Can Water Filter Cause Ice Maker Not To Work?

Last Updated on September 8, 2023 by Nigel Pearson

Yes, a faulty or clogged water filter can cause your ice maker to malfunction or stop working altogether. If the water filter is too old or has been used for a long time, it can also reduce the water flow to your ice maker. The sediment and impurities from the water will begin to accumulate in the filter and restrict its ability to pass sufficient water through it. This can cause a significant obstruction that prevents enough water from entering the ice maker.

Can Water Filter Cause Ice Maker Not To Work?

Can water filter cause ice maker not to work
Water filter in ice maker

Yes, In some cases, an inadequate water filter or an improperly installed one can cause the ice maker to malfunction or not work. If the filter has become clogged and restricts the water flow to the ice maker, it can lead to poor performance or even complete failure. If you’ve replaced it and still have problems, it may be time to look at other potential causes.

Why Is My Ice Maker Not Working?

Why is my ice maker not working
My ice maker not working

If you have an ice maker in your fridge but are not producing any ice cubes, there are a few potential causes. One of these potential causes is that there might be something wrong with the water filter being used. The filter can become clogged or otherwise damaged, which will cause the water flow to slow down and prevent the ice maker from getting enough water to make ice cubes.

Reasons Your Ice Maker Isn’t Working

  • Bad inlet valve: If the water inlet valve is having difficulty opening, it could prevent water from entering your ice maker. You can test this by unplugging the refrigerator and checking the resistance of the solenoid using a multimeter.
Bad inlet valve
Bad inlet valve
  • Frozen fill tubes: It is possible that the water filter can cause an ice maker not to work in some circumstances. If a frozen fill tube blocks the water flow into the ice maker, it can prevent the machine from making ice. If this occurs, it is essential to check that the fill tube has not been blocked by debris or sediment coming through the water filter.
    Frozen fill tubes
    Frozen fill tubes
  • Ice maker turned off or paused: One reason why the ice maker might not be working is that it has been turned off or paused. If the water filter isn’t installed correctly, it can cause the water pressure to drop too low for the ice maker to function correctly.
    Ice maker turned off or paused
    Ice maker turned off or paused
  • Blocked dispenser: If your ice maker isn’t working, it could be due to a blocked dispenser line. A clogged or blocked water filter can cause the water supply to the ice maker to be restricted, which in turn prevents it from making and dispensing ice correctly.
  • Clogged water filter: One of the most common reasons an ice maker may not work correctly is a clogged water filter. If the filter is blocked by debris, it prevents the proper amount of water from reaching the ice maker, resulting in poor performance or even complete failure.
  • Temperature set too low: It is possible that the ice maker may not be working because the temperature control on your refrigerator has been set too low. The ideal temperature setting for an ice maker should be between 0-5 degrees Celsius. If your refrigerator’s temperature is below this range, it could cause the ice maker to malfunction and prevent it from producing any new cubes.
  • Water line problems: If the water line to your ice maker is not connected correctly, then this could be causing the issue. It’s essential to check that all connections are secure and there are no blockages in the lines. If these checks do not reveal any issues, it may be worth considering that a water filter might be causing the problem. Water filters can reduce water flow to the ice maker, meaning it takes longer to make ice.
    Water line problems
    Water line problems

How Does Refrigerator Water Filter Affect Ice Maker?

How does refrigerator water filter affect ice maker
Refrigerator water filter ice maker

Positive Effects

  • Better-tasting water: Refrigerator water filters can remove impurities from your water, giving you better tasting and healthier drinking water.
  • Cleaner Ice Cubes: A water filter can help make your ice cubes cleaner and more transparent. While an unfiltered water source can cause cloudy or off-tasting ice cubes, a filter should help improve their quality.
  • Improved Ice Maker Performance: Water filters can improve ice maker performance. When the filter works correctly, it can reduce sediment and contaminants affecting your ice maker’s taste. Additionally, a properly functioning water filter can remove chlorine, damaging rubber components in the ice maker and reducing its efficiency.

