21 Common Countertop Ice Maker Problems & Solutions

countertop ice maker problems

Countertop ice makers have become an increasingly convenient appliance in both homes and workplaces.

They allow for quick and easy ice production, saving us from the tedious routine of filling and emptying ice trays.

However, with convenience comes complexity, and these handy devices are not without their quirks and common issues.

This often leads to frustration when your ice maker suddenly stops working or behaves unexpectedly.

That’s why we’ve written this blog post. We aim to help you understand and troubleshoot the 21 most common problems with countertop ice makers, providing practical solutions to get your device back to tip-top shape.

Common Ice Maker Problems

Ice Maker Not Producing Ice

1. Insufficient Water Supply

One time, I was setting up for a summer backyard barbecue. With just a few hours to go, my ice maker chose that moment to stop producing ice.

After some troubleshooting, I discovered the problem was as simple as an insufficient water supply.

Make sure to check that your ice maker has enough water regularly. If it doesn’t, it won’t be able to produce ice. It’s as simple as that.

2. Clogged Water Filter

Fast forward a few weeks, and I was caught off guard again. My ice maker had a good water supply but wasn’t making ice.

After some detective work, I discovered that the water filter was clogged. Remember that a clogged filter can restrict water flow into your ice maker, preventing it from making ice.

Regularly changing the water filter can keep your ice flowing and your drinks chilled.

3. Faulty Water Inlet Valve

Then there was when my ice maker was still on strike despite a good water supply and a new filter. It turned out to be a faulty water inlet valve.

This valve opens to allow water to enter the ice maker. If it’s broken, no water can get in to form ice.

You might need a professional to replace this part but trust me, it’s worth it when you can enjoy a refreshing, ice-cold drink again!

Ice Maker Producing Hollow or Small Ice Cubes

4. Low Water Pressure

There was a time when my ice maker was creating ice, but the cubes were noticeably smaller and hollow.

Initially, I thought my refrigerator was just feeling minimalist that day, but soon, I realized the issue was due to low water pressure.

If the water pressure in your refrigerator is too low, it might not be able to fill the ice molds, resulting in smaller or hollow cubes.

Take it from me, ensuring that the water pressure to your ice maker is sufficient to keep those ice cubes full-sized and perfectly chilled.

5. Water Inlet Valve Issues

When the low water pressure wasn’t the culprit for my skimpy ice cubes, I found another potential suspect – issues with the water inlet valve.

I remember one time when I noticed that the ice cubes were small and hollow and produced very slowly.

After some investigation, I found that the water inlet valve regulating water flow into the ice maker wasn’t functioning correctly.

It’s a bit more complex, but if you experience the same, don’t immediately fret. A professional can help diagnose and correct the issue, restoring your ice maker to its normal, frosty functioning.

Ice Tastes or Smells Bad

Sometimes, it’s not about the appearance or size of the ice cubes but the taste or smell that’s off.

No one wants a glass of refreshing iced tea ruined by unpleasant-tasting ice. Here are a couple of reasons that might be causing this issue:

6. Dirty Water Filter

Remember when I was so excited about my new refrigerator? Well, the honeymoon phase didn’t last forever.

I sipped my iced coffee and nearly spit it out one day – the ice tasted horrible. After some detective work, I realized I hadn’t changed my refrigerator’s water filter for too long.

So here’s a friendly tip most refrigerator manufacturers recommend replacing the water filter every six months or so.

This ensures clear, tasty ice and prevents any harmful particles from contaminating your water.

7. Mold or Bacteria Growth

Ah, mold and bacteria – the unwelcome guests of any refrigerator. This one time, my ice started smelling a bit… odd.

I couldn’t put my finger on it until I opened my freezer and saw specks of mold around the ice maker – yuck!

And let me tell you, mold and bacteria can cause your ice to smell and taste off. Cleaning your ice maker and freezer regularly can avoid this issue.

I, for one, set a reminder to clean my freezer every month thoroughly. It may seem like a chore, but it’s worth it for clean, odorless ice.

Leaking Water

Sometimes, you might notice a small puddle of water under your refrigerator. If you’ve ever experienced this, you’re not alone.

I had this happen to me once. I came home from work to find a mini lake spreading across my kitchen floor. It was quite a surprise.

8. Damaged Water Line

A damaged or cracked water line could be the culprit behind the water leak. This happened to me on that fateful day.

I initially thought it was a minor issue that I could fix myself. But when I pulled out the refrigerator to examine it, the problem was more severe than I’d anticipated.

