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How do I fix a refrigerator ice maker?

The ice maker quit producing any ice cubes. Otherwise the refrigerator is working fine.

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ICE MAKER not making ice:

Inspect Water fill tube, Inspect the ice maker mold to see if there are ice cubes present. If there are no cubes or very small cubes, then you should look for issues with the water fill system. Inspect the fill tube and the fill cup area at the back of the ice maker to make sure that they are not frozen. If there is an ice buildup in that area, confirm no foreign objects have disrupted the flow of water into the fill cup. If nothing obvious has caused the ice buildup then suspect the inlet valve, tubing or low water pressure. Inspect the outlet tubing from the fill valve to the ice maker fill tube for any signs of restrictions and replace if necessary.

WATER INLET VALVE:

Check the water inlet valve for any restrictions. You will need to shut off the valve from the household water supply before you disconnect the inlet tubing. Some water inlet valves may have a screen to filter debris before it can enter the valve. If the screen is plugged, water flow will be restricted and the result will be small or layered ice cubes. Remove and clean the screen or replace the valve. If dirt has gotten into the valve it may not shut off completely and will continuously drip water into the ice maker fill tube and will eventually freeze up. Low household water pressure or a restriction at the manual shut off valve will also cause the water inlet valve to not shut off completely and create this same condition. Self piercing saddle valves are the most common shut off valve to cause this problem as the hole that is pierced in the water line is often too small and will more easily become restricted.

The water inlet valve is operated by line voltage supplied through the ice maker control. Power is applied for approximately 7-9 seconds during the harvest cycle and energizes the solenoid on the valve to allow water to flow.
You can check the solenoid for continuity with a multi-meter. On models with multiple solenoid inlet valves, you will need to determine which portion or portions of the valve are used for the ice maker. You can normally follow the inlet tubing from the ice maker back to the valve. Unplug the refrigerator and turn off the water supply to the valve before working with this part.

(HOW TO TEST INLET VALVE: Inspect the filter screen where the supply line connects. Remove any debris or deposits that may have built up using a toothbrush or warm running water. If you cannot clear theclog, it will be necessary to replace the valve (the filter is not removable on most inlet valves). Test thewaterinletvalve for continuity using a multImeter. First, inspect the coil for an indication of it's ohm rating. If no information is printed on the coil, then use the range of 170 to 500 ohms. Set the multitester to the ohms setting X100 (if available, otherwise use the nearest ohm setting). Place a probe on each terminal. The multitester should display a reading that matches the coil's rating or if you don't know the rating then it should fall into the range of 170 to 500 ohms. If the water inlet valve does not pass this test, it should be replaced. If the inlet valve has two coils, test the second coil in the same way (note that they may not have the same ohm rating). The valve can also fail mechanically. So even if it passes the electrical test, it may still require replacement. If you have ruled out all other possibilities, go ahead and replace the valve.

Check the tap valve.A bad tap valve-the little device that connects the ice maker's water supply tube to the water pipe-may cause the problem where the ice maker's supply tube connects to the water pipe. If necessary, replace the inlet valve and the tap valve. For the tap valve, use the type that requires you to drill a 1/4-inch hole (as opposed to the "self-piercing" type). You can buy anice maker connection kitand do this yourself, or call a repair person or plumber to install an inline water filter when replacing the valve.

Lastly the ICE MAKER ASSEMBLY:

If there are no ice buildup issues or suspected problems with the water supply, then you may have a problem with the ice maker control. The most common type of ice maker used in modern refrigerators is the heat release ice maker. The ice maker uses heat to release the ice cubes.

If the water's route is blocked or the solenoid doesn't work-or if the bail wire is lifted-the ice maker won't make ice. (Also note that your home's water pressure may not be strong enough to serve an ice maker.)
If you have a heat release or modular ice maker it will have a removable cover at the front. Behind the cover is a series of electrical test points that can be used to diagnose the ice maker. The unit can be manually operated by inserting an insulated jumper wire into test points "T" and "H" to initiate a "test harvest". On other ice makers jumper at points N & M (neutral to Motor) The jumper should be insulated 14 gauge solid wire that has the insulation stripped back about 3/4 of an inch on both ends, and bent into a "U" shape. When inserted into the test points for 5 to 10 seconds, the motor should start and the cycle will continue on its own. You may have to manually close the freezer door switch for this to operate.

This test will simulate a real harvest cycle and will operate the ejector blades, shut off arm and the fill valve in the proper sequence, and will allow you to do a proper diagnosis. This is a live voltage test and should only be performed by a qualified person. If the motor does not start, you can verify that you have power to the ice maker at test points "L" and "N". If the ice maker is getting power and does not perform a cycle, then the module will need to be replaced

On component mode ice makers the testing is done differently.
Testing a thermostat in a component ice maker:
The thermostat is located near the bottom ofthe support box. The thermostat is connected by two or three wires.Label the wire placement before disconnecting them. Remove thethermostat by loosening the clamp, by pushing back the retainerclips, or by removing the retaining screws.
Test the thermostat forcontinuityusing amultitesterset to the ohms setting X1. Start by testing the thermostat whenit has come up to room temperature (about 20 minutes after removing it from the freezer).
If the thermostat has two wires touch one probe to each wire. You should get a reading of infinity.Chill the thermostat in the freezer for about twenty minutes andretest. This time you should get a reading of zero (continuity).
If the thermostat has three wires, number them 1, 2 and 3. Test combinations 1 & 2, 1 & 3and 2 & 3 and write down the results. Two of the combinations should yield a reading of infinity and one should yield a readingof zero. Now chill the thermostat in the freezer for about twenty minutes and retest. The combination that had a zero reading before, should now have a reading of infinity. One of the two other combinations should now yield a zero reading.If the thermostat fails this test, it should be replaced.
Testing a modular ice maker 'sthermostatcan be tested and replaced individually.
Test the thermostat forcontinuityusing amultitesterset to the ohms setting X1. Start by testing the thermostat when it is cold (10 degrees). Insert one probe into the hole labeled "T" and the other probe into the hole labeled "H". The meter should indicate zero resistance (continuity). After the ice maker has warmed up, repeat the test and this time the meter should indicate infiinity (no continuity).If the thermostat does not pass both tests, it should be replaced.

Posted on Apr 10, 2015

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Posted on Jan 02, 2017

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