It is great if you have a modern refrigerator, equipped a full-utility freezer with an ice maker. The ice maker is one of the most useful features in a freezer. It can provide you with a continuous supply of ice for daily use without having to manually fill the ice tray with water and put it in the freezer. This article will provide you with the basic information about the operation of an ice machine and how to use the ice maker in freezer.
What is a refrigerator ice maker?
The original form of the home ice machine was the plastic ice tray. The way this device works is quite clear: pouring water into the ice tray, put it in the freezer of a refrigerator until it turns solid, and then take out the ice cubes.
An refrigerator ice maker does the same thing, but the watering and ice extraction process is fully automated. Therefore, we can say that the home ice maker is an ice-cube assembly line.
In general, most ice makers use three main components including an electric motor, an electrically operated water valve and an electric heater. To power all of these elements, you must connect the ice maker to the circuit that powers your refrigerator. Also, you have to connect the ice maker to the plumbing in your house to provide fresh water for the ice cubes. The power line and water intake both run through a hole in the back of the freezer.
Further reading: Which Refrigerator is the Best for a Family with 4-5 Members?
How does an ice maker work?
The ice maker is a unit and is interconnected to begin its cycle. The ice maker is powered by a simple electrical circuit and different switches. Home ice machines in the freezer are often simpler in construction than commercial ice machines.
Initially, the switch in the electrical circuit will let the current flow to the solenoid valve. Usually, the solenoid valve will be designed to be located at the back of the refrigerator and connected to the central circuit by electrical wires. The charge moves the solenoid and opens the water valve when the current follows this path.
The water valve opens for 3 to 7 seconds. A small amount of water is provided enough to fill the mold which is usually made of plastic, has many holes and different shapes; it can be spherical, semi-spherical, star, or square. The ice tray is designed to stick together the ice cubes frozen.
Once the ice mold is filled, the freezer unit does its job. The ice maker will be integrated with a temperature measuring device to monitor the temperature level inside the mold. When the temperature is reduced enough to freeze the water, the ice maker controls the temperature to the appropriate level.
The electrical circuit that drives the motor to rotate a gear, and a genetic effect occur. As the blades move, they push the ice cubes out of the mold and move forward into the collection bin below the ice maker.
How to use the ice maker in the freezer
Not every full-size refrigerator or top/bottom-freezer refrigerator has an ice maker. However, now modern refrigeration equipment has integrated this feature to increase use utility. Using the freezer’s ice maker is pretty straightforward.
You should keep the following details in mind:
- The amount of ice will be made and refilled continuously for 24 hours. However, suppose you have just installed a new refrigerator. In that case, the amount of ice produced will be relatively small because the air in the pipes is limited, leading to 2-3 times less rotation than usual.
- If you do not need to use ice or use less ice, it will take about 1 to 2 days to refill the icebox in the freezer. You need to check the water pipes regularly because dirt will cause the stone to have a strange smell or change color. With new freezer equipment, often the first stage ice will have a plastic smell; you should not use this ice.
- How to turn on the ice machine is quite simple. You just need to connect the water pipe to the water can and open the valve. However, if your water valve is on but there is no water coming out, or the water valve is making a loud noise. You should check your ice machine. Once you’ve connected the water valve, locate the cooler below the ice maker and push it back. Then lower the switch to the “ON” position. The ice maker will produce regular ice, depending on your needs.
- If you want to turn off the ice maker in the freezer, lift the switch until it buzzes and stops in the OFF position. The ice maker will automatically turn off if the ice bucket is full.
You may also like: Which is the Cheapest Smart Refrigerator?
Bottom freezer models: How to turn on the ice maker in GE French Door Refrigerator
Top freezer refrigerator ice maker: Frigidaire
Situations when you should not use an ice maker
You should not use the freezer ice machine when it is in trouble because using this ice will affect your health or worsen the freezer’s conditionally, those situations are:
The ice maker suddenly turns off while making ice. This is the most straightforward problem to solve. Check the ice maker switch because it is very likely that someone has accidentally turned it off.
The refrigerator thermostat is broken. A damaged thermostat will affect the freezing function of the freezer. You can adjust it using the temperature setting or call a professional to repair your refrigerator’s thermostat.
The ice is stuck in the mold. This is the most common problem with ice machines. The ice stuck together in the ice bucket can’t get out. The fix is very easy; you just need to turn off the ice maker and pour a little warm water into it to melt the ice.
The water line is blocked or leaking. If the water line is blocked by dirt, your ice will be contaminated with bacteria and have strange color and smell.
Further reading: Best Top-Freezer Refrigerator without Ice Maker
How do I turn the ice maker ON or OFF for my Whirlpool refrigerator?
There are many types of ice makers, so if your ice maker is not the same as below, please read the Owner’s Manual for detailed information.
For the ice maker in the freezer, on some models, you can follow these steps:
- To turn the ice maker ON: Simply lower the wire shutoff arm.
- To manually turn the ice maker OFF: Lift the wire shutoff arm to the OFF (arm up) position and you will hear the click.
Normally, the ice maker has an automatic shutoff. During the ice making process, the ice cubes will fill the ice storage bin and the ice cubes will raise the wire shutoff arm to the OFF (arm up) position. In case of auto shutoff function, do not force the wire shutoff arm up or down.
When should you turn your ice maker off?
When the water supply does not connect to the water supply line, you should turn the ice maker off. If the ice maker remains on, and not connected to water supply, the following results could potentially happen:
- The ice maker will continue to try to make ice. This will cause a buzzing sound.
- Causing the refrigerator section to be too cold.
- Making food and vegetables in crisper drawers to freeze.
Further reading: Smart Refrigerator and Its Features – New Trend of the Times
How does a refrigerator ice maker work?
Knowing how a refrigerator ice maker works is very useful as you will use the ice maker more efficiently. When it doesn’t work, you may guess where the troubles come from and easily find out troubleshooting tips to repair it.
The bottom line
The freezer ice machine is a very convenient gadget. You need to master the principle of operation and how to use the ice machine properly to avoid unwanted damage.
I hope this article provides all the information you need.
- Dirty Ice Makers Will Get You Sick, newair.com, Retrieved on April 3, 2022
- How ice makers work, howstuffworks.com, Retrieved on April 4, 2022
- How do I use the ice maker in my top-freezer refrigerator?, frigidaire.com, Retrieved on April 3, 2022