Because they have so many moving parts, ice makers are usually the first component to fail in any refrigerator. And there’s nothing worse than craving a cold drink and finding your Whirlpool ice maker isn’t working.
But because refrigerators are major appliances, you want to avoid causing any further damage or causing a leak. That’s why it’s best to follow the recommended steps outlined here when troubleshooting your ice maker.
Most ice maker issues are caused by a mechanical issue that’s blocking the water flow inside your freezer. Double check that your fridge is level, replace the water filter, and make sure the water tubes aren’t crimped behind the fridge. The ice bin needs to be correctly positioned with the control arm in the “On” position.
In this article, I’ll briefly cover some of the most common issues you’re likely to encounter with your Whirlpool ice dispenser, and then cover the troubleshooting steps that should fix most issues.
Let’s get right to it!
Whirlpool Ice Maker Problems
There are six common problems that people encounter with their ice makers:
- Not working or producing ice very slowly
- Not dispensing the ice properly
- Producing too much ice
- Producing ice that tastes bad
- Producing small cubes
- Leaking into or behind the fridge
As I mentioned, most of these issues tends to be caused by a problem with the water flow to the ice maker itself.
To troubleshoot your issue, I recommend trying the following steps.
Check And Replace The Water Filter
The #1 reason that ice makers stop working is because of a clogged (or partially clogged) water filter.
Whirlpool recommends changing your filter every six months, so you might be thinking that this can’t be the issue.
But water quality can vary depending on the season, and harder water can clog your filter in as little as 2-3 months.
So if it’s been more than a couple of months since you remember changing the filter, this is usually the best step. This is especially true if the ice has a strange taste to it, or if your refrigerator is not making ice but the water works.
Whirlpool Ice Maker Jammed
Sometimes the problem is simply that the ice maker has become jammed. This can happen if you go for a long time without dispensing ice (like leaving for a vacation) or if the temperature in the freezer compartment gets too warm.
To fix this issue, you will need to remove the ice bin from the freezer and completely empty and defrost it.
Make sure to turn the ice maker off while you do this so that it doesn’t drop ice into your freezer.
Pour the ice out into the sink, making sure to get any large pieces that may be stuck to the compartment. Then rinse it with warm water and set it out to thoroughly dry.
You can prevent this issue by turning your ice maker off whenever you plan to be away from the house for more than a few days. This ensures that the ice doesn’t build up and get stuck while you’re gone.
Check The Temperature Settings
The ice maker requires a certain temperature in both the freezer and the refrigerator sections in order to work properly.
Make sure that the freezer compartment is set to 0ºF (-18ºC). The refrigerator compartment should be set no lower than 33ºF (0ºC) and no higher than 40ºF (4ºC).
If either compartment is too cold or too warm, it can cause issues with the water making its way into the ice molds.
Make Sure The Refrigerator Is Level
It’s standard process for the installers to level your refrigerator after they’ve delivered it. However, the action of opening and closing the doors can cause it to shift over time.
Using a line level, check to make sure that your fridge is level both front-and-back and side-to-side.
If you notice that your refrigerator is no longer level, you can fix it using a wrench.
Check The Water Inlet Tube
If you’re still having trouble or just want to be thorough, the next step is to make sure that there’s no issue with the water inlet tube behind your refrigerator.
For this step, you will need to pull the refrigerator out enough for you to get behind it. Find the inlet tube that feeds the water into your refrigerator and make sure that it is in good shape.
These tubes can sometimes become pinched or worn over time, so you’ll want to inspect it for any bends. Make sure that both ends are securely tightened as well, and that the water valve on the wall is turned all the way on.
If you notice any bends or damage to the hose, it’s a good idea to replace it. That’s because these small issues can get worse over time and could eventually cause a leak, which could damage your floor and other belongings.
It’s also a good idea to make sure that the water line hasn’t frozen, which could cause a partial of complete blockage of water getting into the refrigerator. If the tube feels extremely cold to the touch, turn the water off at the wall, remove the tube, and then soak it in warm water or leave it out overnight so that it can defrost.
You can find official Whirlpool replacement parts here.
Ice Maker Producing Too Much Ice
If you find that your ice bin is overflowing, there may be an issue with the control arm.
This is the little level that sits just above the ice bin and turns off the ice maker once the bin has been filled.
Check the control arm to make sure that it doesn’t show any signs of damage. When the bin is installed and empty, the control arm should sit down inside the bin slightly.
That way, as the ice fills up, it pushes the arm up with it.
Ice Tastes Bad
Another common issue is strange-tasting ice. This is usually a result of a blocked or expired water filter, which you should replace as soon as you notice any change in the taste of your ice (or water).
After changing the water filter, make sure to empty and defrost the ice bin to remove any old ice from your freezer.
It’s also a good idea to check the freezer compartment to make sure that all food is being stored in air-tight containers, as odors can sometimes leach into the ice as its forming.
Whirlpool Ice Maker Warranty
Whirlpool offers a 1-year limited warranty that protects against defects and issues with workmanship. If you bought your refrigerator in the last year, there’s a good chance that you can get it repaired or replaced under the warranty.
You can call the Whirlpool Customer eXperience Center from the USA at 1-800-253-1301 or from Canada at 1-800-807-6777.
I recommend having the receipt for your refrigerator handy, as well as the unit’s model number and serial number. You can find this information on a sticker that’s located on the inner side wall of either the fridge or freezer door.
What You Need To Know
If you’re having trouble with your Whirlpool ice maker, it’s helpful to know that most issues can be fixed at home without involved a repair technician.
To troubleshoot your issue, try:
- Replacing the water filter
- Empty and defrost your ice bin
- Make sure that the refrigerator is level (both back-and-front and side-to-side)
- Check the temperature settings for both the fridge and freezer compartments
- Make sure the water inlet tube behind the refrigerator isn’t bent or damaged
- Check the control arm and bin to make sure they’re properly positioned
If you follow all these steps, chances are that you’ll figure out what’s causing the problems with your ice maker.
More serious issues can be solved by contacting Whirlpool customer support, which can provide additional troubleshooting steps or schedule a technician to visit and repair the issue if you’re still covered under the 1-year limited warranty.