Disconnect your fridge ice maker in 8 simple steps

Whether your ice maker is leaking, jammed, or just straight up isn’t functioning properly, it could be time to remove and replace the entire ensemble. Your fridge’s ice maker is a separate component that draws power from your fridge. When the ice maker breaks, it can be easily uninstalled and taken out for repairs or replacement.

If you’re wondering how to disconnect your ice maker, you can follow these simple steps to make the transition smooth and straightforward.

Steps to disconnect your ice maker

Before you start disconnecting your ice maker from your fridge, you should make sure you have all the proper tools on hand:

  • Cooler to hold your refrigerator items
  • Screwdriver
  • Electrical tape (optional depending on need)

Once you have everything you need, it’s time to start.

Turn off your refrigerator

The first step is simple. All you need to do is unplug your refrigerator from the wall. By having your refrigerator off, the disconnecting process will be easier and safer to perform.

Find the water supply valve and shut it off

Once your refrigerator is unplugged, you need to locate the water supply valve that provides cold water to your ice maker. The valve is often behind the fridge. If you don’t see it there, follow the line to its hookup. The most common location is under the sink to the cold water supply pipe.

person turning off ice maker in refrigerator
v74/Shutterstock

Turn off the ice maker

Next, you should turn off your ice maker. The switch is often located on the ice maker or near the freezer wall.

Move your refrigerator contents to a cooler

Now that your refrigerator is off and pulled away from the wall, you will want to store your cold items in a cooler to prevent food from spoiling.

Take out and empty the ice bin

Your ice bin is likely filled with ice, which will have to be emptied before moving forward with the process. Take out the ice bin and empty it in the cooler or sink. If you intend to keep your current ice maker once it’s repaired, you can set aside the ice bin for the time being.

Remove the auger motor if need be

Now, you’ll want to remove the auger motor. The ice bucket auger motor is the mechanism that churns ice through the dispenser. When disconnecting your ice maker, it can be beneficial to take this motor out separately to access electrical components.

To remove the auger motor, unscrew the hex head screw connections in the mechanism’s front and back.

refrigerator ice maker
Photographee.eu/Shutterstock

Unplug the wire harness

Once the auger motor is removed, it’s time to unplug the wire harness. Without the auger motor, you should be able to navigate the electrical connections. Depending on your refrigerator’s model, you may need to remove the wire harness after the ice maker is taken out. If you find it hard to remove the wire harness, go to the next step before removing it.

Loosen the screws to the ice maker and gently remove

There will be two screws on top of your ice maker that will need to be loosened to remove the ice maker. Make sure the wire harness is disconnected from the freezer wall and remove the ice maker.

Replace if need be

Depending on your needs, you can install the new ice maker per the provided instructions or prepare your old ice maker for a tune-up. If you intend to reuse your old ice maker once fixed, be sure to wrap the wire harness in electrical tape for safety purposes. The auger motor can also be replaced in its original location if you intend to have an ice maker in the future.

If you’re having trouble removing any ice maker component, it can be beneficial to reference your particular refrigerator brand and model instructions. Some ice makers are docked in the door of your freezer, while others reside on the freezer wall. Be sure to unplug all connections before removing any components.

Once your ice maker is removed and replaced, you can reconnect your refrigerator to its outlet and move your cold items back inside.

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