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Troubleshooting Clumping Ice in an Ice Maker Bucket and not Dispensing Properly

Posted by Samurai Appliance Repair Man, in Refrigerator Repair, Icemaker Repair 10 February 2013 · 910 views
refrigerator, ice maker
If your refrigerator has an ice and water dispenser, one of the things that may happen is that the ice in the bucket stops coming out the chute when you push the ice lever in the dispenser. This problem can be a real head scratcher to track down and Brother DurhamAppliance offers some sagacious tips and tricks for whuppin' up on it:

Finding the reason for clumped ice in an ice maker bucket is not always an easy thing. If you are lucky, the issue may be apparent otherwise you have to look for certain clues and use process of elimination.

This is how I would tackle your problem, it may not be elegant but it works for me.

First I would see if there is any obvious signs of problems like incomplete ice cubes, frost build up around the door or ice maker chute. This would give me a clue that the problem may be related to outside air. If not frost, as in your case, I may only do a cursory glance at the ice chute door, gasket and sealing capability of the freezer door. I do this on all fridge calls anyway. More than likely there is no air leak if I don't see frost. I then quickly see if the freezer door closes okay and engages the light switch.

Since I did not see any frost, my main focus would be on the ice maker and water valve. There is hopefully a perceptible leak so then I would start a harvest cycle with the ice maker. Most of the time If no frost is present, I start a harvest cycle even before I check the door, gaskets etc as mentioned in the previous paragraph since it's just a cursory check and I can complete it before the water valve engages. Btw with regards to your question about starting a harvest cycle ...no... only the whirpool style ice maker requires jumping. Your ice maker is started one of two ways depending on the type. If it has a white paddle, turn the ice maker off for about 10 seconds, turn it back on and press the paddle in three times within 6 seconds. If it has the metal bail arm, lower the arm and grab about two or three of the ejector "fingers" and gently but firmly pull then to you in a clockwise rotation. After a few seconds of doing this, release them and the harvest cycle will start. BTW the "fingers' as you call them on this style, are not in an up or 2:30 position like the whirlpool modular style when at rest. Remember this distinction as pulling the whirlpool style ejector fingers may destroy the ice maker.

After a few minutes, the ice maker will energize the valve. Water will enter the fill tube and run into the ice maker receiving cup. I'll look closely for leaking. If the tube or cup is partially frozen, water may fall in to the bucket. If so, problem found ..clear the ice buildup. If not, I'll look under and around the ice maker to check for any perceptible leaks. If a leak is found, I have to determine if it is coming from a crack or is the ice maker simply over flowing with water. If the latter, it may be possible to adjust the water fill level through an adjustment on the icemaker. This adjustment, however, usually adds or subtracts only about one or two tablespoons of water at the most. If this adjustment doesn't stop the overfill situation then I have to replace the valve.

If I still haven't found the problem then we have the dreaded (*&@#$!) imperceptible leak. That leak only shows up during lunar eclipses, on the 31st day of February or when you are not looking. It could be the ice maker unnecessarily energizing the valve or the valve itself. There's several ways to handle this. Replace them both or one at a time. This depends on how much time/customer's money you want to spend.

If the ice maker is more than five years old or has peeling Teflon coating, I would replace it first as it needs to be replaced anyway and see what happens. If leak continues after a few days, then it's time for a new valve.

If the ice maker is relatively new, I would replace the valve first since it is generally less expensive. If I get them from repair clinic I can always return the part that did not fix the problem.

There is also a neat test that can be done on the valve to see if it is the problem. Remove all ice and water from the ice maker, remount it but do not connect it. no...simply turning it off aint good enough. Keep it disconnected (or disconnect the ice maker side of the valve). If, after a few days, there is water in the ice maker, then undoubtedly we have a leaky water valve.

Other things to consider, ice maker mold heater not turning off, very high/low water pressure at the spigot, water filter issues and an out of sync ice maker, Whew! I need to start charging more for this repair. I'm exhausted just pretending to do it and I am certain I missed a thing or two. Anyhow, by now I should have solved the problem and it's time for a brewski. But no, can't since I'm pretending to be at work! All I can do is quietly celebrate by putting another victory notch on my screw gun.



To learn more about your refrigerator of to order parts, click here.


