Ice cube makers come as standard in many Samsung fridges and freezers. It’s a convenient feature that allows you to fill it up with water, and then at the press of a button, will instantly deposit fresh ice cubes into your beverage.
A welcome addition to an already feature-rich fridge, it helps a lot during those hot summer months!
However, many users have reported that their ice maker can be temperamental and prone to breaking down. So today, we’ve put together an in-depth guide explaining why the ice maker always seems to break down constantly and how to fix it yourself.
Why is your Samsung ice maker not working?
Many factors can cause an ice machine to stop working. Sometimes it’s something straightforward like a build-up of ice that needs to be broken apart. Other times it may be caused by something more serious, like a bad motor that needs to be replaced.
Here’s a list of the most common reasons the ice cube maker will stop working.
1. Excessive ice blocking the ice-maker
This is the most common cause of an ice-maker not working. When too much ice builds up in the water dispenser tube or ice maker tray, it will prevent the ice maker from being able to pass the new ice cubes into the ice bucket.
While visible ice can be easily chipped away, often, the ice is sat deeper in the mechanism, and the only feasible way of getting it out is by defrosting the whole thing.
2. Broken water inlet valve
The water inlet valve takes water from the water supply and delivers it to the ice maker.
When this component becomes faulty or breaks (a fairly common occurrence), water will not be able to make it to the ice dispenser. It may also lead to water leaks at the bottom of the fridge.
This is most often due to worn-out solenoids within the inlet valve; replacing the water inlet valve is the easiest way to fix this.
3. Not enough water pressure
Another major factor in the ice maker’s inability to function is insufficient pressure to carry the water through the machine. If you notice small or broken ice cubes, followed by it entirely ceasing to work, it’s a good indicator that it’s a pressure-related issue.
4. The water filter has expired
Your fridge has an internal water filter to remove unwanted objects or particulates from the water before they can make it into the ice maker.
Over time these filters age and become increasingly bunged up to the point where they cannot deliver enough water to the ice maker to function.
If you notice any murky water or discoloration in your ice cubes, it’s time to replace the filter.
5. Nonfunctional auger motor
The auger motor is the mechanism that takes the ready-made ice cubes and distributes them to the dispenser tray.
When this motor fails, even if the ice maker is functioning, you still won’t be able to receive any ice cubes, and you will need to restore functionality to the auger motor before it delivers any more ice.
6. The ice maker may be turned off
In decades past, refrigerators were very passive mechanical machines that would work as soon as you plugged them in.
These days modern fridges tend to lean into computer software much heavier, which unfortunately means errors and problems can occur even though there is nothing mechanically wrong with the machine.
One issue that users have repeatedly reported encountering is that the ice-making feature is turned off within the Samsungs computer menu.
Once the feature is switched back on, you should find it functions again as usual.
7. Reset the fridge
Continuing with the computer/software-related problems. Suppose you discover that no matter what, the ice feature won’t turn on. It may indicate a bug or glitch within the refrigerator’s software, which can often be addressed by resetting the fridge.
8. The fridge is not level
In addition to an unlevel fridge affecting the water pressure, it can also affect the ice maker’s ability to create ice.
This is because the ice cube molds are laid out so that they rely on gravity for the water to fill the molds correctly. This means that when the fridge is not level, the water will sit oddly in the ice tray and create slanted cubes.
While this isn’t inherently bad, it can interfere with the ejector assembly’s ability to deliver the cubes properly.
9. The pause feature has been triggered
Certain ice makers have an in-built sensor to ensure enough ice has been delivered into the ice bin. Once full, it will prevent more ice from being distributed as a protection feature to ensure it doesn’t overflow.
Sometimes this sensor can be triggered accidentally, causing the whole ice maker to pause itself, even though there’s no mechanical problem.
10. Child lock has been enabled
Most modern Samsung refrigerators come with an in-built child lock which prevents the use of the water and ice dispenser. It’s designed for parents who perhaps don’t want small children making use of these features in case they cause an unwanted mess.
Often it’s easy to forget you’ve turned this setting off, or perhaps a partner has turned it on without your knowledge. So disabling the child lock can restore functionality.
How to fix a Samsung ice maker not working
The Samsung Ice Maker is, unfortunately, very prone to breaking down, and the sheer number of potential causes of the problem can make it an intimidating problem to tackle.
But we still highly recommend self-servicing this issue as most simple solutions don’t require special tools or equipment.
Plus, you’ll learn a bit about how the ice machine works, so you’ll be well-equipped to deal with the issue next time it goes down. Which means you’ll be spending less money on repair technicians.
1. Remove excessive ice build-up
A heavy build-up of ice is the most common reason for the Ice Maker to stop working, and we will need to defrost the fridge to get things running again.
Defrosting a fridge might seem like a lot of work, but it should take less than an hour, and all your food should remain frozen.
- Start by moving all the food away from the ice bucket tray and refilling the tube to another in the fridge. As we’ll be turning the power off, you can temporarily put them in the freezer if you’d prefer.
- Disconnect the power from the Samsung fridge. This is for safety reasons and because trying to heat a device that is actively trying to cool simultaneously is just wasting energy.
- Remove all current ice from the ice maker, so it’s empty.
- Prepare a hair dryer which we will use to heat the device, and a towel to catch the excess water as the ice defrosts and drops out of the tube.
- Next, locate the refill tube that delivers the ice to the ice tray. It may be held in place by a small metal clip which you can pull down to free it.
- Put the hair dryer on a low setting and move it up and down the pipe at a slow speed. It will start to defrost the ice that’s stuck in the tube. Use the towel to catch the excess water as it drops out.
