Last Updated on March 24, 2021

As summer nears you know, it’s that time of the year when your portable ice maker would be pushed to the limit.

 It is in this period that your patience is tested; 

You plug your ice maker, add some quarts of water, waiting for the ice maker to make those mechanical sounds, and all you hear is dead silence.

 There are endless possibilities of what could have gone wrong; we have listed some of these problems and easy fix to get your portable ice maker in tip-top condition

Ice Maker Not Working 

The solution is to pay attention to the tiniest details that you underestimate; the biggest problems usually need the smallest fixes.

Here are some of the subtle issues that can stop your ice maker from working; 

  • Full ice bin
  • The water supply line is clogged 
  • Electrical power does not reach the ice maker
  • The ice maker does not collect water from the tank 

Ice Maker Trouble Shooting Tips  

Electrical Power Source – As crazy it might seem checking out the power cord connection is a no brainer. The first step is to make sure the cord is connected to a stable power supply. Ensure it is not disconnected from the outlet and run the unit once more. 

Also, there are chances that the power cord will stop functioning; in that case, the fix as mentioned earlier will not work until you replace the cable. However, changing the cord might void the warranty of the ice makers; we advise users to read the user manual as preemptive to such casualties. 

Full Ice bin – After you’ve tried the above methods and still get no result; it’s time you check if the ice bin is full. If it is full, this can stop the operation of your unit. What you have to do is empty the bin and ensure the ice sensor is not obstructed by ice, which could lead the unit to shut down immediately. Use a clean cloth to wipe the sensor and reset your ice maker 

Check Water Level 

Your ice maker will turn itself off when the water inside the reservoir is not sufficient to run the ice maker.

You must ensure the water supply pipe is not blocked and regularly check the water level. Most ice makers will indicate when the water is below standard, check out for the signs.

If the water supply is unusually slow, it’s time you take the next step. 

Clean Water Filter 

Your portable ice maker water filter is bound to get clogged when you don’t maintain it. In our article here, we have written detailed steps on how to maintain and clean your ice maker unit. 

Avoid the use of hard water as the constituents contain mineral build-up which clogs the filter. Avoid using hard water, if you want to prolong the lifetime of your unit. Most maker manufacturers clearly state soft water use as the best option. 

Take out the filter, use vinegar, soda, or lemon juice mixed with water in a bottle spray and apply to the filter. You can use your hands for the application or soak in the mix of lemon or vinegar.

Let it sit for a while and then use a toothbrush to scrub thoroughly until the debris is washed away. Now you can proceed to rinse the filter in a sink before putting it back. 

Melt Frozen Ice 

Aside debris and minerals, ice can block the water supply as well. All you need to do is to melt the ice. 

You can use a dryer to fasten the process or take it to a warm place. Another quick way is to get a quart of water and pour it inside the filter. 

Ice is not Ejecting. 

ice not ejecting from ice maker

Problem: Sometimes, you can hear the running sound of the machine, but it does not eject the ice. It seems as though the ice is formed, but it is not pushed out from the molds. 

If this is what you are dealing with, then the most typical cause is a faulty ejector mechanism. 

If the ejector mechanism is stuck; here all you need to do is inspect for any disconnected wires & broken parts. For insight about the problems that may impair the ejector mechanism, read the user manual. 

Another reason could be the sweeper. The sweeper is the ice maker part that transport ice into the storage tray. If it’s not working then you could consult a pro or return it to the manufacturers, provided the unit is covered by warranty. 

Portable Ice Maker Making Unpleasant Noise 

Problem: The truth is portable ice makers are going to make noise when making ice. However, when it could get unusual, and the metallic rumblings become unbearable, this indicates a faulty compressor. 

Fix: You can’t take chances here return the unit to the manufacturers. If the warranty is expired, you can call in a handyman to have a look at the problem. 

Plastic Bits in Your Ice 

Problem: Old ice makers that have functioned for many years are susceptible to the problem. Broken plastic components inside could get crushed and leave some tiny bits of plastic in your ice. This problem can happen to new units too. 

Fix: In that case, try to shake your ice maker to ensure there are no strange movements. If you feel any irregular movement, chances are, the ice maker has component broken inside. 

New units can be returned on these grounds; also you can take out the parts for cleaning. Uncovered broken parts should be removed, try to make a batch of ice to ensure all the bits are out. 

Irregular Ice Shapes – Too Big or Too Small 

Problem: Having your ice in that nugget shape or cube shape is satisfying until your ice maker starts producing some irregular shapes.

