Owning an ice maker can be great because you can always get ice when you need it, but it can also be a bit of a hassle if the ice maker breaks and you have to go without ice until you can replace it or get it fixed.
If your ice maker isn’t making enough ice, here are some things to check before contacting the manufacturer or purchasing a new one. These tips are easy, don’t cost anything, and might make your ice maker work better than ever!
1) Test your ice maker
First, it’s helpful to figure out how much ice your household uses each day. Measure how many people live in your home, how much they drink and whether they like their drinks iced. You can also keep track of what beverages you serve, as well as what beverages you purchase pre-made at restaurants or shops (so you know how much ice you use).
With that information in hand, take an average of at least two days of use and multiply by 30. This will give you a baseline estimate of daily ice consumption for your household. If you notice that your ice maker produces less than that estimate after a few weeks or months, adjust accordingly using these tips
2) Determine how much ice you really need
The first thing you’ll want to do is figure out how much ice you really need in a day. If you’re using ice cubes for an occasional drink, chances are you don’t need much at all.
But if you like having crushed ice on hand when entertaining guests or storing a lot of food items in your freezer, it might be worth looking into getting an icemaker that can crank out more cubes. Make sure to measure your daily ice needs—you might be surprised at just how little they actually are!
3) Use your refrigerator’s energy saver mode
If you’re not on summer vacation, it’s likely that you can leave your ice maker in energy saver mode and it will still crank out plenty of ice. In fact, you may only need to turn on your ice maker once a day if you have a lot of people coming over or going to parties.
The only drawback is that some ice makers can leave small gaps between batches, making them slower than they would be otherwise. However, if convenience is more important than cost savings, using the energy saver mode makes perfect sense.
4) Freeze water in containers instead of cubes
When you’re shopping for an ice maker, check out smaller models. Typically, they make less cubes at a time. That means it takes longer for them to run out of cubes and stop making more. If you get a large model, it can be running all day long!
You can also fill one of those plastic containers with water and freeze it. It makes an ice cube tray that way, too! Take advantage of your freezer: Most refrigerators and freezers have room right on top or next to their ice makers that are empty when there is no ice in them. What do we usually do with these spaces? We ignore them!
5) Set up a dedicated area for ice
Just because your ice maker is in a convenient spot doesn’t mean you have easy access to it. Set up an area near your freezer where you can dump all of your ice, or buy a second plastic bin and keep it under your kitchen sink for easy access
. The more accessible you make it, the more likely you are to use it. And when you do run out, adding extra will be as simple as opening up your freezer and throwing in another batch of ice cubes.
6) Cut the water line to make more ice
One of these things is not like the other. The filter in your refrigerator plays a vital role in making sure that water and ice dispensed by your icemaker are clean and safe.
Refrigerator makers recommend that you change your refrigerator’s water filter at least every six months, but if you live in an area with hard water, then you might need to swap out your filter more often.
When you start looking for filters, find one designed specifically for use with ice makers, as these are rated for heavy-duty use (they can remove sediment and other impurities that could eventually clog up your system). The result: more ice in less time.
7) Add salt to the reservoir
If your ice maker is old, you may have a hard time making enough ice. One trick to combat that is adding more salt—brine it, if you will. Brining increases water’s freezing point which means that it can be colder and still freeze, making for faster cooling.
You want enough salt in there so that when it melts and flows into your machine’s reservoir, it’s about as salty as ocean water (that has about 35 parts per thousand of dissolved salts). Depending on your unit, you might need two or three tablespoons for every quart of water going into your ice maker.
8) Change your ice maker filter often
The more often you change your ice maker filter, especially if you own a water filtration system, will enable you to create much more ice. By changing your filter on a regular basis, you’ll also ensure that your ice maker will keep producing clean tasting ice.
Before switching your filter out, make sure that it is completely saturated with water and then be sure to use a brand new filter in order to prevent any bacteria build up.
Every six months is recommended for most homes but some may need replacement sooner if they are in a location where minerals are high or there are issues with hard water in their area.
9) Turn on auto-on cycle when you leave town
First, turn on your ice maker’s manual-on cycle. When you are ready to leave town for a week or more, turn on its auto-on cycle (typically found in your refrigerator’s settings menu). This feature typically sets your ice maker to make ice whenever it senses there is an adequate amount of water in your fridge.
So before you leave, fill up a couple gallon jugs with water and put them back in your freezer. Your ice maker will sense these have lots of cold water and go into auto-on mode, making extra ice while you are gone so that when you get home there is fresh ice waiting for you.
If you currently have an ice maker, you’re probably already aware of just how useful they can be. Most people don’t realize, however, that there are many ways in which these machines can be optimized to improve their performance.
We hope that we’ve been able to help our readers and that they take what they’ve learned here and put it into action for themselves. It really does pay off when you learn how to get more ice out of your ice maker!