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7 Opal Nugget Ice Maker Problems and Easy Tips To Fix

Product Reviews, Blog

“When you have an Opal nugget ice machine, smooth and crunchy ice is never far away. However, some issues can disrupt its operation,” says appliance repair expert John Smith.

A slowed process or lack of nuggets means less refreshment for everyone.”

As the five-year owner of an Opal nugget ice maker, I can attest that occasional problems arise.

Just last summer, mine took longer than usual to freeze ice.

Cross-referencing the symptom revealed a dirty evaporator needing cleaning.

A quick fix had it churning cubes continuously.

Identifying common issues and simple DIY steps gets your machine up and running quickly.

Keep reading to discover seven typical Opal nugget ice maker problems I’ve faced and their easy solutions for prompt ice production.


Opal nugget ice maker problems, what to know?

Opal Nugget Ice Maker problems can range from technical glitches to water leakage (1). Prompt troubleshooting and expert assistance can resolve these issues efficiently.

Opal Arsenal: Essential Tools for Peak Performance and Easy Fixes

Tools for cleaning and maintenance

2-Pack Ice Machine Cleaner/Descaler 

Keep your Opal running optimally and prevent mineral buildup with this powerful descaler.

It’s compatible with all ice makers, including nugget, crushed, and pellet.

Simply run a cleaning cycle with this solution to dissolve scale and maintain clear ice production. 

GE Profile Opal Replacement Water Filter 

Ensure consistently clean and pure ice with the official Opal water filter.

It removes chlorine taste and odor and meets NSF & ANSI standards for quality.

Replace every 6 months for optimal performance.

Microfiber Cleaning Cloths

Wipe down the exterior of your Opal after cleaning or troubleshooting steps with these soft, absorbent cloths.

They won’t scratch the surface and will leave your appliance looking polished.

Tools for troubleshooting specific issues

Portable TDS Meter 

Diagnose mineral buildup before it leads to problems like low ice production or strange noises.

This handy meter measures the Total Dissolved Solids in your water, helping you determine how often to descale your Opal. 

Descaling Tablets 

Eco-conscious Opal owners rejoice! 

These biodegradable descaling tablets are made from natural ingredients and effectively remove mineral deposits without harsh chemicals.

Simply drop one in during a cleaning cycle. 

CROWNFUL Nugget Ice Maker 

If you’re tired of troubleshooting your Opal and want a more reliable option, consider the CROWNFUL Nugget Ice Maker.

It automatically refills with water, boasts fast ice production, and features an intuitive control panel.

While not an identical replacement, it offers a hassle-free alternative for nugget ice lovers.

Additional options

Ice Shovel 

Easily scoop out your delicious nugget ice with a dedicated ice shovel.

Look for options with long handles for reaching the bottom of the bin. 

Ice Bin 

If your original bin is showing signs of wear or tear, consider replacing it with a new one.

Choose a clear bin to easily monitor ice levels and ensure a clean look.

Opal Nugget Ice Maker Problems


1. Opal Ice Maker is Not Turning On

YouTube video

If the ice maker does not turn on, there are a few things you can attempt to fix the problem.

Please consider the following options:

  • For approximately 3 seconds, press and hold the round button on the front. This will switch the ice maker from Day to Night mode (with the inside lights on) (where the interior lights are off). If it’s in Night mode, it could be alright; it’s just not lighting up, and this will determine if that’s the problem.
  • Check your breaker and make sure the plug is firmly seated in the socket. See if pressing the button with the heel of your dominant hand instead of your finger makes a difference. Press and hold the power button for around 10 seconds, using two fingers to ensure there is enough pressure.
  • Activate the Cleaning mode on your Opal ice maker by pressing the switch on the back of the unit. Press the power button if the Display-ring in front of you starts flashing yellow. The Power button is fine if the Display-ring starts rotating and you hear water pumping. Change back to Ice Mode using the back switch, and then check to see if it now powers on.

