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Ice makers spray cold water upward into cube shaped trays that freeze the water almost instantly upon contact . Then when you press the ice dispenser a heater comes on that releases the ice cubes from the metal trays. If it is very old replacement probably a good option.
Ice makers can be repaired. Sometimes it is cheaper and more cost effective to just replace the entire unit for about 50 dollars or less on ebay.
If the freezer temperature is not low enough your ice maker will make ice in tray but not empty it into the tray since the interior temp has to be about 10 degrees for the thermostat to activate the unload cycle.
If there is no ice in the tray perhaps the water line to unit is clogged or the solenoid that feeds the water to unit is malfunctioning. Or, maybe the cam mechanism of the ice maker that controls the solenoid is fubar.
I have not worked on this model before but on the whirlpool they have a bar as well. you can turn off ice maker by pushing it up and it locks in place to stop ice production. if u want it to make ice u push it up slightly and it should move down. also check the ice maker tray to be sure u are getting water to the tray. if u get the bar to go down and no water comes in then check that u have water at the back of fridge.. if u have water there but not in the tray then you may have a bad water inlet valve on back of fridge.
I believe there are three cycles in order to make ice. There is a switch that sends a signal to the water valve for the icemaker to fill. Then once the ice is made, heater under the tray comes on and the switch to turn the auger comes on for the ice to drop out. And of course, there is a over flow bar (on out side the ice maker) that can shut the whole process off until you physically push it down or is released as the ice level goes down. If any of these process malfunctions or any of the cycle is stuck, then you will not have as much ice or will not get any ice.
You almost have to listen to each cycle when you are home and check for each cycle WATER _ FREEZING _ ICE DROPING to see if you detect anything as what could be wrong.
The filter does effect somewhat the flow of the water. For some people having problems with ice dispensing it may be as simple as lifting the metal shut off bar up and down. Then check the top of the ice tray to make sure no ice is stuck up there. When you move the metal bar up and down you should see the plastic dispenser that pushes the ice out turning or rotating. Hope this helps.
Just above the tray that holds the ice cubes is a wire bar. If the bar is down, it will make ice. If the bar is up, it will stop making ice. When there is enough Ice in the tray, when the bar comes downm, it will hit the ice. If the bar is not completely down, no ice will be made.
I bet the bar is stuck, or you don't have a water supply to make ice (or it's plugged - de-ice the freezer).