The water line was cracked and trickling out slowly but steadily. I had to call in a professional to replace the water line. So, always keep an eye on the state of your water line.

Regularly check it for any signs of damage, and don’t hesitate to call a professional if needed.

9. Clogged Drain

Another reason for a leaking refrigerator could be a clogged drain. A few months after my water line incident, I noticed water pooling under my refrigerator again.

This time, it turned out to be a clogged drain. Over time, food particles accumulated and clogged the drain, causing the defrost water to overflow and leak onto the floor.

To avoid repeating my mistake, remember to clean your drain regularly. If you do find it clogged, use a small tool to gently remove the blockage, or call in a professional if the drain is not easily accessible.

Loud or Unusual Noises

10. Ice Cubes Stuck in the Mechanism

We can all agree that the sound of an ice maker working its magic is one of those soothing background noises we’ve come to associate with home.

But what happens when that gentle hum turns into an alarming rattle? I learned this the hard way. One day, I was greeted by a gut-wrenching, crunching sound from my refrigerator.

After some panicked investigation, I discovered that ice cubes were getting stuck in the mechanism. It was a side effect of me trying to make too many ice cubes at once.

The solution was simple: I had to defrost the ice maker and be more mindful of how much ice I was trying to produce.

So, keep an ear out for these noises and remember that moderation is key when making ice.

11. Faulty Fan or Compressor

And then there was the time when my refrigerator started to sound like a jet engine preparing for takeoff. It was neither soothing nor comforting.

After calling a technician, I discovered the noise came from a faulty fan. The fan in your refrigerator plays a crucial role in maintaining the right temperature, and when it’s faulty, it can sound like it’s about to launch into space.

In my case, the fan had to be replaced. On another occasion, the compressor (the heart of your refrigerator) malfunctioned and made a loud, humming noise.

Again, a replacement was needed. These experiences taught me that when your refrigerator sounds like it’s communicating in Morse code, it might be time to call an expert.

Ice Maker Overflows

Oh, the trials and tribulations of owning a refrigerator with an ice maker! I’ve been caught out a couple of times with an unexpected overflow.

This can happen for two main reasons, both of which I’ve had the pleasure of experiencing firsthand.

12. High Water Pressure

This problem isn’t exclusive to ice makers, but it’s certainly an issue when you have one. I found my ice maker was practically flooding my freezer! After some investigating (and mopping), my water pressure was too high.

When your water pressure is high, it can cause the water inlet valve to not close fully once the ice maker has been filled.

This leads to overflowing water into the ice bucket, creating one big block of ice. In my case, I had to get a plumber to adjust the water pressure in my home, which fixed the problem.

13. Incorrect Ice Cube Size Setting

You may not know this, but your ice maker has a setting that controls the size of the ice cubes it makes.

Once, I accidentally adjusted this setting without realizing it and ended up with an overflow of water into the ice bucket.

If the ice maker is set to make more giant cubes, it takes more water to fill the mold. It overflows if the mold isn’t large enough to accommodate the extra water. I had to adjust the setting to what it was, and voila! Problem solved.

Solutions to Common Ice Maker Problems

Ice Maker Not Producing Ice

1. Check the Water Supply

Funny story, there was a time when my ice maker stopped producing ice completely. During a particularly hot summer, the lack of ice was a real inconvenience.

The first thing I did was check the water supply. If the water supply to your ice maker is blocked or not functioning, it can’t produce ice.

It’s as simple as that. In my case, the supply line had indeed been blocked. Clearing it out was a breeze; my ice maker was back in business.

2. Replace the Water Filter

Now, another time, the water supply was just fine, but the ice maker was still on strike. I then moved on to the next troubleshooting step: checking the water filter.

The filter should ideally be replaced every six months to ensure the water flowing into your ice maker is clean.

I confess, I had been a tad negligent and hadn’t replaced mine in over a year. Once I put in a new filter, the ice was flowing again.

3. Test and Replace the Water Inlet Valve if Necessary

At one point, despite having a clear water line and a new filter, my ice maker was still stubborn.

That’s when I decided to check the water inlet valve — the device that supplies water to the ice maker.

If this valve is damaged or has a low voltage supply, it can prevent the ice maker from working. I’m not handy, but I tested the valve with a multimeter. To my surprise, it was faulty. I had to replace it, and lo and behold, things got icy again.

Just remember, folks, ice maker issues are usually a result of these three factors, and they can be pretty simple to troubleshoot. Don’t be like me and wait until you’re knee-deep in a heatwave to get it sorted.

