Ice makers are relatively simple machines, but it is important to maintain them properly. It is also important to have some basic troubleshooting knowledge so that a minor problem does not turn into a huge plumbing bill.

No Ice

If the ice maker is turned on but not making ice, check to see if there is water in the machine. There is a tube inside the ice maker that supplies the water needed to make the ice, and this tube can become frozen. If the tube appears to be frozen, thaw it out with a hair dryer on the highest heat setting. This will thaw the tube gently without risking damage to it or the ice maker.

If there is water in the ice maker and the tube is not frozen, check the temperature. Make sure the unit is cold enough to make ice and adjust the temperature to a colder setting if necessary. Allow the unit to sit for awhile until it achieves the right temperature, then attempt to make ice again. If the unit is still not working, it may be necessary to call a service technician.

Bad Taste

If the ice maker is working but the ice has a strange odor or a bad taste, clean the ice bin. There may have been contamination or spilled food in the bin. If the taste persists, thoroughly wash the interior of the machine. Also remove the water filter and make sure that it is clean. If the water filter appears dirty or stained, replace it. For commercial ice makers, it is important to remove scale buildup from the water line periodically. The owner's manual should provide a recommended schedule.

Taking Too Long to Make Ice

Sometimes ice machines will make ice but take too long to do it. When this happens, check that the dump valve, the float valve and the flat solenoid are not leaking, and that the water supply is adequate. Also check to make sure the machine is level. If the ice maker is leaning to one side, it will have to work harder to make ice, resulting in long periods between batches.