How Do Samsung Ice Makers Work? [Quick Guide]

In this article, we answer the question: how do Samsung ice makers work? This will show you the mechanics of an ice maker.

how do Samsung ice makers work?
Photo Credit: Samsung Newsroom, (under license)

How Do Samsung Ice Makers Work?

If you are asking: how do Samsung ice makers work? Here is the answer:

As with many other ice makers in refrigerators, a Samsung ice maker works by connecting to an electric circuit that powers the refrigerator. The circuit powers the motor, the water inlet valve and the heating element, all of which get the ice maker up and running.

The water inlet valve connects to the water line, allowing water to flow to the refrigerator from your house’s main plumbing line. This way, the plumbing line supplies the ice maker with fresh and clean water through the valve.

The electrical circuit has a switch that sends power briefly to the solenoid of the water inlet valve. The solenoid, in turn, causes the valve to open and remain so for about 7 seconds. This is enough time for the ice mold in the ice maker to fill with water.

When the ice mold fills with water, the cooling process begins. It is the job of the freezer or refrigerator to freeze the water; it is not the job of the ice maker. The temperature in the unit determines how well and how fast the water in the mold freezes.

There is a built-in thermostat in the ice maker which keeps an eye on the level of the temperature of the water inside the mold. So when the temperature drops low enough, the thermostat causes an electrical circuit switch to close.

What the closed switch does is allow current to flow through a coil beneath the ice maker. This is a heating coil, and when it gets warm enough, it causes the ice mold to get warm. This loosens the ice cubes that have already formed in the ice mold.

At this point, the ice maker’s motor is activated by the electrical circuit. The motor turns a gear which causes another gear to rotate. The second gear is attached to a long shaft, made of plastic, that has ejector blades.

As the gear rotates, these blades rotate as well, scooping the ice cubes out of the ice mold. Due to the design of the mold, the cubes connect to each other so they come out as one unit.

The ice maker’s front has plastic notches that match the ejector blades. So the blades easily push the ice cubes through the notches and dump them in the ice bucket.

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How Another Cycle Starts

At the base of the plastic shaft to which the blades are attached, there is a notched cam made of plastic. Now, as the ejector blades are about to dump the cubes, this plastic cam catches the ice maker’s shutoff arm and lifts it up. So after the ejector blades dump the ice cubes, the cam releases the arm.

Once it is released and has reached its lowest point, the arm activates a switch in the electrical circuit which in turn causes the valve to activate and start another ice-making cycle.

If the shutoff arm does not reach the lowest point, probably because the ice bucket is full, another cycle cannot start. Emptying the bucket releases the arm so another cycle can start.

Answering the question – how do Samsung ice makers work – helps you treat the ice maker with utmost care.

How to Get a Samsung Ice Maker to Work

If your Samsung ice maker stopped working and you want to get it to work again, do the following:

1. Ensure the Ice Maker Is On

To be sure the ice maker is turned on, check the Ice Off icon. If it is lit, it means the ice maker is off. But if it is not lit, it means the ice maker is on. If there is any doubt about how to do this, check the user manual that came with the refrigerator.

2. Check the Water Pressure

To check this, try dispensing water from the dispenser to get up to ¾ of a cup in 10 seconds. If the dispense can do this, then the water pressure is sufficient. If not, adjust the pressure.

However, if the refrigerator does not come with a dispenser, use the water lien to check the pressure. After turning off the water supply, disconnect the line and turn the water back on. Then, dispense water from the line directly to check the pressure.

If the water line dispenses less than ¾ of a cup, adjust the pressure because it is low. You can also check the water filter. Remove it and try dispensing water from the line again. If it fixes the pressure, change the filter.

3. Inspect the Water Line

The ice maker water line is crucial to how well it works. The water flows through the inlet valve and water line to reach the ice maker. If it is kinked or twisted, water delivery will be difficult and the ice maker may freeze or stop working.

Therefore, inspect the water line and straighten it if kinked. Ensure the fill tube directly feeding the ice maker is open without obstruction. If necessary, replace the water line, especially if it appears damaged.

4. Level the Refrigerator

Check the unit to be sure it is level. There are many problems that can arise with a Samsung refrigerator if it is not level, including the ice maker not working. If you are not sure about how to level the refrigerator, contact Samsung for support.

5. Check the Doors

Improperly closed doors can cause the ice maker not to work as it should. Make sure to close the doors of the refrigerator so that the ice maker can cool and make ice.

6. Check the Freezer Temperature

There is a chance the temperature in the freezer is high. Set it between 0 degrees and 5 degrees and give the freezer time to adjust to the new setting. Then, check the ice maker to see if there is any change.

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7. Check the Water Inlet Valve

Test the solenoid of the valve using a multimeter to check if it is still working. If there is no continuity in the solenoid and there is no power, replace the valve.

You can also check the pressure of the water. If it is less than 20psi, the ice maker won’t work so adjust the pressure. If you cannot adjust it, have a plumber adjust it.