Ice Maker Producing Hollow or Small Ice Cubes

1. Increase Water Pressure

One day, my ice maker was producing hollow or small ice cubes. I was puzzled. A little research led me to understand that these tiny or hollow cubes could result from low water pressure.

The ice maker can’t fill the ice molds fully if the water pressure is too low, resulting in smaller or hollow cubes.

So, I checked the water pressure, and it was indeed low. Increasing the water pressure solved the issue in a snap, and my ice cubes returned to their normal size.

2. Inspect and Replace the Water Inlet Valve

We meet again, water inlet valve. After fixing the water pressure, I noticed some small cubes occasionally. It was time to double-check the water inlet valve.

Even if the valve is partially damaged or clogged, it can restrict the water flow, causing the ice maker to produce small or hollow cubes.

And there it was, the water inlet valve was at fault again. I replaced it, and voilà, normal-sized, solid ice cubes were back in my drinks, chilling them perfectly for those hot summer days.

Ice Tastes or Smells Bad

The horror of expecting a refreshing gulp of your favorite beverage only to be met with an unpleasant smell or taste! I’ve been there, and here’s what I discovered:

1. Replace the Water Filter

Clean oil is crucial for your car engine, and clean water is vital for your ice maker. When my ice started tasting a bit ‘off’, I first suspected the water filter.

Filters should be replaced every six months (depending on the model and usage).

I recalled that it had been quite a while since I changed mine. The moment I replaced the water filter, the bad taste in the ice was gone.

The filter had been the crime scene, harboring impurities and contaminating my ice. Remember, folks, filters are there for a reason. Regular replacement can save you from a lot of unpleasant surprises.

2. Clean the Ice Bin and Components

You’d be surprised how much a dirty ice bin can affect your ice’s taste and smell. One day, despite having a clean filter, I noticed my ice smelled musty. On inspection, I realized the ice bin was overdue for a thorough cleaning.

I removed the ice bin, soaked it in warm water and mild detergent, scrubbed it gently, rinsed, and let it dry completely.

I also wiped the ice maker components with a soft, damp cloth. When I made the next batch of ice, it was as fresh as winter morning air.

So, don’t underestimate the power of a good cleaning. It can make a world of difference to the quality of your ice.

Leaking Water

Water leaks can be a real pain. Not only do they cause puddles that you can slip on, but they can also damage your floor or other parts of your kitchen.

I can recall a couple of times when my ice maker decided it wanted to be a water fountain. After a couple of mishaps, I figured out the most likely culprits. Here’s my advice to you:

1. Check for Damaged Water Lines

One early morning, I woke up to find a small pool of water on my kitchen floor, and my ice maker was the prime suspect.

I reviewed the usual checklist, and everything seemed fine until I reached the water lines. There was a tiny crack on one of the lines, leaking water out drop by drop.

The solution? I replaced the damaged line, and voilà – no more leaks! If you come across a leak, I recommend that you inspect your water lines.

If they’re damaged or worn out, they could cause your problem. Trust me, it’s worth the effort to avoid an unexpected ‘indoor pool’ party in your kitchen.

2. Unclog the Drain

Drains are another common source of leaks. Once, my ice maker was leaking again, but the water lines were completely intact this time.

The culprit this time was a clogged drain. The water had nowhere to go but out, creating another unwanted puddle.

So, how did I solve this? I unclogged the drain. It was a bit of a hands-on job, but worth every moment. I used a small hand auger known as a plumber’s snake to clear the clog.

After this experience, I made regular drain checks a part of my ice maker’s maintenance routine.

Loud or Unusual Noises

Have you ever been startled by a sudden, loud noise from your kitchen in the middle of the night? I have, and let me tell you, it’s not a pleasant experience.

Upon the first instance of a strange noise, I started investigating. My ice maker can make quite a racket when things go awry. Here are the two main reasons I found:

1. Clear Stuck Ice Cubes

One night, the noise from my kitchen was so loud that I thought someone was breaking in. I armed myself with a kitchen utensil (don’t laugh, it was the closest thing I had) and tiptoed towards the noise.

Imagine my surprise when I found that the culprit was none other than my ice maker, churning out noise instead of ice cubes.

Upon closer inspection, I found that a few ice cubes were jammed in the mechanism and the machine was working overtime to try and dislodge them.

The solution? I removed the stuck ice cubes. The relief was immediate. The noise ceased, and I was back to enjoying the quiet comfort of my home.

2. Repair or Replace Malfunctioning Components

However, sometimes the problem is a bit more serious than a few stuck ice cubes. I remember one time when my ice maker’s humming and buzzing sounds just wouldn’t stop.

