Mailbag: Whirlpool Old-Style Icemaker Doesn’t Make Much Ice

Richard wrote:

You have one fantastic site. I’ve learned more about icemaker’s in one night then I have through speaking with a dozen local repair people(I live in South Florida). For years now my ice maker has not worked. Since I don’t eat ice, it wasn’t a problem. Unfortunately, the wife started crabing about and threatens to buy a new fridge. Sooo, I decided to fix it.

Last night I took the whole thing and I tested all of the switches for continuity and they all test fine. The water inlet valve is suspect at best. When it is tested it gives me a little hop in OHM’s. When I woke up this morning there was one batch of ice. I have mixed feelings about the whole thing. Does it work, or doesn’t it? One would think that after 8 hours the thing would make more than eight cubes. The freezer temp is somewhere in the neighborhood of -10f.

Can you help me wizened one?

I would appreciate it.


please help if you can
do not want to buy new fridge
willing to buy valve

Ahh, Grasshopper, your haiku has earned you special attention.

First, since you described testing the switches, I cleverly deduce that yours is a Whirlpool old-style icemaker. Several suspects to check here. The water valve ain’t one of ’em because if it was bad, you wouldn’t even have gotten your eight measly cubes. But, it’s not a bad idea to test the water valve coil just to cover all the bases.

Make sure the white, plastic timing gear in the front of the control head isn’t missing any teeth and that it’s making full contact with the driver pinion throughout the full rotation.

Next, the water valve switch inside the icemaker control head can be a squirrelly bugger and is famous for deceiving even seasoned technicians. It can test good when it’s near room temperature but then go flakey as it starts to chill down to freezer temps. The other common troublemaker is the thermostat. It, too, can behave in a flakey manner similar to the water valve switch. Determining with certainty that one of these components is bad can be tricky. Fortunately, they’re both very inexpensive so you won’t be out a lot of shekels if you replace both of ’em.

Even new, replacement icemaker kits aren’t terribly expensive. If you don’t feel like tinkering with an old icemaker, you can buy a new icemaker kit here.

Awwite, let’s go make some chill pills!


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