Source: GE refrigerator not dispensing ice


Appliantology Newsletter: Ice Maker Illumination

Posted by Samurai Appliance Repair Man, in Appliantology Newsletter, Icemaker Repair 24 June 2012 · 738 views
Appliantology, Ice Maker repair

 

Appliantology Newsletter
Ice Maker Illumination
Late-June 2012
How to Fix an Ice Maker that's Not Making Ice
The Whirlpool modular ice maker is the most commonly used ice maker in refrigerators today. You’ll even find these ice makers in non-Whirlpool refrigerators. There's a reason for that: it's a very rugged and reliable unit and easy to work on.  Anyone with a 3rd Grade edumucation can fix one of these units... if you know a few Secret Samurai Tricks™.
If you’re a professional appliantologist, this is the ice maker you’ll most frequently encounter on service calls.  If you're a DIY appliance repair dude or dudette, this is most likely the type of ice maker installed in your refrigerator, regardless of refrigerator brand.  So come watch the Samurai personally step you through troubleshooting and repairing your Whirlpool-built ice maker and save Big Bucks!
Want to Add an Ice Maker to Your Refrigerator?
Ol' Samurai's gotcha covered.  You can quickly and easily find a replacement or add-on ice maker for most brands and models of refrigerators ratcheer.  
Super easy to install and they all come with crystal-clear, step-by-step instructions.  If you can use a screwdriver, you can install an add-on ice maker kit to your refrigerator!
The Appliantology Academy, www.Appliantology.org
 
 



Class Action Lawuit against Electrolux for their Crazy, Sucky Ice Makers

Posted by Samurai Appliance Repair Man, in Icemaker Repair 24 May 2012 · 2,240 views
Electroluz, lawsuit, ice maker

Did anyone know they have a class action lawsuit forming against Electrolux on these refrigerators with these crazy icemakers?

Just ran across it in related videos to the one above.

www.Electrolux-Refrigerator-Lawsuit.com



Source: Electrolux EW23BC71IS4 Ice maker not making ice


Sears Kenmore / GE refrigerator only dispenses crushed ice, no cubes

Sears, Kenmore, GE, refrigerator and 2 more...

Not unusual for the solenoid actuator for the metal arm of the icetray auger to seize up. It is located above the actuator stirrup at the back of the freezer - the actuator pin gets froze up and seizes and the solenoid melts down. Part Links below:

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Source: sears model number 363.58067890


Testing the ice maker in a KitchenAid refrigerator

Posted by Samurai Appliance Repair Man, in Icemaker Repair 19 April 2012 · 1,706 views
KitchenAid, Whirlpool, icemaker and 3 more...


Water is available, the water dispenser works normally.


Although built together, water dispenser and Ice Maker valves work independent of each other. One side could fail while other is working normally. Also the ice maker itself must call for the water, so even if water is available that doesn't mean the ice maker is calling for it. Jump ports L and V to energize valve. Also using the test ports on the module will help you far more than disassembling the ice maker.


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All resistance checks must be done with power disconnected from the icemaker or whole appliance!

  • Testing for voltage between test points L and N should measure 120 volts if the icemaker is receiving power. Note: On some models power is disconnected from the icemaker whenever the door is opened.
  • Testing for resistance between test points L and H will check the icemaker's mold heater (~72 ohms).
  • Testing for resistance between L and M will check the motor resistance (~4400 - 8800 ohms).
  • Testing for resistance between V and N will check the resistance of the external water valve solenoid coil (~300 ohms).
  • Testing for resistance between T and H should show continuity (zero resistance) if the icemaker's internal bimetal thermostat is closed. It will read infinite resistance if open. Testing for voltage should show 0 volts if the icemaker's internal thermostat is closed, 120 volts if the thermostat is open... and the icemaker is getting power. Note: The internal icemaker thermostat will only be closed if the icemaker is and has been below 15°F for some time.

A 14 gauge insulated (except for 1/2" on each end) preferably solid-wire can be used as a jumper to initiate functions of the icemaker unit.



Testing on a 'live' appliance can be dangerous! Anyone unfamiliar with proper safety precautions should not attempt it.

  • Jumping between T and H will simulate the closing of the internal thermostat. It will initiate a harvest cycle, powering the icemaker motor and the mold heater. Remove the jumper after 3 seconds and icemaker should continue to run. Note: If the jumper is not removed before the ice ejector blades reach the 10:00 o'clock position, the water valve will not be energized and the icemaker will not fill.
  • Jumping between M and N should power the icemaker motor.
  • Jumping between L and V should energize the water valve.
  • Jumping between H and N should energize the ice mold heater.



Source: KitchenAid ice maker quit, looking for troubleshooting help






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