Mmmmm. Home-made ice cream! This Fix-It Guide on ice-cream maker repair tells how an ice-cream maker works, what often goes wrong with an electric ice-cream maker, how to identify an ice-cream maker problem, and what parts and tools you will need to fix it. It then gives simple step-by-step instructions for how to disassemble an electric ice-cream maker. This Fix-It Guide also refers to electrical cord repair and motor repair as well as information on electrical testing.
How Does an Ice-Cream Maker Work?
An electric ice-cream maker is a tabletop appliance for mixing and freezing ice cream at home. A small electric motor drives gears that turn the canister filled with the ingredients for ice cream. The canister is surrounded with ice and rock salt to freeze the contents. Alternately, a hand crank on top replaces the motor.
What Can Go Wrong with an Ice-Cream Maker?
Although durable, ice-cream makers can require a few repairs. A common problem is damage to motors or gears from mixing too-large batches of ice cream or from neglecting a jammed mixing paddle. The electrical cord can fail and motor bearings can dry out.
Your ice-cream maker’s owner’s manual will tell you what and how much of each ingredient to put in the canister for a single batch. Putting too much in it can make it overflow and possibly damage the motor or gears.
How Can I Identify an Ice-Cream Maker Problem?
- If the motor doesn’t work, make sure power is on at the outlet and test the electrical cord. Lubricate dry motor bearings with lightweight machine oil (see the Luricants secton of the Mechanical Things Fix-It Guide). Test the motor and replace if necessary.
- If the ingredients don’t mix properly, inspect the paddle for damage and replace if necessary. You also may need to replace worn or damaged gears in the motor.
- If the motor runs but the paddle doesn’t turn, check and replace worn or damaged gears (see the Motor Fix-It Guide).
- If the appliance is unusually noisy, replace worn or damaged gears (see the Motor Fix-It Guide). If the gears look okay, try lubricating the motor.
After each use, make sure the ice-cream maker is thoroughly cleaned. And, at least once an ice-cream season, disassemble the power unit and carefully lubricate the gears and motor shaft, wiping off excess oil.
What Do I Need for Ice-Cream Maker Repair?
You can find a replacement motor or other parts through the manufacturer or an aftermarket parts supplier. Lubricants and fasteners are available through a local hardware store. Here are the tools you’ll need for disassembly and testing:
- Multimeter for testing components
What Are the Steps to Ice-Cream Maker Repair?
Disassemble an ice-cream maker:
- Make sure the unit is unplugged from the electrical receptacle.
- Remove the motor unit, if easily detached. If it is on the side, remove the ice bucket or other components to access the motor and gear assembly.
- Turn the motor unit upside down and remove the cover or baseplate to access the motor and gears.
- Carefully remove gears and check for wear.
- Clean any debris around the gears and motor, then remove the motor and test it with a multimeter (see the Electrical Tests Fix-It Guide).
- Replace any worn or broken parts. Carefully lubricate (see the Luricants secton of the Mechanical Things Fix-It Guide) and reassemble.
If you are buying a new or replacement ice-cream maker, look for one with durable metal rather than breakable plastic gears. How can you tell? If the box doesn’t tell you, open it and check the owner’s manual.