Built-in ice-makers in refrigerators make the scorching heat and sluggishness of the summers so much more bearable! Therefore, any malfunction within the device is concerning. If your ice maker has stopped making ice, let us help you solve the problem.
There can be many reasons why a Whirlpool ice maker stops making ice. Some of these concern the components of the ice-maker directly, while others have to do with the surrounding environment. Here are some potential culprits:
- Ice maker turned off
- Water filter issues
- Damaged water inlet valve
- Clogged ice maker
- Incorrect freezer temperature
Of course, you'll need more than just a list to help you find the issue. Some solutions may require replacement parts. Others can be as simple as resetting the ice maker. So, if you want guidance on where to look and how to fix it, keep reading ahead.
What Can Cause My Ice Maker To Stop Working?
The ice maker depends on many different components for turning water into ice. From the water supply pump to the ejector arms, a malfunction in any of its parts will cause it to stop working.
Since temperature is essential for freezing, fluctuations in temperature may also damage the components. Therefore, it's important to inspect each of these factors to draw an accurate conclusion on what's going on.
Ice Maker Wire Arm is Off
While troubleshooting the problem, begin with pinning down the most obvious culprit. Ensure that the wire shutoff arm is on. This arm is an internal switch that manipulates the working of the ice maker in a refrigerator. The arm should be lowered to activate the ice maker.
Blocked Water Supply
One of the most important requirements for ice-making in a refrigerator is sufficient water supply. Should this supply be cut off or blocked, the ice maker will stop working. Let us explore a few common causes of this situation.
Clogged Water Filter
Over time, the water filter may get clogged by residue impurities and sediments from water. You may solve this by cleaning/replacing the filter. However, the first step is to locate it.
Depending upon your Whirlpool refrigerator model, the water filter is located either at the right-hand side of the refrigerator compartment or right below the base grille.
Analyze the weight of the filter. Perhaps it feels heavier. Look for signs of mold buildup or sediment at the edges and the bottom of the filter. If you think it is beyond saving, discard it at this stage. To clean the filter, follow these steps:
- Take some cloth and gently scrub it on the surface to remove large and solid particles.
- Immerse the filter in warm water treated with an appropriate cleaning solution—like soap or vinegar.
- Let it be for 20-30 minutes. Ensure there is no residue left before you take it out.
- Rinse with clean water and let it dry before reassembling it.
Incorrect Filter Installment
An incorrectly installed filter obstructs the water supply and pressure. If you got a filter replacement done recently, it is worth ensuring there were no errors in installation.
There are various methods to install Whirlpool water filters. It will depend on the model. Use your user manual to follow Whirlpool’s exact guidelines for installing water filters. Ensure that the replaced filter is a CGP (Certified Genuine Product).
Defected Water Inlet Valve
The inlet valve is an electronic valve that controls pressure for water flow.
To check whether the defect lies in its electrical path or the physical structure, you should perform a small valve test. It will let you know whether you merely need an electrician or a whole valve replacement process to solve the problem.
To examine electrical faults, here's what you need to do:
- Set a multimeter to the lowest setting for the ohms in resistance. For an analog meter, perform an extra step to calibrate by rotating the needle to zero while you have the probes pinched together.
- Cut down the power supply to the refrigerator and the valve terminals.
- Use one of the two probes to touch each coil terminal.
- If the meter reading shows no value or an insignificant change in value, the coil lacks continuity. Thus, it has an electrical fault. However, the coils are electrically fit if the value is between 500 and 1,500 ohms.
If you need a visual demonstration, here's a video to help:
You may also determine whether the fault lies on the mechanical side. To do so, shut down the water supply and remove the water line from the valve. Now, turn the supply back on and closely observe the pressure of water coming out. If it appears weak or restricted, the valve likely suffers from mechanical damage.
Jammed Ice Maker
How an ice maker gets jammed is an odd situation. Essentially, when the ejector's arms focus on ice that is not fully frozen, the icy water accumulates over it. Eventually, it freezes up, resulting in an ice bridge blocking any more ice from passing through.
Another reason can be an overfilled bin. Over time, slight melting causes the many cubes to solidify in one unit, clumping together. Thus, they end up blocking passage for new cubes by clogging the ice tray.
How Do I Unclog My Ice Maker?
Unclogging a jammed ice maker is a simple process. Grab a plastic utensil and gently chip the ice off the frozen arm blades. Whirlpool usually sends a plastic ice scraper along with its packaging, but you can also find them for sale online.
For a clogged ice bin, take it out from the freezer. If you need to use the ice clumped there, try breaking off the clumps with a spoon or metal utensil. However, if you don’t mind some melting, using a hairdryer or warm water would do the job perfectly.
Incorrect temperature settings for the freezer may also end up impacting the ice-maker. Set the freezer at an optimum temperature of 0 degrees Fahrenheit.
Any temperature falling below this range could contribute to a clogged ice maker situation. Temperature above this range would prevent the machine from making ice at all.
How Do I Test My Whirlpool Ice Maker?
To test your Whirlpool ice maker, you have to check up on its pivotal components, such as the filter or the inlet valve. Users have even reported small parts like loose-hanging doors or overfull freezers playing a role in the ice maker not producing ice.
If you find damage in any singular part, you can replace it. However, if every part passes the assessment, you will automatically know that the defect lies in the ice maker assembly itself.
How Do You Reset the Ice Maker on a Whirlpool Refrigerator?
Before inspecting each part, perhaps a simple ice maker reset would set things straight. Luckily, there are many ways to perform a reset with a Whirlpool ice maker.
- The Whirlpool ice-makers come equipped with a feeler arm that acts like a safety sensor stopping the machine from making excessive ice. To reset it, push down the feeler arm. In some cases, it may be stuck and need a good hit to move down.
- If the feeler arm presents no issue, locate the reset button. Pull out your ice tray and look above and beneath it for this button. If you cannot find it, use your user manual to help. Press this button down for ten seconds. The machine will emit a sound to indicate reset.
- If all else fails, the main power switch will save the day. Remove the ice tray and the cover tray before turning the switch off. Leave the refrigerator unplugged for ten to twenty minutes before plugging it back in.
How Do I Force My Ice Maker To Cycle?
All Whirlpool Ice-makers are integrated with safety sensors that shut down operations once the ice bin is too full. Perhaps the only solution you need is a forced restart and bin clearance. Here’s how to do that:
- Remove any previous ice from the bin and put it back in its position in the freezer.
- Use a screwdriver to remove the front panel to access the control area. If you have an electronic model, it may not come off. Refer to your user manual for information on the cycling process.
- If your control area features two plastic wheels, turn them in the clockwise direction.
- If your control area only has one central wheel, it is recommended to insert a jumper wire in the two sockets on either side. Once the ice-maker begins working, pull out the jumpers.
- Put the front panel back in place.
Nothing is more frustrating than troubleshooting an appliance you aren't familiar with. A fix could be within reach with something as simple as a reset. In other cases, it will need more technical troubleshooting that will require a guide. We hope you found the information above helpful!
Before you go, do you have other concerns with Whirlpool refrigerators? If you'd like to learn more about them, check out this post: Do Whirlpool Refrigerators Have Water Filters [And How To Replace Them]
Is your Whirlpool refrigerator also freezing up? If you'd like to find out why, check out this post: Whirlpool Refrigerator Keeps Freezing Up—What Could Be Wrong?