Kenmore Ice Maker Not Working But Water Dispenser Is

It’s fascinating how a fully functional water dispenser can coexist with a malfunctioning ice maker in the same Kenmore refrigerator. This anomaly is not uncommon and primarily stems from the distinct mechanics that drive each feature. While the water dispenser operates via a direct valve opening, the ice maker has a more intricate process involving a solenoid and motor assembly.

The Kenmore legacy in household appliances dates back to the early 20th century, yet even these dependable machines face occasional hiccups. One notable statistic reveals that nearly 20% of ice maker issues arise from faulty sensors or blocked supply lines. Regular maintenance and occasional system resets can often resolve such issues, highlighting the importance of understanding and addressing the different operational pathways within a single device.

If your Kenmore ice maker is not working but the water dispenser is, the issue is likely specific to the ice maker system. Check for a clogged water filter, faulty thermostat, or frozen fill tubes. Ensuring regular maintenance and addressing these specific parts can often resolve the issue.

Common Reasons Behind Kenmore Ice Maker Malfunctions

Kenmore ice makers can stop working due to various reasons. One common issue is a clogged water filter. If the filter is clogged, water can’t reach the ice maker properly, affecting its performance.

Another problem could be a malfunctioning ice maker motor. If the motor fails, it won’t turn the ice maker parts, and no ice will be produced. Sometimes, simply resetting the motor can solve the issue.

A faulty thermostat can also cause an ice maker to malfunction. The thermostat regulates the temperature inside the ice maker. If it’s not working, the ice-making process can be disrupted.

Lastly, issues with the water supply line can lead to ice maker problems. The line might be frozen or blocked. According to the article, checking and clearing any blockages can help restore the ice maker’s function.

Checking the Clogged Water Filter

The water filter can become clogged with impurities over time. Replacing it every six months is a good practice. It ensures smooth water flow and effective ice making.

When the filter is clogged, water flow is restricted. This can result in smaller ice cubes or no ice at all.

Check your refrigerator’s manual on how to replace the water filter. It’s usually a quick and easy fix.

Inspecting the Ice Maker Motor

The ice maker motor is essential for turning the mechanisms that produce ice. If you suspect it’s faulty, unplug the refrigerator and access the motor.

Inspect for any visible damages or wear. If the motor is beyond repair, consider getting a replacement.

Resetting the motor can sometimes fix minor issues. Follow the manual’s instructions for safe reset procedures.

Ensuring Thermostat Functionality

A thermostat malfunction can stop the ice maker from working. To check the thermostat, you may need a multimeter to test for continuity.

If the thermostat shows no continuity, it’s time to replace it. Always ensure the power is off before handling any electrical components.

Regular checks on the thermostat ensure it regulates the temperature correctly. Consistent temperature control is crucial for efficient ice production.

Dealing with Water Supply Line Issues

The water supply line can get frozen or blocked. Ensure the line is straight and free from kinks.

If there’s a clog, disconnect and clean the line. Thawing a frozen line involves carefully applying heat.

Here is the post that details steps to clear a clogged line. Proper maintenance of the water line ensures a steady water flow to the ice maker.

Distinct Operation Pathways: Water Dispenser Vs. Ice Maker

Kenmore refrigerators have both a water dispenser and an ice maker, each with different mechanisms. The water dispenser works directly by opening a valve when you press the lever. The ice maker, however, involves multiple steps and uses several parts.

Water dispensers usually have fewer components, making them less prone to failure. Their simplicity allows for a straightforward water flow from the inlet valve to your glass. In contrast, the ice maker requires precise temperature control and mechanical actions to produce ice.

Understanding these distinct pathways can explain why one feature may work while the other doesn’t. If you face issues with the ice maker, but the water dispenser operates fine, it’s often due to the more complex process of making ice. Regular checks can help keep both systems running smoothly.

Both systems require proper maintenance for optimal performance. While issues in the water dispenser are often quickly fixed, those in the ice maker might demand a deeper look. According to the article, keeping the intricate parts of the ice maker running properly is essential.

How the Water Dispenser Works

The water dispenser is designed for ease of use. It connects directly to the water supply and uses a simple valve mechanism.

When you press the dispenser lever, it activates a switch. This switch opens the water valve, allowing water to flow out.

Regular cleaning of the spout ensures fresh water every time. The simplicity of this mechanism also means fewer chances of malfunction.

Ice Maker’s Complex Process

The ice maker has a more complicated pathway. It starts by drawing water into an ice mold through a fill tube.

Once the water freezes, a thermostat signals the motor to eject the ice. The ice then drops into the storage bin.

Each component needs to work correctly for the system to produce ice. Regular maintenance of these parts is crucial for optimal performance.

Common Issues and Fixes

For the water dispenser, common issues include clogged filters and faulty valves. These are often easy to fix with simple replacements.

On the other hand, the ice maker can face problems like broken motors and frozen fill tubes. These issues might require more detailed troubleshooting.

Knowing the distinct operation pathways can help you identify and fix problems. This understanding ensures both systems function as intended.

Kenmore Ice Maker Not Working But Water Dispenser Is? [Here is the Troubleshooting Tips]


Start by checking the basic power supply to your Kenmore ice maker. Sometimes, the unit might be unplugged or the circuit breaker could be tripped. Ensuring it’s securely plugged in can quickly solve the problem.

