Informational Guide

Manitowoc Ice Machine Troubleshooting

by Ian Haynes

Ice machines are usually critical to the successful operation of a food service business. Having a quality ice maker in your business can make a huge difference in your ability to provide quality service to customers. If your ice machine has decided to stop working, you might not be able to care for your customers adequately, or you might have to shut down. 

Manitowoc Ice Machine troubleshooting is important to ensure that your ice machine is not being operated when it is damaged. You will also want to know how to resolve common problems with your ice machine. This guide will make sure that you are never left without the necessary information to take care of common issues with the Manitowoc Ice Machine. 

The Ice Machine is Not Operational 

  • Power is Off
    This can happen if there is a blown fuse, the power supply has gone bad, or the power cord has been knocked loose.
  • Tripped Breaker
    If your ice maker is sharing a standard outlet with other machines that use a high power draw, this can cause the breaker to be flipped when they are both trying to draw power. This is more common than you might think, so it is worth checking.
  • Toggle Switch is Turned Off
    This can happen when someone has bumped the machine or been handling items near it and switched the machine off by accident. This is a simple fix that can be all that is needed.
  • The Damper is Not Closed
    You should always make sure that the damper is not held open in the down position. This will make the machine shut off until the issue is corrected. Remove obstructions or other items that might be holding the damper open. It should swing freely.

Ice Machine is Stopping and Restarting or Turning On and Off 

  • Safety Limit is Triggered
    The only reason that this usually happens is related to the safety limit that is present on all units made by this company. This safety limit is meant to make sure that there is no risk of major component failure. The machine will need to be turned on and off again. If the machine keeps running, this has fixed the issue. If not, you will need to call a technician to help you resolve this problem.

Ice Machine is Not Releasing Any Ice 

  • Machine is Dirty
    This can happen when the machine has not been descaled or cleaned in a long time. You will want to be sure that you sanitize and clean the machine per the manual instructions to solve this issue.
  • Ambient Temperature is Too High
    This can happen if the area that your machine is located in is getting too warm or if there is no AC in your workspace in the summer. You will need to make sure that the ambient temperature is 40 degrees Fahrenheit for your machine to work properly. This only affects air-cooled models.
  • Machine is Not Level
    If your machine is not sitting level, it might shut off for safety.
  • Water Regulating Valve Leaks
    If your machine is water-cooled, the water regulating valve can leak in harvest mode. This will need to be replaced to resolve the issue.

Ice Machine is Not Harvesting 

  • Uneven Ice Fill
    When the ice becomes thin at the top of the evaporator, you might not be able to harvest ice correctly. Your evaporator might be the culprit for this problem and might need to be serviced or replaced.
  • Ice Probe is Not Connected
    If your ice probe has been disconnected, has gotten dirty, or needs to be adjusted, you might have issues with harvesting with your machine. You will need to replace or readjust your probe to fix this issue.
  • Timer is Still Running
    The harvest sequence should not be initiated unless a 6-minute freezer timer has elapsed successfully. If ice is forming before then, the timer will hold the ice production and stop it.

Poor Quality Ice 

  • Water Quality Issues
    If your water quality is bad, the water pressure is low, or the water supply has been cut off, your machine might be making poor quality ice.
  • Water Filters Are Broken/Dirty
    Filters that are clogged or grimy can make poor quality ice that is dirty and thin. You will want to replace or repair your water filtration system or parts as needed to correct this issue.
  • Machine is Dirty
    Your machine can develop scaling or become dirty inside, and this can lead to poor quality ice. You will want to be sure that you are cleaning your machine regularly to prevent this issue.

Incomplete Ice Cubes 

  • Water Float Valve Issues
    If your water float valve has become dirty, or the filter screen is grimy, this can lead to incomplete ice cube formation.
  • Machine is Not Sitting Level
    If your machine is not sitting on a level surface, ice quality can suffer.
  • Water Temperature is Too High
    You will need to be sure that the water supply to your machine is cold enough. Hot or warm water will not freeze properly for your ice formation needs.
  • Water Levels High or Low
    When the water level in the trough isn’t correct, poor quality ice formation can result.
  • Ice Thickness Probe Issues
    Your water thickness probe can require adjustment when this is the reason for the incomplete ice cubes you are seeing, but it might also have started to fail.
  • Water Filter Has Broken
    If your water filter is dirty or broken, you will have to replace it.

