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Thread: Ice Maker Problems

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Potomac, MD
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    14

    Default Ice Maker Problems

    Model Number: 106.56536400
    Brand: Sears Kenmore
    Age: 1-5 years

    A few days ago, I noticed that the ice maker stopped working. I felt frozen ice in the tray/mold, and assumed that it was filling properly. The plastic fingers/tines are pointing at me when the maker is installed. There seems to be ample water flow at the door.

    My next check was the optics:
    With the maker installed, and the small spring loaded 'door' hinged out in its normal open position, the led blinks as follows: blink blink (one second) blink blink...and so forth. When the small door is depressed, I get a steady red light (no blink).

    The bin is properly seated with no ice buildup/blockage. There's no blockage between either side of the optic sensor. After checking the tray/mold again, I noticed that the molds only contain 1/2 size cubes, so I assume a water supply issue.

    I've tried to gather some info. about a frozen supply line from this site. After removing the ice maker, I tried a hair dryer for 5 mins. or so. I didn't notice any water coming from it during/after warming the hose.

    I see some who reference a method of testing/jumping the plug to check for operability & water fill. Is there a procedure for this?

    What is my next step?

    One other thing that I've noticed with this refrigerator since new: occasionally I hear what sounds like water dripping onto a hot surface (the sound that a drop of water would make on a heated frying pan) coming from the base of the fridge on the freezer side. I also occasionally hear what sounds like a steady trickle of water coming from the same area, but never see any puddle. The operation of the fridge has always been consistent, however.

    Thanks,
    J.P.
    Last edited by jptl; January 20th, 2009 at 06:07 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    McMullen Valley, Arizona
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    Default

    Hi J.P.,

    Even though you noticed 1/2 size cubes in the ice maker tray mold, did all the cube slots have ice in them at 1/2 size?

    I see some who reference a method of testing/jumping the plug to check for operability & water fill. Is there a procedure for this?
    You can jump the L & V on the module and that will send 120 volts to your water inlet valve and see if water comes out from your black rubber fill tube above your ice maker. Just make a jumper wire with 1/2" of the wire insulation removed from both ends of it.
    OR
    If you want to test the water inlet valve alone, the water inlet valve is in the back of your refrigerator were your water supply line hooks up to it.

    You can buy a test cord here:
    Test Cord - 110 Volt With Alligator Clips


    or you can probably get a cheater cord like this at any hardware store in your area if you don't want to wait on ordering it.

    Jeff has a good section on this here: http://www.applianceaid.com/icemaker-valvetest.html

    Jake
    Appliance Repair School 1987-1988
    Star Appliance Tech. 2 yrs. 1988-1990
    Wards Appliance Tech. 11 yrs. 1990-2001
    Sears Appliance Tech. 4 yrs. 2001-Oct. 2005
    Jake's Appliance Repair Nov. 2005-present

    Look-Up & Order Parts

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Potomac, MD
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    Default

    Thanks, Jake.

    I believe that all cube molds had a relatively equal amount of ice in them (about a 1/2 cube or so).

    I tried your L to V jumper method (maker plugged back in, obviously) and got nothing. No trickle from the feed, no sound of a solenoid, nothing. I held the door switch and the spring-loaded door in the closed position to emulate a closed freezer door....still nothing.

    I double checked that my jumper was making contact by removing the module panel and checking continuity w/an ohm meter. My jumper was connecting "L" and "V". I looked at the schematic that you link to. I didn't see an LV jump test, however. I only saw an NV power test related to the water feed. I won't try to jump that w/out your blessing, however.

    If the water feed solenoid were operating properly, wouldn't I have heard it click on?

    Does this "L" to "V" jump bypass everything? I recall somebody saying that if the freezer or ice mold wasn't below a certain temp (10 degrees or something like that) the ice maker wouldn't operate. Is that true? Also, I have an on/off switch that I assume is for the maker. I've never put in the 'off' position.
    Last edited by jptl; January 20th, 2009 at 07:19 PM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
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    McMullen Valley, Arizona
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    Default

    The L & V just sends 120 volts to the water inlet valve in the back of your refrigerator to open the solenoid and let water flow out of that black rubber tube into your ice maker.

    Don't do NV test.

    You will now need to either get the cheater test cord to apply 120 volts to your water inlet valve in the back of your refrigerator OR get a volt meter and check for 120 volts at the electrical connector at your water inlet valve on the ice maker water side solenoid.

