Do this if Ice machine says ice full but no ice

In this short repair post, I will tell you what to do if your ice machine says ice full but no ice – a common problem even for brand new ice makers (I have seen it in a couple of popular ice maker models including the best selling Frigidaire ice maker)

Do this if your Ice machine says ice full but no ice (Frigidaire ice maker says ice full but no ice / Portable ice maker says ice full but no ice)

To begin with, you should know that for the most part, there are sensors installed on the side of your ice maker’s basket.

And one of them is the ice full sensor, whose purpose is get tripped when your ice maker finishes making ice (fills with ice).

Now, the problem is, if something is blocking it, then the sensor won’t be able to read/detect the ice-making operation properly.

The result? Errors such as the one we are discussing today “Ice machine says ice full but no ice”.

Which brings me to the first solution you need to try:


Check if ice is blocking the sensor, making the machine say it’s full, when in fact there is no ice made.

If you have checked and notice some wayward ice block standing in the way of the sensor, just knock the errant ice away from(the sensitive sensor).

It could fix the problem because the ice full sensor will resume working normally.



Check if some ice may have gotten stuck on the lip of the ice tray

Also, try to see if ice is getting stuck on the lip of the ice tray, because if it is, it tends to trigger the all-important “ice full” sensor on your machine, when it is actually only partially full.

Or there’s nothing in there(You may even see it showing that ice is full when you just turn the icemaker on!).

So, what is the fix here?

Well, I want you to try and kick the ice you see on the lip into the bucket.

Then retry making ice- I’m recommending so since the sensor will, for the most part, correct itself when ice is kicked into the basket.


What else should you keep in mind?

The machine could be signaling it’s full when there is zero ice due to ice building up on the sides of the basket(since ice is not dropping evenly).

So clear any ice buildup on the basket(check either sides) and see how the machine behaves after that.

Ice maker ice full light stays on

Shutting off the machine then restarting could resolve the problem

Shutting the ice maker off then restarting or even unplugging it for a few minutes could help reset the sensors as well.

So do not forget to try doing that and turning it on again after a couple of minutes too if your ice maker is still having problems(the ice will melt when it’s off- putting it off defrosts your ice maker).

Just to emphasize, the fix might be as simple as turning it off and then back on and then everything might start working fine!


Clean the icemaker once a month (or more times)

You should also clean the icemaker once a month (see your owners manual for complete instructions as that helps keep the sensors clean and working optimally).

Indeed, oftentimes, if your unit senses ice full, either it is the emitter that is dirty or detector part is dirty(the emitter/detector could also be bad).

This is specifically for icemakers that use a photometric system- these have infrared emitters/detectors on the bulkhead that is located at the rear edge(on the top) of their ice buckets.

And that means cleaning the parts could do the trick- unless the whole system is damaged.


Cover the ice basket

Question: Do you have a bullet-type ice maker?

If yes, then it’s some led level sensor that’s generating the ice full signal.

Do you know why?

Well, chances are again that there is interference on the sensor caused by a light that’s shining on it- any strong light or even sunlight falling on it messes up its functioning.

And so what you need to do is get something (call it a cover) and place it over your machine’s ice basket (Just try to place a towel over it –or something similar and see if the issue will go away).


Ice maker ice full light stays on

Remember to try the solutions above because the root cause is interference on the sensor.

But don’t forget that, on occasion, just removing the basket and then putting it back in could make the light go off.


Final words about resolving the “Ice machine says ice full but no ice” fault

Once some models there’s a magnet on ice slideway(right on the end)-and it is this magent that typically makes contact with the ice bin full switch.

Now, if the magnet is unable to make contact for whatever reason (being blocked or dirty or defective), then your ice full light illuminates.

So wipe the magnet or clear any interferences or replace it

Finally, you may also be looking at a faulty bin full sensor(replacing it could be the way to go)


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