Why Does My Ice Maker Make a Knocking Sound?

Ice Maker Make a Knocking Sound
Brand: Hamilton Beach

Mornings are generally very hectic in many households mainly because of the annoying sounds that come from the refrigerator. They are good enough to disturb people from sleep and disrupt the general peace in the home. Of all the sounds that fill our morning bliss, the sound from the mixer, toaster, and ice makers can be annoying. 

Though we have learned to deal with the normal working sounds they make, we could simply not take the annoying knocking sound that these appliances are capable of making. Especially when the ice maker appliance makes such a knocking sound, it has to be attended at the earliest or it may disrupt the entire working mechanism of the appliance.  Let us discuss the reasons for typical knocking sounds and ways to prevent them.

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Why Does an Ice Maker Make a Knocking Sound?

Normal sounds such as gurgling sounds, clicking sounds, and buzzing sounds from the ice maker are normal. But a knocking sound indicates trouble. But experts state that the knocking sound from the appliance will not always result in a terrible issue and incurs a lot of funds. The fact is that some of the knocking sounds from the ice makers can be diagnosed easily and can also be treated by self, without seeking help from a professional. Some common instances why we hear knocking sounds from the ice maker are as follows, 

1. Not positioning the appliance appropriately:

This is not just with the case of the ice maker, but any appliance in the kitchen has to be placed as instructed for optimal functioning. In the user’s manual, there will be clear instructions to place the appliance on an even or a stable surface. The appliance will generally vibrate when it is working, and if it is not placed on a stable surface, it will vibrate and make the characteristic knocking sound. If the appliance is not placed on a flat and stable surface, it can bang against the sides or the back of the wall. If the sound appears even after proper placement of the appliance, then it is important to call for an expert’s assistance.

2. Heating function not working properly:

The formed ice will be dispensed from the mold with slight warming at the harvesting arm. If this heating function is not proper, then the ice cubes will be stuck in the mold itself and will not be transferred to the ice collection basket. This heating unit generally makes a knocking sound like that of a compressor in the refrigerator. But this is just for a few seconds and if you find that the knocking sounds persist for more than a minute, then it means the heating component is not working properly. It can be fixed by a technician easily. 

3. Sub-optimal functioning of the Compressor:

Compressors are important components of any freezing unit, as the refrigerant liquid is contained in them. They cool the entire unit and are responsible for the appropriate size and shape of the ice cubes. When this compressor starts and stops, it will make a knocking sound. This is very well pronounced in a commercial ice maker. A slight knocking sound indicates the functioning of the compressor, but if the sound persists or keeps increasing with time, then it indicates that the compressor is not working properly.

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4. Problems with the water inlet valve:

Commercial ice makers have a separate water inlet valve, whereas portable ice makers require the users to refill water every time they want to make ice. If at all, we forget to refill the water in the appliance, then the unit can make this characteristic knocking sound. The sound can persist or increase in volume, if they are any clogging in the waterline, or when it is not installed properly. When the water is insufficient, then the machine will try its best to perform with what water is available, and result in the knocking sound. Any problem with the water inlet valve can be fixed by the technician. 

5. Other problems: 

Faulty appliances and ice makers that are not maintained properly, may not be able to produce large ice cubes, when instructed to and result in a knocking sound. At times, large ice cubes can be hard for the appliance to handle and will get stuck at the harvesting arm. They will not be dispensed in the basket and will start melting at the mold and emit the characteristic knocking sound until they melt completely. They may not have problems in producing smaller ice cubes. 

A block in the water pump, that is responsible for bringing the water from the reservoir can also make a knocking sound, along with hindering the ice-making capability. This can be cleared with proper cleaning and maintenance of the appliance and check the drain for blocks frequently.

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When to Call for Assistance to Deal With the Knocking Sound?

It is important to call for assistance to repair the knocking sound of the appliance if it doesn’t get resolved on its own or with some DIY repair initiatives. If the problem is with the compressor, or with a broken water pump, it is important to call the technician for repair and replacement services. If the problem is with the faulty manufacturing of the device, then it is beneficial to ask for replacement or free servicing. If you feel you will not be able to fix the issue with the appliance by yourself, then do not complicate the problems by initiating self-repair and call the technician for assistance. 

Bottom Line

One pro tip to enhance the life of the ice maker appliance is to give it ample rest in-between the work periods. Leave the appliance completely turned off when it is not in use. Allowing it to thaw out enhances its life and keeps the annoying knocking sound at bay. Also, follow the instructions from the manufacturer in the user manual with regards to proper placement of the appliance, fixing of the drains and pipes, and the cleaning routine of the ice maker.

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I'm Sara Wilson, the founder, and author of IceMakerCage. I'm also the head of the expert team that tests various ice makers and brings the best advice.

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