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Why Does My Ice Maker Make a Knocking Sound: Problems and Solutions

Last Updated on May 5, 2021 by Jerry Boyce

Like with every appliance, there is always a possibility of it malfunctioning.

For instance, ice makers can sometimes randomly make noises in your kitchen, leaving you wondering and asking, “Why does my ice maker make a knocking sound?

We are all used to the ice maker making noise since they are one of the noisiest appliances on their own, even without any problem.

With the right troubleshooting tips, you will better understand ice maker making knocking noise problems.

Why Does My Ice Maker Make a Knocking Sound?

On the upside, an ice maker making knocking noises does not necessarily mean that you will be facing some terrible problem that will need professional assistance.

Often, you will find that the ice maker making weird noises can be easily diagnosed and treated even without a professional’s help.

Below are some of the common reasons why you might be hearing your ice maker making noise.

Vibration and Placement

Where you place the ice maker will have a ton to do with the ice maker making weird noises.

When you are installing it, you must place it on an even, stable surface.

When it begins the process to make ice, the appliance will vibrate, and when it is in an unstable place, it will vibrate more and cause it to make that knocking sound.

This knocking sound may be the appliance hitting against a wall.

Adjust the ice maker by ensuring you keep it in a more stable location.

If the knocking sound persists, then it is likely due to another reason.

Compressor Operations

If you are using a portable ice maker, it typically has a compressor in a self-contained unit.

The compressor could be responsible for spreading cold air all through the ice maker, but it depends on the model.

When the compressor starts and stops, it can cause a knocking sound.

If you have seen ice being formed in a commercial ice maker, the ones typically found in a hotel, it will most likely make a loud knocking sound.

Some commercial ice makers also have their cooling equipment placed on the roof separately.

The portable ice maker’s in-built compressor will make a loud noise when the appliance is operating.

Water Levels

Homeowners often find that maintaining water levels challenging with portable ice makers since they do not come with a water line attached at the back.

Instead, you have to be refilling the machine. 

Often, this can be quite easy to forget, and when the ice maker has to make ice, it will not have enough water to do so, resulting in the knocking sound.

This problem can also be prevalent in ice makers built into refrigerators, especially if they have improperly installed and clogged water lines.

The knocking sound is likely from the insufficient water levels in the appliance; hence, it is essential to maintain the water levels correctly for optimal ice production.

do you know why does my ice maker make a knocking sound


We understand how it may be confusing for an ice maker needing heat to make ice cubes.

What’s interesting about ice makers is that it needs freezing temperatures to produce ice cubes while it needs heat to distribute them.

A simple way to explain the heat’s importance is by understanding how the appliance works.

Once water fills the reservoir, the unit will bring the water down through the line to the inner components of the appliance where the ice molds are located.

When the water fills up in these cavities, finger prongs will then be inserted, beginning to freeze the water.

Once the cubes are ready, they will stick to these prongs as they’re brought back to the ice bucket.

The appliance lets go of these ice cubes from the finger prongs by using either heat or air pressure to shoot off the ice.

When this heating element is needed, it can cause the appliance to make a knocking sound similar to the compressor.

This sound may be normal as long as it lasts for a minute at a time. Anything beyond that, the issue is not because of heating.

Water Pump

The water pump, also called the drain pump, in the ice maker is responsible for bringing the water from the reservoir to the freezing components to make the ice cubes.

If there’s a blockage in this pump, it will prevent the machine from making ice which can cause the knocking sound.

Thankfully, this is a simple issue you can fix by yourself.

Refer to the user manual to determine where the water pump and lines are on the ice maker.

Remove wires and water filters to see if there is any debris stuck. Debris can be in many forms like dust, dirt, or minerals from hard water.

Use lemon juice, vinegar, and an old toothbrush to scrub away these pieces gently and remove all the debris.

You will also need to check any blockages in the drain pump, as a consistent blockage can also cause the motor to overwork itself.

Cube Size

Most modern ice makers feature a setting wherein you can select the ice cube size.

Typically, most ice makers give you the option to choose between small and large sizes, though some machines also provide an additional medium size option.

If the machine’s design is poor, you could be selecting a size of the ice cube that’s too large for it to handle.

That could result in the ice cubes getting stuck rather than passing through to the ice bucket or tray.

Until these large-sized ice cubes melt, they could cause the parts to hold on to them, resulting in a knocking sound.

If this is the reason for the knocking sound, the quick solution to this is letting the large ice cubes melt and selecting a smaller size.

Understanding Why the Ice Maker Is Making the Knocking Sound: The Conclusion

If you are wondering, “Why does my ice maker make a knocking sound?“, there can be several reasons why it may be happening.

It can range from a faulty water pump to blockages to even insufficient water levels.

While you can fix a few of these issues, we highly recommend having a professional examine your ice maker as much as possible, especially if it’s under warranty.

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