If you've recently heard an unfortunate clanking or grinding sound while attempting to dispense ice from your refrigerator's ice-maker, you may be wondering whether it's time to call a repair service. However, in many cases you may be able to diagnose or even fix the problem yourself. Read on to learn more about some common problems that may plague your ice-maker at one point or another, as well as how to repair them and when to call in a professional.
How can you diagnose your malfunctioning ice-maker's issue?
Although it may seem like an uncomplicated part of a much larger appliance, a refrigerator's ice-maker requires several moving parts to operate with precision. In a working ice-maker, a water hose dispenses water into the ice tray, where it quickly freezes. After it's fully frozen, a small series of heated wires melts the ice block into cubes, which are transferred from the ice tray to the dispenser bin with a mechanical bail arm until the bin is full. Once the bin has been partially emptied, the water hose will begin the process until the bin has been refilled with ice cubes. An error or defect in one of these steps can cause the ice-maker to overflow and freeze, damaging the motor and other components. The simplest way to diagnose your ice-maker's problem is to go through these steps one by one.
A crimp in the water hose could be preventing water from ever entering the ice tray, while a hole in the hose could be causing a water leak that has frozen other parts. If the water hose appears to be operating correctly, you'll want to check the heater core to ensure it's melting the ice into individual cubes. In other cases, the mechanical arm that transfers ice cubes from the tray to the dispenser may be broken or frozen, so you may need to just replace that part or let the ice-maker thaw and then use food-grade grease to lubricate the arm so that it can move again.
Can you fix your ice-maker's problem yourself?
If you've been able to immediately identify the problem, or are fairly certain (after some internet research) that you're looking at a specific issue in just one of your ice-maker's components, you may be able to perform any necessary repairs without hiring a professional. For example, a hole in the water hose or major crimp that can't be undone can be solved through a simple hose replacement. Defrosting your ice-maker after a leak has caused it to freeze (and the source of the leak has been corrected) may be all that needs to be done to get your ice-maker back into working condition.
However, dealing with heating cores or the motor operating the mechanical transfer arm can be a bit more complex. You may want to call a repair company, like Prompt Appliance Services, Inc., to give you an estimate on the parts you'll need to replace. Fortunately, having already done much of the diagnostic work yourself can save you some time and money.