icemaker not working

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by donk, Feb 3, 2007.

  1. donk

    donk New Member

    Messages:
    34
    Hi - I posted recently about how to tap into my water supply to install an icemaker in my fridge. Well, I got it installed fine thanks to your help.
    So, all the plumbing is done and not leaking - but for some reason, the icemaker is not working. It's not sending water from the pump up into the freezer. I "know" the pump is getting water, and it "is" connected to the fridge's electrical connector. Also, the wire sensor bar on the maker is in the "on" position. But the pump is just dead silent and not coming on.

    Does the pump not work until a certain freezer temp is reached?
    Or maybe I have a defective pump or icemaker?

    Any ideas are much appreciated.
    Donk
  2. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,327
    Location:
    New England
    I doubt there is a pump since it is connected to the water line which is under pressure. Typically, there is a solonoid valve that opens to fill things up.

    The ice maker is triggered to work by a lever (usually). Make sure that all packing, etc. has been removed along with any tape, so that the thing doesn't think that the ice bin is already full.

    Also, some of the bins pull out a little - make sure that it is fully seated.

    Last, check out the owner's manual for some troubleshooting help.
  3. donk

    donk New Member

    Messages:
    34
    Thanks for the reply. Yeah, you might be right about not being a pump. But it looks like a little pump - and it has an electrical connection to the fridge. The lever is in the 'on' position.
    I'll check out the other stuff you suggested.
  4. Randyj

    Randyj Master Plumber

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    I can't imagine that there would be a pump. Every one I've tinkered with fills the freezer tray and shuts off by a float switch. The harvest cycle operates on a timer. If you're getting water into the icemaker unit then the problem is in the icemaker unit. Most have a plug somewhere in the freezer compartment where the icemaker plugs into the refrigerator wiring. This is just one of a few possible fault points.
  5. Racer814

    Racer814 New Member

    Messages:
    124
    it sounds like the solenoid....
  6. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

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    icemaker

    Freestanding icemakers have a pump. The ones inside refrigerators fill by a timer, not a float switch, so if there is no water to the solenoid valve, none will fill the cups. The harvest cycle is triggered when a thermostat senses that the "ice" is about 15-20 degrees, indicating that it is frozen. If the freezer is not set below that point it will never cycle.
  7. Randyj

    Randyj Master Plumber

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    I knew I'd shake a good answer out of somebody. I just wonder how I ever worked on those commercial icemakers all them years without knowing that.
  8. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,327
    Location:
    New England
    It's not a fill thing I was referring to...most icemakers have a lever in the ice compartment that tells the thing when it is full of ice. If that lever is held up, the system will not make any ice. Also, at least on mine, the whole icemaker equipment has a socket - i.e., it unseats from the back wall. If it is pulled out (or not seated!), it won't make ice.
  9. Randyj

    Randyj Master Plumber

    Messages:
    1,047
    Location:
    Alabama
    Next time I come across an old icemaker in a refrigerator I'm gonna tear it apart to see how that particular one works. In the commercial ones I'm familiar with they have a bernoulli tube (probe) that senses the cold ice and stops the making of ice. Cubers and Flakers work quite differently. There's a couple of different varieties in home use models. I'm wondering about the use of a timer to fill a tray when there are such wide variations of water pressure in homes everywhere. I've had many a head ache adjusting timers to fill Bunn coffee makers in institution applications....went from well water to city water and flooded the cafeteria floor until we got it adjusted due to the differences in water pressure....probably could have solved the whole thing with a PRV in the beginning....many plumbing lessons ago......
  10. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

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    Location:
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    fill cycle

    The variation in pressure is one reason why most of the cubers have a +/- size selector. That adds or reduces to the time the water fills.
  11. Randyj

    Randyj Master Plumber

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  12. harleysilo

    harleysilo New Member

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    Location:
    Georgia
    Donk,

    Here is a picture of a typical General electic solenoid valve...

    [​IMG]

    This is what your cold water supply connected to. It is plugged into the refrigerator as you know via two flat plugs. It also supplies water to your icemaker. If you have water available in your freezer door you will have two solenoids, if just icemaker only one. in Picture left one is 2, right is one. No pump as stated above.

    They can go bad, but in my experience it's that the plastic housing forms a pinhole and they cause a leak. If your handy with a voltmeter you could check to see if your icemaker is sending the signal to the solenoid to turn on!
  13. donk

    donk New Member

    Messages:
    34
    Yep, that pic shows exactly what I've got - just the single one, not the double one. Here's the latest on my icemaker:

    It 'does' appear to be working. It pops out one little ice cube about every half hour or so, heh. This seems a little slow to me, but the ice bucket is almost full after about a day and a half. I guess that's the way the solenoid ones work.

    Like some other people mentioned... the icemakers I had seen use the float/lever mechanism to fill the tray with water, and then dump the whole tray at once - that's why I though mine wasn't working.

    Well, thanks to all who posted. This forum is amazing.
    Donk
  14. harleysilo

    harleysilo New Member

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    101
    Location:
    Georgia
    It only pops out one cube at a time? It should pop out like 8-12 or something...... R U sure?
  15. Rancher

    Rancher Guest

    That's a different kind of ice maker than I've ever seen, are you sure it doesn't fill up a tray? What kind is it?

    Rancher
  16. Randyj

    Randyj Master Plumber

    Messages:
    1,047
    Location:
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    Yep... about one little string of cubes every 45min to an hour... enough for a good sized glass of iced tea. Takes pretty much all day to get a bucket full which is plenty for a normal family. Bag it and put it in the freezer if you're expecting a crowd any time soon.
  17. donk

    donk New Member

    Messages:
    34
    Yeah, only 1 or 2 cubes at a time, lol. That's why I thought it wasn't working. I opened the door and there was 1 little cube in the bucket. Then about half hour later I looked and there were 2.
    But by next evening the bucket was maybe half full. And it's a pretty big bucket - so it'll be ok for just having drinks and stuff.

    Thanks,
    Donk
  18. harleysilo

    harleysilo New Member

    Messages:
    101
    Location:
    Georgia
    If you reach you hand back in the icemaker you should be able to stick a finger in the spots where the ice cubes freeze, you should feel an ice cube. You should be able to feel that there are mutiple spots for ice cubes to form. Your ice maker should make more than 1 cube at a time. If it doesn't something is wrong.
  19. leejosepho

    leejosepho DIY scratch-pad engineer

    Do all/most of them also have a heat cycle to loosen the cubes just prior to ejection? I have a Whirlpool ECKMF94 I want to install in the freezer of our different-brand refrigerator, and I believe it is supposed to do that.

    Do you happen to know which wire going into the icemaker is for what? I have black, white, green and brown, and I assume the black, white and green are line, common and ground ... and that would seem to leave the brown wire for going down to the solenoid?
  20. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    27,267
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    ice

    You don't happen to have a GE refrigerator that makes round ice cubes, do you? If so, the bar the ejects five cubes at a time can snap and only eject to or three, BUT when that happens it still adds enough water to make 5 cubes so the excess overflows and ices up the freezer compartment. Westinghouse made one version that made square cubes and inverted to eject them. If they are crescents, it makes the entire string at one time and ejects them all at the same time. The heater that loosens the cubes, also heats the thermostat so it will not try to recycle too quickly.
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