Ice Makers are a convenience that once you own, you’ll wonder how you ever lived without one. Being able to cool any drink you want during those hot summer months is just wonderful!
So it can be very troublesome when your GE Ice Maker stops working for no apparent reason.
That’s where we come in. We’re going to explain to you why your ice maker has stopped working and how you can get it fixed and back in working order as quickly and easily as possible.
Why is your GE Ice Maker Not Working?
One of the most challenging things about fixing an ice maker is that so many potential points of failure can make it difficult to know where to start.
So let’s walk through all the main culprits behind a non-working ice machine so you can better diagnose what’s happening with yours.
1. It’s not Switched On
This might seem obvious, but you’d be surprised how often it’s overlooked.
Ice makers commonly have a simple on/off switch for those times you wish to utilize the fridge/freezer portions but keep the ice machine turned off.
This is helpful in the winter when there’s no need to use an ice maker; you can keep it turned off, so nothing freezes over.
It’s always worth checking that the ice maker is switched on before diagnosing further.
2. The Diagnostic Feature Needs Running
Many ice makers on newer fridges have a diagnostic or test mode that can be run. This will help to check that all the internal components are working and can also eject any ice lodged there.
For many basic or common issues, this feature simply needs running to restore it to working order, or it can help further inform you of any more serious issues with the ice maker.
3. It needs to be Power Cycled
Ice makers have become more complex and feature-rich, so they rely on computer-controlled boards to function. This computer software can often develop simple bugs and glitches that can be solved simply by resetting the ice maker.
This is known as a power cycle or hard reset and involves completely unplugging the fridge from the power supply to let all of the capacitors fully discharge.
4. The Arm needs to be Lowered
If your ice maker is an older model, it may not have a physical on/off button. These ice makers would utilize a mechanical arm that would physically break the circuit and turn the ice maker off when raised into the’ up’ position.
So by lowering it down to the ON position, we can complete the circuit and get the ice maker working again.
5. The Water Filter is Clogged Up
Before supplying water to the ice maker, it first needs to pass through a water filter which helps to clean out any unwanted contaminants or debris before making the cubes.
However, over time this filter can get so full of debris that it restricts the water flow to the ice maker, hampering production.
GE recommends replacing this water filter every 6 months to ensure it stays in good working order.
If you have recently replaced the filter, it may not have been seated in its slot correctly, which can also hamper the water flow.
6. A Water Supply Line Problem
The water line carries the water from your home to the fridge. Sometimes the line can become kinked, the valve may not be fully open, or its connection to the fridge may have become compromised.
We must inspect the water line thoroughly to ensure these issues are not present.
7. The Ice Tray is Cracked
Certain models of GE Ice Maker utilize a rotating ice tray to eject the ice from the molds.
Due to their plastic construction, sometimes these ice makers can crack, which can cause issues ejecting the ice.
8. The Temperature isn’t Set Correctly
For optimal performance, ice makers require a temperature of 37 degrees F for the fridge portion and 0 degrees F for the freezer. It won’t turn on when the temperature is too warm (above 16 degrees).
So you may need to check the current internal temperature and adjust it as needed.
9. There’s a Buildup of Ice
Whether due to temperature fluctuations or a mechanical error, sometimes excessive ice can build up within the ice chute, ice bucket, or somewhere in the housing.
When this happens, the functionality of the ice maker will be hampered, and we’ll need to defrost it to get things working again.
10. The Water Inlet Valve is Defective
The water inlet valve is a small component that opens and closes on request from the fridge to allow water to flow into the ice maker.
Sometimes these valves can fail or become blocked up. We’ll need to test with a multimeter to check if it’s working or not.
If it’s found to be non-functional, then it will just have to be replaced.
11. The Ice Bin is Full
An easy one to miss, there is only a finite amount of ice the ice bin can hold at any one time, and many modern fridges have an internal sensor that detects when this bin is full and will disable the ice maker until it’s been cleaned out.
