How Long Should an Ice Maker Take to Make Ice?

How Long Should an Ice Maker Take to Make Ice?


Ice makers can be finicky. If you only visit the ice dispenser a couple of times per day, it may never have occurred to you to think much about the volume of ice production or if the ice maker is slow to make ice. But as demand for ice increases, you may begin to wonder, “How long should an ice maker take to make ice?

FAQ: How Long Should an Ice Maker Take to Make Ice?

Typical Ice Maker Production

Your ice maker is one of the hardest working features of your refrigerator/freezer. The freezer compartment is cold enough to keep everything frozen, but remember, it doesn’t always start out that way.

It may seem that the ice maker is slow making ice, but to some degree, that’s normal. The water has to fill the tray, freeze, and dump in the holding tray, which all takes time.

This ice cycle time does vary a bit, as does the volume of ice produced, depending on the size of the tray the cubes are being dumped into. Generally speaking, about 130 ice cubes are being produced in a 24-hour period.

A typical ice maker tray will hold 4-11 pounds of ice. A typical ice maker produces 3-7 pounds of ice. If the ice tray is being emptied due to usage, the cycle will continue to initiate. If the ice sits there for a few days, the cycle will pause. Again, the wiggle room depends on your particular make and model, the size of the holding tray, and how much ice is being removed throughout the day.

How Long Should an Ice Maker Take to Make IceTypical Ice Maker Cycle Time

So how long should an ice maker take to make ice? Well, understanding the process to make it happen will help. The way the ice maker works is to complete what is called a cycle. The cycle goes through these steps to make ice:

  • Ice maker module fills tray with water
  • Water freezes
  • Ice maker dumps ice cubes into holding bin
  • Ice dispenser (if applicable) shoots ice into your glass

Simple, but nevertheless, a process. As much of a superhero as your ice maker is, it can’t complete a cycle instantaneously. A high quality refrigerator will complete an ice maker cycle time of about 90 minutes, producing anywhere from 8-10 ice cubes.

This cycle time does vary a bit, as does the volume of ice produced, depending on the size of the tray the cubes are being dumped into.

Troubleshooting an Ice Maker That’s Too Slow

How long should an ice maker take to make ice? Sometimes it feels like forever! If you have waited over an hour and your ice maker is not making ice, then something could be wrong. Try these DIY tips to see if you can correct the problem on your own or if you need to contact a technician for ice maker repair.

Check to make sure the door is closed completely: A door ajar may keep the ice maker from functioning.

Check to see if the ice maker is off: Sometimes, the feeder arm accidentally gets stuck in the off position; just release it to initiate the cycle.

Check to see if your water filter needs to be changed: A clogged filter can restrict water flow, which reduces the pressure needed to fill the ice trays.