I’m so lucky to have a new refrigerator with water and ice in the door (I have arrived!) but in the several months since I got the fridge, the water/ice dispeser has become a little drippy, and there is mildew accumulating around the gasket between the actual maker (in the fridge itself) and the door dispenser. There are other issues that I think may be related as well. Just from typing this out I think the refrigerator door is not level, which would cause the gasket to not be sealed with the icemaker, but can you adjust the doors?
Also, I keep the temp at the manufacturer’s recommendations, and I even turned off the energy saver function to see if it would help, but it has not.
Clumped in Clute
If you have any type of warranty with your new refrigerator, this is definitely worth a service call. If however, you purchased your appliance with no warranty for service or parts, continue reading.
Just as a heads up, the troubleshooting process for your automatic ice maker is going to be a bit involved as it actually involves two appliances. It helps to consider your automatic ice maker as an appliance within your freezer.
Here’s what you know, the ice maker unit is functioning in that it is making ice, cutting the ice, and attempting to dispense the ice. The problem occurs while the ice is stored, waiting to be dispensed. It sounds as though the problem is not with your ice maker, but with your freezer.
You know that the ice is melting partially creating clumps.
You also know that there is excess humidity in your freezer.
The ice dispenser is at the top of your freezer, warm air may be somehow entering your appliance and rising, as warm air does. The warm air is then causing your ice to partially melt, creating the ice clumps that the dispenser cannot handle.
Let’s rule out that warm, moist air is not entering your freezer.
Check the flap that seals the chute from the ice dispenser. Sometimes a clump of ice will prevent the flap from closing securely. It’s also possible that the flap is warped, if this is the case it should be replaced.
If everything checks out with the flap, it’s time to check the gasket around the freezer door itself. Grab a crisp dollar bill; shut the bill between the freezer door gasket the frame. If the bill slides out with no resistance, your gasket is not sealing. If there is resistance, great! That section of your gasket is fine. Start at the top left most portion of your door and continue checking at points around the perimeter. If there is no point at which the bill slides out easily, chances are it’s not your gasket. However, it wouldn’t hurt anything to wipe it with a damp, soapy cloth, follow with just a damp wipe down, and then treat the gasket with silicone lubricant. (You can find this in the automotive section of big box stores).
If the gasket isn’t sealing, clean it well, lubricate it with silicone lubricant and try again. If it still doesn’t seal the freezer gasket needs to be replaced. Replacing a gasket is fairly easy fix. Generally you’ll find the replacement of a gasket goes like this:
- Lift up the inside of the gasket to reveal the hex nuts underneath.
- Loosen but don’t remove the hex nuts, remove the gasket and replace with a new one from your local appliance repair store.
- Tighten the nuts.
- Test the seal.
- Follow the steps in the next section to prepare your freezer and ice maker to go back into regular use
If the problem was NOT the gasket or flap.
It’s quite possible that a temporary problem, like an ice cube in the chute flap has set you up for this mess. Turn off your ice maker and freezer. Remove the ice storage unit from the freezer completely. Wipe down your freezer with a dilute bleach solution to kill any mildew and then use a few dry cloths to dry your entire freezer. Wash and dry the ice bucket and check for any broken plastic pieces. If everything looks fine, dry the bin thoroughly, and return it to the freezer. Turn the freezer back on and leave it shut for 24 hours. That’s an entire day. Do not open the door and do not turn on your ice maker. The freezer a chance to get back to its optimum temperature.
After 24 hours open the door and quickly inspect the interior for frost or excess moisture.
If there’s none, great! Turn on your ice maker and return food to the freezer. After each batch of ice gets dumped into the bin, use the ice dispenser to take out a glassful. This will help the bin fill properly.
If there was frost on the inside of the freezer after the 24 hour stabilization period, your defrost thermostat may be malfunctioning. This level of fix is beyond the scope of this article and would most likely involve a service call. The information we’ve gone over will help you know that the appliance repair person isn’t trying to pull one over on you. Go with an appliance repair service recommended by your manufacturer, generally you can find these by calling the customer service line in your appliance manual. If you don’t have your manual, search for the model of your appliance along with the brand name, most manufacturers have online versions.
Submit your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.