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Ice maker cannot eject cubes. I took off the front cover and found several contact points for checking the motor, water valve, thermostat, mold heater. There is also a line voltage and neutral contact. Are these contacts live only during certain parts of the cycle? I suspect the heater isnt working More Ice maker cannot eject cubes. I took off the front cover and found several contact points for checking the motor, water valve, thermostat, mold heater. There is also a line voltage and neutral contact. Are these contacts live only during certain parts of the cycle? I suspect the heater isnt working to loosen the cubes so they cant be ejected. The motor sounds lilke its running but the ejector is not moving nor is the Gear on the front of the unit. Can someone give me a full description of this thing is supposed to work and how I can test it. I have a spare ice maker that I can possibly use for parts if I know which ones to replace.

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It sounds like you are on the right track.

Most compact and modular units work in similar fashion. When the thermostat senses the chamber is cold (usually 18 to 19°F) is assumes any water in the mold is frozen and starts the heating/ejection/refill cycle. If you unit is attempting to rotate...take a hair drier to the bottom of hte mold until the cubes release. Let the unit rotate and refill. If it tries to rotate again after the water freezes but the mold does not warm up...bad heating element or bad electrical contacts for that cicuit. If it does not try to rotate again you may have a bad thermostat. Both parts may be hard to find to replace and it is usually easier just to replace the entire module.

As for the test points, if you have a multimeter you can check the following: (looking for AC volts)

120-volts between L and N means the unit has power from your freezer.

120-volts between H and N means the heater has power

120-volts between V and N means the water valve has power

120-volrts between M and N means the motor has power.

If you have your icemaker removed (disconnect power first) and have access to the heater power connections, you can test it for resistance with an ohm-meter. It read between 60 to 80 ohms. If not, it is bad. I hope this helps.

PS: there is a nice description of operation and troubleshooting at http://www.american-appliance.com/old_site/service_pages/Ice_Maker/modualimdiag.htm

Posted on Sep 10, 2009

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Ice maker makes ice but don't dispense ice or water


Hello Greig;
My name is Peter. I am a retired field service refrigeration technician.
I do not know what type of ice maker you have. Some have wire arms on the side, some have a downward plastic curved arm and some have a paddle arm on the side.
Some ice makers when they harvest have a plastic ice mold that rotate and flex, others have a little heater that heats the mold then activates finger arms to rotate and sweep the cubes from the mold.
Bad Sensor? All ice makers have temperature sensors. The sensor activates the harvesting of ice cubes when it senses the cubes are frozen. On some plastic ice cube molds it is a white wire on the bottom of the mold. On the cast steel molds the sensor is in contact with the mold at the front end.
Bad Motor Module? All ice makers have a motor module. The module has a control board and plastic gearing for the motor with in the module. The motor module is the assembly in front of the ice maker. The motor module tells the water valve when & how much water to fill the mold. It tells the mold heater, on the cast steel molds when to turn on after it reads the temperature sensor and then it tells the motor when to start rotation.
Not all ice makers can be repaired. Most are solid state.
The ice maker with the cast steel mold can be repaired. Remove the ice maker - Unscrew the one screw under the ice maker. Loosen the 2 screws on top so you can lift up and remove the ice maker from the wall. With a small screw driver wedge in the wire harness connector to free the icemaker. Pop the front cover off (No screws). Unscrew the 3 screws on the motor module and remove. This part is replaceable. Inspect for Burn marks and broken gearing. Unscrew the 2 screws to the heater and mold assembly to access the sensor - this is replaceable. There is no way to test this sensor.

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Okay, here's a bunch of info in the order I would troubleshoot since the one year warranty expired.

1) The water filter might be clogged. Try just removing it to see if it makes ice. If it does change the water filter.

2) The water inlet valve might (still) be defective. The water inlet valve is an electro-mechanical valve. The coil can show good for continuity and still not let the water thru although you didn't say if it worked when he left. if recently replaced it should be under his warranty.

3) The water pressure in the house might be too low. The water inlet valve which supplies water to the ice maker is designed to work with a minimum of 20 psi of water pressure.

