Ice Maker Maintenance

Time: 15 Minutes

There’s something so satisfying about an ice cold drink on a hot summer day. Don’t let a broken ice maker put a damper on your spirits. It only takes a few minutes of work to keep your ice maker running properly. Whether it’s stopped making ice or your cubes are smelly or dirty, we have some tips to fix it.

What's in it for you?

  • Fewer repairs
  • Clean ice cubes
  • Ice clump prevention

What do you need?

  • Vinegar
  • Sponge
  • Cloth

Prevent clumps of ice:

There are a couple of reasons your ice has turned into one large block, but there’s a simple way to fix it, and to keep it from happening again.

  1. There’s not enough food in your freezer. If your freezer is frost-free, it will go through a defrost cycle at least once a day. During this period, the ice can melt and clump together. Keeping your freezer ¾ full will allow the food to absorb some of the heat. If your freezer is completely full, air won't be able to circulate properly.
  2. You don’t use your ice maker frequently. Ice cubes at the bottom of the bin will start to fuse together as the bin fills up. If you don’t use your ice maker often, turn it on and off as needed, and check it every few days to ensure there is no buildup. Discard any large clumps of ice in the sink when you find them.

Prevent dirty ice:

There’s nothing worse than adding ice to a delicious drink, only to notice the cubes are dirty. Even in freezing conditions, mold and bacteria can grow from the food kept in your freezer. Clean ice starts with a clean ice maker. Break out the vinegar and sponge and get to scrubbing!

  1. Turn off the ice maker. Most ice machines have an arm that moves up and down to turn the ice maker off. If you can’t locate the arm, check the back of the freezer for an on/off switch. If you’re still having trouble locating the switch or arm, refer to the unit’s manual.
  2. Remove the bin from the freezer. The bin should be able to slide out like a drawer. Once it’s out, remove the ice from the bin (consider using the cubes to water your plants or lawn) and let it melt in the sink. For harder to remove clumps, use a knife or pick to chip it out. Be careful not to crack or damage the bin.
  3. Make a mixture of ½ cup vinegar and ½ cup warm water. Don’t use any harsh cleaners like bleach as this can damage the bin. Soak your sponge in the mixture and scrub the entire bin. Run warm water over it until the vinegar smell has gone away.
  4. Dry the bin with a cloth before returning it to the freezer. It’s important to remove any excess water from the tub as it can freeze and create a blockage, eventually damaging the bin. Once it’s completely dry, return it to the freezer and turn your ice maker back on.

Prevent breakdowns:

Once you’ve made sure your ice is de-clumped and your ice maker is clean, use these tips to prevent it from breaking down in the future.

  1. Check your freezer for any open containers or spoiled food. Your ice can take on the taste or smell of any food that has rotted or has not been sealed correctly.
  2. Keep freezer vents unobstructed. Vents allow air to circulate around the freezer. A blocked vent can be caused by small objects like crumbs or twist ties and can damage your drain tube, eventually leading to a breakdown.
  3. Inspect the water supply line every few months. Mineral deposits found in tap water can build up in your water line, eventually clogging the unit. If this water line becomes clogged, your ice maker will work harder than it needs to and is more susceptible to wearing out. This can also cause the unit to produce less ice and create potential for a leak, ultimately damaging the ice maker and the refrigerator itself (and the contents in it). Visually inspect the line for blockages. If you notice a problem, your user’s manual includes specific instructions to clean your unit. You can also give us a call to do it for you.
  4. Change your water filter every 6 months. If you start to notice the flow of water to your dispenser or ice maker has slowed, it’s probably time to change your filter. Can’t remember the last time you changed yours? Look up your refrigerator model number and order the correct replacement filter. Changing it out is a pretty simple task.

Find a problem? Give us a call at 844-99-SUPER and we’ll send a pro ASAP.

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