Category Archives: Ice Maker Repair

High Altitude Icemaker Service Call on Franconia Ridge

Oh, the places the Samurai doth go to service broken appliances. This place had 50 mph gusts and -15°F temps. Can you believe this was a broken icemaker call? And there was no way to get my service van up there– believe me, I tried! No, I had to trudge four miles up the mountain on the Old Bridal Path through snow and clouds carrying all my tools on my back. Never did find the house, either. I think they gave me a bum address. Here’s a video of me looking for it.

Oy, I’m gettin’ too old for this bidness.

(Video shot on Thursday, January 21, 2010)

Visualize Your Appliance Repair Experience

Appliance Breakdown Diagrams

Grok on these mind-expanding, interactive breakdown diagrams of various appliances so you can see how they’re put together. An indispensible troubleshooting and repair aid! Just click on the appliance you’re working on and run your mouse over the diagrams. It’ll popup pictures of the various key components inside as well as give you insight into how to disassemble. It’s the miracle of Flash!

If you need more detailed help, start a new topic in the Samurai Appliance Repair Forum and we can get you more info.

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Troubleshooting Flowchart for the Whirlpool-built Modular Icemaker

Here it is, the flowchart you’ve been painfully waiting for while laying awake at night knotted up with anxiety: the Internet’s first systematic troubleshooting flowchart for the Whirlpool-built modular (that means “in your freezer”) icemaker. Go ahead, steal this pdf and share with all your friends… and your enemies, too!

To learn more about your ice maker, or to order parts, click here.

Manually Starting the Harvest Cycle in the Whirlpool-Built Modular Icemaker

The Whirlpool-built modular icemaker is used in just about all refrigerators made today, regardless of brand. One notorious exception is the crappy IM6 icemakers used in GE-built refrigerators. Why they didn’t just go with the field-tested Whirlpool-built units is a seedy story of corporate sleaze and extortion now playing in a theater near you!

Any-freakin-way, one of the basic diagnostic things you’ll do on these Whirlpool-built modular icemakers is to manually start the harvest cycle. This is useful for finding out reasons why the icemaker isn’t working. For example, it may not start the harvest cycle at all: bad control module. Or you may find that water never comes in: could be a frozen fill tube, bad water inlet valve, bad water supply.

“O mighty Samurai,” you ax, with stars in your eyes, “how does a neophyte on the path of higher Appliantological wisdom accomplish this miracle of initiating the harvest cycle of which thou speakest?”

An astute question, my fine, young apprentice, and elegantly phrased. Behold the revelation of the mystery:

Manually Starting the Harvest Cycle in the Whirlpool-Built Modular Icemaker
(click for larger view)

To initiate the harvest cycle: use an insulated length of wire with about a half inch stripped off each end. Insert each end of the wire into the test points marked T and H, as shown above. You’ll see the icemaker rake arm begin to move. In just a few seconds– if you listen real close-like– you’ll hear a faint “click,” that means you can pull the jumper wire out and the harvest cycle will continue all by itself.

Ahh, Grasshoppah, can you snatch this pebble from my hand?

To learn more about your ice maker, or to order parts, click here.

Repair Guide for the Whirlpool-built Stand-Alone Ice Machine

This is the ice machine that makes a slab of ice and slides it onto a grid that cuts the ice into little squares. Along with clear and cogent explanations, this excellent and comprehensive repair guide for the Whirlpool-built stand-alone ice machine also contains lots of links to parts and other repair resources for these machines. This guide also applies to GE and KitchenAid labelled ice machines– they’re all built by Whirlpool.

Buying a Replacement or Add-on Ice Maker

appliance tip of the day archiveLooking to replace your dearly departed icemaker? Sick of filling ice cube trays and you’re finally going to install an icemaker kit in your fridge? Figuring out which kit you need can be confusing. Let this handy table be your guiding light.

Refrigerator Replacement or
Add-On [1]
Icemaker Kit to Buy
Whirlpool and Kenmore with Flat-Style Plug [2] Add-On Whirlpool Add-on Icemaker Kit w/ Flat Plug
Whirlpool and Kenmore with Round-Style Plug [2] Add-On Whirlpool Add-on Icemaker Kit w/ Round Plug
Whirlpool and Kenmore Replacement Whirlpool Replacement Icemaker [3]
Whirlpool and Roper made from 1993 to present. Add-On Whirlpool Icemaker Kit w/ Flat Plug
Maytag, Magic Chef, Admiral and Jenn-Air. 1989 to current. Add-On Maytag Add-On Icemaker Kit
GE and Hotpoint. 1987 to present. Add-On GE Add-On Icemaker Kit
Frigidaire, Westinghouse, Kelvinator, Tappan, Kenmore (253 series), and Gibson brands (IK4, IK7, IK8). Add-On Frigidaire Add-On Icemaker Kit
Amana with Round-Style Plug [2] Add-On Amana Add-On Icemaker Kit
Amana with 4-Pin Male Receptacle [2] Add-On Amana Add-On Icemaker Kit
All Brands Add-On Copper Icemaker Water Installation Kit [4]
Whirlpool and Kenmore with Flex Tray Icemaker Replacement Icemaker Defrost Timer [5]


[1] Replacement means you’re replacing an existing icemaker in a fridge that already had one. Add-On means you’re installing an icemaker kit in a fridge that never had one. Add-on kits come with the water valve and ice bin, replacement kits do not. You can use an add-on kit for a replacement but you can’t use a replacement kit for an add-on.

