Will a Dirty or Clogged Water Filter Stop the Ice Maker?

When it comes to filtering options, you will normally encounter multiple types of water filters which function differently from the next. But when it comes to your ice maker and filtering system of a refrigerator, it is most likely to vary.

A dirty or clogged water filter can stop the ice maker from working if water can no longer pass through the filter and into the ice machine. Water for both the ice machine and drinking water in a refrigerator will pass through the same filter so replacing the filter every 3-6 months will prevent issues with both.

Read on to learn more about how fridge water filters work and how to fix and prevent other issues with your ice machine.

Does ice maker water go through a filter?

Yes, your fridge will run water through its water filter before it makes it way to the ice machine.

This ice filtration system will process the water to make good ice and will also remove any chlorine, particulates, and any other contaminants that result in the ice looking cloudy, smelling awful, and tasting bad. Some ice filters are even equipped with anti-frost, which increases the efficiency of the filtering process.

Will replacing the water filter fix the ice maker?

If a dirty or clogged water filter is the issue, replacing it will fix the ice maker.

However, there are other things that could be causing issues with your ice maker other than simply not getting the water it needs.

Before you freak out, be sure to check for these other culprits:

  • Mechanical issues (something is broken)
  • Ice bin inserted incorrectly
  • Water has been turned off or disconnected
  • The ice machine has been turned off
  • Scale or other deposits from previously unfiltered water

Ice machine turned off

Super common!

Most modern fridges have a button or touchscreen panel that allows you to turn the ice machine on or off. Before you run to the hardware store or call a professional, be sure that your ice machine is actually turned on!

Ice bin inserted incorrectly

This is a common issue that is often overlooked.

If you’ve recently had to take out your ice bin to clean it or dump a bunch of ice out, you might not have replaced it correctly. If the bin isn’t seated properly, your ice maker will probably fail to function.

Water turned off

Another common issue.

Most refrigerators are connected to a water line located on the wall behind the fridge. There will typically be a little spigot there that you can turn on or off to provide water to the unit. Ensure that the water is on and working.

Mechanical issues

If you hear loud noises while attempting to use your ice maker, there might be a mechanical issue and you should stop using it immediately.

Open up the freezer area and see if you can see any broken pieces or other damage. In some cases, you might need to call in a professional if you aren’t comfortable diagnosing this kind of issue yourself.

Scale or other deposits

Scale is mostly made out of calcium and magnesium in the water supply. High mineral contamination could build up in the ice machine – the best indicator to identify buildup, is by looking at the ice cube. Is it deformed, cloudy and tastes like tap water?

Is the evaporator tray frozen into a block of ice or cracked, enen broken? Then you have a problem of mineral buildup in your pipes.

Replacing the filter with a phosphate filter would tremendously improve your ice quality and the ice making machine.

Where is the filter for the ice maker?

More often than not, the ice machine filter is located inside the machine, inside an accessory packet. Some very common refrigerators come with a water filter already installed but it is not recommended to keep it in without removing it once in a while for cleaning.

Consult your user manual for the specific location of your filter. In nearly all cases, these filters are easily serviced by the owner without special tools.

Will a refrigerator dispense water without a filter?

Yes, but it depends on the company and model number of your refrigerator. Either way, a refrigerator will still work.

Just be aware that without the water filter, your water will taste, smell and look like water from your local treatment facility. For your own safety, it is not recommended to run your fridge without filtering it.

How long does it take to make ice after replacing the filter?

Well, this could take anywhere between a couple of hours to an entire day; 24 hours.

If this continues for much longer, ensure that you have cancelled out any lying variables by: checking to make sure the ice maker is on, water pressure, make sure the reset button is working in order to change it if it were accidentally switched.

What is the best water filter for an ice maker?

  • Pure water inline water filter – this is one of the most well-known and top-rated water filters out there at the moment. It is efficient, and durable – though not the most durable around) and reliable for producing fresh water in the household. It also improves taste and appearance and is certified by the NSF. This water filter also comes complete with a water line, mounting bracket, instruction manual, water line adapters, and a shutoff valve.
  • Culligan EZ – Change inline Ice Maker Water Filter – this is a single cartridge refrigerator water filter by the company Culligan, and it has proven to its purchasers that it dispenses clean and fresh ice from thoroughly purified water. It works quite well at eradicating toxins, which keeps both you and your family safe. Buyers have reported the filter is effortless to maintain and replace, it has a long serving life and faster water filtration rates.
  • EZ-FLO Inline water Filter – purchasers of this particular unit have reported it to be of high quality, affordable, it has a great filtering capacity, durable, and as with the Culligan EZ – Change, easy to exchange. Its only disadvantage is its brass compression fit not properly fitting in the filtering hose.

The dangers of not changing your refrigerators water filter

  • Mercury – excess levels of mercury have been found to cause damage to the kidneys, your brain and even in developing fetuses in pregnant women. There doesn’t need to be a lot of mercury in the drinking water but just a little too much and you might end up with health concerns.
  • Pathogens – Various microscopic animals and bacteria, viruses, and parasites might live in the water and are not exempt from exposure, even in your home. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), waterborne disease outbreaks resulted in nearly 300 cases of illness, over 100 hospitalizations and 17 deaths between 2013 and 2017.
  • Lead – This is one of the worst culprits on this matter because consuming too much from the city water supply can lead to neurological challenges, behavioral and other health problems. It could even be fatal sometimes if your pipes are not monitored or changed for a long time.
  • Waste – Chemical spillage and waste byproducts, sometimes radioactive contaminants, can end up in your drinking water. This is due to leaks and improper waste storage. Moreover, pharmaceutical drug waste has been tested in fresh drinking water.

In conclusion, will a water filter stop the ice-making machine? Yes, but that will only happen  when you neglect your water filtration units. Though the above examples are a quick way to get the job done, you have to be aware of what you are buying to fix any household water problems.