Emerson Portable Ice Maker Doesn’t Work – Possible fix!

We bought an Emerson Ice maker about two years ago because the built-in ice maker in our freezer stopped working, and I'm a huge consumer of ice. So, I wanted a dedicated ice maker. It worked well for a few months. Then it decided that it didn't want to make ice. I should have sent it back but I decided to tear it apart and try to fix it.  I wasn't able to really get anywhere with it. So, I put it back together and plugged it back up and miraculously enough it started working again.

Since then, I discovered why it was failing to make ice. I post this because there may be someone else out there with the same problem from their Emerson Ice Maker.

The problem I have stems from the 120mm exhaust fan used in this device. I'm no expert on refrigeration, but I think this fan has to be running in order for the thing to make ice correct. It puts out a lot of heat. With my very basic knowledge of thermal dynamics, I'm assuming that this is how the ice is made. It removes the heat, thus reducing temperature and creating ice.

This fan is the exact fan used in a lot of computers. So if it isn't running, you may need to replace it. However, I took a shortcut that seems to have worked, a little trick I've learned from working on computers. You can give it a try if you want. It's pretty simple.

The fan has a sticker in the center. This should have some sort of logo on it, but it also has a second purpose. It holds a little rubber cap in place. Under that cap are the bearings for the fan. If you oil the bearings and replace this sticker, the fan may start to work again. You can get to the fan by removing the cover. I won't go into details here how to do that, because I don't have enough time to write the detailed instructions. It's pretty easy to do. In my case the fan grill was almost broken completely out. So, I just finished it off for easy access to the fan.

"What can you use to oil the bearings", you may ask. I used baby oil, because it's basically mineral oil with a little fragrance. You can use mineral oil and there are some actual products that are made for greasing fan bearings. There are a ton of videos on Youtube on how to do this to a regular computer fan.

I hope this helps. If it does, leave a comment! I like to hear when I help.


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  1. #1 by Natasha on October 5, 2013 - 2:49 pm

    I tried what you said, tore my Emerson Icemaker apart, removed the sticker and oiled it, the fan came on and it seemed to be going thru it’s process but still no ice. It appears that the spikes/probes that become very cold that actually make the ice are cold but not cold enough, so I am guessing it is a cryogen issue or whatever gas it is that is used. Oh well, I got a good year out of it. thanks tho, Natasha

    • #2 by Randy on October 5, 2013 - 7:26 pm

      Sorry it didn’t work for you. After fixing mine, it worked for another five or six months. Then, out of the blue it would refuse to notice that it had water in it. The water indicator now stays on and it won’t make any ice. These are terrible quality.

  2. #3 by Ed Snyder on January 21, 2014 - 8:07 pm

    Where would I buy a new fan?

    • #4 by Randy on January 21, 2014 - 8:10 pm

      Any 120mm computer fan will work, but I have to say that after I posted this the ice machine finally became unusable. It broke completely. I now view it as a complete waste of money. It’s hard to find a quality product these days.

  3. #5 by Mark on March 6, 2014 - 9:42 am

    I followed the instructions, instead of mineral/baby oil I used gun lube, it had a narrow nozzle that I could spray right in. Now the Ice Maker is nice and quiet and works like a charm.

    Before you put the center sticker with the rubber “plug” back on, make sure you have cleaned all excess oil off or it will just come right off and your oil/lube will spill out.

    Good quick fix – thanks!

  4. #6 by Marcia on March 8, 2014 - 12:17 am

    I have recently purchased 2 new portable ice makers the red light stays on “Out of ice” it will not work Help Please!

    • #7 by jimmy on August 28, 2014 - 12:04 pm

      Take out the white plastic tube in the back (not the clear tube) and inside should b a magnet. Make sure to clean the white tube that houses the magnet and water sensor. Put it bak and it should work.

  5. #8 by Johnny on March 27, 2014 - 9:14 pm

    I tried it on mine and it worked…i used chain lube but penetrating oil (wd40)should work too..thanks

  6. #9 by jeremy on June 25, 2014 - 7:16 pm

    I had the same problem (red light stays on “Out of water”. I unplugged mine for 24 hours, plugged it back in, held down both buttons (ice size and power). The unit reset and was making ice again. I’m now experiencing a cooling issue which is what brought me here but wanted to share my “solution” as someone else may benefit from the info.

  7. #10 by Larry on July 11, 2014 - 1:12 am

    My Icemaker makes 4 good cubes out of the 9 possible. It worked well when I got it 6 months ago but it gradually stopped making ice cubes on all of the spigots.

    Any ideas as to why certain ice spigots are not working whle the rest are?

    At the rate it is going, I’ll be down to 1 or 2 working spigots by the end of the first year.

  8. #11 by Peter on July 17, 2014 - 1:39 am

    Hi, the fan on my portable ice maker was making a little more noise than it usually does, so without taking anything apart, I put a little aerosol grease on the fan center axle through the exterior grill access. That did nothing for the sound quality of the fan (mainly because that is the wrong oiling spot ).

