Freezer ice maker showing signs of contamination
January 20, 2020 2:00 PM   Subscribe

The pieces of ice produced have an odd taste (not that I've ingested any since), and the removable ice tray itself is left with blackish-greenish-yellowish streaks on the bottom.

The streaks have appeared several times now (i.e. I've cleaned the removable tray in between each occurrence; they're not hard to get rid of with soap and a sponge but they return with a vengeance).

Questions include but are not limited to:

• What in particular is wrong with the ice maker, or possibly the entire refrigerator? What further tests can I use to narrow it down?
• Is there a service where I can send the streak-material, to have it identified? (Do I even want to know?) I’m having someone come to look at my tap water, but I haven’t noticed anything wrong on that level.
• What should I do, exactly? My endgame will be to call a fridge technician, but I’d like to have a more specific problem description before going that route. (Assume I’ve already stopped using the ice and that the fridge doesn’t dispense water.)
posted by queen anne's remorse to Home & Garden (4 answers total)
when was the last time you cleaned the water line to the fridge? my friends ice gets gross tasting when it has been far too long since the last cleaning.
posted by misanthropicsarah at 2:07 PM on January 20 [2 favorites]

One thing that looks that colour is the grease used to lubricate moving parts in appliances. So it could be that some grease is getting transferred to the tray. A wipe around inside the ice maker might identify the source.

Ice from our ice maker tends to taste bad, so we don't use it. I can dismantle and totally clean and deodorise the ice maker, and for a few days the ice tastes fine. Then it starts to pick up weird flavours and we stop using it again. I have a theory that odours are being transferred from frozen food to the ice, but strangely ice made in ordinary trays always tastes OK.
posted by pipeski at 2:22 PM on January 20 [3 favorites]

Many freezers with icemakers have a filter. It exists so that you will have to buy overpriced replacements, but if you don't replace it, you may get algae in your ice. The water where I live is exceptionally good - clean and delicious - and doesn't need a filter, but I'm stuck with it.
posted by theora55 at 2:55 PM on January 20

FWIW often you can buy a bypass plug so that you can use the ice/water dispenser without any filter rather than letting an old one sit in it.
posted by needs more cowbell at 6:27 PM on January 20

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