So if you don’t have enough ice already (or just want to check it’s working), we can inspect the ice bin and remove some ice if it’s too full.
How to Fix a GE Ice Maker Not Working
For an ice maker to work properly it needs the right temperature, a good water supply, and all the associated components need to be in good working order.
Now let’s look at how to fix the abovementioned problems and restore your ice maker to working order.
1. Turn the Ice Maker On
The first thing we need to do is ensure that the ice maker is turned on.
For older GE refrigerator models, this button is usually located inside the fridge near the light housing and just needs to be flipped to the ‘ON’ position.
On newer fridge models that utilize a touch screen front panel, you need to locate the ice maker logo and hold it down for a few seconds; you should hear an audible beep which confirms it’s been switched back on.
2. Run the Diagnostic Feature
The diagnostic feature can be a great tool to address errors and help eject ice stuck in the fridge.
The exact method of accessing the diagnostic function can vary significantly from model to model. So we suggest checking the manual for your specific model for detailed instructions on accessing and operating the diagnostic function.
3. Power Cycle the Fridge
As ice makers have become more reliant on computer technology to function, it’s become more common for them to experience bugs and glitches, which are very easily solved by performing a power cycle.
To perform a power cycle, you just need to unplug the fridge from the power supply and wait for 1-2 minutes to give the capacitors time to discharge all their residual energy.
Once this is complete, you can plug the fridge back in and give it a few minutes to power it back up.
4. Lower the Arm
If your fridge is an older model, it still may utilize a mechanical arm to control the on/off functionality of the ice maker.
You should check the arm, and if it’s raised into the up position, it means the circuit has been broken and needs to be lowered to turn the ice maker back on.
5. Replace the Water Filter
Ideally, the water filter needs to be replaced every 6 months.
- Locate the water filter housing and lift the front cover.
- Twist and pull to remove the old water filter; this can just be discarded.
- Take the new water filter and remove any plastic wrapping, ensuring that the rubber O rings remain in their correct spots.
- Push the new filter into the fridge filter housing, you might need to rotate it a bit to allow the grooves to line up, but you should hear a click that confirms it’s correctly seated.
- Close the water filter door.
6. Fix the Water Supply Line
If the fridge has been pushed back in a way that kinks the line, you will need to re-pull the fridge back out and arrange the water line where there are zero kinks or pinches.
Then you should inspect the connection to the fridge; if it’s weak or leaks, you will need to tighten it back up again.
Once it’s unkinked and tightened, you finally need to ensure your home’s water valve is completely open.
7. Replace the Ice Tray
If, after inspecting the ice tray, you find cracks or damage present, the only solution here is to replace it with a new one.
You can contact GE customer support to help arrange a new ice tray for installation.
8. Set the Temperature
For older fridge models, the temperature adjustment is usually located inside the fridge by the light in the form of a rotary switch. You can access the temperature setting on newer models through the front panel menu.
You should ensure the fridge portion is roughly 37 degrees F and the freezer portion is 0 degrees F.
Additionally, you should ensure that your fridge is no more than 75% full, or it will struggle to circulate the cold air around and keep things cool.
9. Defrost the Cooling System
Of course, one way to help defrost the ice maker is to unplug the fridge and let it sit for about 24 hours. However, this can be a problem if you have perishables that need to be kept cool.
So a good alternative way is to use a cloth with hot water and a hairdryer to defrost the water line, condenser coils, and ice chute. Just be careful not to overheat the plastic with the hairdryer!
10. Replace the Water Inlet Valve
If the water inlet valve has been tested and deemed non-functional, it will need to be replaced.
Unfortunately, this is quite difficult to do by yourself, so we recommend contacting GE support, who will help arrange for a technician to replace this.
11. Empty the Ice Bin
As ice makers will turn themselves off when the ice bin is full if you need to produce new ice, you should empty some of the old ice from the ice bucket and then give it some time to produce new ice.