View Full Version : Fridge Ice Maker Dead

August 15th, 2006, 12:08 AM
Does anyone out there in HT know how to either fix a broken ice maker for a Whirlpool fridge or know of a really cool repairman servicing the Ewa Beach area? It's about 10-years old, so the box is out of warranty (boo hoo), but I really like that box, but the ice maker decides to go take a hike and refuse to make ice any more.

Tried the obvious like manually pouring water into the ice maker to see if it makes ice, and no go. The water line is good since the in door water works. I think the ice maker motor retired on me!

August 15th, 2006, 07:22 AM
I don't know if those things are repairable, and if they are, I'd imagine the labor charge would exceed the cost of the ice maker unit. I don't suppose it's removable/replacable? I know lots of refrigerators with ice makers actually have them as an installable option, which may mean you can buy a new ice maker and put it in yourself.

Otherwise, there's the "Refrigerators & Freezers: Dealers & Service" section of your Hawaiian Telcom Yellow Pages, p. 976! At least one ad, Economy Appliance Service, specifically lists ice makers. 947-6007. Harry's Appliance (737-4797) and Newtown Appliance (488-1614) both say they're authorized Whirlpool service providers.

Menehune Man
August 15th, 2006, 07:37 AM
First thing to check... make sure the water line going in is not plugged with frozen water (ice), because then it won't make any more.

It has and does happen.

August 15th, 2006, 08:24 AM
Other things that could go wrong:

Freezer/Refrigerator vents blocked or iced up, resulting in poor circulation
of cold air causing reduced temperatures and the inability to make ice.

Ice is hard in tray but does not come out, could be because the plastic
gears that cycles the ice from the tray into the ice storage bin are
stripped and cannot do its job.

August 15th, 2006, 08:58 AM
We just went through this in June. Our out-of-warranty Kenmore fridge did the same thing; we called Sears to repair it. The tech replaced the entire ice-maker module (part: $122.65; labor: $160.16) and it was back up with plenty of ice in about 12 hours.

The Sears guys repair all makes and models, by the way, not just the house brand (Kenmore).

August 15th, 2006, 09:51 AM
Kinda related funny story:

Recently Sears sold my mom and dad a new fridge with ice maker. My mom is all excited because this is the first time she's ever had an icemaker. Apparently they thought that the fridge makes its own water too because there is no water supply line in her kitchen for an icemaker lol! I don't know why the lolo guys who brought the fridge didn't tell them about it. Anyway a plumber friend went in and installed the lines that they needed.

August 15th, 2006, 10:28 AM
Oh yikes on the Sears labor charge, but I really like that ice maker since yes ... we use a lot of ice. Thanks for everybody for their assistance and yes, if I was a really good handy man, I would go fix it myself. I think a visit to the local Home Depot store might answer some of my questions on this. I really want to fix it myself (oh, pake, that's why!!!), but if I no can, then better off if I go hire somebody.

August 15th, 2006, 11:48 AM
When my ice bucket stopped getting ice from the maker in my $1700 Kitchen Aid side by side I found an ice cube wedged in the ice mold. After plucking it free the motor whirred and dropped the ice cubes into the bucket and emptying the mold for more water.

One thing that kills the ice machine's module is if you leave the door ajar and all the ice cubes melt into a somewhat single solid mass. The auger that breaks up the ice so it can feed thru the chute into your glass can get stuck and the motor burns out. That happened to our Kenmore side by side a few years back.

August 15th, 2006, 09:25 PM
So, where's the ice container located? on the door, or in the top most part of the freezer?

If its removable, then try rethaw it w/ warm water or room temp water. Is the connection between the door and ice maker free of obstructions?

I noticed lately, that our two ice makers has a lot of ice build up between the ice maker and door. Gotta figure that out while I can.

August 16th, 2006, 07:49 AM
The ice maker is located on the top most part of the freezer? Looks like it is removable with some screwdrivers and some pliers, but other than that, I am really not a repairman per se. Ya, I did some plumbing, but that's very basic. I am more pake than a handyman.

August 16th, 2006, 10:40 AM
If you don't want to attempt removing the ice maker unit, try doing a complete refrigerator thaw-out. Turn off the unit by turning the thermostat dial (inside refer-section) to OFF, then unplug it. Take out ALL the food and place frozen items in a cooler(s) for temporary storage.

Not only might that clear a frozen (literally) ice maker water supply line, but it will also clear out frost build-up in the freezer/refrigerator ducts/vents.

This will also give you a chance to do thorough cleaning, including the heat exchanger coils in back and dust/dirt build-up around the compressor/motor unit on the bottom.

Turn the temperature control dial (thermostat) inside the refer-section a few times too, just to "clean" the contacts. If it stays in one position, the moisture causes corrosion on the copper dial contact, causing the thermostat to fail (constantly running compressor).

You said you're more pake than repairman, so this is perhaps as cheap (free) and easy a fix as you can attempt.

I had a problem where the refer-section wasn't getting cold, but the freezer/ice maker section was just fine. As mentioned why, that did the trick.

Otherwise, Whirlpool's website (http://www.applianceaccessories.com/thirdlevel.asp?mapID=27&Category=Whirlpool%20Brand@Refrigerator@Ice%20Make rs) sells retrofit ice maker kits at fairly resonable prices (just over $100). Replacing the same part is much easier than installing a new one that never existed. The wiring and plumbing is already there.

You can't get any cooler (no pun intended) an explaination of how an ice maker works that with the good folks here at How Stuff Works (http://home.howstuffworks.com/icemaker.htm)

August 16th, 2006, 10:48 AM
My newly-repaired ice maker went out yesterday (in sympathy with Dale's? Maybe), so I have the tech coming out to fix it on Friday. Fortunately it's within the 90-day warranty period. Not so fortunately we have seven people coming for lunch tomorrow, so it's bags of ice for the party.


August 16th, 2006, 10:59 AM
Good tips. In fact, I might try that in hopes of trying to get the ice maker to work again. Good excuse to clean out the fridge and see if it all works again. When the wifey comes home, maybe I'll start on that project since has lots of food in there!

August 18th, 2006, 02:43 PM
My problem turned out to be the thermostat which keeps the water flowing through the ice-cube form. $91, and that was discounted because it had been fixed two months ago.

The guy made an interesting argument in favor of the extended warranty: the appliances are all being made wherever the cheapest labor is, so quality assurance isn't as good as it was when they were made in the USA.

I dunno; we didn't buy the warranty, but it's an idea that might have some merit. The reasoning seems a little xenophobic, but it might even be partially true.

August 18th, 2006, 03:41 PM
You know, that's a really good point. Being that companies what the highest profit margin, they will go with the cheapest quality nowdays. Times like this is when I wish I was still under warranty, but murphy's law always strikes the day after the warranty expires!