How Do I Reset My Ice Maker?

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Last updatedLast updated: April 11, 2021

There are numerous, more traditional ways to make ice. You can do so using ice trays that are placed in your refrigerator or via the use of automatic ice machines present in some refrigerators, you could even bypass the process and get ice at convenience stores, but nothing beats the ice maker.

One of the negatives that come with having your ice maker is the cost of repairing them when they are faulty. However, most times, the perceived fault might not require a technician but just a simple reset of the appliance. But how do I reset my ice maker? This is rarely useless knowledge.

This knowledge would come into play in situations where the ice maker refuses to stop producing ice. To figure out how various ice makers (from the built-in refrigerator models to the standalone models) can be reset, read this to the end, and you’d be thankful.

What is an ice-making machine?

How Do I Reset My Ice Maker?

An ice-making machine is an electrical appliance that is used to make ice in an automated process. This machine is usually designed and manufactured to cover all processes involved, from refrigeration to dispensing. As such, all that is needed for it to function is electricity and water supply.

However, there is some ambiguity about using the name, seeing some manufacturers brand their ice generators alone as ice makers. An ice generator, unlike a complete ice maker, is the part of the machine that is involved in the production of the ice properly.

If you don’t like your drinks hot, you can also go for the best water coolers or wine fridges that possess a refrigerating sector within. While these ones don’t make ice, they are still quite convenient.

How does it work?

How an ice maker works is a similar process to regular refrigeration with a few modifications to make for more efficient service. Just like a refrigerator, the ice maker possesses a set of coiled heat exchanging pipes, and these pipes are connected to the ice tray.

When the ice maker is turned on, it pumps water slowly onto the ice tray from a collection sump. This gradual filling of the ice tray allows refrigeration to occur in layers, thus making clear ice. Having to freeze the water all at once would lead to the formation of cloudy ice.

After some time, the ice maker is a solenoid valve related to the heat exchanging pipes. Once activated, this valve changes the direction of the refrigerant and allows for the compressor to start forcing gas back into the bypass tube.

Without undergoing condensation, the hot gas is then returned to the evaporator, and consequently, the exchanging pipes and ice tray start to heat up rapidly. This heating up is responsible for the loosening and dislodging of the newly formed ice.

The process of dislodging the ice is, however, different from one model to the next. Some popular ice makers utilize slanted trays that allow the ice to slide out after the tray starts heating up. Others possess cylinder pistons that manually dislodge the ice from the tray after they are formed.

Quick history overview

How Do I Reset My Ice Maker?

The ice maker’s history is usually complicated by the ambiguity of its name and how it is perceived in various circles. This is because the understanding of the ice maker might overlap with what is regarded in other places as an ice generator or ice machine. Thus, it is much better to start from the period in history when the first practical refrigerator was invented.

  • In 1805, Oliver Evans designed the first refrigeration machine based on a demonstration earlier carried out by William Cullen in the 18th century.
  • The first functioning, the practical refrigerating machine, was built in 1834 by Jacob Perkins.
  • In 1844, John Gorrie built the refrigerator that utilized the designs of Oliver Evans and attempted to manufacture and sell his invention. This was the first time that a machine capable of producing ice was marketed to the broader public.
  • In 1852, Gorrie was awarded the U.S. Patent 8080 for an ice machine, and his original designs and prototype are still available for viewing in the National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution in Washington D.C.
  • In 1853, Alexander Twining was awarded the U.S. Patent 10221 for an ice maker. This followed his design and development of the first refrigeration system, which he then created in 1856.
  • In 1854, James Harrison built a refrigeration machine to produce about 3,000 kilograms of ice daily. He consequently received an ice maker patent, similar to that of twining, in Australia in 1855.
  • In 1876, Carl Von Linde, a German engineer, received the U.S. Patent 1027862 for the process of liquefaction of gases. This process would go on to become an important part of refrigeration technologies.
  • In 1929, professor Jurgen Hans invented the first ice machine for the production of edible ice.

Advantages that ice makers provide

Ice makers allow you to mass-produce ice in your home, and this is one of the benefits associated with its use, but it doesn’t stop here. Some other advantages of ice makers are:

  • Having your standalone ice maker is way more convenient than stocking up on ice for parties or going to convenience stores to get some whenever you need them. An ice maker’s convenience is taken to the next level when you need to go camping or on a road trip; think about how cool it would be to have the option of a cold drink while camping (pun intended).
  • Relative ease. The machine is easy to use, and all you need is electricity and a water supply. With both, you can lay back or concentrate on other duties while the ice maker performs its magic.
  • The ice makers produce ice quicker than the refrigerator-ice tray method, and this is especially helpful when you’re in a hurry or need a lot of ice in a short period. Its improved speed would also be a boon to your ability to entertain guests with iced tea or such iced drinks courtesy of your ice maker. No more having to cart bags of ice from stores or need to wait before you serve your guests’ drinks.
  • Despite kicking out the need for a detachable ice tray that needs to be manually filled with water, the ice maker still retains the variety in shape and size that the trays would provide.

