Why Is My Ice Maker Making Brown Ice? 5 Common Causes and How to Fix It

Why Is My Ice Maker Making Brown Ice?

If your ice maker is making brown ice, there are several possible reasons for this issue.

First, check that the correct water supply line is installed, either copper or from the manufacturer.

If using new plumbing connections, discard the first three batches of ice and flush additional water.

Installing a water filter can also improve water quality and remove minerals.

Avoid connecting the ice maker to a water supply that has been softened and ensure it is connected to a cold water supply line.

Regularly cleaning the ice bin can prevent debris from causing discoloration.

Check and replace the water filter every six months, and flush the water system when changing the filter or installing the refrigerator.

If using a water softener, proper maintenance is necessary to avoid poor-quality ice.

Finally, check the installation of the water filter and replace it as needed to reduce contaminants and improve ice production.

Key Points:

  • Possible reasons for brown ice:
  • Incorrect water supply line
  • New plumbing connections
  • Lack of water filter
  • Connection to softened water supply
  • Dirty ice bin
  • Expired or dirty water filter
  • Use of water softener
  • Install correct water supply line (copper or manufacturer)
  • Discard first three batches of ice and flush additional water for new plumbing connections
  • Install water filter to improve water quality
  • Connect ice maker to cold water supply line and avoid using softened water
  • Regularly clean ice bin to prevent debris from causing discoloration
  • Check and replace water filter every six months and flush water system when changing filter or installing refrigerator


Did You Know?

1. Despite its appearance, brown ice from an ice maker is not actually made of ice at all. It is caused by a buildup of rust or minerals in the water supply, which are then frozen along with the water.

2. The discoloration of ice in an ice maker can also be attributed to a phenomenon called “ice maker mold.” Certain types of bacteria can grow within the ice maker, causing the ice to turn brown or even develop a slimy texture.

3. If your ice maker is producing brown ice, it could indicate a problem with the water filtration system. The presence of sediment and impurities in the water supply can lead to discolored ice. Regularly cleaning or replacing the water filter can help alleviate this issue.

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4. In rare cases, brown ice from an ice maker can be the result of old plumbing or deteriorating water lines. Over time, pipes made of materials like iron or galvanized steel can corrode, causing rust to enter the water supply. This rust can then contaminate the ice cubes.

5. The color of ice is not an indicator of its safety for consumption. While brown ice may not look appealing, it is typically safe to consume as long as the water supply is free from harmful bacteria or other contaminants. Nonetheless, it is advised to address the underlying cause of the discoloration to ensure the quality of your ice.

1. Verify Water Supply Line

One possible reason why your ice maker is producing brown ice is due to an incorrect water supply line installation. It is essential to ensure that the right water supply line, whether copper or from the appliance manufacturer (such as Jenn-Air), is properly connected to your ice maker. An improper connection can lead to water contamination and cause discoloration in the ice produced.

2. Flush Plumbing Connections

If you have recently made new plumbing connections, such as installing a new ice maker or refrigerator, it is crucial to follow a simple process to ensure the quality of your ice. Start by discarding the first three batches of ice and flushing additional water through the system. This helps remove any sediments, debris, or contaminants that may have built up during installation. Flushing the system is essential in eliminating potential impurities that could cause brown discoloration of your ice.

3. Install Water Filter

Installing a water filter can greatly improve the quality of the water used in your ice maker and prevent the production of brown ice. Water filters are designed to remove impurities, such as minerals and contaminants, from the water supply. By installing a water filter, you can ensure that only clean and filtered water is used to make ice, reducing the likelihood of discoloration.

It is recommended to regularly change or replace the water filter every six months to maintain its effectiveness.

  • Installing a water filter improves water quality for ice makers
  • Water filters remove impurities from the water supply
  • Clean and filtered water reduces the likelihood of brown ice
  • Regularly changing or replacing the water filter every six months is recommended
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4. Avoid Softened Water Supply

Connecting your ice maker to a softened water supply can lead to the production of poor-quality ice. Water softeners utilize chemicals to eliminate minerals such as calcium and magnesium from the water. Unfortunately, this can have a negative impact on the taste, clarity, and appearance of ice cubes. Therefore, it is advisable to refrain from connecting your ice maker to a water supply that has undergone the softening process in order to prevent the formation of brown ice.

5. Connect To Cold Water Supply Line

Ensuring that your refrigerator is connected to a cold water supply line, rather than a hot water line, is another essential step in preventing brown ice. Hot water can contain higher levels of impurities and minerals, which can cause discoloration in the ice cubes.

Connecting your ice maker to a cold water supply helps to maintain optimal water quality and minimize the likelihood of brown ice formation.

To summarize the key points:

  • Connect your refrigerator to a cold water supply line
  • Avoid using hot water as it can contain impurities and minerals that cause discoloration in ice cubes.

Properly connecting your refrigerator to a cold water supply is crucial for ensuring the production of clear and uncontaminated ice cubes.

6. Clean Ice Bin Frequently

Regularly cleaning the ice bin is essential to prevent the accumulation of ice particles, debris, and other contaminants that can contribute to the production of brown ice. Over time, these particles can build up and affect the quality of the ice cubes.

By cleaning the ice bin frequently, you can ensure that your ice maker produces clean and clear ice cubes. Use a mild detergent and warm water to scrub the ice bin and rinse thoroughly to remove any residue.

Establishing a routine cleaning schedule will help maintain the integrity of your ice maker and ensure the production of high-quality ice.

Tip: To prevent brown ice in your ice maker, make sure to clean the ice bin regularly and follow these steps:

  • Use a mild detergent and warm water to scrub the ice bin.
  • Rinse the ice bin thoroughly to remove any residue.

By following these simple steps, you can keep your ice maker in optimal condition and enjoy clear and clean ice cubes.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What causes brown ice in ice maker?

Brown ice in an ice maker can be caused by a variety of factors, including poor water quality and the use of softened water. When the water used to make ice is of poor quality, it can result in discolored ice. This may be due to the presence of minerals or other impurities in the water. Installing a water filter can help remove these minerals and improve the quality of the ice. Additionally, connecting the ice maker to a softened water supply is not recommended as the chemicals used in water softeners can contribute to the production of poor-quality ice.

Why are some of my ice cubes Brown?

Discolored ice cubes can occur due to the presence of contaminants in the household water supply or plumbing pipes. Over time, minerals, rust, or sediments can accumulate in the pipes, leading to discoloration of the ice cubes. As the water flows through these contaminated pipes, it picks up these particles, causing the ice cubes to turn brown. Therefore, it is important to regularly check and clean the plumbing system to prevent discoloration of ice cubes.

Why doesn’t my ice maker make clear ice?

One possible reason for your ice maker not producing clear ice is the lack of proper filtration and purification in your home’s water system. When water is not adequately filtered, it can contain contaminants such as tannins, minerals, and other dissolved solids. These impurities can contribute to the cloudiness of the ice produced by your ice maker. To achieve clear ice, it may be necessary to invest in a water filtration system that effectively removes these contaminants, allowing for purer and clearer ice to be produced.

Why is my ice so dirty?

Contamination of ice can occur due to various factors, including poor hygiene practices and contact with contaminated items. It is possible that your ice is dirty due to the presence of bacteria, such as E-coli, salmonella, or norovirus. These harmful microorganisms can be introduced into your ice supply through dirty hands, an unclean scoop, or contact with contaminated food. Therefore, it is important to ensure proper hygiene and handling practices to prevent the presence of bacteria in your ice.