Troubleshooting Ice Maker Problems
Here at Michigan Appliance Repair, some of the most frequent questions we get from our customers relate to the ice produced by their refrigerator.
If you don’t have plenty of crystal-clear, tasteless, odorless, and properly shaped ice cubes, keep reading to learn why.
- Why do my ice cubes have flakes or particles in them?White particles or flakes are usually caused by harmless dissolved minerals such as calcium and magnesium in your water, also known as hard water. As the ice cube freezes, these minerals gather into visible clumps. Your refrigerator’s water filter is not capable of removing dissolved minerals, so the best solution is to install a water softener or reverse osmosis system.
Dark brown or black flakes can occur when the non-stick coating on your icemaker’s cube tray begins to flake off. If this is happening, it’s probably time to replace your icemaker.
Small black particles can also appear after changing your refrigerator’s water filter. This is due to carbon being flushed out of the newly installed filter. To prevent this, it’s important to run at least two gallons of water through the water dispenser after replacing the filter.
- Why are my ice cubes small or hollow?Small or hollow ice cubes result from too little water being dispensed into your ice maker. You should begin by replacing your water filter, since a dirty filter can restrict water flow. It’s also possible that there is inadequate water pressure being delivered to your refrigerator – perhaps due to a kinked water line or undersized reverse osmosis system.
If you’re still seeing small or hollow ice cubes after confirming there is adequate water pressure, there is still hope. Many icemakers can be adjusted to increase the amount of time water is dispensed. Refer to your refrigerator owner’s manual for more information.
- Why does my ice maker produce so little ice?Your icemaker should be capable of refilling the ice bin within twenty-four hours. There are several steps you can take to maximize the amount of ice being produced:
• Make sure your freezer temperature is at or below six degrees Fahrenheit.
• Turn on your refrigerator’s “Quick-Freeze”, “Max-Cool”, or “Max-Ice” feature.
• Open the refrigerator and freezer doors as infrequently as possible.
- Why does my ice taste or smell funny?There are several reasons ice cubes may develop an unusual taste or smell. Most commonly, this is due to open food containers or the use of cleaning products inside your refrigerator. Whenever possible keep food and beverages in tightly sealed containers. You should also avoid spraying cleaning products directly into the refrigerator or freezer compartment and remove any product residue afterwards.
An old water filter can also contribute to bad tasting ice. Be sure to change your water filter approximately every six months.
No matter how tightly sealed you keep your leftovers and how often you change your water filter, sooner or later ice will absorb undesirable tastes or odors. It’s a good idea to empty your ice bin each time you clean your refrigerator.
- Why do my ice cubes stick together?Due to the heat generated by the freezer’s defrost cycle, ice cubes will eventually fuse together if left undisturbed. You can slow this process by keeping your freezer at least half-full of food (or frozen water bottles).
If your ice cubes turn into one big clump of ice in a matter of days, your icemaker could also be overfilling or leaking into the ice bin. In this case, you may want to call the professionals at Michigan Appliance Repair.
- Why are my ice cubes cloudy?For the most part, this is caused by tiny air bubbles trapped within the ice cube. While a reverse osmosis system may help to improve the clarity of your ice cubes, your refrigerator is not intended to produce crystal-clear, restaurant-quality ice cubes. Commercial ice machines work by forming a sheet of ice under running water to prevent bubbles and then cutting it into cubes. If you want crystal clear ice in your home, we recommend an undercounter ice maker like this one.