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KitchenAid refrigerator KSSS36DAW05 - icemaker fill tube keeps freezing up


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20 replies to this topic

#1 bigbluediesel

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Posted 24 February 2011 - 10:46 AM

We have a Kitchen Aid KSSS36DAW05 with an ice making issue. The supply tube has routinely frozen up a few times a year since it was new. This week, is has frozen up four times. I remember reading on the old forum about an updated supply tube that would prevent this - maybe even a heated tube for this model. I can't find any such tube on repairclinic.com. I also have thought about a leaky water valve being the culprit. Any ideas from the educated masses? Thanks.

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#2 KurtiusInterupptus

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Posted 24 February 2011 - 11:04 AM

Four times in one week? I would definitely be replacing that inlet valve...
after clearing the ice from the tube you may be able to see the drip developing, thereby proving the valve to be incontinent.
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#3 Samurai Appliance Repair Man

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Posted 24 February 2011 - 01:11 PM

I hate an incontinent valve. :urinate:

#4 freespeech

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Posted 24 February 2011 - 03:09 PM

Yes replace valve but after replacing the valve cut one of the flaps off the box that it comes in. Then place that piece of cardboard on the right hand side of the vent that sits behind the icemaker. I have found that keeping air from blowing directly on the inlet tube also helps prevent it if from freezing..
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#5 bigbluediesel

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Posted 24 February 2011 - 03:18 PM

Thanks for the reassurance. I ordered the valve today. I'll try blocking the tube from the vent as well - sounds logical. I'll post back on the results.

#6 bigbluediesel

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Posted 02 March 2011 - 12:17 PM

OK - update time. I received the new valve yesterday - was a pretty easy install considering this is a built in and the component is on top of the unit. After installation, I cleaned out the fill tube (again - I'm an expert now...) using hot water and a turkey injecting syringe. Made sure it was clear with a good flashlight. Icemaker worked all night, however the size of the cubes became progressively smaller. This morning - it was frozen up again.

I've got great water pressure at the door. We're using reverse osmosis water. Freezer temp is between 5 and 10° F. I did notice this morning when I defrosted the tube (yet again..) that the water doesn't completely drain out of the tube. Seems like the surface tension of the water leaves a droplet at the bottom of the tube. Are the tubes coated with something that keeps water from standing? Could my tube just be "worn out" somehow?

Also, I remember a repairman who came out when this fridge was new putting in a modified tube - he mentioned something about a heated tube at the time, but I can't find any such animal now.

Thanks for reading. All ideas welcomed and appreciated.

#7 Samurai Appliance Repair Man

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Posted 02 March 2011 - 12:31 PM

We're using reverse osmosis water.



Wish you had said this at the outset. This is a big no-no and will cause problems with water inlet valves because the pressure is too small to make the piston seal properly. Switch the water supply over to regular house pressure and it should run fine.

#8 bigbluediesel

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Posted 02 March 2011 - 02:39 PM

Ouch. That might be harder than installing the valve. This is a big built in and the plumbing is in the slab. Its worked pretty good for the last 12 years though. If I could only get it back to where it only froze up a few times a year I'd be happy.

#9 Samurai Appliance Repair Man

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Posted 02 March 2011 - 08:46 PM

When was the last time you replaced the sediment filter and carbon matrix filter on your RO unit? And when was the last time you purged the RO storage tank and checked the air pressure? Are you on a well? If so, may need to check the air pressure in your main storage tank, too.

#10 bigbluediesel

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Posted 02 March 2011 - 08:57 PM

Its been six months since the membrane was changed, but the two screw on filters were replaced about two weeks ago. The RO tank was purged at that time (it doesn't have a shut off valve, so it gets drained anytime the system is opened) We're on "city water" and the pressure is pretty good. I've never checked the air pressure on the RO storage tank - how would I do that? Its a GE SmartWater RO unit - the storage tank only has the one tube coming out of it.

#11 Samurai Appliance Repair Man

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Posted 02 March 2011 - 09:02 PM

I didn't say anything about the membrane-- that hardly ever needs changing. Read it again:

When was the last time you replaced the sediment filter and carbon matrix filter on your RO unit?



