Find out why your ice-maker is overflowing

Written by Adam Morris
5 Min read
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Follow our simple fixes!

Trying to get some ice out of the ice-maker to only find a massive sheet of rock-solid ice is extremely frustrating. Or even worse, your kitchen gets soaking wet and lots of ice and water is wasted unnecessarily. You’re being charged for it, too, as it’ll be on your water bill.

The ice maker isn’t a difficult machine to use, but it’s a little more complicated to understand its process. In short, the ice-maker receives water through the mains to the house and then sends that through to a mould, the water is frozen and an internal thermometer monitors the temperature of the water to know when ice is ready, when to stop freezing it, etc. In lots of modern models, a small heater gives off just enough heat to get the ice to slide out of its mould and into the ice bin. Here we will detail just a few of the problems that could be causing this, and fix them if we can.

The biggest causes of your ice-maker overflowing

There are lots of things that could be the cause of the problem, so take it slowly and rule out each option one by one:

The location of the ice bin

It can just appear as if the ice-maker is overflowing when in reality it is just the location of the ice bin. The ice bin needs to be properly placed underneath the ice-maker, otherwise, it’ll spill over the storage bin and seem as if it’s overflowing, as well as making a mess in the kitchen. Always a good first thing to check, and it’s a very easy fix, just reposition the ice bin.

The feeler arm

The feeler arm is the name of the sensor for the ice maker, and if there is a problem with this mechanism then the ice maker can’t understand when the ice bin has been filled up with ice and doesn’t need any more ice, it’ll just keep producing it. It isn’t a difficult part to replace, so if you’ve seen that the mechanism is broken, call a professional in to help you replace it. You could be able to do it on your own if you have some experience with machines like this, but an inexperienced person would struggle.

Man standing beside an ice maker

Low water pressure

You’ll notice problems of low water pressure in other parts of your house, you probably will have seen it when having a shower or a bath or maybe even just doing the washing up sometimes.

There’s a little bit of difference between each ice maker, but you’ll probably need a bare minimum of 20 PSI for your ice-maker to work properly. If the inlet valve isn’t receiving enough water pressure, the valve isn’t going to fully close when it is supposed to. It closes to stop the flowing water into the ice maker, but without this, there will be a constant drip into the machine.

This constant drip that was previously mentioned will result in way too much water going into the ice maker, which will overfill it and most likely freeze it over entirely. The tell here is that when you look into the ice-maker, it will be a whole single sheet of ice.

Fixing your water pressure can be a little difficult to do but you can check if the water pressure is too low and if there is a clog or something in a pipe then you can fix that to bring it up.

A defective water inlet valve

If the water pressure isn’t the problem, this is next on the list. A defective water inlet valve is a pretty common problem that causes overflowing and can take a little research to figure out.

First, figure out if you have hard water. Hard water is a specific type of hard water that some homes will have, and it is essentially just a build-up of minerals in your water, but this isn’t the end of the world and some water softeners are an easy fix that will fix it.

If you don’t have hard water, the water inlet valve could be defective. If you can rule out the water pressure then there must be another reason why it isn’t closing properly. As mentioned with the water pressure problem, if the valve doesn’t close all the way then a slow drip keeps making its way into the ice maker and causes an overflow.

If you feel like you understand your ice-maker well, and you know what you’re doing, you can swap the water inlet valve on your own to fix the problem. If you aren’t feeling very confident, take the safe route and call a plumber in to fix it, plumbers should have dealt with parts like this often and will know what to do.

Clogged chute in the ice-maker

Another cause of this irritating sheet of ice issue is that the chute has some kind of blockage or problem. If the chute is blocked, then the ice can’t make its way out of the ice-maker and will end up back in the storage bin, causing an overflow. The continuation of this process will fill up the storage bin, and it will all fuse together eventually.

Cleaning the chute to prevent this isn’t a very difficult thing to do, you’ll just need water, a vinegar solution and a damp cloth to wipe it down and prevent any clogs.

Preventing future problems

There are a couple of things you can do to look after your ice maker and stop these problems from ever happening in the first place.

Plumbing maintenance

If you want to catch any water pressure problems before they ever make their way to the ice-maker and become more prevalent, then invest in some regular plumbing maintenance to keep the system running properly. This is a good thing to do for your house and will reap lots of benefits, your water pressure is immensely important. On top of this, you can prevent that mineral build-up that creates hard water, stopping that problem too.

Cleaning your ice-maker

As previously mentioned, all it takes is a vinegar solution, some warm water and a cloth. Once per month is recommended but not essential, take it apart and clean each part, then re-assemble once you are certain it is completely dry. This will prevent any clogs in the machine, as well as grime and dirt from damaging anything else.

If the ice-maker is beginning to break or create clumps, whilst it is extremely frustrating, maintain being careful with it. Don’t use sharp objects to break the clumps up, as it could cause damage to any of the small mechanisms in there.

The best way to begin to analyse your ice-maker is to just be slow and go piece by piece until you’ve pinpointed the problem. Lots of the problems can be solved by yourself at home, but if you aren’t feeling confident with the issue or the fix, call in a professional. You can also prevent it going this far if you can properly maintain the machine in the first place!

Why is my ice tray filling up with water?

This could be a problem with the temperature in your ice maker, or a problem with the water inlet valve. A faulty water inlet valve will let in too much water and it won’t shut properly when it is needed to, causing overflows and other ice problems.

Why is my ice maker overflowing?

There could be a faulty mechanism in the ice maker like the feeler arm or the water inlet valve could also be broken. It could also be a simple clog in the ice maker or your home’s water pressure. To figure it out, analyse it bit by bit.

How do I adjust the water level in my ice maker?

You might not be able to properly adjust the water level of the ice maker in your home if there is a problem with the water pressure. You’ll need about 20 PSI to keep it working efficiently, but a mineral build-up called hard water can prevent this.

Appliances made simple. 

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