 Negative Effects

  • Black Specks in Water or Ice: The presence of black specks in the water or ice produced by an ice maker is usually caused by a clogged or malfunctioning water filter. If the water filter is outdated, dirty, blocked, or otherwise not functioning correctly, it can cause issues with your ice maker.
Black specks
Black specks in water or ice
  • Murky Appearance of Water or Ice: Sometimes, a water filter can cause an ice maker not to work. The ice maker may prevent the production of clear cubes if the water is murky. This could be caused by small particles that the filter did not catch or inefficiencies in the filter itself.
  • Odd smell: In some cases, water filters can cause a strange odor or taste from your ice maker. This is because the filter may filter out impurities that have built up, such as chlorine and minerals. If you notice an odd smell or taste coming from your ice maker, it could signify that the water filter needs to be replaced.
  • Ice is coming out small: A water filter can cause your ice maker to produce small pieces of ice. The issue could be related to the flow rate of the water not reaching the correct pressure, or it might be because of an incorrect bypass valve setting. Using a carbon-based filter can also reduce the amount of water that flows into the ice maker, resulting in smaller than-normal pieces of ice.

How To Get Your Ice Maker To Start Making Ice Again?

  • Break or melt ice clogs: Ice cubes can freeze in the tray over time. This means that no more water can flow in to make new ones. To solve this problem, you need to use a flat kitchen knife or another tool to break up any large clumps of ice. Afterward, run some hot water over the tray until all the cubes have melted and the tray is empty.
  • Lower the control arm: The control arm is a metal lever that controls water flow into an ice maker. It can slow down or stop water flow altogether if lowered too far. Check to ensure that the control arm is not too low, causing your ice maker to stop working.
  • Change the water filter: If your ice maker is not working, the first thing to check is your water filter. It could be that the filter is either clogged or has reached its limit and needs changing.
    Change the water filter
    Change the water filter
  • Turn the ice maker off and on again: the simplest solution for your issue with the water filter and ice maker not working is to turn the ice maker off and on again. This can sometimes reset the machine, allowing it to start working as usual.
  • Rest the ice maker setting: If your refrigerator’s ice maker is not working, a water filter is one of the first things to check. This can often cause an ice maker to malfunction if it’s clogged or blocked. It would be best if you tried resetting the ice maker settings according to your manufacturer’s instructions to check this.
  • Rinse out the ice molds: To ensure that the ice maker is working correctly, it’s essential to ensure that the molds in which the ice cubes are formed are free of any food particles or other contaminants. If these residues remain in the molds, they can clog up the water filter and cause problems with the ice maker. To prevent this, rinse the molds with clean water before each use.
    Rinse out the ice molds
    Rinse out the ice molds
  • Secure electrical connections: If your ice maker is not working, you may want to check for any loose connections between the water filter and the ice maker. Loose connections can disrupt power flow and prevent the ice maker from operating correctly. If any electrical components are disconnected or broken, it is essential to replace them before attempting to use the ice maker again. This will help ensure that the ice maker functions correctly and does not cause any additional issues.
  • Secure plumbing connections: The water filter may also be causing your ice maker not to work if the plumbing connections are not secure. If the water filter is connected directly to the refrigerator and not to a wall supply line, check that all connection points between the filter and the refrigerator are firmly secured.
Plumbing ice connection
Secure plumbing connections
  • Replace the ice maker: If your ice maker has stopped working and you suspect that the water filter is causing it, the best solution is to replace it. In most cases, replacing an entire ice maker assembly is much easier than identifying and repairing a specific problem.
  • Flush the ice maker: If it has stopped working, you should first try flushing it with filtered water. This can help remove any impurities that may have built up in the lines, preventing the ice maker from functioning correctly.
  • Install the water filter correctly: The filter must be installed correctly, as a faulty or incomplete installation could also cause an ice maker not to work. Make sure all of the connections are secure, and any rubber washers are in place. If installing a new filter, take care to follow the instructions.
  • Inspect your water inlet valve: A faulty water inlet valve is one of the most common causes of an ice maker not working. This valve controls the water entering the ice maker; if it’s stuck or broken, there won’t be enough to fill up the tray. To test whether this is causing your issue, unplug your refrigerator and locate your water inlet valve. Check to ensure the coil is not clogged with debris, or take it apart and inspect it for signs of damage.
  • Check the ice maker heating element:  If the inlet valve is working correctly, the issue may lie with a faulty ice maker heating element. This part heats up when the water reaches its desired temperature and helps release the ice cubes from the tray. To check this, locate your ice maker’s heating element and inspect it for signs of damage or wear and tear. If it looks fine, disconnect the power to your refrigerator and check its resistance using an ohm meter. If it’s faulty, it will need to be replaced.
  • Check the control arm: If your ice maker isn’t working, it could be due to a malfunctioning control arm. The control arm is the part of the machine that turns the ice-making process on and off. Make sure it’s in the correct position; if not, it may need adjusting or replacing.
  • Adjust the thermostat: A common cause of an ice maker not working is that the thermostat has been set too low. To fix this, adjust the thermostat to a higher setting and wait 24 hours for the ice maker to begin producing again.
Adjust the thermostat
Adjust the thermostat