There are many other benefits to ice makers, but these should convince you of how life-changing this appliance is.

Resetting guide

Different types of ice makers would be reset in different ways. Though you can turn it off and unplug it, you might still be required to wait for a specified period before you can achieve a full reset.

Portable icemakers may or may not possess reset buttons. If you’re done, make use of it; if not, turn off your ice maker, unplug it and leave for at least ten minutes. You could clean the ice tray during this period or do any other cleaning work you’ve meant to; ensure it stays unplugged for the minimum ten-minute duration.

In the case of a refrigerator with a built-in ice maker, these usually possess controls that allow you to control the full scale of functions it offers, and you should be able to reset the ice maker from here.

If, for some reason, this isn’t possible, you can reset it by turning the refrigerator off and leaving it unplugged for 5-10 minutes.

Commercial standalone ice makers usually come with a built-in hard reset button if you need it. You can use the button directly or consult your manual before doing so (to be cautious).

Despite the general instructions given, it is not uncommon for specific brands of ice makers to have their particular instructions for a reset. To access this, you might have to consult the manual. As such, if your ice maker is having a problem, and you’ve tried the options above, the next step should be consulting the manual.

Other tricks to try

Though a reset often gets rid of whatever slight dysfunction your ice maker may be experiencing at a point in time, it isn’t uncommon to find yourself in a situation where a reset doesn’t do the trick. If that happens, here are some other tricks for you to try out before calling a technician:

  1. For situations in which your ice maker is plugged and running but not turning out ice, the problem may lie with the thermostat. If the temperature has been set at a higher than suitable level, such a situation could occur. Setting to a lower temperature should be enough to get the ice rolling again.
  2. The opposite situation to that above is when your ice maker is too cold. If such a situation is allowed to continue unchecked, the internal parts of the appliance could freeze up and become more vulnerable to breaking or cracking. This could set you back a couple of dollars in repairs or even complete replacement of the ice maker. To prevent this, unplug the ice maker for sufficient enough time that it defrosts. You could cultivate the habit of unplugging the appliance every once in a while.
  3. If the ice produced by your machine is smaller or hollow compared to normal, the problem could be due to a clogged water supply line. You should check to confirm if this is the case, and if it is, clear up the blockage and keep making whatever size or a variety of ice you desire. Another possibility is that the water flow problem is not within your ice maker but from your plumbing. To confirm, unplug the water supply and run it into a bucket or bowl. If the pressure seems to be lower than expected, the problem lies in your plumbing pipes.
  4. Suppose your ice maker is still producing ice but not dispensing it as seamlessly as it usually does. The problem could be originating from the ice chute, and checking the chute for any clogs or blockages should be enough. If, after the check and clean, the problem persists, you can contact a technician to check it out.

Just like in the last situation described, there is a limit to how handy you can be without requiring expertise. In the same vein, if your ice maker is still malfunctioning after applying the tips and tricks suggested above, you should contact a technician for expert assistance. If a replacement is to be in order, a suitable model recommended by experts is the ULIT Ice Maker. Another good option is the GE Profile Opal.

What to do if these methods don’t work

If the methods suggested above do not bring about the change you want, there are two more possible sources of problems to consider.

  1. The door switch: This may be controlling both the ice maker and the light. If the lights fail to come on, it might indicate a problem with the door switch of the icemaker or refrigerator. In this case, you can reset the refrigerator and if this doesn’t work, check the switch for continuity with a multimeter.
  2. The other type of problem would be indicated by the error codes displayed on the control panel of your ice maker if it has one. The meaning of the codes should be available in the manual. Usually, the codes are of two types; one indicates that there is a problem with the ice sensor, and the other signifies that the motor of the ice maker isn’t working.
The problem indicated by the second code may be a result of ice covering the vents of the freezer or ice on the blades of the fan. In both cases, the ice can be melted with the use of a hairdryer.

Final thoughts

The ice maker might not be considered all that essential when you have never owned or used one. But if you’ve ever felt the convenience that comes with having one at hand, not having one would be a real bummer. You might find yourself very pressed to throw some cash at a repairer but before you do that, consider resetting your ice maker first.

To do this, the knowledge of how to reset your ice maker would be needed. Knowing this would save you money and time that would otherwise be spent waiting for a repairer. As such, we hope this is a good guide that saves you time and money. So, run through this guide and become handy in using the ice maker and keeping it working.

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