How Long Does it Take an Ice Maker to Make Ice in a Refrigerator?

While an average day may not require much ice, entertaining a crowd or a hot afternoon makes it seem like there’s never enough. How long does it take an ice maker to make ice? On average, it can take 90 minutes to produce 8-10 cubes. Learn how ice is made, how much to expect and how to avoid common ice maker problems that limit production.

Your Questions, Answered: How Long
Does it Take an Ice Maker to Make Ice?

Refrigerator ice makers offer the ultimate convenience, providing ice on-demand, no questions asked. But when problems arise or demand increases, knowing the answers to some FAQs can ensure proper function. Before we answer how long does it take an ice maker to make ice, here’s how most refrigerator models work.

Ice-Making 101: How is Ice Produced?

While your refrigerator operates 24/7 to keep food fresh, the ice maker works in cycles to produce ice as needed. Each cycle takes approximately 90 minutes to make 8-10 ice cubes.

A refrigerator ice maker cycle typically consists of the following steps:

  • The refrigerator’s water inlet valve opens to supply the ice maker with water from your home connection.
  • Water fills the ice maker’s tray and freezes into cubes.
  • A temperature gauge determines when the cubes are cold enough to be harvested. The gauge then activates a heating element to slightly loosen them from the tray.
  • A motorized sweeper arm scoops ice out of the tray and into the ice bin.

How long does it take an ice maker to fill the ice bin? This largely depends on the size of the ice cubes and the ice bin and how many cubes are produced at one time. If the ice bin continually empties, a sensor increases the frequency of the ice maker cycles. When ice remains in the bin, the cycles stop until the ice depletes.

how long does it take an ice maker to make ice

How Much Ice Can Be Expected?

If the average ice maker makes 8-10 cubes every 90 minutes, how much ice does a refrigerator ice maker produce in a day? Typically, it can take 24 hours to produce 3-7lbs of ice, which is roughly 130 cubes per day, filling 6-8 glasses.

Though this may be more than enough ice for some households, larger families, hot days or entertaining require more ice, faster. Refrigerators with dual ice makers provide a door dispenser to dispense a glass of ice and a bin to hold a larger amount. Other refrigerators offer a “Quick Ice” feature that blows a fan over the ice tray to freeze ice faster. How long does it take an ice maker to make ice when this feature is activated? While it can increase production by almost 50%, the function only operates for up to 24 hours.

What Limits Ice Production?

Wondering how to make ice maker work faster if your refrigerator doesn’t offer these features? Some common mistakes can limit ice production, or result in an ice maker not working properly.

how to make ice maker work faster

Image from Samsung

These factors can slow or stop your ice maker, hampering production:

  • Ice maker is off: Make sure the feeler arm is in the on position or that the ice maker’s switch is turned on.
  • Freezer temperature is too high: A warmer freezer won’t properly freeze ice, creating smaller, misshapen cubes or none at all. Keep the freezer temperature at or near 0℉ for proper ice production.
  • Door isn’t closed correctly: A door that remains open or is frequently opened and closed can also increase the freezer temperature. Always make sure the freezer door is fully closed and opened for only short periods to maintain a cold temperature for ice-making.
  • Water filter requires changing: A filter clogged with contaminants restricts water flow to the ice maker, limiting production. Change the water filter every 6 months to ensure uninterrupted waterflow. 

How long does it take an ice maker to make ice if it malfunctions? A very long time! Contact GFY Appliance Repair to restore ice production with a fast and professional ice maker repair!

brad edwards GFY Appliance Service

Brad Edwards, Owner

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