being mindful of the rear and lower screws as well as the connection. 
  • Install the new ice maker according to manual instruction. 
  • Reattach the freezer door, ensuring the screws are secure. 
  • Reassemble your freezer, making sure the doors are in the right place.
  • Press the test button. If you are unsure where this is located, consult your manual or contact customer service. 

These instructions can also be used as a guide for how to replace most Whirlpool ice makers. However, some models have their quirks; consult the user manual carefully for specific instructions. 

Read Also - How To Defrost A Samsung Ice Maker

2. Replacing Kenmore Refrigerator Ice Maker 

Here is a general guide on how to replace a Kenmore refrigerator ice maker: 

  • Turn off the refrigerator and turn off the water. 
  • Open the compartment and remove the shelves and ice bucket. 
  • Using a Phillips screwdriver or hex head, loosen the screws 
  • Remove the ice maker, ensuring that your push the maker upward until the mounting screws fall into the mounting tab area. 
  • Reach into the rear of the freezer compartment and unplug the ice maker cords. 
  • Remove them carefully. 
  • Attach the mounting plate to the new ice machine according to manual instructions. 
  • Carefully align the screw holes at the bottom of the mounting plate and attach. 
  • Hold your new ice maker close to the mounting rails and snap the harness into place. 
  • Line the ice maker up carefully with the mounting rails and push it onto them, making sure that the fill tube is in the fill cup. 
  • Slide the ice maker module until it locks into place. 
  • Turn everything on again and wait to ensure ice is made. 

3. Replacing GE Refrigerator Ice Maker 

Here is a general guide on how to replace a GE refrigerator ice maker: 

  • Turn off the water valve and fridge before unplugging your machine. 
  • Remove the shelves and racks inside your freezer and place any frozen food in a cooler. 
  • Turn the ice maker off using the toggle switch. 
  • Unthread the three-quarter-inch hex-head screws on the auger assembly. 
  • Gently lift the assembly and disconnect the wires carefully according to manual instruction. 
  • Unthread the screws holding the ice maker onto the mounting brackets, making sure not to remove them completely. 
  • Lift the ice maker until it separates from the brackets before pulling it towards you and out of the freezer. 
  • Reverse the steps above and consult the new model’s manual to replace your ice maker. 

4. Replacing Frigidaire Refrigerator Ice Maker 

How to replace a Frigidaire ice maker: 

  • Turn off and unplug your machine before shutting off the water supply. 
  • Open the freezer door and use a 3/8th socket to unthread the screws that secure the front of the drawer. 
  • Set the front drawer panel aside 
  • Lift out the ice bucket. 
  • Release the retaining clips and slide the basket frame out. 
  • Pull out the retaining clips to make lifting the drawer assembly easier. 
  • Using a Phillips head screwdriver or a number two, unthread the three screws securing the evaporator fan cover. 
  • Pull the cover off and disconnect the icemaker wire connector. 
  • Unthread the front screw securing the ice maker to the liner. 
  • Pull the ice maker towards you to remove the old assembly. 
  • Prepare the new ice maker by transferring the mounting bracket from your old one to the new one according to manual instruction. 
  • Unthread and rethread the screws using a quarter-inch socket. 
  • Align the ice maker bracket carefully on the mounting studs and push back. 
  • Replace the front screw to secure. 
  • Connect the wire connector. 
  • Replace the evaporator fan cover and secure it with screws. 
  • Ensuring the slide rails are pulled out, set the drawer assembly on the rails and insert the retaining clips. 
  • Realign the bracket frame on the support rails. 
  • Push it back until the frame snaps into place. 
  • Pull the frame forward and reposition the bracket and ice bucket.  
  • Reinstall the front drawer panel according to manual instructions. 
  • Thread and retighten the screws to secure the ice maker. 
  • Plug in your machine and turn on the water valve before turning it on yourself. 
frigidaire ice maker in refrigerator

Common Ice Maker Replacement Questions

Are all refrigerator ice makers interchangeable? 

Not necessarily, but some can be similar. We recommend doing your research and reading customer reviews to see if you can find equivalent replacements to the one you already own. 

Is it cheaper to repair or replace ice machine? 

How much a replacement or repair costs depend on a variety of factors, including what the issues are and what type of model you have. If you are unsure, do your research and contact a local certified professional for advice.  

How long does an ice maker usually last? 

An ice maker typically lasts anywhere between three and ten years, depending on your water quality and frequency of use, as well as other factors. Reading other reviews can give you an idea of how long your desired ice maker could last. 


Conclusion

Ice makers are an essential and wonderful part of a modern home routine. While some issues are cheap and easy to fix, sometimes it is better to simply replace the whole thing. Knowing how to replace the ice maker in a refrigerator is an excellent way to smooth the replacement process.  

While we have given general advice here, we recommend consulting with a professional and using a manual if you are unsure. If you do intend to replace or fix one yourself, follow safety guidelines and a manual’s instructions. 

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.

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