Normally, you can set your ice maker to produce different ice cube sizes. When the ice shape appears abnormal, chances are you changed the settings. 

However, if the ice is entirely out of shape, looking jagged and bristle, it might be due to the water valve. 

Now, the water valve controls the water that gets into the ice making space. Should the valve supply more than the ice maker can handle or below minimum water required to produce ice, then it produces those irregular shapes.

Fix: A clogged valve could lead to such misgivings; you should clean the valve with a toothbrush to clear the passage and allow the free controlled supply of water to the ice area. 

The cutting grid could also cause a dysfunctional production, where the ice maker produces large blocks of ice. Hard water is associated with several issues when it comes to irregular ice production. It is better to stay off hard water. 

Finally, basic care is the best way to ensure you have great shapes of ice from your unit. You should indulge in frequent washing of your ice maker at least once a month. 

Water Leaks 

Problem: It is plain annoying to see your ice maker in a puddle of its creation, making a total mess. Water leaks are harbingers of issues that you need to fix fast.

First off, leaks would make the water insufficient to make ice. 

Being reluctant to check the root of the problem might even cost you the ice maker itself. Usually, leaks are a result of cracks around the compressor, which leaks the refrigerant and disrupts the ice process.  

Fix: Fixing the ice maker yourself might get complex here, save unnecessary stress, and call the customer support from the user manual. It is important you call the units company before consulting a technician to ensure you don’t void the warranty. 

Non-Stop Ice Making 

Problem: Throughout this article, most of the issues affect ice production. Although rare, ice-making could go haywire and overproduce. 

Fix: The likeliest problem is the sensor which could be fixed under warranty by the manufacturers. However, if the unit is not covered by warranty due to age, you can call a technician for repairs. 

Ice / Ice Maker Smells Bad 

troubleshooting ice maker

Problem: If your ice tastes terrible or the unit smells, then you need to espouse a proper maintenance routine. Minerals as a result of hard water and molds can cause these problems and even worse, dirty ice. You don’t want that, do you? 

You can follow the tips below to remove mineral deposits and molds: 

Things you need: 

  • Vinegar 
  • Water 
  • Lemon Juice 

Unplug your unit and empty the ice cube storage and water reservoir. 

Fill the reservoir with vinegar and water or lemon juice and water. 

Run the ice maker to make a fresh batch of ice

Dispose of the ice into a sink 

Refill the reservoir with fresh, clean water and make another batch to remove all remnants of vinegar and lemon smell. 

You can repeat this process two or three times, depending on how the interior odor is after the procedure. 


How to unfreeze ice maker? 

The first thing you need to do is read the user manual to locate where the ice maker fill tube is located. Only then can you proceed. 

Turn off the ice maker and spread a towel under the ice maker. Then remove the ice bin and empty any ice left inside. 

Next up is to undo the metal clip that holds the fill tube. Use a hairdryer to apply heat to the fill tube. Make sure the dryer temperature is set low, hold the nozzle and direct the hot air directly into the fill. Alternatively, you can also add warm water to the tube using a funnel. 

Switch to different positions to ensure the heat is not polarized, which may burn the subjected part. This should continue until liquid starts coming out of the unit. Wait for the fluid to empty itself. 

Finally, turn the thermostat and plug-in your unit to a power source. Switch on the ice maker, and you should have your ice coming out smooth like Vaseline.

If the problem persists, you should consult a technician. 

How Do I Reset My Ice Maker? 

Different ice makers have different ways of resetting. However, the manual should contain how you can reset the ice makers as recommended by the manufacturers. 

Below are some ways to reset some popular ice machine models; 

For a Samsung; Their machines usually have a visible red button on the control menu. Hold it down for up to ten seconds. 

Frigidaire Ice Makers; Use the shut-off button on the control panel. Press the button for a while till the LED turns red. Release for some minutes and hold the shutdown button until the indicator turns green. 

Kenmore Ice maker; To reset, shut down the unit and unplug the cord from the socket. Wait for 5-10 minutes to plug your ice maker and start the ice maker by holding down the power button. 

GE Ice maker; Resetting you GE ice maker is a bit different. 

  • Press the shut-off switch and wait for up to a minute. 
  • Turn the switch back up and find the feeler arm.
  • Quickly push the feeler arm 3 times in quick succession. 


If you have read thus far then you should have known all it takes to fix an ice maker that won’t work. We hope our troubleshooting tips will help you out when next your unit gets stuck.

We also have other interesting articles about ice makers you can check out from the link below;

Home bar ice makers you need

Smallest Ice makers for travelers

Affordable Ice Makers For Budget Customers