Why is My Ice Maker So Slow?

Is your home ice maker taking longer than normal? Unfortunately, this is a common problem that most homeowners experience, which is why we so often get asked the question, “Why is my ice maker making ice slow?” In this article, we will review everything you need to know about slow ice makers and six ways to fix the issue.

Is My Ice Maker Running Slow?

Typical ice makers produce around 100 to 140 cubes daily, depending on the refrigerator model or specific type of ice maker. Depending on the fridge, an ice maker should make about 2-5 pounds of ice per day, which works out to be about 40 cubes; anything less, and it has complex issues that require technical assessment and repair. Always review your refrigerator or ice maker’s manual to know the average amount of ice it should be producing.

Your ice maker production can depend on the type of unit:

Unit Type Daily Ice Production
Top Freezer 2-3 LBs
Side-by-side (side mounted crescent cube) 4-4.5 LBs
Twist Tray 3-3.5 LBs
French Door Style (bottom mount freezer) 2.25 LBs

Why is My Ice Maker So Slow

Common Reasons for a Slow Ice Maker

Possible issues that may be causing your ice maker to run slowly could be: 

  • Poor temperature settings that cause temperatures higher than 5 degrees
  • Dirty condenser coils that traps heat in the system.
  • Ambient temperatures that are too hot and your ice maker will underperform.
  • Low amounts of food inside your freezer can affect the temperature of your freezer. More food helps maintain cold temperatures.
  • A clogged water filter may restrict water flow to your ice maker.
  • A clogged or restricted waterline can cause slow ice production and smaller ice cubes.

5 Steps to Fix a Slow Ice Maker

Now that you know common reasons why your ice maker may be running slowly, it’s time to fix the issue. Here are six ways to solve the issue yourself without the need of an appliance repair company. 

  1. Check your freezer fan
  2. Decrease freezer temperature
  3. Don’t overstock your freezer
  4. Eliminate clogs and pressure issues in water supply lines
  5. Open the freezer door less frequently

1. Check Your Freezer Fan

Most ice makers need to be in a compartment of 15 degrees fahrenheit or less to operate properly. If the fan is not working, your freezer temperature may reach up to 30 degrees fahrenheit, which is not cold enough for the ice maker thermostat.

2. Decrease the freezer temperature

Ice makers work best when the freezer temperature is between 0 to 5 degrees Fahrenheit, although some manufacturers may recommend temperatures below 0 degrees Fahrenheit for optimum ice production. If your ice maker is running slow, consult your user manual before adjusting temperatures for the best results.

3. Don’t overstock your freezer

Excess bulkiness can decrease airflow, creating warm areas and reduce ice forming. Avoid overfilling your freezer with food for optimal performance of your ice maker.

4. Eliminate clogs and pressure issues in water supply lines

Next, check whether your ice cube makes standard water cubes; small water cubes indicate problems with the water line. To solve the issue, pull the freezer from the wall to identify pressure problems in the water line and water supply valve.

Saddle valves sometimes get corroded or clogged internally and sometimes need to be repaired. In these cases, a plumber would repair this.

If your fridge has a removable water filter that has not been replaced for the last six months, consider replacing it. A clogged filter blocks the water supply, thereby lengthening the ice-making process. After the replacement, pass two to three gallons of water through the filter to prevent air from being trapped, which would prevent proper ice maker performance.

5. Open the freezer door less frequently

Frequent opening of the freezer door increases the temperature inside, which slows down the ice maker’s functionality. For the best results, only open the fridge when you need to, and avoid confirming whether your slow ice maker is working effectively after every five minutes.

When to Call a Professional

If you’ve tried these six tips and still notice your ice machine is still running slowly, we recommend calling a refrigerator and freezer repair company. A certified technician can effectively diagnose and repair the issue if you see excess damage in your water supply line. For instance, issues like a blocked dispenser tube can reduce water accessing the refrigerator, and lead to low water pressure on the ice maker, which should be solved by a professional. 

At Pete’s Appliances, we proudly provide home appliance repair in Boston and surrounding areas, and service most major brands. We can help figure out why your ice maker is running slow. Contact us for a quote today.