Whirlpool Refrigerator Not Making Ice But Water Works?

Dennis Howard
by Dennis Howard

When refrigerator manufacturers introduced the through-the-door water and ice dispensers, they were an expensive feature. However, when the ice stops coming, it can be frustrating. Many Whirlpool refrigerator owners wonder why the ice doesn’t work when the water still flows.

Check the ice maker shut-off arm to make sure that it is in the down position. Move the shut-off arm position if it is facing upward so that it will make ice. Inspect the water supply line for clogs and obstructions, disconnect it, and clean it with a brush or drain snake.

Finding the problem with your Whirlpool refrigerator ice maker may not be as confusing as you think. Following our step by step guide can have your Whirlpool ice maker dispensing ice is a few minutes.

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Step 1 – Check the Ice Maker Shut-Off Arm

The ice maker in your Whirlpool refrigerator has a switch mounted to a swing arm. This switch prevents the ice maker from continuing to make ice when the bin is full. When the arm is in the fully down position, the ice maker operates normally. When the ice in the bin prevents the arm from lowering, the ice maker will not continue the ice making cycle.

The shut-off arm may get pushed to the full up position and it will stay there. This position allows you to stop the icemaking cycle if necessary. The shut-off arm can engage in the top off position accidentally. Make sure that the shut-off arm on your ice maker is down.

Step 2 – Is Water Flowing?

Even if the water dispenser system provides water, this isn’t a good indicator that the ice maker is getting water. The water dispenser and the ice maker use the same water supply line coming to the refrigerator. Inside the refrigerator is a different story. The lines split. The line supplying the ice maker may become clogged or kinked.

There is also a supply valve that keeps the icemaker from overflowing when it is filling. This valve may fail and keep the ice maker from getting water.

Step 3 – Is There Enough Water Flowing?

Most Whirlpool refrigerator ice makers need at least 20PSI of water pressure to work properly. Low water pressure can affect your ice maker in several ways. The automatic inlet valve may not open. You may notice the ice molds not filling properly, resulting in small, misshapen ice cubes.

This problem may happen intermittently if operating more than one faucet or flushing a toilet causes the house’s water pressure to fall too much. If low water pressure or intermittent water pressure is a problem, a licensed plumber can help you with a solution.

Step 4 – Is the Water Line Frozen?

If the temperature in the freezer compartment falls too low, the water line that feeds your ice maker may freeze. A frozen water line may be remedied by simply turning down the thermostat on the freezer to a slightly warmer temperature. In some extreme cases, the entire ice maker must be removed from the freezer and allowed to thaw.

Step 5 – Change the Water Filter in Your Whirlpool Refrigerator

Most new Whirlpool refrigerators equipped with ice makers also have an inline water filter. These filters need changing periodically or they will clog and stop the flow of water.

Consult the user manual that came with your refrigerator to locate the filter. Most appliance and home improvement stores sell replacement filters to fit your Whirlpool refrigerator. Much like the batteries in a smoke detector, you should change these filters regularly.

Step 6 – Check the Ice Maker for Obstructions

Ice can sometimes jam the ice maker mechanism causing your Whirlpool refrigerator not to dispense ice. Look for ice cubes obstructing the movement of the cube ejectors or the automatic shut-off arm.

If too much water enters the ice molds, it can freeze into a solid mass and prevent the ejectors from pushing ice cubes into the bin. Overfilling is an indication of other problems with the control unit or the inlet valve.

Step 7 – Check the Freezer Temperature

The freezer temperature should be at least 10 degrees Fahrenheit to operate effectively. If the freezer is warmer than 10 degrees Fahrenheit, the Whirlpool ice maker may not operate correctly. Turn the freezer thermostat down and wait 24 hours to give the system time to get to the new temperature.

If your freezer doesn’t get any colder, you may have a problem with the thermostat or the condenser. In either case, your best solution is to have a trained Whirlpool service technician check out your refrigerator.