However, if the pressure is sufficient and there is power supplied to the valve, then the valve is defective. Replace it as soon as possible.

8. Test the Ice Maker

If all else fails, check the ice maker assembly. Newer models can have individual parts replaced, but for older models, you will need to replace the entire assembly. So, contact Samsung for a replacement ice maker or use a certified vendor.

This video shows a quick way to fix a Samsung ice maker that is not working…

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Samsung Ice Maker Working Slowly – What to Do

If you find that your Samsung ice maker is working slowly, do the following:

1. Check the Water Inlet Valve

The water pressure should be up to 20psi for the valve to work effectively. So check the pressure and if the psi is up to 20, and there is sufficient supply of power to the valve yet the ice maker does not get water fast enough to make ice, replace the valve because it is defective.

2. Check the Water Filter

A clogged water filter can reduce the amount of water that gets into the ice maker, thereby reducing the production of ice. Replace the water filter and check to see if the ice maker has picked up speed.

3. Check the Temperature

The high temperature in the unit causes the ice maker to work slowly in making ice. This is because the water in the ice mold cannot freeze fast enough. This slows ice production. Check the temperature to ensure it is set at 0 degrees Fahrenheit and not more than 5 degrees Fahrenheit.

4. Check the Water Line

Ice or debris may obstruct the water line, making it difficult for water to pass through to the ice maker. First, ensure the main water valve is fully open, not partially open. Second, ensure the water pressure is right; low water pressure can slow the ice-making process.

Use a pressure gauge to check the house’s water pressure and if it is below 20 psi, use a pressure regulator to correct it or employ the services of a qualified plumber. But if the water pressure is correct, check for water line damage or kinks. Smoothen the line, and if leaking, replace it.

5. Check the Ice Maker

The ice maker itself could be defective, causing it to work slowly. If there is any part of the ice maker that is faulty, it may mean replacing the entire ice maker assembly. This is because stores usually don’t sell individual parts of an ice maker separately. However, you may find parts for more recent models.

What Causes a Samsung Ice Maker to Stop Working?

The following are common causes why a Samsung ice maker stops working:

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1. Control Arm Is Off

When this happens, the ice maker won’t be able to produce ice. To fix it, simply push the arm down to turn it on.

2. Water Filter Is Clogged

If it has been up to 6 months since you last changed the water filter in your Samsung refrigerator, replace it as soon as possible. And make sure to use only a water filter that is compatible with a Samsung refrigerator.

And if the filter is improperly fixed, it can affect the ability of the ice maker to work. Therefore, check the water filter to see if it is fixed properly and to be sure the head is not damaged.

3. Water Line Is Frozen

Disconnect the refrigerator from the wall outlet and shut off the water supply. Using a turkey baster, pour warm water over the water line in order to defrost the ice in it. Other ways to do this by using a hair dryer or manually defrosting the unit for about 2 hours. This should dislodge the clog in the water line.

4. Motor or Gearbox Is Faulty

A defective motor or gearbox can cause the ice maker not to work.

Move the refrigerator, shut off the water supply and unplug it from the wall outlet. Next, unplug the quick release plug and plug it back in to ensure proper connection.

Remove any ice left in the ice mold and plug the refrigerator back in. lift the control arm up to turn it off and move it back down to turn it on again. Then, give a space of about 10 seconds so that the water valve can fill the ice mold with water.

Give the unit time to freeze the water and try ejecting it. If it does not eject, replace the gearbox or the motor.

5. Ice Maker Is Faulty

The last possibility is that the ice maker is bad and needs a replacement. You can try testing its parts, and a newer model machine may have individual parts on sale. However, it is usually difficult to find them and replacing the entire ice maker assembly is an easier solution instead of looking for these parts.

Will a Samsung Ice Maker Work Without a Filter?

A Samsung ice maker will work without a water filter. However, we don’t recommend using an ice maker without a water filter. And be sure to use one that is compatible with a Samsung refrigerator.

Without a filter, the ice maker is likely to make impure ice because it cannot filter out dirt from the water. It poses a health risk and could also damage the ice maker and the refrigerator.

At first, the ice maker will produce clean and clear ice. But over time, the ice will begin to change color and will have a faint smell. And these will gradually increase with continued use.

This is because of the impurities in the water that accumulate and settle in the ice maker. Without the filter, nothing stops the impurities from settling in the water.

Therefore, it is important to use a water filter in your refrigerator so that the ice maker can make pure and odorless ice.


How do Samsung ice makers work? This article shows you how they work. It also shows what to do if a Samsung ice maker is working slowly and how to fix a Samsung ice maker that is not working.

For some of the steps in this article, you need to leave the refrigerator or freezer plugged into a power source. For others, you need to unplug the unit to avoid electrocution.

It is important to note here that maintaining the ice maker in your unit keeps it in top shape. Therefore, run a maintenance check on the ice maker regularly.

If you cannot do this, there are technicians with the right expertise to do it. We have technicians who are readily available to fix any problem your Samsung ice maker may have and offer expert advice for any other appliance issue.

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