Ice makers are a brilliant way to ensure you always have ice for a hot day or when receiving guests. After all, there is little worse than a warm drink on a hot day.
However, sometimes something goes wrong with your ice maker, and you may not know how to fix it.
If you know your ice maker is still making ice but for some reason it is not dispensing it, there are a couple of reasons and some ways to fix it.
Before you call a professional to have a look at why your ice machine is not dispensing ice, check through the common issues on this list and see if you can solve the issue yourself.
Since many people have ice makers, many of these issues occurred in the past, and luckily people are willing to discuss what they did to fix their problems.
Below are some of the most common reasons your ice maker may not be dispensing ice and how to fix it.
1. Your Freezer Door May Be Stuck Open
If you’re having trouble and your ice maker isn’t dispensing ice, there is one thing you should check before anything else: is your door closed properly?
Though you may not realize it, if the door to your refrigerator, ice maker, or freezer is open, the ice may not dispense even if there is ice in the tub.
Since this is such a simple problem, there is also a straightforward solution: check to see if your door is open, and if it is, close it. I
t is not unheard of that the door may not close all the way; this can be due to a faulty closing mechanism or even something keeping the door open and preventing it from sealing. Luckily, most of these matters are easy to solve by moving some things around or adjusting the door.
2. Display Panel May Have Been Locked
If your fridge has a touch display or you have children in the house, there is another easy-to-solve reason your ice may not be dispensing: a dispensing lock.
Whether you accidentally activated the lock or put it on to keep your children from playing, the dispenser lock or child lock feature can be an overlooked reason your ice is not dispensing.
Usually, this issue is easy to solve by simply putting off the child lock as specified by the manufacturers or deactivating the lock on your fridge display.
One of the common ways to disable the lock on a fridge display is to hold your finger on the button for around three seconds.
3. Ice Is Jammed In The Chute
Though the chance of this happening isn’t the biggest, there is a chance that your ice dispensing chute may get clogged due to ice freezing in the line.
If you have recently changed the temperature, don’t use the function often, or were without power, ice may have melted and refrozen in the dispensing chute, causing the ice to clog the outlet.
Or alternatively a big chunk of ice might have made it's way into the chute and go lodged there. Sometimes ice can get stuck together forming larger chunks.
There is a simple solution. Thaw your fridge completely allowing for the ice to melt ice to melt. You should drain all the liquid from the refrigerator or ice maker, wipe out the ice bin, and ensure no water will refreeze in the chute.
Once your machine is clean and more ice gets made, your ice should dispense as expected.
4. Ice Has Fused Together Into Big Clumps
Since the dispenser chute can be a bit small, if your ice sticks together, that may cause the ice not to dispense correctly. The most likely cause is the ice freezes together because the ice dispenser doesn’t get used often.
Fixing this dilemma can be as simple as removing any more significant pieces of ice or completely defrosting the ice container. If you’re lucky, you can simply break apart any big chunks and toss them back into the ice bucket.
However, if ice has been in there too long chances are the ice in your ice maker might taste bad. In this can it can be a good idea to discard the ice and make a fresh batch and then see if the dispenser works again.
5. The Raker Is Stuck
Though this may not be the situation for all ice makers, some come with a feature called a raker that gets used to prevent the previous issue, big ice clumps, and also helps distribute new ice evenly.
If your ice makes has this feature, that may be what is causing the problem if the raker gets stuck.
If you look in your machine and find a big piece of ice or too much, you can remove the ice causing the problem. If the ice is too hard to take out, you may need to thaw your machine.
6. Safety Lever May Be Up
There are a couple of switches and levers in your ice maker, whether built into your fridge or stand-alone, one switch that can be particularly sensitive is the capacity or safety switch.
This switch is put in place to stop ice production when the ice bucket is full. If the lever or switch is stuck in the off position, you may be unable to dispense ice.
Sometimes it does happen that this switch or lever goes into the off position and remains there when it really shouldn't.
This problem can be due to some frost keeping it in place or because of other reasons. The easiest way to fix this dilemma is to look at the user guide, find the lever, and ensure it is working and in the on position and see if that fixes the problem.
7. Ice Maker May Be Switched Off
Though you may think this is an unlikely event there may be a chance that your ice maker is off and therefore will not dispense ice.
Though you may wonder how this can be the problem, it is good to check since this happens more regularly than people realize, especially with a new refrigerator.
There are different switches or buttons for other model fridges, but you can find a button, switch, or lever on your ice maker in your fridge or on your ice maker.
If you see no switch on the outside, you may need to look at the display for controlling the refrigerator or ice maker or inside of the ice maker itself.
Other ice makers have levers, so consult the manufacturer’s guide to find the switch and turn it on.
8. Ice Bucket Not Placed In Properly
One issue that may affect you in more than one way is if your ice bucket gets placed improperly. Not only is there the chance that your door may not close, making it impossible to dispense ice, but you may also not be triggering the sensor that allows the machine to pick up the bucket and dispense the ice.
If this is the case, the solution can be as straightforward as opening the door and ensuring the ice bucket is in the suitable space and fitting as it should.