If you don’t have a hairdryer, an alternative method is to use a bowl of hot water and a cup. Hold the bowl underneath the water dispenser tube and use the cup to pour the hot water over the pipe and defrost it.
Safety tips: Be mindful of using too much heat and holding the hairdryer still for too long – you don’t want to melt any plastic parts.
You should also ensure you keep the hairdryer from dripping water, as you don’t want to get wet and break it.
Hopefully, this will be enough to restore the fridge to working order. However, in more extreme circumstances, you may need to defrost the refrigerator entirely as the blockage maybe somewhere you cannot reach with a hairdryer.
2. Replace the water inlet valve
When the water inlet valve has become faulty, it’s quite challenging to repair it on a component level, so instead, it’s often easier and simpler to replace the whole valve with a brand new one.
Fortunately, this is a reasonably straightforward process to do by yourself. You will need to source a replacement inlet valve for your particular fridge model. Alternatively, there are also ‘universal inlet valves,’ which should apply to most fridge models.
If unsure, please consult your fridge’s manual or contact Samsung support first to ensure you have the right one.
Once you have the replacement water inlet valve follow these steps to install it:
- Start by pulling the Samsung fridge out far enough, so you have easy access to the back of it. This is where the water inlet valve is located, and it’s far easier to repair if you have unimpeded access to the back of the fridge.
- Remove the backing cover of the fridge using a screwdriver. There are usually 2-3 screws; you should keep these safe as you will need to re-install them once the valve has been replaced.
- Once the backing has been removed, you should have access to the old water inlet valve (look for the device which looks exactly like the one you just bought).
- Remove the screws holding the water valve to the water cabinet. This should free up the valve and allow you to pull it away from the fridge and work on it unimpeded.
- Disconnect the two electrical harnesses and then afterward remove the tubing. A little water may come out at this stage so keep a towel nearby to mop the excess water up.
- If the edges of the tubing look a bit rough, trim a few millimeters off the tubing from the end using a sharp knife, this helps clean them up a bit. Don’t cut too much off, though.
- Re-insert the newly trimmed tubing into the replacement valve.
- Re-install the electrical wires. Each wire should have its own clearly defined place based on the size of the pins.
- Re-mount the valve back to the fridge and re-install the back cover again.
- Then finally, push the fridge back into place and turn it on.
3. Check and correct the water pressure
The first thing to do is ascertain what your current water pressure is. Samsung recommends a water pressure of about 20 psi for optimum performance.
The easiest way to check the water pressure is, of course, by using a pressure gauge. But should you not have one to hand, there is an easy alternative method you can use to figure it out; all you need is a cup.
Disconnect the water supply line and allow it to drain into the cup. If there is enough water to fill at least ¾ of the cup, the water pressure is good, and you should move on to the next step.
However, if only a tiny amount of water dribbles out, it’s a good indication that you do not have enough water pressure and should take steps to increase it.
There are many potential causes of low fridge water pressure which include:
- A bunged-up water filter
- A kink or obstruction in the water line
- A reverse osmosis filtration system
- Or it’s possible the fridge is not leveled correctly, requiring more pressure than usual to distribute the water to the ice maker.
Take steps to address these problems and restore good water pressure.
4. Install a new water filter
If your water filter’s already old and due for a replacement, you must purchase a new one and install it as per the instructions for your particular refrigerator model.
The installation method can vary significantly from model to model, so check the Samsung website for correct instructions for your specific fridge.
5. Reset the auger motor
Most Samsung refrigerators have a ‘test’ button that can kick the auger motor back into action. You’ll find the test button on either the ice maker’s front or side.
Press this button in and hold it until you hear a chiming sound. Then wait for 5-6 minutes. Once this is done, try using the ice maker again.
If it’s still not working, then it may be a more severe mechanical fault, in which case your best option is to get it serviced by a trained technician.
6. Turn the ice-maker function back on.
You should see the ‘ice’ text on your refrigerator’s screen, and an icon above it should be illuminated. If that light is turned off, the Samsung refrigerator ice maker feature has been disabled.
Press this button and hold it down for 3 seconds, and it should re-illuminate.
7. Fully reset the fridge
To fully reset the computer system, we must perform a ‘hard reset.’ This involves completely unplugging the Samsung refrigerator from all power sources and waiting about 30 seconds. Then plug it back in and let the software boot up.
In many cases, this fixes the glitch, and you should now be able to turn the Samsung refrigerator ice maker back on.
If this doesn’t work, it might indicate a more serious problem with the software, and you should contact Samsung support for further assistance.
8. Level out the fridge
Use a spirit level to check that your fridge is the same height on all four corners. If one corner is not level, most fridges will allow you to adjust the feet individually to help make it level.
Additionally, sometimes the bracket within the fridge can get bent, throwing off the level of the ice maker. Here you should inspect the bracket assembly, and if any framing has become bent, you can usually bend it back into place using a pair of pliers.
9. Un-pause the ice-making feature
Several factors can cause the ice-making feature to become paused.
Common issues that can cause this are the control arm being out of position, which should be reset. It may also be a software issue, or the sensor may have failed, so you should call a technician to replace it.
10. Disable the child lock
Start by locating the child lock function. It’s usually an icon on your fridge’s display. Hold that button in for 3 seconds, and if it was previously enabled, it would now be disabled.
Depending on your model of Samsung refrigerator and the year it was built, the child lock feature can sometimes be doubled up with the ice maker tray button. So you will have to check your specific model’s manual to determine how this interaction works.