Step 8 – Check the Dispenser Chute for Jams

Occasionally, the ice in the storage bin will thaw slightly and then re-freeze. This thaw and the re-freeze cycle can cause large chunks of ice to form. Check the bin for the large chunks of ice and break them up if necessary.

If one of these chunks of ice is jams in the ice maker’s delivery chute, you must remove it. Using a long-handled wooden spoon, carefully dislodge or break apart the large chunks of ice. Be careful and don’t damage the plastic housing or the dispensing chute.

Never stick your fingers or hands into the dispensing mechanism on the Whirlpool ice maker. The dispenser uses an electrically powered auger to move the ice from the bin to the discharge chute. If the dispense should accidentally activate, injury to your hands or fingers may result.

Step 9 – Check the Door Safety Switch

Your Whirlpool refrigerator has a door safety switch that prevents the ice dispenser from working if the door is open. You can test this switch with a little help. Open the door and locate the switch. While you hold a dish or pan under the dispensing chute, press the door safety switch. Have a friend then push the ice dispensing switch. You should hear the ice maker start to dispense ice.

If the ice maker does not dispense ice, the door safety switch is probably faulty. A trained Whirlpool service technician is the best person to make this repair.

Step 10 – The Refrigerator Door Dispensing Switch

It is rare for the door dispensing switch to fail on a Whirlpool refrigerator, but it can happen. The switch can be checked with a multi-meter but requires the removal of the through-the-door unit. This repair usually requires a trained service technician from Whirlpool.

Error Codes on your Whirlpool Refrigerator

On new side-by-side Whirlpool refrigerators, you may be able to read the error codes. The codes generally show on the digital display above the through-the-door dispenser. The error code typically flashes, making it instantly recognizable.

The error codes may help you diagnosis some problems but are not specific to any part or component on the Whirlpool refrigerator. If you see an error code displayed, make an appointment with a qualified Whirlpool technician. Below is a list of the error codes commonly seen.

Error CodeExplanation
Flashing 6The Whirlpool 6th Sense technology is activated. Putting warm food into the refrigerator or leaving the door open can trigger this error. The flashing 6 error code should disappear when the refrigerator has returned to its normal operating temperature. If the flashing 6 operates for more than a few hours, contact a service representative.
Non-Flashing Error Code 6If the number 6 appears on the display and does not flash, it indicates a computer error. Try unplugging the power to the refrigerator for five minutes. If this doesn’t clear the error, call a trained technician
Error Code dAn error code d indicates the air damper on the refrigerator is stuck. The air damper controls the airflow from the freezer to the refrigerator. Unplug the refrigerator, and if this doesn’t eliminate the error code check the air damper for damage.
Error Code C (refrigerator display)If the thermistor in the refrigerator compartment is not working, the control system will display the error code C. Check the thermistor for proper operation using a multi-meter and replace if defective.
Error Code C (freezer display)This error code on the freezer display indicates the freezer thermistor is not working properly. Test the freezer thermistor and replace if defective.
Error Code CFR (freezer display)The CF error code on the freezer display happens when the communication between the user interface controls on the refrigerator and the main control board is interrupted. Check for loose wires. Diagnosing further requires a trained Whirlpool technician.
Error Code 18F (freezer display)A Code 18F is an indication of an over-temperature condition in the refrigerator. Immediately check the electrical connection to your refrigerator. If the refrigerator is plugged in and there is power to the outlet, this is a serious condition. Contact a Whirlpool technician as soon as possible.

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Finding the Problem and Applying the Fix

Appliances, even refrigerators, are becoming more and more complex. Even what seems like a simple part like an ice maker and dispenser can become an issue. Diagnosing and repairing many of these problems can be done by homeowners. We hope that this step by step guide to diagnosing why your Whirlpool refrigerator Ice maker doesn’t dispense ice has helped.

Dennis Howard
Dennis Howard

Dennis is a retired firefighter with an extensive background in construction, home improvement, and remodeling. He worked in the trades part-time while serving as an active firefighter. On his retirement, he started a remodeling and home repair business, which he ran for several years.

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