    Then I read the info on this page about pulling back the label on the fan, etc., so I took the side panel off, then the fan label, and the rubber center piece. I proceeded to add just a moderate amount of my handy aerosol grease to the bearing area and then put the parts back together.

    Thankfully, the fan is much quieter now and should remain so for a long time.

    Thanks for the tip!

  9. #12 by Peter on July 17, 2014 - 10:42 pm

    The noise is back after one day, will be taking the side off again to see if the fan is making this noise or ?

  10. #13 by Terry on August 11, 2014 - 10:27 pm

    same problem as #9 Larry. First four, front right to left working. The rest a no go.

    • #14 by jimmy on August 28, 2014 - 12:09 pm

      Use a compress air can and blow out all the dust from the condenser (the thing that the fan is mounted on). Once cleaned it should make less noise and it should work as normal again.

  11. #15 by Lori on October 30, 2014 - 12:52 pm

    I bought the ice make in June for Fathers day. In august in quit making a full dray of ice. you can hear the water fill the trays but it over fills them and you only end up with two or three cubes.

  12. #16 by Sherrie on March 8, 2015 - 2:30 am

    I have the IM92W — PORTABLE ICE MAKER by Emerson. It’s less than 6 months old and all of the sudden when I fill the reservoir and turn my machine on it begins to cycle then the Ice Full light comes on. The bin is empty as I have just turned the unit on. I have tried turning it off, unplugged it, let it sit and tried later… Nothing seems to help?

    • #17 by Kenneth on March 13, 2015 - 4:28 am

      Sherrie I had the same problem I have seemed to reset it and so far it works (only 3 batches so far). It seems a little weird but here goes, my problem was the sensor for the water tray when it would come down over the silver tubes it would not stop and hit the top of the machine and then return to its previous position then say ice is full. What I did was when the tray came down over the tubes and it tried to return, instead I held it there, the motor would try to go back and forth, it was weird but I was tired and tried other things, after about a minute of holding the tray in place both the water and ice lights start blinking. I then turned it off and back on, I came back and hit the top again but I didn’t touch it, it went back and returned and started filling up with water again, hooray!

      • #18 by Kenneth on March 13, 2015 - 4:30 am

        It came back, not I came back

      • #19 by Linda on February 17, 2016 - 3:34 pm

        Thank you Kenneth. You saved me having to buy a new unit. We tried everything and had it completely apart but nothing worked but the tap on top got it working again. Thanks for sharing.

  13. #20 by Robert O'Reilly on March 29, 2015 - 11:39 am

    I have the Emerson, and have done all of the tricks suggested, viz oiling the fan, compressed air, etc. Fan does not seem to engage always. Does sometimes and makes ice fine, BUT before tray filled is not turning again? Frustrating to say the least, as up to now has worked like a charm.
    Thanks, Bob

  14. #21 by June on April 14, 2015 - 6:06 pm

    I unplugged the ice maker to move it but didn’t shut the power bottom off first..so now the pow e button just blinks..and not hi ng hsppens.. what can we do..any suggestions?

  15. #22 by Bill Warren on May 6, 2015 - 9:02 am

    I have had two Emersons for over two years now, both it almost continuous use, and the only difficulty I have experienced is that one of them does not react to a full basket of ice and keeps on making more. I don’t know where the switch which controls the amount of ice in the basket is located, so I can’t even attempt to do anything about it.

  16. #23 by Mazzy on July 5, 2015 - 3:07 pm

    This is how you fix any brand of Ice Machine. Get your wallet, get in your car and drive to the store that has them on sale and Voila’ you’ll have ice! Sorry. Mine broke too and that is what I did.

    • #24 by Randy on July 7, 2015 - 3:08 am

      Actually my eventual fix was much cheaper. I bought some rubbermaid ice tray on amazon. They are the best quality ice trays I’ve owned. I think the main reason I bought an ice maker was because up to that point I had always had low quality ice trays.

  17. #25 by Mary on September 19, 2015 - 6:50 am

    Please help. My Emerson Ice Maker must have a faulty water sensor because the water light is always on and no ice is being made. Please, please, please… how do I fix this! I saw the comment about a white or a clear tube, but how do I get to those tubes?

  18. #26 by Barb on January 25, 2016 - 10:52 am

    THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!!!! Your step by step instructions worked beautifully. I am listening to the ice drop into the basket. Music to my ears.

  19. #27 by Ellen on February 6, 2016 - 10:55 am

    My portable ice maker makes the first set of ice but won’t fill and remake a second run of ice unless you turn it off and back on.
    Any suggestions.?

  20. #28 by Marcia on May 12, 2016 - 8:14 am

    Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Did exactly what you said, and now I have ice, after having none for 3 days!

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