Question about Refrigerators
If your icemaker is producing small cubes, hollow cubes, huge cubes, or a solid
slab of ice, one of the first things you want to check is the fill level. And
it's not as difficult as you might think.
Unplug the refrig, pull the icemaker - usually one screw underneath, either 2 more or hooks above the cube mold - and unplug it. Take it to your sink and melt out any cubes with hot water. Then plug it and the refrig. back in, leaving it unattached from the freezer wall.
Manually start a 'harvest cycle' (see below) and hold a baby bottle under the fill tube. You'll have to wait a few minutes, because the water enters near the end of one complete rotation of the cube ejector, which constitutes a 'harvest cycle'.
Regardless your type of icemaker, you're looking for 130-150 cc's, with most working best around 145cc's, but anywhere in this range should work OK.
(When replacing your icemaker with a new one, always check and adjust the water fill level this way too. You'll save yourself a lot of trouble.)
Manually starting a 'harvest' cycle:
Two basic designs of domestic, analog icemakers are most common. (Electronic models come & go from time to time - shudder - but we aren't seeing them in great numbers - yet)
Pop the front cover off yours and check the large gear front & center. If the front plate is metal, and you see a Phillips screw in the center of this gear, that's great - you own a 'microswitch' design. This is one of the most reliable units ever made! Here's what it looks like with the front cover off:
To manually start a cycle, either grasp the ejector and rotate upward (CW fr. front), or use a screwdriver to turn the smaller gear (CCW) if yours has a slot for this. Once you turn it a short distance, you'll hear a little 'click and the unit will start to run. Make sure the ice-sensing bail has clearance to raise & lower during this test cycle.
If there's no screw, that's OK too, you own a 'modular' unit, and even though we, um, make more income from these, they're still pretty decent. Here's what a modular looks like with the front cover off:
To start a cycle with this one, don't attempt to turn the gears manually! You'll need a short piece of insulated solid copper wire, 12-14 gauge. (Just strip a 4 in. piece out of some 12-2 'romex' used in house wiring.) Strip the ends back about ¾ in. and bend it into a 'U' shape. This wire is inserted into the holes marked 'T' and 'H' in the front of the icemaker to bypass the tstat and run a cycle. (don't insert it into any holes except 'T' & 'H' !) Remove the jumper after a few seconds (or the heater will stay on), and let it run, waiting for the fill at the end. Again, make sure the ice-sensing bail has clearance to raise & lower during your test cycle.
Note: I stress this jumper wire needs to be insulated, because you're briefly jumping 120V here. The usual precautions apply!!
Both icemaker styles have a small screw to adjust water levels. The modular type has very little adjustment available, though, which means the other components in the water supply have to be right (saddle valve installed properly - not to bottom of pipe, etc - clean fill valve screen, etc.) Just rerun a test cycle after each adjustment.
<more coming - please be patient>
Posted on Jun 25, 2009
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Posted on Jan 02, 2017
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