[2] The style of plug refers to the type of icemaker electrical receptacle that you can see on back wall inside your freezer.

[3] Kit comes with both a flat and round receptacle plug.

[4] This is the type of water installation kit recommended by manufacturers. Uses only genuine copper tubing with a drill-type saddle tap valve. For more information, see this page.

[5] The defrost timer is built into the flex tray icemaker. If you just want to get rid of the flex tray icemaker in your fridge, you’ll need to install this replacement defrost timer kit or your fridge won’t run. You’ll have a hard time finding a replacement flex tray icemaker because they suck so bad. If yours is busted and you can’t fix it, you’re better off without it.

grasshoppers sitting with the master sipping frozen margaritas made with ice from their new replacement icemaker

To learn more about your ice maker, or to order parts, click here.

Ice Maker Ice Mold Flaking Off Crud into the Ice

Teflon Flaking off Icemaker Mold

Noticing some weird crud in the ice from your icemaker lately? You may have a defective mold, like the one shown here. A healthy ice maker should NOT look like this. This rough appearance is caused by the teflon coating on the ice maker mold flaking off, depositing Teflon flakes into your ice. Very hazardous to your long-term health! If yours looks like this, then you may be interested to know that ingesting Teflon causes systemic arthritis in all the joints. Think twice about using an icemaker with this affliction because eventually you’ll find your own body afflicted as well! The only cure is to replace the icemaker. Come git you one!

To learn more about your ice maker, or to order parts, click here.

Icemaker Fill Tube Freezing

This annoying problem can have a variety of causes. Check these four things first:

  1. Make sure the water supply is greater than 20 psi. If too low, the water valve won’t seat properly and it’ll “weep.” Common causes of low pressure are gunked-up saddle tap valves, kinked water supply line, and using a reverse osmosis filter to supply water to the icemaker.
  2. Check between the valve diaphram and valve seat for sediment. If found, do not attempt to repair, buy a new valve.
  3. Check to see if the black, flexible portion of the fill tube is wrinkled, twisted, or kinked which can cause ice dams that block the fill tube.
  4. Find out if the water has been shut off while the icemaker has kept on cycling. This, too, can cause the fill tube to freeze up.

If all the above checks out and you’re still getting fill tube freeze-ups, there’s still one thing left to try.

It turns out that the manufacturer’s have been scratching their heads about this, too, and have concluded that the new fill tube air slit design helps prevent this problem. Buy your replacement fill tubes for your fridge through the links below:

Well al-l-lrighty then.

Still confoosed, Grasshoppah? Browse all the FAQs on ice maker repair. To learn more about your icemaker, or to order parts, click here.

Broken Ice Dispenser on a GE Refrigerator

This problem is common in the GE Profile side by sides with ice dispensers, such as the GE Profile PSS26MGPABB. The dispensers in these otherwise troublesome refrigerators have been a cause of acid reflux and intestinal cramping for billions of unsuspecting owners of GE refrigerators.

The root problem is that the freezer just gets too warm. Ice at the bottom of the augur bucket melts just enough to add a thin layer of water around the augur screw assembly. The water then re-freezes and immobilizes the augur screw. Now, if you go and use the ice dispenser, the mighty augur motor starts to turn the augur screw and… breaks the drive mechanism. You’ll usually end up needing one of these:

GE Ice Bucket and Auger Assembly-- click it to git it.

And it may well happen again due to a screwup in the design of the refrigerator which lets the freezer get warm enough to cause all this mess in the first place.

You could also try replacing just the augur screw– not a user-friendly repair, see this topic in repair forum for details on that.

So, whoever’s gonna buy GE appliances again, raise your hand. Bueller? …Bueller?

To learn more about your refrigerator, or to order parts, click here.

How to Diagnose the Emitter and Receiver Boards in the Optical-Sensing Icemakers

This topic at the repair forum has some excellent instructions from Sublime Masters of Appliantology on how to diagnose the infernal optics control boards on these over-engineered icemakers that use the optical ice level sensing… as if that’s appropriate technology to have in a silly little icemaker inside your freezer.

What are the manufacturers thinking when they put out this overblown garbage? It’s as though they had a bunch of electrical engineers sitting around one day and said, “Oh, I know! Let’s design an icemaker that uses a bunch of flimsy, expensive electronics to replace a function that could be done more reliably and less expensively by a simple mechanical feeler arm!” Brilliant. 💡 😈

To learn more about your ice maker, or to order parts, click here.

Icemakers in Frigidaire Refrigerators Stop Making Ice

If the icemaker in your 2005 Frigidaire refrigerator won’t make ice unless you jiggle the ejector arm, then you need to replace the icemaker hold switch and cam. There’s a “dead spot” between one contact opening and the other contact closing that causes the icemaker to stop because both contacts are open at the same time. The cams are also out of tolerance and should be replaced. Here’s your shopping list:

To learn more about your ice maker, or to order parts, click here.

To learn more about your refrigerator, or to order parts, click here.