Kenmore Fridge Ice Maker Not Working? 5 Ways to Fix It

Authorized Service
April 9, 2024
Refrigerator Repair

Kenmore refrigerators are renowned for their reliability and durability, but some users do occasionally encounter issues with the ice maker not working on their appliance.

Thankfully, this problem is not usually a sign that something is seriously wrong with your fridge, and it can often be resolved by yourself without calling in a technician.

In this guide, we will list the most likely causes along with the solutions for fixing them, so you can get your Kenmore fridge producing ice again ASAP.

Here are five potential reasons why the ice maker on your Kenmore fridge is not working:

1. The Freezer Compartment Is Too Warm

The first thing worth checking is that the freezer compartment is at the correct temperature. That’s because ice makers on most modern refrigerators, including Kenmores, have a built-in thermostat that automatically halts ice production if the freezer temperature exceeds 10°F (-12°C).

To see if this is the case, place an appliance thermometer inside the freezer compartment and leave it there for at least 30 minutes for an accurate reading. If the freezer compartment is too warm, there are several possible causes:

  • Incorrect temperature settings: Check that the freezer is set to 0°F (-18°C) and the fridge is set to 37°F (3°C) using the control panel.
  • Door left open: Leaving the freezer door open for long periods or opening it too frequently allows cold air to escape and warm air to enter.
  • Blocked vents: The vents inside the refrigerator need to be clear to allow cold air to circulate. Check they’re not blocked by food items or ice.
  • Broken seal: If the door seal isn’t sealing, cold air can escape and warm air can enter. Give the seal a clean if dirty or replace if damaged.
  • Dirty condenser coils: The refrigeration cycle won’t work optimally if the condenser coils are dirty. You can clean them with a soft brush and vacuum.

2. The Ice Maker Was Accidentally Turned Off

If you find that your ice maker suddenly stops working, there’s a chance that it was accidentally turned off. There are a few ways you can pause or turn off the ice maker, including:

  • An on/off button on the ice maker itself.
  • A setting to turn the ice maker on/off on the control panel.
  • The shut-off or feeler arm is stuck in the “off” position.

To troubleshoot these, simply look for a physical on/off button on the ice maker and ensure it’s switched on, check the ice maker is turned on at the control panel, and make sure the feeler arm, which pauses ice production when the ice bin is full, can move freely and is not obstructed or stuck in the “off” position. 

3. Issues With The Water Supply

It goes without saying that if your Kenmore refrigerator is not receiving enough water, its ice maker cannot produce ice properly. However, there can be several reasons why this might be the case, with the most common being:

  • The water line is clogged, frozen, or kinked.
  • The water supply is turned off.
  • The water filter needs replacing.

To check, start by pulling your fridge away from the wall so you can access the water line. Inspect the entire water line, ensuring it is properly connected to both the refrigerator at one end and the water supply valve at the other and that there are no kinks or blockages.

Next, check that the water supply valve is fully open and not shut off, meaning it should be turned counterclockwise (lefty-loosey) all the way.

Finally, if you have an old water filter that is due to be replaced, it could be clogged and inhibiting the water supply. In most Kenmore fridges, the water filter is located in either the top right or top left of the appliance or at the bottom of the door.

If you believe the water filter is over six months old or you are experiencing reduced water flow from the water dispenser or foul-tasting water, replace it with a new one.

4. The Ice Maker Assembly Is Frozen

Sometimes, part of the ice maker itself can become frozen, stopping it from working. There are a few common culprits, which include:

  • Ice Chute: This is where the ice cubes are dispensed from into your glass. Sometimes, it becomes frozen or blocked by loose ice cubes.
  • Fill Tube: This is where water is directed from the water line into the ice maker molds. Sometimes, it freezes over, preventing the molds from filling.
  • Ice Bin: Sometimes, the ice cubes in the ice bin can stick together, forming solid or large blocks and preventing dispensing. 
  • Auger Motor: The auger moves ice forward in the bin ready for dispensing. Sometimes, its motor freezes, preventing dispensing.

To troubleshoot these potential causes, follow these steps:

  • Ice Chute and Fill Tube: Locate these components on your Kenmore fridge and inspect them for jams. If you suspect ice is blocking them, use a hairdryer on the lowest setting to gently thaw them out.
  • Ice Bin: Look inside the ice bin for large clumps. If you find them, dispatch that entire batch of ice and allow the ice maker to make a fresh new batch.
  • Auger Motor: If the auger, a plastic or metal spiral inside the ice bin, doesn’t move when you activate the ice dispenser, it could be frozen. You can defrost it by unplugging your appliance, opening the doors, and allowing it to thaw out naturally for a few hours.

5. The Door Switch Is Faulty 

Many Kenmore refrigerators will not dispense water or ice when the freezer door is open. The door switch is the component that monitors whether the door is open and activates this feature. Therefore, if the door switch is faulty, it may send the signal that the door is open even when it isn’t.

You can check whether the door switch is working by pressing it manually when the freezer door is open. If the light goes out when you do this, it is working, if it stays on, it is faulty.

If you believe the door switch is faulty, you can replace it by following the steps below:

  1. Unplug the appliance.
  2. Locate the door switch and gently remove the switch cover with a flathead screwdriver.
  3. Remove the old switch by unscrewing or unclipping it and disconnecting any wires attached.
  4. Install a new switch in its place and put the switch cover back on.
  5. Plug your appliance back in and test to see if the ice maker is now working.

If you don’t feel comfortable carrying out this repair yourself or still haven’t been able to find the cause of your Kenmore ice maker not working, don’t hesitate to call in a professional to help you get your appliance fixed safely and promptly.


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