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How to Unfreeze an Ice Cube Maker

The fill line runs from the water valve at the back of the refrigerator to the ice maker and dispenser door.

The fill line runs from the water valve at the back of the refrigerator to the ice maker and dispenser door.

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Ice cube makers are a modern convenience provided with many side-by-side refrigerator models. However, if your ice maker is not producing ice, or if the ice produced is too small, the convenience is not so great. Often this is due to a frozen fill tube, which may be caused by ice backing up in the bin, or a refrigerator thermostat that is set too low. You could unplug the refrigerator to thaw the lines, but this requires emptying the contents of the refrigerator. A more convenient option is to use a hairdryer to quickly thaw the lines.


Confirm first that your ice maker is not malfunctioning. Pour about 1/2 cup of water into the ice maker’s water reservoir.


Wait two hours so that the water has time to freeze and dispense the ice. If it does not make ice, the ice maker may have a mechanical problem that requires service. If it does make ice, then you know the ice maker is functional and you can continue thawing the lines.


Unplug your refrigerator to turn off the power to the ice maker. You do not have to remove the contents of the refrigerator or freezer because it should remain cold for the short length of time you’ll have it off.


Lay a towel beneath the ice maker. Remove the ice bin and dump out any ice inside. Set the bin aside.


Pull down on the metal retaining clip to remove it from the housing that holds the fill tube. Note that not all ice makers will have this clip.


Apply heat with a hairdryer to the ice maker fill tube, which is usually a white, rubber-like hose. Hold the nozzle of the hairdryer at the front of the ice maker so that the heat will blast into the fill line. Set the hairdryer to its lowest heat setting to avoid melting the plastic lines and parts of the ice maker.


Move the hairdryer constantly so that the heat doesn’t concentrate in one area for any length of time. Avoid allowing water to drip into the hairdryer. This can cause an electric shock.


Continue to apply heat until you see moisture dripping onto the towel. Turn off the hairdryer and wait until the moisture no longer drips onto the towel.


Turn the thermostat up a fraction and plug in your refrigerator. Turn the ice maker on again. This should resolve the freezing problem.

Things You Will Need

  • Water
  • Hairdryer
  • Towel


  • If you’d rather not use a hairdryer, you can soak the supply tubes with hot water instead. Place the bin back into the ice maker and apply hot water to the tube with a turkey baster. Let the water overflow into the ice bin.
  • If your ice maker repeatedly freezes up, it should be pulled and inspected by a qualified service technician.

References (3)

  • Don Vandervort’s Home Tips: Ice Maker Troubleshooting and Repair
  • GE Appliances: Ice Maker: Will Not Receive Water
  • AP Wagner: Why Is There an Ice or Water Dispensing Problem

About the Author

Renee Miller began writing professionally in 2008, contributing to websites and the “Community Press” newspaper. She is co-founder of On Fiction Writing, a website for writers. Miller holds a diploma in social services from Clarke College in Belleville, Ontario.

Photo Credits

  • Ryan McVay/Photodisc/Getty Images
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How to Fix a Frozen Ice-Maker Supply Line How to Fix a Frozen Ice-Maker Supply Line

What You’ll Need

Clean rags


Hair dryer

What You’ll Need

Clean rags


Hair dryer

If you ignore a frozen ice-maker supply line, your machine will stop producing ice. However, a frozen supply line is a common issue in refrigerators with freezers, and it’s easy to fix. To safely and effectively get your ice machine running again, complete the steps that follow.

Warning: Before working on your fridge, disconnect it from any electricity sources. If you do not, you risk getting shocked. In addition, do not use the hair dryer in the following steps while standing in or near any water.

Step 1 – Turn off the Refrigerator

Turn off your refrigerator before proceeding. In addition to letting you safely work on the issue, turning off the fridge will also let your frozen supply line to start naturally thawing. If you have any food in your fridge that could spoil easily, transfer it to another fridge, freezer, or icebox temporarily.

Step 2 – Assess the Ice Bin

Next, remove any ice on the surface of the freezer that you see. Clear any ice from the bin. This simple step could repair your problem, but you should complete the following steps to ensure you don’t have problems with the supply line in the future as well. With the ice maker emptied, now is the perfect time to clean the ice maker .

Step 3 – Find the Supply Line

Find the supply line that you suspect has frozen and is cutting off your ice maker’s supply of water. Your supply line should be about the width of your thumb, and different lines will vary in color. Once you have located it, detach any devices or clips that hold it in place.

Step 4 – Prepare to Catch Water

Place a bucket below the supply line to catch any water that may drip off of it. Or, spread out dry rags on the floor.

Step 5 – Thaw the Fill Tube

Next, use a hair dryer on low heat to thaw the fill tube. Make sure you plug the dryer into an outlet that can reach the area you’re working at but is is far away enough from where the fridge’s water may drip. If you see any water spilled nearby, stop the process immediately, unplug the dryer, and clean up the water. Do not stand in any water while using the dryer. Continue this heating process until the supply line feels thawed. Only feel the line with the dryer unplugged and turned off.

Step 6 – Test Your Ice Maker

Finally, you can clean up your area and prepare to test your ice maker. Put your supply line back the way you found it, and put back any items you’ve removed from the fridge. With the water cleaned up, you can now plug your fridge back in to turn on the power. Test your ice maker to see if it works.

If your machine still isn’t producing ice, continue troubleshooting your ice maker by checking its valves, bail wire, and more.

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