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Kenmore Icemaker Eject/Harvest Problems


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7 replies to this topic

#1 Honest John

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Posted 23 July 2005 - 09:55 AM

I've got a perplexing problem with my Kenmore side-by-side component-style (whirlpool) Ice-Maker in side-by-side model # 253.55692402. Frequently, at the end of the cube-making process, the cubes will get hung-up on the ejector "fingers", and the ejector finger spindle will cease its rotation as the impaled cubes freeze in place. I believe the cubes are not fully frozen when the eject cycle begins, and the fingers are piercing into the hollow cubes. The nearly-frozen water inside the cubes comes out of the cubes across the bitterly cold fingers, and freezes quickly, sticking the cubes to the fingers. This process brings to cube-making process to a grinding halt, until I manually break the frozen cubes free of the fingers, which causes other problems with ice fragments getting down into the mold and jamming up the spindle, again bringing the process to a halt. I am then forced to remove the entire icemaker from the freezer, rinsing the mold in warm water to thaw it out, and then I replace it.
The water fill volume is correct, the freezer temperature is at it's maximum cooling (9), interior temp is O deg.F to -10 deg.F. My guess on this problem is either the timing motor is running slightly fast, or the thermostat is closing at too-high a temperature (too early). The schematic is very vague, and doesn't discuss the timing cam at all, so I'm left to speculate.
Also, the problem is intermittent. Ice-maker can go for weeks without misbehaving, then require daily or almost daily stroking just to get a full ice bin.
Question is: How many different causes can there be for "premature harvest"?
Anybody had this problem before???:rocketman:

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#2 Pegi

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Posted 23 July 2005 - 01:34 PM

This is a Frigidaire ref. with the Kenmore name stuck on it.  Your fill valve is going bad, not letting enough water into the ice maker sometimes.  The ice maker calls for water for aprox 8 seconds, how much water enters depends on the water flow thru the valve in this time. Replace the fill valve and watch for the thru tube to freeze up as a bad fill valve will cause this tube to block with ice also.
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#3 ApplianceTerminator

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Posted 23 July 2005 - 02:23 PM

Are the cubes hollow  ???


#4 Honest John

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Posted 23 July 2005 - 02:42 PM

Thank you for your reply. Your diagnosis, however, does not make sense to me. First of all, the fridge is less than a year old. The fill amount seems correct. When the cubes comes out they are all bridged together by a thin strip of ice which breaks easily when they tumble into the bin. I have captured each batch of cubes immediately after ejection. They are still liquid on the inside. How would this have anything to do with the fill valve?
To me, this seems like a timing issue. The harvesting operation is starting before the cubes are fully frozen. But the cube size (a direct function of the fill amount) is just right.
Also, the impaling of the cubes doesn't seem to happen until the bin gets full. Then, the icemaking operation ceases because the harvesting fingers get jammed, and it is not noticed until the bin runs out of cubes several days later.

#5 Pegi

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Posted 23 July 2005 - 02:50 PM

The reason the cubes are hollow with a limited water flow into the ice maker is caused by the unit trying to prematurely harvest before the cubes are solidly frozen. Follow me on this. When the icemaker calls for a harvest mode, there is a sensor that is enclosed on the control section or "head" of the ice maker. This sensor "feels" the ice maker mold (or tray). When the temperature reaches between 4 and 12 degrees farenheight,two contacts mate in the sensor and create a closed circuit. The ice maker then goes into the harvest mode. As the rake turns to scoop the ice out, there are a series of switches or contacts that make and break connections. This causes the mold heater to come on. The rake will stall when it first comes in contact with the ice. The mold heater will heat up the mold and release the cubes. The rake will continue to rotate and scoop the cubes out. As the rake reaches the home position The internal switches mate and send power to the electric water valve and allow water to flow in the fill tube and into the ice maker. The sensor is now warmed up and the ice maker stops and rests untill the mold sensor gets cold enough to start the process all over again. The reason for hollow cubes can easily be explained. The water enters one end of the mold and cascades from each individual cube section to the next. This fill cycle is a pre timed increment due to the rotation of the rake. If the water valve or water pressure slows the water entering the ice maker, it gives an incomplete fill. The water does not reach the other end of the mold. This is the area of the mold where the mold sensor is located. Since this sensor does not have water in the mold in this area, it chills faster than the rest of the mold and prematurely cycles. Since the ice cubes are not totally frozen, the water from the interior of the cube dumps back into the mold. This causes hollow cubes. It's that simple. I hope this answers your question
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#6 Pegi

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Posted 23 July 2005 - 03:32 PM

Why are you asking these questions here if this ref. is under a year old???  This needs to be referred to warranty service at Sears.
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#7 Honest John

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Posted 23 July 2005 - 03:50 PM

That sounds like a plausible explanation. The only thing that still doesn't make sense is when I inspect each new batch of ejected cubes, I count eight full size cubes, bridged together with a thin strip of ice (the full amount). However, they are still liquid inside. Does this suggest that even under an ideal fill, the thermostat is closing prematurely?

#8 Pegi

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Posted 23 July 2005 - 03:54 PM

Ok, you either have a bad ice maker or fill valve, both are under warranty..
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