Kenmore Refrigerator Icemaker Not Working: How to Fix

One of the best features of Kenmore refrigerators is the icemaker. However, what if this feature stops working all of a sudden? Can you do something about the Kenmore Refrigerator ice maker not working?

Kenmore ice maker can stop working for various reasons. Icemakers get water from a hose attached to the house’s water supply line. This is one of the first places you should check to see if anything seems wrong. However, there are other possible causes. So, have a technician check why your ice maker is not working.

Read on to learn more about why the Kenmore refrigerator ice maker is not working and the steps to fix and prevent it from happening.

About Kenmore Refrigerators

Kenmore Refrigerator Icemaker Not Working

Kenmore is a subsidiary brand under the Sears Corporation. The brand name first came about in 1913 as the name attached to Sears” line of sewing machines. In 1927, Sears also put this brand name on its washing machines.

The first Kenmore refrigerator did not come about until decades later when Sears re-branded its line of refrigerators, air conditioners, and other electronic home appliances, formerly known as Coldspot.

How to Reset Kenmore Refrigerator Icemaker

Sometimes, you only need to reset the icemaker to get it working properly again. Before going through the troubleshooting steps, you should try resetting the unit first:

  1. Remove the front plate cover of the icemaker. Just hold onto the sides of the cover and give it a good tug. It should come off easily. This will expose the icemaker’s control panel. Look for the on/off switch and turn the machine off;
  2. Unplug the refrigerator and wait for around five minutes before you plug it in again;
  3. After plugging the refrigerator back in, turn the icemaker back on and replace the front plate. Close the freezer door; and
  4. Wait for a while to let the icemaker cycle and see if it fills the ice trays again. If it does not, then you can continue with the troubleshooting steps.

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Common Reasons Why the Kenmore Ice Maker Not Working

If resetting the icemaker did not do the trick, many other reasons may cause the problem. Here are some of the most common reasons:

1. Freezer Temperature Is Set Too High

It could be above 10°F. If the freezer thermostat is set too high, the ice maker can’t’ efficiently make the ice, if at all. Ideally, the freezer temperature should be somewhere between 0- and 5°F for the proper functioning of the ice maker.

Check the Condenser Coils for Dirt

If you set the thermostat properly, but the actual temperature is still too high, something else may be wrong. Check the condenser coils to find out if dirt and debris do not bog them down.

Check the Fan and Evaporator Ice

See to it if the fan is freely spinning. While you are there, you should also check the evaporator ice did not cover it. If that’s the case, the automatic defrost system might have failed. This will be a tricky repair to DIY, so it is best to get a professional technician to help you.

2. Water Inlet Valve

Provides Water to the Fridge’s Ice Maker and Dispenser

This is an electronically-controlled valve. When it opens, it will provide water to the fridge’s ice maker and dispenser. In case of a defective water inlet valve, the ice maker will not receive water. The problem is that without water, it cannot make ice.

Check the Inlet Valve Using a Multimeter

The Kenmore refrigerator’s water inlet valve typically needs a minimum of 20 psi of water pressure for it to function. However, if the water pressure coming from your kitchen faucet seems to have more than enough pressure, the problem may be the inlet valve.

If you have a multimeter, use it to check if the inlet valve is receiving power. If the inlet valve gets power and sufficient water pressure, the issue may be the automatic inlet valve. It could be faulty, and you will need to replace it.

3. Icemaker Assembly

If the issues mentioned above were not at fault for the malfunctioning ice maker, the issue might be more serious. The problem may be with the ice maker assembly. Even if only one of its parts is faulty, you will need to replace the entire thing.

4. Icemaker Module

kenmore refrigerator ice maker not dispensing ice

Cycles the Ice Ejector Arms to Release the Ice

The icemaker module has an electric motor that cycles the ice ejector arms to extrude the formed ice into the container. The thermostat in the trays will sense if it reaches 15°F. It will trigger the icemaker module to turn on its motor to release the ice cubes.

At the end of this cycle, the icemaker module will route power to the water inlet valve. This is to refill the ice trays as a means of repeating the entire process. If the icemaker module is defective, the icemaker will neither make ice nor dispense it.

Check the Switch

To check if the icemaker module is at fault, check first if the on/off switch is in the right position. Also, check if the bail arm is pointing downward. On the other hand, if the icemaker has ejector blades, check if there are no ice cubes stuck in them. The reason is that the stuck ice cubes may prevent them from turning.

If you suspect that the icemaker module is at fault, you should contact a technician to make sure. Professional technicians usually have other test points to help further diagnose any problems with the icemaker module.

5. Low Water Pressure

If the water pressure coming from your house’s water supply is not strong enough, it will not make the inlet valve open. In case the water in your home seems weak, hire a plumber. This is to figure out any leaks in your house’s plumbing that are lowering the water pressure.