Even if your ice tub is just a little bit out of place, it may cause this issue, so be sure to check and see if that solves the problem and allows ice to dispense.
9. Auger Drum Is Stuck or Damaged
For issues 9-14 please refer to the below video for more detailed instructions:
The auger drum of your ice machine is the part that allows ice to push forward and out of the dispenser chute.
Inside your ice bucket you should be able to see a steel rod bent to form a zig-zag pattern and on the end of that, closest to the dispensing area, a piece, often made of plastic, which is the auger drum.
If the auger drum is stuck or damaged, this may prevent ice from dispensing.
If your auger shaft can freely spin on the auger shaft, the zig-zag piece of metal, or is otherwise damaged, you should find a replacement or get it fixed.
By reattaching the auger drum to the shaft or rod or replacing the drum completely, you should be able to dispense ice again.
10. Auger Coupler Is Damaged or Broken
If you can hear the motor of your ice maker running, but there is no ice getting dispensed, there may be a problem with your auger coupler.
The auger coupler is the part of the ice maker that connects the auger shaft, as mentioned in the previous section, to the motor, allowing the ice to move, break apart, and get dispensed.
There may be more than one part of the auger coupler that gets damaged or broken; it depends on the model of your fridge.
However, if you notice the coupler is the part of the ice maker causing this problem, you should find a replacement and install it to allow the ice maker to dispense ice again.
11. Dispenser Arm Is Damaged Or Broken
The dispenser arm is the part of your ice maker that you press to allow ice to get dispensed, and if this part is broken or damaged, the switch activating the auger drum may not work as intended.
Though this part of your fridge or ice maker may seem fine, you will have to remove the control panel area to have a good look to determine whether this is causing your ice not to get dispensed.
The first part of fixing the dispenser arm requires you to remove the cover or control panel that hides the internal workings of the dispensing mechanism.
Once this gets released, you can inspect the dispenser arm and determine whether it needs to get replaced. I
f you feel uncomfortable removing the control panel with a putty knife, you may want to hire a professional to help.
12. Dispenser Switch Is Broken
If your dispenser arm is working as intended, another faulty part of this mechanism may be the dispenser switch. This switch is the part that sends an electric current to the auger motor to allow ice to dispense.
Usually, this switch is behind the control panel or the arm itself, depending on the model of your ice maker or fridge.
To determine whether the switch is working, you need to test two parts: the button and the terminals.
To test the button, you can simply press it; if it gets pushed as it should, that is not the problem.
For the terminals, you will need to test it with a multimeter to see whether there is a current flowing when the button gets pressed. You need to replace the switch if there is no current or the nub does not press.
Additionally, there may be a way to manipulate the button with a screwdriver or knife to ensure it presses as it should. You can see more details about this below:
13. Dispenser Switch Bracket Is Broken
While the control panel of your ice maker or fridge is still off, you may want to check the dispenser switch bracket, the part that keeps the dispenser switch in place.
This bracket is integral to ensure using the dispenser arm triggers the switch allowing ice to dispense.
If you remove the control panel of your fridge or ice machine with a screwdriver or putty knife and notice that the bracket is broken or damaged, you should replace it.
Since this part of the machine may hold a couple of different elements, you can also ask a professional to help you with the replacement process.
14. Ice Dispenser Solenoid Has Failed
The dispenser solenoid is the part of the ice maker mechanism that opens the ice chute door and allows ice to fall into whichever container you hold under the dispenser arm.
If the chute door does not open, the ice will not fall through the door and into your glass or container.
To see if the dispenser solenoid is working, remove the cover or control panel area and use a multimeter connected to the wiring harness or the terminals to see if the solenoid has continuity. I
f it does not, you will have to replace it.
Alternatively, the problem could be with the small plunger that opens the chute door, but you may need a professional’s help to replace or repair that.
15. Small Fill Tube May Be Frozen
The fill tube is the small tube in your fridge or ice maker that allows the fridge to fill up with water to make ice or dispense cold water.
There is, however, a chance that the fill tube is frozen or some water has become frozen in it, stopping the filling process and causing problems.
To fix this problem, you can dethaw your freezer, fridge, or ice maker or use a hairdryer to heat only the fill tube to dethaw it individually.
You should be able to spot this tube easily after removing the ice bucket. Once the pipe gets thawed, you should see water flowing freely into the ice maker.
16. Door Switch May Be Faulty
A faulty or broken door switch is another possible reason your ice will not dispense.
This switch often allows the lights in your freezer to go on, so if the lights stay off when the door is open, it may also be causing problems with ice dispensing.
If this switch is faulty, and you know how you can replace it yourself. However, if you are uncertain about replacing this, you can ask a professional for help.
17. Other Problems
If you have attempted all the suggestions above and have had no success fixing your ice machine dispenser, you may have to call for professional help.
Though you may have come this far and tried all of the fixes we have discussed, there are some parts we can’t always fix ourselves, and that is when professional help becomes necessary.
Though there are many explanations why your ice maker may not be dispensing ice, even if there is ice inside, many issues are easy to resolve by yourself using your hands or some tools at home.
However, if you are struggling, uncertain, or have not found a solution that works for you, a professional should be able to help.