My Kenmore Ice Dispenser Freezes Up


Many Kenmore side-by-side refrigerators have an ice maker installed in the door. A water inlet valve attaches to a water supply line attached to the water supply underneath the kitchen sink. The water line supplies water to the ice maker tray, which forms the ice cubes then cuts them when the ice lever is pressed down. An ice maker can freeze up at times if it is not handled properly, or when conditions in the freezer are not correct.


  • Your thermostat must be set to the right temperature for your ice maker to work properly. A freezer that is running too cold will cause the water lines and ice maker to freeze up. Look for ice buildup on the walls of the freezer. This indicates that the freezer is too cold or is not defrosting properly. The defrost timer should cycle your refrigerator so that ice buildup does not occur.

Water Inlet Line

  • A leaking water inlet supply line will cause your ice maker to freeze up. Inspect the line at the back of the fridge for signs of leaks on the outside, which may indicate a leak at the ice maker as well. Open the freezer and inspect the water inlet above the ice maker for signs of leaks. You will need to remove the ice maker to repair it.

Removing the Ice Maker

  • Unplug the refrigerator from the wall to prevent shock during the repair. Open the door and locate the screw holding the ice maker to the freezer wall. Remove the screw with a nut driver. Unplug the ice maker from the wire connector. The ice maker should come loose.

Cleaning the Ice Maker

  • Cleaning the ice maker once it is removed will remove the built-up ice and may prevent buildup in the future by removing dirt. Clean the ice maker tray with dish soap and warm water until the ice is removed. Plug in a hair dryer and aim the heat at the water inlet valve inside the freezer to melt the water inside.

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