Short answer: Check if the ice maker is turned on and ensure the water supply is connected. If both are fine, consider checking for blockages or consulting a technician.

Whirlpool, a renowned brand in the appliance industry, offers a range of refrigerators equipped with ice makers for the convenience of users. However, like any machine, these ice makers can occasionally face issues and cease to function properly. Understanding common problems and potential solutions can be beneficial for homeowners who want to ensure a consistent supply of ice without frequent technician visits. In this guide, I will delve into the common reasons a Whirlpool ice maker might not be working and offer troubleshooting tips to address them.

Reasons Why Whirlpool Ice Maker Not Working

Clogged water filter:

Water Dispensing Slowly
Water Dispensing Slowly

The water filter purifies water before it’s used to make ice. Over time, it can become clogged with impurities, restricting the flow of water to the ice maker. This can prevent the ice maker from producing ice.

Defective water inlet valve:

Whirlpool Refrigerator Water Inlet Valve Replacement
My Whirlpool water dispenser is not working

This valve allows water to flow into the ice maker. If it malfunctions or gets clogged, it might restrict or halt water flow, leading to no ice production.

Refrigerator or freezer compartment is too warm:

For the ice maker to produce ice, the temperature in the freezer compartment should be below freezing. If it’s too warm, water won’t freeze, and ice won’t form.

Control arm mispositioned:

The control arm signals the ice maker to stop producing ice when the bin is full. If it’s mispositioned, it might falsely indicate that the bin is full, stopping ice production.

Frozen water inlet tube:

The tube that channels water into the ice maker can freeze, blocking the water supply. Without water flow, no ice can be produced.

Ice clump in the bin:

Ice Clumping in Ice Bin - Refrigerator
Ice Clumping in Ice Bin – Side by Side Refrigerator

Over time, unused ice might melt and refreeze, forming a clump. This can obstruct the ice maker’s mechanisms or the control arm.

Ice clump in the chute:

Similar to the bin, if ice clumps form in the chute (where ice is dispensed), it can prevent new ice from being dispensed.

Frozen auger motor:

The auger motor helps push ice out of the bin and into the chute. If it freezes, it can’t push ice out, leading to a jam.

Broken control arm:

A broken control arm can’t properly signal the ice maker about the bin’s fill status, potentially leading to overproduction or no production of ice.

Missing shelf:

Some refrigerator designs rely on shelves to ensure proper airflow. Missing or improperly placed shelves can affect compartment temperature, affecting ice production.

The ice maker is leaking:

Leaks can cause water to pool and freeze in the wrong areas, potentially disrupting ice formation or leading to clumps.

Unlevel refrigerator or ice maker:

If not level, water might not fill the ice molds evenly, leading to small or misshapen ice cubes, or even water spilling and freezing in unwanted areas.

The ice maker is jammed up:

Foreign objects or accumulated ice can jam the mechanism, halting its operation.

The water line is frozen:

The main water supply line to the fridge can freeze, especially if located in a cold area. This prevents any water from reaching the ice maker.

How To Fix The Whirlpool Ice Maker Not Working?

Ice Is Clogging Chute
Low Water Pressure

Reset Your Ice Maker:

Step 1: Locate the ‘Reset’ button on your ice maker. This is usually a small button on the ice maker itself.

Step 2: Hold the button for a few seconds or until you hear a beep (this varies by model).

Step 3: Release the button and wait for the ice maker to cycle. This can take a couple of hours.

Step 4: Check if ice is produced after the reset cycle completes.

Check The Ice Maker Is Installed Correctly:

Step 1: Ensure the ice maker is securely mounted and leveled inside the freezer.

Step 2: Check if all connectors, harnesses, and components are correctly attached.

Step 3: Ensure the control arm is in the ‘down’ or ‘on’ position.

Check The Temperature:

Check the Water Filter
Resetting the ice maker

Step 1: Use a refrigerator thermometer to check the temperature inside the freezer. It should be at or below 0°F (-18°C).

Step 2: Adjust the freezer temperature settings if necessary. Allow a few hours for the temperature to stabilize.

Step 3: Ensure vents in the freezer are not blocked by food items, ensuring proper airflow.

Change The Water Filter:

Step 1: Locate the water filter, which is typically inside the refrigerator or at its base.

Step 2: Remove the old filter and install a new one, ensuring it’s securely in place.

Step 3: After replacement, run a few gallons of water through the dispenser to clear out any impurities.

Check The Water Supply Line And Valves:

Step 1: Ensure the water supply valve, usually located behind the refrigerator, is fully open.

Step 2: Check the water line for any kinks, bends, or blockages.

Step 3: Disconnect the water line from the valve and refrigerator, then blow air through it to ensure there are no obstructions.

Test The Ice Maker Motor:

Step 1: Locate the ice maker motor (usually behind the ice bin).

Step 2: Engage the motor manually by turning the ice ejector blades clockwise.

Step 3: If they don’t turn, the motor may be faulty and needs replacement. If they turn but don’t produce ice, the problem might be elsewhere.

Test The Door Switch:

Step 1: The door switch ensures the ice and water dispenser operate only when the door is closed.

Step 2: Press the door switch, typically located where the door touches the main unit.

Step 3: While holding the switch, try to dispense water or ice. If it works only when the switch is pressed, the switch may be faulty and need replacement.


How often should I clean my Whirlpool ice maker?

It’s recommended to clean your ice maker every 6 months or more frequently if you notice a decrease in ice production or quality.

Is there a warranty on the Whirlpool ice maker?

Yes, most Whirlpool appliances come with a warranty. The length and terms depend on the model and where it was purchased. Always check the user manual or consult with Whirlpool directly.

Can I use any water filter with my Whirlpool ice maker?

It’s best to use Whirlpool-approved water filters to ensure compatibility and optimal performance. Using off-brand filters can lead to issues or void the warranty.

Why does my ice maker make a knocking sound?

A knocking sound can indicate that the ice maker arm is trying to eject ice but is meeting resistance. Check for obstructions or ice build-up.

Can I manually fill the ice maker with water to make ice?

Manually filling can lead to overfilling or other issues. It’s best to fix the water supply problem rather than trying to fill it manually.

The ice cubes are too small or too large. How do I adjust the size?

Ice cube size can be influenced by the water pressure. Ensure there are no kinks in the water line and the water valve is fully open. Some models may also have an adjustable cube size setting.

Is it normal for the ice maker to pause occasionally?

Yes, ice makers have cycles. After filling the bin, they might pause for a while before starting another cycle.


The Whirlpool ice maker, like any advanced appliance, can face challenges during its operational life. While it’s designed with efficiency and durability in mind, various factors, from environmental conditions to everyday wear and tear, can disrupt its functionality. Thankfully, most of these challenges, whether they’re related to water flow, temperature inconsistencies, or mechanical issues, have corresponding solutions that homeowners can often address without expert intervention. Regular maintenance, timely replacements of filters, and a keen observation of the ice maker’s performance can prevent many issues. However, in instances where DIY troubleshooting doesn’t rectify the problem, it’s prudent to consult with a certified technician to ensure the longevity and optimal performance of your Whirlpool ice maker.

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