Smelly Ice Cubes – Get It Done – Ask THE Handyman St Louis

We have an icemaker that makes ice cubes; however, they taste moldy and your hands smell moldy when you finish putting them in a glass. Is there a way to resolve this problem other than getting a new icemaker? We did change the water line once and it helped for a very short time.

If your icemaker is working correctly other than the smell and taste, and that no other sources of water have any issue, then I think that a cleaning process is in order. First, make sure that the water line (which you said you replaced) is copper and not plastic. If it is plastic, be sure to change it over to copper, as the plastic lines could be part of the problem.

Begin the cleaning process by turning off the valve to the icemaker line. This is usually in the basement, and has a small ¼” line running to it. Then remove the icemaker unit from inside the freezer to clean it. Each unit may be slightly different, so I can’t give you exact directions, but you’ll need to remove the plastic tube that comes from the back of the freezer to the top of the icemaker, allowing the water to enter into the ice tray. The icemaker unit usually hangs from two screws, which may need to be loosened slightly to lift the unit out. However, the electrical plug will still be attached, so once the unit is off the screws, unplug the unit from its receptacle. You’ll now have the freedom to take the unit over to the sink.

The icemaker unit has a motor inside of it, so do not immerse the unit in water. Instead, I would suggest as thorough of a cleaning that you can, without dipping the unit in water. A bleach solution might be a good idea, using a sponge to clean. Afterwards, be sure to rinse the unit as thoroughly as you cleaned it, and then let it dry completely before reinstalling the unit.

My next suggestion is to consider purchasing and adding a water filter to the ice maker line. The larger hardware stores carry these for about $15 – 20, with all of the parts needed to add the filter to an existing line. The filters last for about 6 months. Replacement filters cost slightly less, and take even less time to install. In reading reviews on these filters, I think this will solve your problems.

After the cleaning and adding of the filter, carefully move the refrigerator back into place, being sure not to pinch the copper water line. Once your icemaker starts making ice, I would suggest that you throw away the first batch or two of ice, in case there were any cleaning agents left inside the icemaker.

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Icemaker Not Working – Ask THE Handyman St Louis – Get It Done

My ice maker has quit making ice cubes. Is the problem the ice maker unit? It is probably 5 years old.

There is usually one of two things that will correct this, and both are fairly easy to do.

First, you want to verify that the ice-maker is getting water from the water line. To do this, pull the refrigerator out so that you have access to the back. You will see either a copper or clear plastic tubing that comes out of either the floor or a side cabinet that goes to the refrigerator. With an adjustable wrench, slowly start loosening the nut which holds the tubing. You should almost immediately see small drops of water trying to escape the fitting. If you slowly loosen the nut even more, the drops will develop into a small stream. This verifies that you are getting water.

If you aren’t sure, follow the tubing to its source, usually in the basement, to where it taps into a copper pipe. Here, there is a small saddle valve, which can be turned off by turning the small bars on the valve clockwise, until it stops. Next, take a bucket to the other end at the refrigerator, place the tubing in the bucket, then have a helper turn the saddle valve back on. You should have a steady stream of water coming out into the bucket. Now you can be certain of water flow. If you’re not getting water, replace the saddle valve, and possibly the ice maker water line (always use copper, not plastic).

As long as you’re getting water, about 90% of the time, the next thing to do is change the solenoid valve. This is the small box where the water line is hooked on to the refrigerator. You’ll have to get the solenoid from an appliance dealer, and you’ll need the make and model of your refrigerator. The cost of the solenoid will be in a range of $35 to $80, if you have an ice and water dispenser in the front of the door.

Replacing the solenoid is fairly simple. You will be disconnecting the water line (after being sure the water is turned off), an electrical wire or two, and the screws which hold the solenoid to the refrigerator. Just put everything back where it was and you’ve taken care of it. Next, turn the water back on and make sure there are no leaks. Carefully slide the refrigerator back into place, then go and wait. It can take several hours for your ice-maker to generate ice, and keeping the door open while you watch will only cause it to take longer. Just listen for the unit to operate and for the ice to fall into the tray. I recommend that you let the unit make two or three rounds of ice, then throw these away, in case there was anything in the line that you wouldn’t want in the ice.

The next important part is to get a glass of tea, with ice of course, and go outside and celebrate!

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Disposal Smell – Get It Done – Ask The Handyman

We have lived here for 6 years and our condo was brand new at that time.  A few months ago I decided to buy a double-bowl stainless sink instead of my original white one, which I had difficulty keeping sparkling white.

My original white double sink had 2 equal-sized bowls but I chose a larger main sink with the small vegetable sink to the right.  Our garbage disposal (which of course is only 6 years old) has in the past couple of months developed a musty, foul odor.  I have purchased some commercial product called Disposer Clean or something.  It doesn’t help.  As I look under the sink it seems the plumbing under the disposer goes straight down then makes an abrupt turn upward, then into the drainpipe.

I also looked in the disposer with a flashlight and it seems to me that it looks rusty or something.  Any thoughts??

As to the rust, it is not uncommon to see these disposal blades rusting slightly.  However, if they have a lot of rust it could be that the blades are not functioning as they should and are leaving waste in the disposal.  In this case, a new disposal would be needed.

Disposals get the foul end of our food waste.  It is possible, if you put a lot of leafy remnants, such as lettuce, potato peels, and similar items, for some of the leftovers to stay inside of the disposal.  I understand you tried the disposal cleaner without any luck, but you might try these suggestions also.

With the disposal and water running, try placing several ice cubes into the disposal.  This may sound horrible, but the ice chips may force any food debris out.  This not only helps with the cleaning of the disposal, but will actually sharpen the blades as well.

If you still have the odor, use the sink stopper which came with the disposal to allow you to fill up the sink.  Once the sink is full, remove the stopper and allow all of the water to go down the disposal and pipes.  The pressure from so much water can act like the ice and possibly remove any food remnants.

A common home remedy to try would be a half-cup of baking soda poured into the disposal, with the disposal off, followed by a half-cup of vinegar.  Let this sit in the disposal for 5 – 10 minutes, then flush it, with the disposal off, for a minute with hot water.

Whenever you use the disposal, you should follow a few tips.  Always use cold water.  Never jam the food all at once into the disposal.  Feed the food in small increments.  Always leave the water running for 5 – 10 seconds after you’ve turned the disposal off, allowing the waste to get flushed down the pipes.

There are certain foods which I won’t put into the disposal, because, like you, I notice a smell for a while.  Broccoli is one of these.  I would rather empty it into the trash, but the smell will stay if you don’t take the trash out fairly soon.  Potato peels, corn husks, lettuce, celery, parsley, rice, and other similar foods are best left for the trash can.  Grease from cooking is another item that is best for the trash can (only after it has hardened).  Although liquid grease will go down the disposal, it can also coat your pipes, giving the potential for future odors.

A couple of good items for the disposal are ice, egg shells (another way of sharpening the blades), and occasionally, half of a lemon or lime, which will leave the disposal smelling wonderfully (if such a thing is possible).

Good luck!

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Steve