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Your Fridge Isn't Running: A How to Guide

Ice machine

We know it's terrible when you go to get some ice from your ice machine only to find it not working. Before you throw out your whole fridge and start shopping for a new one, check out these DIY fixes. They'll save you a lot of money and some time too!

When an icemaker stops working or produces only tiny cubes, it’s usually because the water supply is partially or completely blocked. To find and fix the blockage, check out the three common trouble spots. Remember to unplug your fridge first!

Before you begin your investigations, you'll want to remove the ice machine from the freezer. You do this by removing the screws that hold the icemaker in place. Unplug the wiring harness and remove the icemaker to expose the water inlet tube.

Now it's time to start your investigations. Your first culprit is the water inlet tube located at the back of your fridge. The tube that supplies water to your icemaker can get plugged with ice when the water pressure is low. The trickling water freezes and plugs the tube before it reaches the icemaker. You can fix this by melting the ice in the water inlet tube with a hair dryer. Don’t stop until water stops dripping from the tube.

If that doesn't work, it's time to check your saddle valve. Most icemakers are connected to the household water supply by a “saddle” valve. One problem with saddle valves is that the needle hole in the pipe can clog. Fortunately, that blockage is easy to clear once you locate the saddle valve. If you have an unfinished basement, you’ll probably find a tube beneath the fridge that leads to the valve. Otherwise, look under your kitchen sink.

Your third culprit is the water inlet valve. At the back of your fridge, there’s a small electric “inlet valve” that turns the water supply to the icemaker on and off. Before you replace the valve, make sure water is flowing to it: Turn off the water at the saddle valve and disconnect the supply tube from the inlet valve. Hold the tube over a bucket and have a helper turn on the saddle valve. If water flows out of the tube, the water supply is fine and chances are the inlet valve is bad. You'll have to find the part for your specific fridge. When the job is done, turn the water back on and check for leaks before you push the fridge back into place.

If you start to get overwhelmed, just come see us at Santee Hardware. We'll be happy to help you through.

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