    Jake
    Appliance Repair School 1987-1988
    Star Appliance Tech. 2 yrs. 1988-1990
    Wards Appliance Tech. 11 yrs. 1990-2001
    Sears Appliance Tech. 4 yrs. 2001-Oct. 2005
    Jake's Appliance Repair Nov. 2005-present

    Look-Up & Order Parts

  5. #5
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    Potomac, MD
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    Jake,
    I did the test @ the feed solenoid, and it's working fine. Water fed through the black outlet hose as well, so supply is fine.
    What now?
    I assume that something's preventing the module from cycling and/or operating (electrical or mechanical). Do these get out of sync to a point to where they can be 'resynced'?

    Is there a way to test the module from this point, or is it a faulty module? It appears that there's a design flaw w/these, since a Google search returns many problems with these models.

    BTW, since I got into testing the supply at the solenoid, I figured that while I was in there, I'd take pictures and post the how-to in a separate thread to help the next guy.

  6. #6
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    Ok, good job testing it.

    Then the problem is your ice maker module, you can order the module alone or the complete ice maker assembly:
    Here's the ice maker module kit for your model:
    Manufacturer's Number: 8201515


    Complete icemaker assembly



    Thanks for taking pictures, we love photos here.

    Do you need instructions on how to change the ice module or ice maker assembly?

    Jake
    Appliance Repair School 1987-1988
    Star Appliance Tech. 2 yrs. 1988-1990
    Wards Appliance Tech. 11 yrs. 1990-2001
    Sears Appliance Tech. 4 yrs. 2001-Oct. 2005
    Jake's Appliance Repair Nov. 2005-present

    Look-Up & Order Parts

  7. #7
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    Jan 2009
    Location
    Potomac, MD
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    Your reference to the module, Part#8201515 differs from the one that I came up with for my particular model (106.56536400). It's got the 'fingered' arm, however it's $10 less than the module that I came up with.
    I get the following part reference for my model. The AP site identifies this as Part#W10190935, and it doesn't have the arm.
    Is ....342 a revised/improved module?
    Thanks for all of your help, BTW.

  8. #8
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    Potomac, MD
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    Ok, this is weird.....

    After testing the feed, I reinstalled the ice maker (I hadn't re-installed it after removing it last night when I started all of this troubleshooting.) Just for the hell of it, I checked it, and I now have ice! Full cubes.

    The arm is in a different position than when I installed the maker earlier today, so the module appears to be working again However it hasn't dumped the ice -at least as of yet. The ice appears to be frozen solid, and the arm tines are vertical as opposed to pointing at me as before.

    Is vertical the correct 'stand-by' position of the arm prior to dumping the ice?

    Could I have messed up the position of the arm when I removed the large gear to get into the module when I tested for continuity? I'm pretty sure that I put the arm back in the identical position, but I'm not 100% on that.

    Is there a How-To on installing a new arm that likely covers the proper gear position?

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by jptl View Post
    Your reference to the module, Part#8201515 differs from the one that I came up with for my particular model (106.56536400). It's got the 'fingered' arm, however it's $10 less than the module that I came up with.
    I get the following part reference for my model. The AP site identifies this as Part#W10190935, and it doesn't have the arm.
    Is ....342 a revised/improved module?
    Thanks for all of your help, BTW.
    I've never seen the shut-off arm on these ice makers with the optics, did it come with the shut-off arm when you bought your refrigerator brand new?

    The optics do what the arm does, which tells the ice maker to shut off once the ice container fills up.

    Jake
    Appliance Repair School 1987-1988
    Star Appliance Tech. 2 yrs. 1988-1990
    Wards Appliance Tech. 11 yrs. 1990-2001
    Sears Appliance Tech. 4 yrs. 2001-Oct. 2005
    Jake's Appliance Repair Nov. 2005-present

    Look-Up & Order Parts

  10. #10
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    Sorry, when I say 'fingers' or 'arm' I mean the ejector arm or blade. The pivoting plastic ice ejector. The kit that you refer to comes with a replacement arm/blade. The one that came up after I entered my fridge model, doesn't come with a replacement.

    Update on the status of the maker:

    A few hours after filling the ice molds w/cubes in the tray, the ejector hasn't moved from the vertical/12:00 position, so I guess this module is working intermittently, as it doesn't seem to be fully cycling.

    Make sense?

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