Low Ice Production 

  • Air Temperature
    Make sure that the ambient temperature is not higher than 110 degrees. It can get quite warm in spaces where many machines are running, and this might be why your device is not making enough ice for your needs.
  • Disconnected Water Supply
    This can happen if the machine has been moved, bumped hard, or the water service valve is open.
  • Condenser Has Become Dirty
    If your condenser has become dirty or obstructed, you will need to make sure to clean or replace it as needed. Air-cooled models are particularly vulnerable to this kind of issue.
  • Water Float Valve
    The water float valve and the filter screen can get dirty. This can lead to low ice production and requires that you replace or clean these parts.

Leaking Water 

  • Clogged Drains
    Your machine might suffer from a clogged drain, and this can lead to an overflow and the machine shutting itself off eventually. You should be sure that your floor drain is not the issue that has led to the clog as well.
  • Loose Pipes and Connections
    Make sure that you check the water lines and make sure that you replace any piping that is leaking or is not connected correctly anymore. You will also want to check the connections that you have reattached if you have been cleaning or moving the machine to a new location.
  • Broken Water Pump
    The water pump in your ice machine can break and leak, and you will need to make sure to replace this part if this is why your machine has begun to leak. You will need a service technician to check this issue out for you.
  • Water Inlet Valve Issues
    If your water inlet valve has stopped controlling the amount of water flowing into the machine correctly, you will need to call out a technician to fix this for you.

Ice Thickness Probe Failure 

  • Damaged Ice Thickness Probe
    If this part seems to be bulging or has suffered damage, you will need to replace it.
  • Improper Gap
    The proper gap for the thickness probe should be 9/32 inches. If this gap is not correct, it will impact ice production. You can adjust this yourself by turning the adjustment screw on the probe. You should check your manual for the proper adjustment steps to make sure that you get the setting right.

Troubleshooting Popular Manitowoc Ice Machines 

Different models of ice machines have different common problems. It might be easy to think that all ice machines can suffer from the same common issues, but you will find that a lot of these issues are model-specific. 

Manitowoc Indigo 

This machine experiences these common issues: 

  1. 1
    No power to the unit due to fuse or breaker issues.
  2. 2
    High-pressure cut-out trips due to dirty condenser coil.
  3. 3
     Dispenser level thermostat is open and needs to be readjusted.
  4. 4
    Energy-saving programming is cutting back on ice production and needs to be turned off.
maniwotoc ice machine

image source:

Manitowoc Neo 

This model of Manitowoc can suffer from these common issues: 

  1. 1
    Evaporator needs to be recharged to fully fill the ice bin.
  2. 2
    Clean cycle was stopped early or did not complete on its own.
  3. 3
    A new harvest float is needed to correct issues with incorrect ice quality and production.
  4. 4
    Machine is going back into freeze mode too soon and is not filling the bin. This requires that you replace the reed switch.

Manitowoc Machine Error Codes Explained 

Manitowoc ice machine troubleshooting error codes can be hard to understand if you are not looking at a key that explains what they mean. Your machine’s manual will tell you what all of the codes mean. There are some common ones that people will usually see at least once when they own an ice machine from this maker. These are some of the common error codes for these machines and what they mean: 

Error Codes 

Error Code Meaning 


Long Freeze cycle 


Long Harvest Cycle 


Input Power Loss 


Flooding Evaporator Fault 


Water System Fault 


Bin Level Probe Low Sensor Fault 

People Also Ask (FAQs)

How do I reset my Manitowoc ice maker? 

To reset this brand of ice maker, you will follow this simple process: 

  1. 1
    Press the OFF button for 3 seconds
  2. 2
    Wait for the ice to melt off the evaporator
  3. 3
    Disconnect power and wait 10 seconds
  4. 4
    Plug the machine back in and press the ON button.
What does the red wrench light mean on a Manitowoc ice machine? 

This indicator is the ‘service” indicator and means that the machine is experiencing a potential issue. You can use the machine in safe mode until a technician is able to come to look at the machine. 


Taking care of any ice machine is important if you want to have access to clean and good quality ice every day for your needs. You can use this guide to help you to troubleshoot possible issues with your machine, and you will be able to learn more about the proper ways to check on maintenance issues as well.  

Being able to troubleshoot problems before they turn into major issues can save you a lot of time, hassle, and money over the life of your ice machine. 

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.