Next, inspect the water supply line for any blockages or kinks. A clogged or frozen line can prevent water from reaching the ice maker. Thawing the line or removing any obstructions can restore its function.

It’s also crucial to keep the ice maker at the right temperature. If your freezer is too warm, the ice maker won’t be able to produce ice. Make sure to set your freezer’s temperature to around 0°F (-18°C) for optimal ice production.

Additionally, this post recommends regularly replacing the water filter. A clogged filter can stop water flow, so changing it every six months can prevent issues. Doing these checks can keep your ice maker running smoothly.

Professional Repairs: When to Call in the Experts

While DIY troubleshooting can resolve many issues, there are times when calling in a professional is necessary. If your Kenmore ice maker still doesn’t work after basic checks, it’s time for expert help. Complex problems often require specialized tools and knowledge.

A significant sign that you need professional assistance is if the ice maker’s motor has failed. Replacing or repairing the motor isn’t a simple task and usually needs a trained technician. Professionals can accurately diagnose and replace faulty components.

Electrical issues are another reason to call an expert. Handling electrical components without proper training can be dangerous. A certified technician can safely address wiring problems and ensure the unit works correctly.

If you’re encountering persistent water leaks, this could indicate a deeper problem. Leaks might stem from internal cracks or defective parts that only a professional can fix. Addressing leaks promptly can also prevent further damage to your appliance and home.

Frequent malfunctions and repeat issues are clear indicators. If your ice maker keeps breaking down despite DIY fixes, an expert can provide a long-term solution. Here is the article that emphasizes the importance of professional repair for recurring problems.

Lastly, warranty considerations often dictate professional repairs. Attempting DIY fixes might void the warranty of your appliance. Always check your warranty terms to see if professional service is covered to avoid extra costs.

Maintain your Kenmore Ice Maker: Prevention Better than Cure

Regular maintenance can keep your Kenmore ice maker in top shape. One simple yet crucial step is to clean the ice maker regularly. This avoids buildup of scale and prevents bacteria from growing.

Replacing the water filter every six months ensures a steady flow of clean water. Filters trap impurities that could clog the system. A fresh filter can prevent many common issues.

Inspect the water supply line to make sure it is not kinked or blocked. A free and clear line ensures a good water flow. This simple check can prevent ice maker malfunctions.

Keep the freezer temperature at the recommended setting, usually around 0°F (-18°C). Maintaining the right temperature helps the ice maker produce ice efficiently. Fluctuations can disrupt the ice-making process.

Run a test cycle after cleaning or replacing parts. This helps confirm that everything is working correctly. Successfully completing a test cycle indicates the ice maker is ready for use.

Regularly checking and maintaining your ice maker can save you from costly repairs. According to this post, a little effort can go a long way. Preventive measures help ensure continuous, trouble-free operation.

Key Takeaways

  • If the water dispenser works, the issue is with the ice maker itself.
  • Check for a clogged water filter that might be blocking water flow.
  • Inspect the thermostat to ensure it’s regulating temperature correctly.
  • Frozen or blocked fill tubes can stop ice production entirely.
  • Regular maintenance helps keep both systems working smoothly.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some common questions about Kenmore ice makers and water dispensers. These answers aim to help you understand and resolve various issues.

Why is my Kenmore ice maker making small or hollow ice cubes?

If your ice cubes are small or hollow, it could be due to a low water supply. Check the water pressure and ensure the refrigerator’s water lines are not kinked or clogged. A filter replacement might also help improve the situation.

A faulty fill valve may cause insufficient water flow into the ice mold. This can result in incomplete or undersized cubes. Regular maintenance of the line and valve can often fix this issue.

How do I reset my Kenmore ice maker?

You can reset most Kenmore ice makers by turning off the power for a few minutes, then turning it back on. Refer to your appliance’s manual for specific instructions as models may vary.

The reset often involves pressing a button or flipping a switch inside the freezer compartment. Performing this task correctly can solve many minor issues without further intervention.

What should I do if my Kenmore refrigerator is leaking water?

If your Kenmore refrigerator is leaking, inspect the water supply line first for any damages or kinks, then check if it’s securely connected to both ends. A leak can also occur due to a blocked defrost drain that needs cleaning.

The issue might also stem from internal components like the drain pan underneath the fridge being full or damaged. Addressing these factors promptly helps prevent more significant malfunctions down the line.

How often should I replace my Kenmore refrigerator’s water filter?

You should replace your Kenmore refrigerator’s water filter every six months to ensure clean drinking water and optimal performance of both ice maker and dispenser functions.

A clogged filter may affect water flow, leading you need frequent replacements depending on usage and local water quality conditions.

Can using a non-Kenmore branded filter harm my refrigerator?

Using non-branded filters might seem economical but may compromise filtration efficiency leading reduced performance levels over time compared authentic ones recommended by manufacturers ensuring safety standards met consistently
also void warranty policies provided under certain conditions where incompatible products utilized
Stick approved brands whenever possible guarantee long term reliability avoid uncertainties arising inferior alternatives


In dealing with Kenmore ice maker issues, understanding the distinct operation pathways and regular maintenance is crucial. Simple DIY troubleshooting can resolve many minor problems. However, knowing when to call in professional help saves time and ensures proper repairs.

Maintaining your Kenmore appliances not only extends their lifespan but also ensures consistent performance. By following these tips, you can keep both your ice maker and water dispenser functioning effectively. Regular attention to small details prevents bigger issues down the line.

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