What to do when your Whirlpool ice maker stops working

Written by Adam Morris
6 Min read
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Table of contents

With summer well and truly upon us, it has never been more critical that your ice maker is producing ice. The last thing you want is to be preparing for a barbecue, or a party, or you just want an ice-cold beverage and you release that your ice maker has not produced any ice.

Well if you have a Whirlpool ice maker and it seems to have given up on you just when you need it most then do not fear! Because in this article, we will provide you with a comprehensive guide to a range of solutions that could fix your ice maker meaning you don't have to splash the cash on a replacement.

How to reset a Whirlpool ice maker

Often, if your Whirlpool ice maker is not producing ice, or not producing enough ice, the issue can be resolved by simply resetting the ice maker. Don't worry, this is not a particularly complicated task and we will explain exactly how to do it below.

Essentially, the only slightly tricky part of resetting your Whirlpool ice maker is locating the reset button. The three main places you should check are:

  • Above the ice tray
  • Underneath the ice tray
  • At the bottom of the ice maker

If you are struggling to locate the ice maker reset button then you can find it in Whirpool's official product manuals. Once you have located the reset button then all you need to do is hold down the reset button for ten seconds or until you hear a beep.

If after all of that, you still were unable to locate the reset button then you can also try to fix the issue by turning the ice maker off and on again.

Turning your Whirlpool ice maker off/on

Again, the only difficult part of this process is finding the off/on switch. Depending on what model you have this will either be under only the ice tray, or you may have to remove both the ice tray and the cover plate to find it. Once you have found it follow these instructions:

  1. Turn the switch off
  2. Then unplug your ice maker from the mains
  3. Wait for ten minutes
  4. Plug your ice maker back in at the mains
  5. Turn the switch back on
  6. Place the ice tray (and cover plate if necessary)

Unjamming the feeler arm

You may be asking yourself, what on earth is the feeler arm? Well, it is essentially the part of the Whirlpool ice maker that stops it from making ice when the bucket is full. This means that it changes as the level of ice in the bucket changes the arm should change with it.

Now it is possible that the feeler arm can become jammed in the position it is in when the ice bucket is full. This means that even when the bucket is not full it will be telling the ice maker to stop making ice so that it does not overflow.

There are two reasons the feeler arm could be jammed. It could be frozen in place or the mechanisms inside the arm could be stuck. There is an easy way to fix this. If the feeler arm is frozen then simply pressing down the feeler arm manually should cause any ice holding it in place to break away, giving it full range of movement again. And if the mechanisms are stuck then pressing down on the feeler arm manually repeatedly should loosen them up, allowing them to operate correctly again.

Why do I need to reset my Whirlpool ice maker?

If you have just reset or are about to reset your Whirlpool ice maker then you'll be forgiven for wondering what's the point? Why does this complex piece of equipment just stop working and then can be fixed by, effectively, turning it off, leaving it for a day, and then turning it back on again?

If you are thinking exactly that then hopefully we will now be able to explain the reasoning behind, what seems like, a strange way to fix a broken ice maker. After your Whirlpool ice maker has been used regularly for a long time, as clever as it is, it can begin to become confused and struggle to operate as it should. The technical explanation for this apparent confusion is that there is a bunch of conflicting data stuck in the system.

Resetting the ice maker allows all of this data to be removed from the system, allowing it to operate free from confusion so that it can realize its potential. It's a little bit like when you've been working hard all year and you begin to feel a bit weary, maybe you aren't getting as much done as you could do, even if you won't admit it to your boss! Going on holiday can help you to reset your system so that you can return to work on top form. Although it is a strange comparison, this is kind of what resetting an ice maker does.

Correcting temperature setting

On the Whirlpool ice maker, you can adjust the temperature that the ice maker is set to. For the best ice production, you want it to be set to between 0 and 5 degrees Fahrenheit. Check the temperature yours is set to because if the temperature is too high the water may not freeze or your ice may be too small or deformed. It is also possible for the temperature to be too low. This is because if it is too cold the water could freeze too early and a buildup of ice will form. This will prevent any more water/ice from being ejected.

Unjamming the ice maker

One of the more common causes of a Whirlpool ice maker not functioning is if the ejector arm becomes jammed. This can occur when the ice that is released is not fully frozen and is more of a slush than it is ice. This slush can build up on top of the ejector arm and freeze. Over time there will be a build-up of ice will accumulate, this will jam the ejector arm and stop ice from being released.

To unjam your ice maker you simply need to clear the buildup of ice around the ejector arm. To do so just chip away at the buildup. This should be done carefully and with a plastic instrument, to ensure that you don't damage your ice maker.

Faulty water supply

Another potential reason that your Whirlpool ice maker is not working could be due to a fault in the water supply. There are numerous issues that can occur that stop or limit the water supply to your ice maker. These include kinks or faults in the hose, blockages in or issues with the water filter, and faulty inlet valves.

If after examining these parts you believe that the issue lies here don't fret, we will outline how you can easily resolve these issues.

  • Look for any kinks or punctures in the water hose. If you find kinks then simply straighten them out, however, if you discover any punctures in the hose then you may need to purchase a new hose to replace the old one. It's worth bearing in mind that the hose being pushed up against the wall will increase the chances of kinks forming so try to avoid doing this!
  • If the issue lies in the water filter this is most likely a result of it not being replaced as regularly as it should be, we recommend two times a year. You can purchase replacement water filters for the Whirlpool ice makers here.
  • Finally, if you have a faulty inlet valve, unfortunately, this is a more complex issue and you will want to get a professional in to help you fix this issue.

Wrapping it up

Although Whirlpool ice makers are an excellent appliance and one of the best options on the ice maker market, there are instances in which they can, seemingly inexplicably, stop working. This may leave you in the horrible scenario of having to endure the sweltering heat of summer without the sweet relief of an ice-cold drink. What could possibly be worse?

Reading this article should have helped you to identify where the issue in your Whirlpool ice maker lies, as inexplicable as it may have seemed at first, and either taught you how to fix the issue or pointed you in the direction of where to find help that can fix the issue. If you have been unfortunate enough that you have tried everything in this article and still do not understand why it is not working then we recommend seeking professional assistance.

Is the Whirlpool ice maker worth it?

If you are looking for an ice maker then yes, Whirlpool's ice makers are a very good option. Do not be put off by what we have written in this article, these are issues that could be present in any ice maker, and, as we have explained, are not too difficult to resolve.

Appliances made simple. 

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