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Why Do Ice Makers Make a Knocking Sound?

Having an ice maker is an amazing thing, especially if you live in a warm area and like your drinks cold most of the time. But as it happens with any unit, an ice maker can have various issues. One of the most common problems with ice makers is a knocking sound that they may start to make at one point. Why would an ice-making machine make these sounds?

In this article, you will find out the reasons why your ice maker makes a knocking sound, and when you should consider paying for reparations.

Ice Makers – Are They Commonly Making Sounds?

Why Do Ice Makers Make a Knocking SoundIce makers are units with a special ability – they produce ice and, in the case of built-in ice makers, they keep the cubes in frozen condition as well. As such, it’s not rocket science that multiple pieces have been used in order to make your appliance work. You should expect to hear various sounds while the unit operates.

Some possible sounds you can hear might be the speed of the fan, sizzling or buzzing, loud clicks, and gurgling. However, there are also situations when an ice maker makes knocking sounds.

Why Would an Ice Maker Make a Knocking Sound?

Knocking sounds are a source of concern most of the time. Luckily, some of the problems that cause this knocking sound can be fixed, but that doesn’t mean it’s always possible. Here are some reasons why your unit may be making those loud sounds?

  • Heating

At first, it may be quite weird to think that ice makers have a heating ability since their job is to freeze water. But once you understand how ice makers work, it makes a lot of sense.

The reservoir of the unit is filled with water, and water will be sent to the cavities, after which the unit inserts some finger prongs into it. This will allow the water to freeze. But since ice sticks to the prongs, they will start heating after the process is done, thus allowing ice to fall into the tray.

So, when the unit uses heating, a knocking sound may be heard, one that is similar to a compressor. But this sounds shouldn’t last for over a minute at a time, so pay attention to that.

  • The unit’s Placement

It’s always important to pay attention to where you place your unit. When you’re installing and using the machine, you should make sure it’s on an even and stable surface, especially while it operates. Basically, the ice maker will vibrate while it’s working on your ice, so a knocking sound is normal if the device is not positioned on a stable surface. Try moving the unit on a flat and stable area if you hear these sounds and think this is the issue.

If you do this yet you can still hear the sound, there may be a different problem.

  • Level of Water

If you’re the happy owner of a portable ice maker, you are already accustomed to the fact that the machine is not connected to a water line. Therefore, you have to always refill the reservoir with water.

However, sometimes you may forget this for a split second, and turn on the unit, which will cause those knocking sounds since there’s not enough water to operate properly. This may also be because you added less water than necessary in the reservoir. This is why you should always make sure the unit has enough water.

Bear in mind, though – if you have an ice maker in your refrigerator, the knocking sound may also occur when the line is clogged.

  • Compressor

An ice maker uses compressors. In some models, they are responsible for distributing cold air throughout the machine. It isn’t uncommon for a knocking sound to occur when the compressor starts or stops.

  • Water Pump Issues

The water pump is the one that takes water from the reservoir and transfers it to the freezing components, thus allowing the unit to produce the cubes. Sometimes, this water pump may be blocked, which will, of course, ruin the entire process, and thus make that knocking sound.

If you have a clogged water pump, you should remove the water filters and wires to check for any stuck dirt or debris. Lemon juice, vinegar, and a toothbrush can be a great help in this situation, as they will let you scrub the affected area and get rid of all the debris.

  • Size of the Ice Cubes

Some units, whether they’re clear ice makers or simple units, allow you to pick the size you want for your ice cubes, so you can choose if you’re going to get small or big cubes. If you don’t purchase the best unit on the market, selecting a size that is too big for the machine may cause the knocking sound to occur. The cubes may end up getting stuck and they will not be sent to the ice tray.

This can be solved when you set the machine to make smaller cubes, and when the ice melts and becomes smaller.

Should You Pay for Reparations?

Should You Pay for ReparationsNot all issues listed above will require you to hire a professional to repair your unit. But it’s important to know which reasons are more concerning than others so you can fix them as soon as possible. If your ice maker has a broken water pump, compressor issues or it wasn’t manufactured properly and has defects, you should consider calling a professional. For the last issue, you could even use the warranty (if it’s still in effect) and this will help you get the unit repaired for free.

Final Thoughts

Even the best ice makers may have issues that cause knocking sounds. It’s essential to know the reasons so you can fix the problems before the machine gets damaged. Hopefully, this article was useful and helped you figure out what’s wrong with your ice maker.

About Aaron Walters

Aaron Walters is a code writer by day, and a cocktail enthusiast by night. Once he realized that high-quality ice is equally important as other ingredients, he started researching ice machines of all types and sizes. is a library of researched topics regarding all things ice he made along the way.

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