Opal nugget ice maker problems

2. Low Amounts of Ice and the Bin Indicates That it is Full

One common cause of low ice production or none at all, even when the ice bin indicator light claims to be full, is an blocked ice chute.

The ice chute is the internal tube that moves freshly made ice from the freezer compartment out into the external bin container.

When this pathway becomes obstructed, usually due to mineral buildup inside, it prevents new ice from efficiently making its way where it needs to go.

Oftentimes, simply following the regular cleaning recommendations in your opal’s user manual is all that’s required to dissolve and dislodge any blockages.

The manual will specify which cleaning mode to use and usually involves running a vinegar and water solution through the system.

This mild acidity helps cut through scale, leaving the chute clear again.

Give it at least 30 minutes after initiating the cycle to complete.

In many cases, the opal should then detect the unblocked pathway and ice production will restart, filling the bin to the correct level over the following half hour as usual.

Opal nugget ice maker problems 3

3. Warm Air is Exiting the Left Side of the Rear of the Unit.

Inside every Nugget ice maker is a cycling refrigeration system that does some pretty neat work.

As the refrigerant is compressed and expanded, it causes the surrounding air to get mighty chilly.

This cold air then flows through the maker in a directed path.

The first place this frigid airflow ventures is right towards the back or side of the unit.

You may notice it escaping from these areas when the ice maker is running.

Now, don’t fret none – this is all part of the design.

Allowing that cold air to circulate out is what allows the fresh, new ice to form inside effectively.

So how does it all come together to make those unique nugget shapes? Well, the ice maker has specially designed molds that get filled with water.

As that below-freezing air works its magic around the molds, the water slowly crystallizes into solid ice.

Pretty cool, right? The molds are what give the cubes their signature chunky, oval-like form that’s unlike ordinary square cubes.

Once the ice in a mold is fully frozen through, it’s ready to be released.

The machine automatically ejects the frozen nugget, which then falls neatly into the built-in storage bin below.

From there, the molds refill with more water to start the cycle all over again.

Pretty ingenious if you ask me!

4. Opal Ice Maker Keeps Turning Itself Off at Random

Opal nugget ice maker problems 2

Have you found that your ice maker seems to turn off unexpectedly at times? There may be a simple explanation.

Let’s go through some potential causes and fixes.

First, check if the shutdowns coincide with any scheduled downtime in the Opal app.

This nifty app lets you control your maker from afar.

It will check-in with the unit hourly at the top of the hour.

If you’ve set it for planned off-periods, this could be the culprit.

To test if the schedule may be at fault, you can temporarily disable it.

Simply disconnect the ice maker from power for a few minutes.

Then plug it back in to see if the problem persists outside of any scheduled windows.

If you don’t use the app’s features, another test is to remove it completely.

Unplug the machine for a brief time before reconnecting.

This can reset any settings that may be clashing.

Give it a whirl to potentially clear things up.

Be sure the ice bin is fully clicked into its proper position too.

These cool contraptions contain smart safety features.

If the bin isn’t detected as secure, it will auto-shut to ensure no loose cubes.

Finally, don’t discount the possibility of mineral buildup internally.

Over repeated uses, calcium and other deposits can accrue.

The maker may think the bin full when it’s actually clear.

Running the ice maker’s cleaning cycle can flush things out and rule this out.

Our ice machines go through the water with some of the hardest calcium buildups. All the parts that contact water get whiter than snow in less than a month, I ran 2 wash cycles with the cleaner and little if any scrubbing was needed. Nice try to clean your Opal Ice Maker!

5. Making Slush Instead of Ice

Welcoming a new ice maker into your home comes with an expected break-in period.

Much like adopting a pet, these machines require some adjustment time before operating at full speed.

Don’t be alarmed if it takes 30 minutes for that first batch of cubes to emerge.

During this brief introductory phase, the unit goes through start-up procedures behind the scenes.

