Fresh, clear ice that falls from the dispenser is often an overlooked amenity of the hardworking appliance. When tiny specks of plastic or mysterious materials begin to appear in the ice, it could be due to the machine or the water. The issue can be determined and solved with a bit of investigating.
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Black flecks in ice cubes can be due to a water filter overdue for a change.
Water Issue Concerns
A common problem with cloudy or dirty-looking ice is the hard water that flows through the home. When there are black specks in the ice maker ice, it could be due to hard water deposits and a bad filter. Check the water filter and make sure it is properly placed within its nook. The water filter should be replaced about once every six months or if it is showing signs of hard water deposits building up around the outer casing.
However, if you have black specks showing up on the ice after recently replacing a water filter, it could be due to carbon dust. New water filters can spout out bits of harmless charcoal when they are first put in place, so flush a few gallons of water from the dispenser.
Check the water lines that run along the back of the refrigerator. If small black specks are seen in the opaque tubes or if there is a clog, the lines should be flushed.
Plastic Shavings in Ice Maker
The ice maker is a hardworking machine in a busy house. It can get jostled and moved around by hands searching for items in a freezer or pushing the doors closed a little too hard. Check the position of the ice maker and straighten it out if it looks slightly off its normal alignment.
When the blades of the ice crusher make contact with the housing, it can cause little bits of plastic to end up in the ice tray. To fix this issue, you may need to simply clean it of frozen ice buildup. Wipe the mechanical parts down with a cloth and a bit of rubbing alcohol, which is best because it will evaporate quickly and not leave moisture on the freezer parts. This has the benefit of removing minerals and disinfecting the surfaces.
Pull the ice container out of the freezer and empty the ice. Shut off the ice maker and thoroughly rinse out the container. Let the ice maker dry completely before returning.
Black Specks Continue to Appear
If bits of plastic continue to wind up in the ice, then you may need to call a professional to diagnose and repair the issue. Check the fittings and make sure everything is tight and secure before calling a technician to take a look. If removing the ice maker entirely to check connections and parts, then unplug the appliance before moving further with the inspection process.
Also look for recalls or issues with parts that are covered under warranty. GE had an issue where the plastic parts of the bucket or auger would break off and fall into the dispenser, according to Consumer Affairs.
Kimberley McGee is an award-winning journalist with 20+ years of experience writing for a variety of clients, including The New York Times, Las Vegas Review-Journal Home section and other national publications. As a professional writer she has researched, interviewed sources and written about home improvement, interior design and related business trends. She earned a B.A. in Journalism from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Her full bio and clips can be viewed at www.vegaswriter.com.