How to Defrost an Ice Maker

An ice maker not working is a common issue, and one that could spell disaster at your next big party. While a refrigerator ice maker can make your life that little bit easier with a continuous flow of fresh ice, sometimes things go wrong.

However, most people don’t realize how easy it is to fix. Often, it is a simple issue such as the refill tube freezing over. To get things working again, you may just need to defrost the ice maker.

Calling for service repairs or considering buying a new unit is a rash and expensive reaction to this problem. There is a chance that there may be a genuine fault with the ice maker or the refrigerator, but an ice maker not working does not automatically signal the end of your refrigerator.

Before you do anything hasty, just consider how you might be able to solve this problem yourself. It could end up saving you a fortune.

In this article, you’ll discover that defrosting an ice maker is a quick and simple process.

Defrosting an ice cute tray

Before You Begin

The method detailed below should only be carried out if the ice maker is operating correctly. Before carrying out the steps, you must do a little test, just in case the problem of the ice maker not working is down to a malfunction.

Take a small cup of water and pour it into the water reservoir. Wait a couple of hours to give the water ample time to freeze. After that, check to see if the ice maker does its job – making frozen ice cubes!

If the ice maker doesn’t make any ice, it’s likely that there is a mechanical issue. If that’s the case, you may be able to get help by contacting the manufacturer.

Otherwise, if it does make ice, then you can be sure it is still working. That means you can then proceed with defrosting the ice maker.

Defrosting the ice maker

Now that you’re certain the ice maker is still capable of producing a frozen ice cube, it’s time to take action to get it back to its best.

You’ll need:

· A towel

· A hairdryer

· 15 minutes

Once you’re ready, follow the steps below:

1. Cut the Power

Unplug the unit to turn the power off. Don’t worry about your food going bad as this should not take long! The refrigerator will remain cold while you get the job done. However, to make things easier, you can shift any food away from the ice maker to a different shelf in the freezer.

2. Dump the ice

Put a towel underneath the ice maker. Take the ice bin out and empty all the ice inside it, before setting the bin to the side. Use the towel to wipe up any moisture as you work.

3. Locate the refill tube

On many ice makers, there will be a metal clip holding the tube in place. Pull it down to remove it from the unit. This clip may not be on all units, but it is important to check so you can get access to the fill tube. Typically, this is where the problem will be as it freezes over, blocking the water flow.

4. Apply Heat

Using the hairdryer, apply heat to the fill tube – the white, rubbery hose. Do this by holding the hairdryer nozzle to the front of the unit, ensuring the heat is blasting directly into the refill tube. Take care to set the hairdryer to a low heat and constantly move it around, otherwise you risk melting plastic parts of the ice maker, potentially causing irreparable damage. Also, be very careful that no water drips inside the hairdryer. This could lead to an electric shock!

5. Absorb the Moisture

When the ice begins to defrost, it will start dripping out on the towel. At this point, you can stop using the hairdryer. Turn it off and set it aside in a safe place, away from the danger of melting ice. Now, simply wait until the moisture stops dripping, switching towels if needs be.

6. Reset the Unit

When the dripping has stopped, you can reset the unit. First, turn up the thermostat just a little bit, so that there is less chance of the issue recurring again. Replace the metal clip and the ice tray. Once you have it reassembled, make sure both the ice maker and the freezer are dry. Finally, plug the refrigerator back in and turn the ice maker on.

Regular Maintenance Will Prevent Future Frosting

After you have got everything working again, it’s important to keep an eye on the ice maker to make sure the problem doesn’t keep happening. If you notice a build up of frost inside the freezer or find that the ice maker is making small, useless ice cubes, you may need to defrost the tube again.

Experiment with the thermostat a little more if needs be, finding a balance that keeps your food frozen and your ice maker working.

Feature image via Still Tasty

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