Why Is My Ice Hollow? | Ice Maker Troubleshooting Tips


Have you noticed that your ice maker has been producing hollow ice cubes lately?  If you answered yes, you are not alone.  Hollow ice is a relatively common issue usually accompanied by smaller than normal ice cubes and clumping in your ice bin.  But what causes this to happen?

Today we have a few common causes of hollow ice and some troubleshooting tips to get your ice back to normal.

WARNING: Before starting any repair, always make sure to take the proper precautions and disconnect the appliance from the power source.

The Freezer Isn’t Cold Enough

Ideally, your freezer temperature should be at or close to 0°F.  If your freezer is too warm, the ice will not be able to freeze properly.

To check if your freezer is at the right temperature, place a thermometer in the freezer on the top shelf for about an hour and check the temperature.  Make any necessary adjustments using the dials until your freezer reaches the desired temperature, also checking that your refrigerator remains at or below 40°F.  This may take a bit of trial and error.


You may find that during warmer or colder months you may have to make adjustments to ensure that your refrigerator and freezer stay at the proper temperature.


Partial Water Fill

Another common cause of hollow ice is that the ice mold is not being filled fully or evenly.  In some models, the ice maker ejects the ice from the tray when the thermostat senses it has reached a certain temperature, while in others it ejects using a timer.  If the ice molds are filled unevenly, they will not freeze at the same time.

The thermostat typically senses the temperature of the ice mold closest to the motor.  If this is only partially filled, it will freeze much faster than the others leading to prematurely ejected ice.

The edges of the ice cubes will freeze because the tray is cold, but the tops and centers do not have enough time to fully freeze.  When ejected, the water leaks out of the cubes leaving you with hollow ice.

To fix this problem, there are a few things you may have to check:

  • Water Fill Level:  On most models you can make small adjustments to the ice maker water level be turning an adjustment screw or knob on the ice maker. It should be set between 4.5 and 5 ounces.
  • Water Pressure: If the water pressure is too low coming into the ice maker, the tray will fill slower than normal.  You can either use a pressure gauge to check this, or if you have a water dispenser, it should dispense 3 ounces in about 5 seconds.
  • Water Valve: The screen on the water valve should be free of any an debris.  Sometimes mineral deposits will collect on the screen, restricting water flow.  If you’re running into this issue, you may want to install an in-line water filter.
  • Water Lines: Check for any kinks or bends in the refrigerator’s water lines that may be restricting water flow
  • Water Filter Status: If your water filter is due to be changed, it could be causing your water to dispense slower than normal.  You should change your filter every 6 months, although this will vary depending on usage levels.
  • Check that the refrigerator is level: Use a level to make sure that your refrigerator is in fact level, if it’s not it may be the reason your ice tray seems to be filling unevenly


If you’ve checked all of these areas and still have hollow ice, you may need to replace your ice maker.  You can find a step-by-step guide for that repair here.  You can also find replacement ice makers and parts, as well as many other refrigerator parts on our website.

Have a question or additional tip?  Leave it in the comments below!  If you found this post helpful, be sure to like and share it and to check out the rest of the 1st Source Servall Blog.

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