Even after checking for stuck ice cubes, the noise persisted. I was out of my depth and had to call in a professional. It turned out it was a malfunctioning component causing all the trouble.

The technician had to repair the faulty part, and in some instances, he had to replace it with a new one.

Since then, I’ve learned that regular maintenance checks can prevent many of these noise issues. After all, prevention is better than cure, right?

Ice Maker Overflows

Ice maker overflow is a common issue I have encountered several times. In most cases, it is due to two primary reasons:

1. Adjust Water Pressure

My ice maker once started overflowing mysteriously. I was clueless as every morning, I’d wake up to a mini iceberg in my freezer.

After some research, I discovered that the problem could be related to the water pressure in my home.

If the water pressure to your fridge is too high, the water influx might be more than what the ice maker can handle, causing an overflow.

I found this out the hard way when I increased my home’s water pressure for a more satisfying shower, utterly oblivious to its impact on my ice maker.

I adjusted the water pressure to the recommended level, and the overflowing stopped. Problem solved! Or so I thought…

2. Set the Correct Ice Cube Size

In another instance, my ice maker was overflowing yet again. This time, however, the water pressure was not to blame.

I noticed that the ice cubes being produced were way too large and were not ejecting properly, leading to an overflow.

Upon digging deeper into the ice maker’s settings, I realized that I had accidentally set the ice cube size to ‘large’.

My ice maker was merely following instructions and producing larger ice cubes, but in doing so, it was overflowing.

I set the ice cube size back to ‘medium’, and just like that, the overflowing ceased. I was back to having perfectly formed ice cubes without any overflow.

The lesson learned? Always check the settings on your ice maker; a small adjustment can save you from a big mess!

Preventing Ice Maker Problems

  • Regular Cleaning and Maintenance

Like any other home appliance, your ice maker requires regular cleaning and maintenance.

I remember when my ice maker started producing cloudy and smelly ice. Upon inspection, I noticed a buildup of grime and mineral deposits.

I learned that a simple routine of cleaning the ice maker every six months can prevent such issues.

Now, I use a commercial ice maker cleaner and follow a step-by-step cleaning guide to ensure my ice maker is in optimal working condition.

  • Using Filtered Water

In the beginning, I used tap water for my ice maker until I noticed that the ice tasted a little off.

That’s when I discovered the importance of using filtered water. Unfiltered water can contain minerals and impurities that could affect the taste and quality of the ice.

Plus, it can also lead to mineral build-up, which can damage the ice maker over time.

I installed a water filter system in my home, and since then, the ice quality has significantly improved.

  • Avoiding Overloading the Ice Maker

I love hosting parties at my place, which naturally means more demand for ice. In an attempt to stock up on ice, I made the mistake of overloading my ice maker.

This put a lot of strain on the machine, causing it to malfunction. I’ve learned that it’s crucial to understand the ice-making capacity of your machine and not exceed it. I plan and store additional ice in freezer bags for large gatherings.

  • Addressing Issues Promptly

I’ve learned from my own experiences that procrastination can turn a minor ice maker issue into a costly repair.

Once, I noticed my ice maker was making a strange noise, but I ignored it. Over time, this minor issue turned into a major one, causing my ice maker to stop working.

This taught me the importance of addressing issues promptly. Now, at the first sign of trouble, I either troubleshoot it myself or call a professional. This proactive approach has saved me time and money in the long run.


In conclusion, the common problems we often encounter with our countertop ice makers can easily be navigated with the proper knowledge and a proactive approach.

It’s essential to remember the importance of using filtered water, avoiding overloading the machine and addressing mechanical issues promptly to prevent minor problems from escalating into costly repairs.

Regular maintenance is critical to the longevity and efficiency of your ice maker. This is about keeping the machine clean and understanding its capacity, ensuring the use of high-quality water, and staying alert to any potential issues.

Addressing these issues is not just about troubleshooting; it’s about understanding your machine and treating it carefully.

So, enjoy the convenience of your countertop ice maker and the luxury of having ice at your fingertips.

But remember, this convenience is responsible for addressing issues effectively and maintaining the machine’s optimal performance.

With good care, your ice maker will continue to serve you well, making every drink a refreshing delight.


Hi! I’m Kobby, one of the co-owners of favoredstoneguides.com and the newest house owner in town. I’m a huge fan of most things natural. Over here on this site, I'm happy to share all the exciting hacks, tricks, and tips I have learned and continue to learn each day about taking care of natural stones.

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