How To Fix a GE Refrigerator Ice Dispenser

Having an ice dispenser is pretty useful. After a day out at work or of enjoying the warm weather outside, it feels great to open up your refrigerator and get some ice-cold water. But it can be a downer if your GE refrigerator is not dispensing that refreshing ice.

Electrical problems, a faulty water supply, defective dispenser components, and ice jams can all cause your GE refrigerator to stop dispensing ice.

Many homeowners make the mistake of dialing the appliance repairman immediately after thinking there's a problem with their GE refrigerator's ice dispenser. The truth is, you can save yourself a lot of money by performing a quick check first to see if it's something you can fix yourself, and in some cases, the fix is pretty simple. This page will teach you how to troubleshoot and fix a GE refrigerator's ice dispenser. 

Here are some common reasons that lead to your GE refrigerator ice dispenser not working:

The Basics

When dealing with appliances, it is best to start with the simplest things and go from there.

Check Your Ice Maker to Ensure It is Plugged In

First, you need to make sure your ice maker is connected adequately because that is the only way it will make ice.

You can locate the plug on the left rear wall, next to its mount. When pulling out the ice bucket to access the ice maker’s plug, ensure the ice bucket's plug is firmly in place because you need to pull out the ice bucket before you reach the plug of the ice maker.

Make Sure the Switch is Turned On

There will be a switch on your ice maker that will turn the ice maker on or off. Make sure this switch is turned on. The controller can accidentally be turned off when, for example, items are being put into the refrigerator and accidentally bump into the switch.

Check the Water Supply

Your ice maker cannot make ice unless it has access to the fridge's water supply. There are three points to be checked for water supply: 

  • First, check the water filters in order to see if anything is loose or leaky. 

  • Examine the underside of the fridge where the water line connects

  • Check the water line connection itself and be sure that everything appears to be in place.

Reasons Why Your GE Refrigerator is Not Dispensing Ice

Faulty Dispenser Control Board

The dispenser control board manages most of the mechanical functions in your GE refrigerator's ice dispenser. If your control board has failed, it may not supply power to the whole dispenser assembly, which then cannot make ice. 

Test each dispenser component before testing the control board if only one is not working, in which case a single part is more likely to have failed than the whole board. Likewise, control boards are more likely to malfunction if the dispenser is not working as a whole, so fixing one broken component now can save you the headache of replacing the whole board later.

If you have determined it is indeed the control board, you must replace the control board. You may then need to troubleshoot individual components if you suspect they are not working correctly. For more information on GE refrigerator control boards, refer to Replace a GE Refrigerator's Control Board.

Defective Dispenser Switch

The job of the dispenser switches is to tell the ice maker when to start making ice. If one or more of the dispenser switches is not working, the dispenser itself will not release ice. Test each dispenser switch with a multimeter. Replace any switch that does not have continuity.

Door Not Closing Properly

Ice will only dispense from the tray when the door is closed completely. A damaged door seal or any obstruction will prevent the door from pressing the switch, preventing the ice dispenser from working. Check the door hinges and gaskets for any damage or cracks. Worn or damaged parts should be replaced.

Ice Chute Jammed

If your ice maker is making ice but is not dumping it, the ice chute is probably jammed. The defrost heater melts the ice as it passes through the machine and falls into the ice chute tray. If there is too much ice built up or it falls in improperly, it will jam in the dispenser assembly, preventing you from receiving any ice. 

Turn off your refrigerator for a while and let the ice soften up a bit so you can remove it. Once the ice is removed, check the dispenser assembly to see if anything has gotten stuck in there. If so, take it out and clean it off.

Auger Motor

Auger motors move the ice from the maker to the dispenser. If you press the lever on your ice dispenser but no ice comes out, then it is possible the auger motor in your GE refrigerator is not running.

Make sure that your refrigerator and freezer are turned off. Troubleshoot the motor by testing for continuity with a multimeter. Purchase a new one if there is no continuity.

Defective Solenoid Valve

There are two solenoid valves in your GE refrigerator’s freezer, and they both serve the same purpose. When the freezer is in defrost mode, these valves allow air to pass through them.

If you have ice in your freezer but the dispenser is not working, then it is possible that the solenoid valve is defective. When they have failed, you will see icing on your food and no dispense of ice cubes.

If a solenoid valve is defective, the defrost heater will not work correctly, and your refrigerator will not be able to defrost properly. In some cases, a solenoid valve can be repaired, but for this repair to be permanent, it must be done correctly with the right type of solenoid valves for your model. Replace the solenoid valve or contact a technician to repair or replace it for you.

Ice Dispenser Actuator

For the ice maker to make ice, the actuator must be depressed to activate the microswitch. The noise of an auger motor starting is often overshadowed by a click when this happens.

Unfortunately, if an actuator fails, multiple processes within the actuator could be the culprit. For example, there could be a defect in the actuator mounting bracket, switch mounting bracket, or actuator pivot if the actuator does not contact the switch. A misconfigured microswitch could also be to blame.

Ice Crusher Blade

Use warm water to melt away any ice that is jamming the ice crusher blades. In addition, replace any bent or broken ice crusher blades.

Ice Clogs

A clog in your GE refrigerator’s ice maker can prevent the ice from getting to the cube chute. When this happens, your ice cubes will be stuck in the machine and won't make it to the dispenser.

Over time, ice tends to get stuck in the ice maker, causing a clog in your ice maker. This is one of those ice maker problems that can be easily fixed, but it can take some time.

Luckily, this occurs during the winter when you will usually not need to use the ice maker. But if it occurs when you do need ice, you will have to unplug the machine and manually clean your cubes out of the ice maker. You can do this by removing the cover on the top of the ice maker and taking all of your ice cubes out using a spoon.

When to Call a Professional

If you have tried the above solutions to fix your GE refrigerator’s ice troubles but you are still not getting desired results, it may be time to call in a professional. On the other hand, if you see this happen regularly and it is out of the ordinary for your refrigerator, it may be time to specifically contact a GE refrigerator repair company near you.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is my GE fridge not dispensing ice?

It could be a leaking or overfilled icemaker, which would need to be serviced. In addition, there may be times when icing jams in the ice chute. Remove the ice bucket from the freezer by opening the icebox door inside the left refrigerator door if this occurs.

Why isn't my GE ice maker working?

It could be a valve problem. Water cannot flow through a defective water inlet valve or a valve with insufficient pressure, and so the ice maker cannot produce ice. A minimum of 20 psi is needed for the valve to operate correctly. Check whether the water inlet valve is has sufficient water pressure using a multimeter.

How do you unfreeze a GE refrigerator ice maker?

A hairdryer can be used to heat the fill tube of the ice maker, which looks like a white rubber hose. Using the hairdryer nozzle, blow heat into the fill line so that it will warm the excess ice in the machine. If the ice maker has plastic lines and parts, set the hair dryer to the lowest heat setting to avoid melting them.

How do I reset my ice maker?

Connect the refrigerator to the wall for 30 seconds, then unplug it for 30 seconds. Next, press the feeler arm three times sequentially within 15 seconds following the restoration of power. By doing so, water should flow into the reservoir of the ice maker and start the ice production cycle.

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