#12 bigbluediesel

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Posted 02 March 2011 - 09:06 PM

, but the two screw on filters were replaced about two weeks ago.


Its been about two weeks.

#13 Samurai Appliance Repair Man

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Posted 02 March 2011 - 09:08 PM

There's a schrader valve stem on the storage tank. Go the hardware store and low pressure tire gauge. Use it to check air pressure in the tank bladder, you're looking about 7psi with the tank empty of water.

#14 bigbluediesel

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Posted 02 March 2011 - 09:13 PM

OK - I've got one of those low pressure tire gauges that came with a four wheeler. I'll look for the schraeder valve - maybe its on the bottom since I haven't noticed it before. Thanks for the information.

#15 Samurai Appliance Repair Man

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Posted 02 March 2011 - 09:16 PM

Also, if one of those screw on filters you replaced didn't cost around $30-50, you didn't replace the carbon matrix. The matrix will have the single biggest effect on system pressure.

#16 bigbluediesel

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Posted 02 March 2011 - 09:20 PM

On this GE SmartWater, the replacement filters come in a two pack - they run about 60 bucks for the pair at HomeDepot, but I get them online for about 45. They are the exact number that the owners manual calls for. I've got great pressure at the RO tap as well as the water dispenser in the door of the fridge. I wonder if the air that gets introduced into the line when the filters are changed could have caused this recent increase in freeze-ups? Its been cranking out ice all day since I thawed out the tube this morning. Guess I'll have to give it a little more time to see if it settles down.

#17 kdog

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Posted 02 March 2011 - 09:32 PM

The way the R/O works is that it makes a batch of water and stores it (in the tank with the bladder), when the water gets low - it makes a new batch. This is a very long process to refill the holding tank and if you draw water from it during this process, pressure is greatly reduced - your icemaker is unaware that this process is occuring and wants the water just the same.
The procedure for the bladder pressure is to completely empty the storage tank and then press the schrader valve to allow atmospheric pressure into the space between the tank and bladder - then when the bladder is refilled with water, the air trapped between is compressed to allow the product water to flow out, like squeezing a balloon. DO NOT press this valve open when the tank is full or your R/O will not give you any flow.
Being on city water is not necessarily a good thing with these, where I live there is a fair bit of chlorine added to the water which is very hard on the membranes - you should change the two screw on filters quite often as this will extend the life of the membrane (2 or 3 filter changes per membrane life).
That's why R/O's are not really recommended for fridge hookups as you cannot depend on them to provide enough pressure when needed. I don't think I need to explain the results to you.


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#18 kdog

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Posted 02 March 2011 - 09:36 PM

Here's a bit of the poop on r/o's from our archives - remember problems and issues don't come and go - only we do

http://appliantology...-osmosis-notes/

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#19 bigbluediesel

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Posted 23 March 2011 - 10:39 AM

Update time - I purchased the IM fix kit ( http://www.repaircli...05 ) which replaces the PVC fill tube with an aluminum extension. It turns out this model (or at least our refrigerator) has a heater that goes around the tube. Apparently the PVC is non-conductive enough that the heater doesn't really work well. Also, I noticed the PVC would hold a drop of water in the tube with each fill (like how a bead of water sits on your hood after a wax job) - the aluminum tube allows the water to completely drain, and the heater can do its job.

Anyway - it works now. No more freezing up. Its been a week and no issues.

On a side note - the water dispenser nozzle decided to get brittle and shatter. I read all about how the tubing has to be fished through the door hinge and spliced under the fridge. Well, it turns out on this model the coupling is behind the dispenser insert. A couple of screws, dispenser pulls out, and a compression fitting is revealed. Took about ten minutes to get the new one in. Now we're ready for the next appliance that wants a little attention. :thanks:

Edited by bigbluediesel, 23 March 2011 - 10:40 AM.


#20 KurtiusInterupptus

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Posted 23 March 2011 - 03:59 PM

nice work, diesel! way to stay after that be-ooch! thanks for the follow-up....perhaps someone else will benefit from your trials :yes:
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