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5) It could be that the ice maker assembly itself is defective. The freezer temp should be between 0-5 degrees for the ice maker to cycle properly. There are several components in the control module of the ice maker that can fail and most are not sold separately. Also, ice makers have a relatively short lifespan and so it might not be worth fixing. If other, simpler parts like the water inlet valve or shut off arm have been ruled out, and the only thing left is the ice maker itself, replace it as a unit. Not as expensive as you may think...Under $100

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7) The icemaker mold thermostat might be defective. Inside the control module of the ice maker is a thermostat which monitors the temperature of the ice mold (ice tray). Once the mold reaches the proper temperature the ice maker starts a harvest cycle by ejecting the ice cubes and refilling with water. If the mold thermostat is defective the ice maker doesn't advance. The thermostat can be checked for continuity. Replace it as needed.The freezer temp should be between 0-5 degrees for optimum performance.

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1 Answer

Ice maker cannot eject cubes. I took off the front cover and found several contact points for checking the motor, water valve, thermostat, mold heater. There is also a line voltage and neutral contact. Are...


I usually replace icemakers as a unit. It sounds like the mold heater is out. The system cycles like this: Fill, freeze, mold heat, eject, and start over. The mold heater not working will prevent ejection.

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1 Answer

Ice maker doesn't turn out the ice/ tray fills with water, and freezes, but doesn't turn out the ice into the door dispenser.


Top 2 possiblities

1/ The motor that ejects the ice is shot.

or

2/ the heater element that melts the ice into pieces.

Here is where you can probably pinpoint problem.

Making Ice When everything is hooked up, the icemaker begins its cycle. The cycle is usually controlled by a simple electrical circuit and a series of switches. In the diagram below, you can see how the icemaker moves through its cycle.
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  • At the beginning of the cycle, a timed switch in the circuit briefly sends current to a solenoid water valve. In most designs, the water valve is actually positioned behind the refrigerator, but it is connected to the central circuit via electrical wires. When the circuit sends current down these wires, the charge moves a solenoid (a type of electromagnet), which opens the valve.
  • The valve is only open for about seven seconds; it lets in just enough water to fill the ice mold. The ice mold is a plastic well, with several connected cavities. Typically, these cavities have a curved, half-circle shape. Each of the cavity walls has a small notch in it so each ice cube will be attached to the cube next to it.
  • Once the mold is filled, the machine waits for the water in the mold to freeze. The cooling unit in the refrigerator does the actual work of freezing the water, not the icemaker itself (see How Refrigerators Work for details). The icemaker has a built-in thermostat, which monitors the temperature level of the water in the molds. When the temperature dips to a particular level -- say, 9 degrees Fahrenheit (-13 degrees Celsius) -- the thermostat closes a switch in the electrical circuit (see How Home Thermostats Work for details on this operation).
  • Closing this switch lets electrical current flow through a heating coil underneath the icemaker. As the coil heats up, it warms the bottom of the ice mold, loosening the ice cubes from the mold surface.
icemaker-bottom.jpg
-->The icemaker has a heating coil underneath the ice mold.
  • The electrical circuit then activates the icemaker's motor. The motor spins a gear, which rotates another gear attached to a long plastic shaft. The shaft has a series of ejector blades extending out from it. As the blades revolve, they scoop the ice cubes up and out of the mold, pushing them to the front of the icemaker. Since the cubes are connected to one another, they move as a single unit.
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  • At the front of the icemaker, there are plastic notches in the housing that match up with the ejector blades. The blades pass through these notches, and the cubes are pushed out to a collection bin underneath the icemaker.
  • The revolving shaft has a notched plastic cam at its base. Just before the cubes are pushed out of the icemaker, the cam catches hold of the shut-off arm, lifting it up. After the cubes are ejected, the arm falls down again. When the arm reaches its lowest resting position, it throws a switch in the circuit, which activates the water valve to begin another cycle. If the arm can't reach its lowest position, because there are stacked-up ice cubes in the way, the cycle is interrupted. This keeps the icemaker from filling your entire freezer with ice; it will only make more cubes when there is room in the collection bin.
This system is effective for making ice at home, but it doesn't produce enough ice for commercial purposes, such as restaurants and self-service hotel ice machines. In the next section, we'll look at a larger, more powerful icemaker design.

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