The water pressure coming from the water feed line should be at least 20 psi. This should trigger the inlet valve to open.

6. Refrigerator or Freezer Door Switch

The door switch automatically turns off the ice maker and the water dispenser if the fridge’s door is open. If the door switch is broken, it will not trigger the icemaker and water dispenser to turn on.

To figure out if the door switch is at fault, take it off its mounting. Use a multimeter to test for continuity (if the switch closes the circuit) if it is in the on position. If it is not testing for continuity, you will need to replace the door switch.

7. Ice Level Control Board

Some Kenmore refrigerators come with an infrared sensor to check if the ice bucket is already full of ice. If the ice volume triggers the sensor, it will cause the control board to shut off the ice maker. Meanwhile, if the ice drops below the infrared sensor, it will route power to the icemaker. This is so it can make more ice.

You will need to use a multimeter to check if the control board is getting power. If it is getting power, but it is still not working, you will need to replace it.

8. Icemaker Tray Thermostat

Monitors the Ice Tray’s Thermostat

As the name suggests, the icemaker tray thermostat monitors the ice trays’ temperature. If the ice tray reaches a certain temperature, it will trigger the icemaker module to eject the formed ice cubes. After that, it will fill the tray again with water.

Use a Multimeter to Test the Ice Tray Thermostat

Once again, you will need a multimeter to test the ice tray thermostat for continuity. However, keep in mind that the temperature in the freezer needs to be cold enough to trigger the thermostat.

You will need to test the thermostat with the freezer working. As mentioned earlier, the temperature in the freezer needs to be lower than 20°F. This should trigger the ice maker to turn on.

9. Icemaker Switch

Other than accidentally turning off the icemaker, the switch might also be faulty. This is why it won’t turn on. If the icemaker’s switch is on, but the ice maker still won’t’ turn on, check it for continuity using a multimeter. If the icemaker switch is not getting a continuity reading, it is faulty and requires replacement.

10. Water Filter

Another reason why your ice maker is not working is that it has a clogged water filter. It will restrict the flow of water to the icemaker. This is why you need to replace the water filter every six months.

Through regular replacements, you can ensure a continuous flow of clean water into the icemaker. If you haven’t’ changed the water filter yet since you bought the fridge, it is probably time to replace it.

11. Door Gasket

Creates a Suction That Keeps the Door from Opening

It was mentioned earlier that the freezer needs to be at a certain temperature for the icemaker to work properly. Most people do not realize that the door gasket creates a suction that keeps the door from opening. It also supports most of the cold air trapped inside the freezer. This will keep the temperature inside the freezer at a constant freezing temperature.

Check If There Are Any Tears

Check the door gasket if there are any tears or if chunks ripped off the rubber door gasket. If the gasket sustained some damage, you need to replace it with a brand new one. Fortunately, replacing refrigerator door gaskets is an easy task.

Again, why is Kenmore Refrigerator Icemaker not working? Check if you have accidentally switched off the refrigerator’s icemaker switch. If it’s on, then use an Ohm meter to determine if the switch has problems. Replace it if needed.

Tips on How to Maintain Your Kenmore Refrigerator Icemaker

kenmore fridge ice maker not working

An ounce of prevention is always better than a pound of cure. This also applies to your fridge’s ice maker. If you do not want your Kenmore elite refrigerator ice maker not working, take real good care of it.

Here are a couple of tips that might help:

1. Replace the Water Filter Regularly

The Kenmore refrigerator manual states that you need to replace the ice maker and dispenser’s water filter every six months. A clogged water filter will greatly lessen the water pressure reaching the inlet valve. This can then prevent it from opening.

Replacement water filters are quite cheap. You can install them in an accessible position so you can replace them yourself.

2. Do Not Overcrowd Your Freezer

It is ideal that you only keep your freezer around ¾ full. This will allow the food to absorb a bit of heat. That way, the freezer will not be automatically defrosting that often. It will prevent the ice in the ice bucket from melting and forming large clumps.

3. Alternate Between Crushed Ice and Ice Cubes

This will prevent frost from blocking the passages of the ice dispenser. Also, clean off any frost that you see.

Conclusion – Kenmore Refrigerator Icemaker Not Working

A variety of reasons could cause your Kenmore refrigerator icemaker to stop functioning properly. For instance, it should be the first part to investigate because the ice maker receives water from a water line. Several other issues might cause the icemaker to go haywire, so have a professional check it out.

Some problems also seem simple enough to solve, like resetting the icemaker or replacing the door gasket. If you are big on home improvement, you can try your hand at using the other remedies.

Related reading:

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