It works to properly separate water from trapped impurities in installed filters.

Internal components like cooling coils gradually drop to ideal freezing temperatures as well.

You may notice temporary sounds of flowing water or mild gurgling release from the distribution chute.

This signifies everything is functioning as designed while the system primes.

No cause for concern – it shows your maker is simply easing into things.

Rest assured, within a half hour all processes should normalize.

From then on, crisp nuggets will roll out at a regular pace.

Be patient through any initial fluctuations, and follow recommended filter replacement schedules going forward.

Proper filter maintenance plays a key role in ensuring smooth ice production long-term.

With a little understanding as it settles in, your new appliance will soon keep you well stocked in refreshing cubes.

If you notice the power light on your ice maker flickering rather than remaining solid, it may be a sign of a potential issue with the unit receiving steady electricity.

Before worrying too much, try these simple troubleshooting steps to isolate the cause.

Start by ensuring the power cord is securely plugged into an outlet.

Try gently jiggling the plug to confirm a tight, unwavering connection.

A loose fit could disrupt the smooth flow of current.

For reliable results, use an outlet that is not part of a power strip or extension cord if possible.

Should the light continue to act unsteady, swap to a different wall socket to eliminate any problems originating from the original’s wiring.

When using an extension cord, check it is rated for at least 15 amps and designed for appliance use with three-prong grounding.

Not to forget, the maker’s app and its scheduling functions could potentially interfere.

Log into the app and suspend any planned downtime periods that may be conflicting.

Then unplug your unit for a few minutes to allow it to reset outside of the app’s possible influence.

With any luck, carefully checking the power source and temporarily removing app constraints will stabilize that light and put your mind at ease.

But don’t hesitate to reach out if flickering persists after diligently working through these routine steps.

Together we’ll ensure your maker gives years of pleasantly illuminated service.

    Opal nugget ice maker problems

    7. Making Loud Pump-noises

    The initial phases of ice making involve some noises you’ll want to know are standard.

    When first switched on, an ice maker takes five minutes to prime its internal workings through a water fill cycle.

    During this priming process, you can expect to hear water flowing through the system as it readies to churn out shimmering nuggets.

    Seeing a small pool form or streams emerge from vents is perfectly typical as well.

    It shows the machine is properly preparing its piping and coils with fresh H2O.

    Occasionally these starting sounds may seem louder than usual fills.

    If that’s the case, there’s no cause for worry – it simply indicates your appliance needs a bit more volume to wash out prior residue.

    After its thorough initial wash and the extra water is accepted, it will settle into regular quieter operation.

    So the next time you turn on your maker and witness flowing water for around five minutes, don’t let it concern you.

    Such sounds are built into the onset procedures to flush the works and lay the groundwork for optimal future ice production.

    Once complete, the flow will stop naturally and your first batch of cubes will start forming.

    It’s just the beginning phase you expect to hear liquid movement.

    Understanding these first boot-up habits will provide peace of mind each time you summon frosty treats from your nugget-crafting companion.

    Its priming process readies it for many satisfying hours of service.

    The Best Non-Problematic Ice Makers

    Opal nugget ice maker problems

    If you haven’t made any investment yet in the Opal nugget ice maker and you decided that these problems aren’t acceptable, we’d recommend you to buy another ice maker from another brand instead.


    Just one investment and you’re free from all the troubles above.

    Wouldn’t that be amazing?

    If you’re interested in that, here is our top pick.

    This ice maker has been known to be the best and the most non-problematic compared to the rest.

    An ice maker has the potential to be really good if it was more automatic and if the pellets were softer. Check this out!

    Portable ice makers are ideal for locations lacking built-in units like RVs, cabins and other temporary housing.

    Simply fill their top-loading water reservoirs and within 15 minutes typically the first crystals emerge, eliminating the chore of waiting days for trays.

    Compact enough for any kitchen, they maintain ice supplies anywhere.