Why Do I Need A Filter For My Ice Maker?

  • Enhances the quality of ice: Using a water filter can significantly improve the quality of the ice you make in your ice maker. Water that contains certain chemicals and minerals, such as chlorine and iron, can cause unpleasant odors or tastes in the finished product. A filter helps to remove these unwanted impurities from the water, leaving only clean and refreshing ice cubes .
  • It reduces appliance repair and cleaning requirements: Using a water filter to purify the water before it reaches your ice maker is an excellent idea for several reasons. It can help ensure that you are drinking safe, clean water. It reduces the amount of sediment and minerals in the water, which can cause clogs and scale buildup in your machine over time. It reduces the workload on your appliance repair technician and helps to keep your ice maker running more effectively. With a water filter in place, you can expect fewer repairs and cleaning sessions over the life of your ice maker.
  • Assisting in improved ice production: A water filter helps improve an ice maker’s ice production by removing all the impurities from the water that flows into the machine. It works to prevent any contaminants or minerals that can clog up your ice maker and lead to difficulty in producing ice cubes.

What Does The Water Filter In The Refrigerator Do?

  • Particle Filtration: The primary function of the water filter in a refrigerator is to reduce particles, sediment, and chlorine from the source water. This helps to improve the taste and odor while making it safe for consumption.
    Particle filtration
    Particle filtration
  • Micro-Filtration: The water filter in your refrigerator also has a microfiltration component. This type of filtration helps to remove bacteria and other contaminants from the source water.
  • Absorption:  Some refrigerator water filters also have an absorption component. This helps to reduce volatile organic compounds (VOCs) such as benzene and other contaminants from the source water.


What’s the reason behind the white specks appearing in my cubes?

White specks in your ice cubes can be caused by air bubbles or mineral deposits from the water source. This may occur when using a water filter that has not been changed in a while, as the filter can no longer remove impurities from the water sufficiently.

What's the reason behind the white specks appearing in my cubes?
White specks

What caused my Whirlpool refrigerator ice maker to stop producing ice?

It is possible that a water filter can be the cause of your ice maker not working. When clogged or blocked, a refrigerator water filter can prevent water flow to the ice maker. A buildup of sediment or particles in your water filter could cause this.

Does the refrigerator water filter affect the ice maker if I don’t replace the old filter?

Yes,  as the filter gets clogged up with sediment and other particles, it may prevent water from reaching the ice maker. This can cause the ice maker to stop producing ice or produce less as time goes on.

What Is A Refrigerator Bypass Plug?

A faulty refrigerator bypass plug is one potential cause of an ice maker not working. This part is located behind the refrigerator, allowing coolant to bypass the evaporator during defrost cycles. If this part malfunctions or is disconnected, it can prevent water from entering the ice maker and thus cause it to stop functioning correctly.

What is a refrigerator bypass plug?
A refrigerator bypass plug

Can A Refrigerator Work Without A Water Filter?

It depends on the type of refrigerator you have. Most modern refrigerators are designed to use a water filter. If your refrigerator does not have a filter, it can still work without one, but it may not be as efficient or effective.

Will an ice maker work if the filter needs to be replaced?

It depends on the type of filter used. Generally, if the water filter is inline or external, it will not prevent the ice maker from working. However, if you have an internal refrigerator water filter, then replacing it may be necessary for your ice maker to work correctly.


In some cases, it is possible that a water filter can cause an ice maker not to work. If the ice maker has stopped producing ice, it would be wise to check if there is an issue with the water filter. It might be clogged or have faulty parts that need replacing. In addition, it could be helpful to check that the filter is installed correctly and that there is no blockage in the water line. Understanding the possible connection between a water filter and an ice maker can help get things working correctly again.

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