    Perfect for stocking rental properties or surprise picnics, guests are delighted.

    The RV lifestyle especially benefits from their hassle-free operation no matter the destination.

    A bit of water and power unleashes frosty fun wherever adventures may roam.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Should I replace the water filter in my Opal Nugget ice maker?

    It is recommended that you replace the water filter in your Opal Nugget ice maker every 6 months to keep the ice maker running optimally.

    This will help to reduce the amount of water needed to produce ice and minimize the risk of water-related headaches or other health complications.

    How can I troubleshoot the problem if my ice machine is not making any ice?

    If your ice machine is not making any ice there are a few things that you can do to troubleshoot the issue.

  1. Check the water reservoir: Make sure that the water reservoir is full and that the ice machine is correctly plugged in.
  2. Check the water line: Make sure that the water line isn’t blocked and that the ice machine is correctly plugged in.
  3. Check the water pump: Make sure that the water pump is spinning and that the ice machine is correctly plugged in.
  4. Check the freezer thermostat: Make sure that the freezer thermostat isn’t set too low or too high.
  5. Check the ice maker sensor: If the ice maker sensor isn’t working, you may need to replace it.

Should I leave my Opal Ice Maker on all the time?

If you want ice, you must always keep it plugged in and running.

The ice will melt and the water will return to the reservoir if the machine is turned off.

This needs to be on constantly, exactly like your refrigerator or freezer.

How do you clean the sensors on an Opal Ice Maker?

To gently wipe the sensors’ surface, use a cotton swab that has been dipped in a small amount of white vinegar.

The surface should be as clear and spotless as possible.

Run a cleaning cycle on your Opal using only pure white vinegar if the problem continues.

How do you reset Opal?

A gentle reset will turn off all of Opal’s systems and restart them in accordance with the configuration file that was previously saved.

To carry out this action: To access the boot menu, press and hold button #2 (the one close to the bottom of the display) for three seconds.

Then, press and hold button #1 once to navigate to the “Boot Menu” option then press and hold button #2 to select it.

Finally, press and hold button #1 once to navigate to the “Reset” option then press and hold button #2 to select it.

Why is there black stuff in my Opal Ice Maker?

Black residue could indicate mineral build-up inside the Opal Ice Maker which includes the hoses and tanks.

Even with filtered water, minerals can still get through and over time they will accumulate.

Sum Up

By now you’ve gained valuable insight into some of the most common issues owners encounter with their Nugget ice makers.

I hope going over these prevalent problems has been helpful as you care for your trusty appliance.

If your particular dilemma was not directly addressed here though, don’t hesitate to reach out for assistance.

The dedicated support team can be contacted for additional troubleshooting guidance tailored to your situation.

Another great resource is the informative GE Appliances website. (2)

Browsing geappliances.com offers more extensive coverage of potential difficulties and simple fixes.

While this discussion covered many highlights, an endless variety of kitchens means unpredictable glitches may surface.

The thorough online guides ensure virtually any hiccup can be remedied.

But if scouring those wealth of articles and contacting support don’t yield success, have comfort their caretakers will work diligently to return your maker to its ice-making best.

With helpful partners in both this overview and the wider Appliance world, staying smoothly stocked in chilled cubes is really only ever a few clicks or calls away.

Here’s to many more seasons of deliciousness from your trusty nugget-popping pal!


The opal nugget ice maker can bring fun and smiles for any party or gathering.

After using mine for a couple years, I’ve seen how it can brighten people’s day. 

With some basic care and fixes, the machine will run smooth like butter. Be sure to give it a few shakes now and then to loosen any stuck nuggets.

Let me know if you have any other questions! 

Hope this helps you keep your ice poppin’ all summer long.


  1. https://icemakinghub.com/fix-ge-ice-maker-not-working/
  2. https://products.geappliances.com/appliance/gea-support-search-content?contentId=35289
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