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Thread: Testing ice maker water supply at the solenoid

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

    Thumbs up Testing ice maker water supply at the solenoid

    Thanks to Jake's prompt response and his instructions on how to test my problematic ice maker, I figured that I'd take some pics and do a How-To to help out the next guy.
    My Kenmore fridge is model # 106.56536400
    My ice maker is model # 106 636663
    I have in-door water, so I have a dual water inlet valve.
    This procedure will work for Kenmore 106.56536400. It will likely apply to others, but I can't say for sure, so my steps apply to this particular model.
    It isn't necessary to turn off the main water supply, or the supply to the fridge; and disconnecting water lines isn't necessary.
    This procedure requires connecting the supply solenoid to 120v wall current using a 'cheater' power source. If you are uncomfortable doing this, or you're working in less-than ideal conditions, please don't attempt this. If your model is different from mine, please confirm that this is an appropriate test before doing it!
    You'll need to get behind your fridge with enough space to access the water inlet valve which is located at the base of the chassis - right or left side(looking at it from the back of your refrigerator). The ice maker can be installed, or it can be out for this procedure.





    You'll need:
    • A 'cheater' power plug, which is a wall plug with alligator clips attached to each wire on the other end. I was able to make a safe, solid connection using stripped wire ends, however.
    • A 1/4" socket or wrench
    • A cup to catch the water if your ice maker is removed
    Pull your refrigerator out from the wall then:
    1. Remove the screws that hold the cardboard dust cover, and remove the cover.
    2. Locate the water inlet valve, located at the base of the chassis on the right or left side(looking at it from the back of your refrigerator).
    3. Remove the two screws securing the water inlet valve to the chassis (see 1st pic)
    4. Pull the water inlet valve outward so that the power plug connectors to the solenoids can be accessed.
    5. Identify the correct water inlet valve solenoid for the ice maker. This is the solenoid over the thinner feed line (see 3rd pic)
    6. Remove the plug-in power connector for the ice maker water inlet valve solenoid.
    7. Using the unplugged 'cheater' power plug, clip a wire onto each spade terminal, or thread each stripped wire through the spade holes. (see 4th pic) Ensure that these connections are secure, don't have a chance of touching each other, and are away from the chassis of the fridge. Putting some electrical tape around each is a good preventative measure.
    8. If your ice maker is removed, place a cup, can or small bowl under the black supply hose located above the ice maker on the right side.
    9. Briefly plug in the 'cheater' power cord for 2 seconds or so and listen for operation of the solenoid. If it's operational, it will be clearly heard. Unplug the 'cheater' cord.
    10. Check the catch cup/can for water, or your ice maker tray for water.
    11. If you hear the solenoid after plugging in, but no water comes through the water inlet valve, you have a physical blockage in your line (possibly frozen or clogged). If you don't hear the solenoid after plugging in the cord, it's a bad water inlet valve.
    Hope this helps!
    Feel free to suggest changes/corrections.
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    Last edited by jptl; January 21st, 2009 at 12:25 PM.

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

    Excellent instructions jptl.

    I will add here how to remove the ice maker assembly:

    Complete icemaker assembly (8 cube) - This icemaker is for 25-27 cubic feet models that have vertical auger dispenser installed in the freezer door. 8 cube icemaker.
    Complete icemaker assembly

    Manufacturer's Part#: 2198597

    Here's the instructions TO remove the ice maker assembly:

    1. Remove the bucket from the door to get some room.

    2. Put a piece of tape on the sensor flapper to hold it down so you won't damage it while removing the ice maker.

    3. Remove the ice maker service cover door by spreading the two hinge fingers apart away from the center and the door should lift out of the slot.

    4. Remove the screw in the right rear bottom side of the ice maker.

    5. After removing the screw that cover should lift up from the rear and just work it out from the rear and you see the electrical harness.

    6. On the left track the should be a tab toward the bottom which you need to push up.

    7. Push up tab and start working the ice maker towards you pulling it out of the track.

    8. Careful with the electrical harness in the back as you're pulling out.

    9. Disconnect the electrical plug by lifting the clip on the plug.

    10. Remove the side cover on the side module by pulling off.

    11. Remove the bottom shield by removing the 3 screws on the bottom.

    12. To install reverse the order as it came out.

    Courtesy of speedemon

    You can buy a test(cheater) 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.

    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
    Apr 2009
    Location
    arizona
    Posts
    15

    Default Did the test, water works, now what

    I did the test on the inlet valve and the water started right up. Now what, Does that mean everything is working and it is the icemaker that is broken or clogged or something?

  4. #4
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    Aug 2004
    Location
    McMullen Valley, Arizona
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by pstockwell View Post
    I did the test on the inlet valve and the water started right up. Now what, Does that mean everything is working and it is the icemaker that is broken or clogged or something?
    Hi,

    Whats the model# of your refrigerator? The model# tag is located inside the refrigerator section on the upper walls or ceiling.

    Even though your water inlet valve checks good, your fill tube that puts water in your ice maker may be clogged.

    Does your ice bucket sit on the inside freezer door? If so look above your ice maker for a black rubber spout that comes down from your freezer ceiling, that may be clogged with ice, try to run something up in there to see.

    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
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Potomac, MD
    Posts
    14

    Default

    PStockwell, I'm going to venture a guess here and say that it's a model similar to mine & that it has the same - or similar ice maker system & module....that's probably what got you to this thread.
    When my ice maker stopped working, I had come across numerous "fixed" follow-ups in which the culprit was a bad module.
    However I wasn't going to jump to that conclusion. I'm mechanically stubborn and I wanted to eliminate all possibilities. With Jake's direction, I decided to properly troubleshoot my icemaker. This involved the solenoid test that you just went through, which in turn confirmed that my water line wasn't frozen. That left the module. At least I took some comfort in ruling out a bad solenoid...but my test wasn't necessary. In fact I'm guessing that few solenoids are bad in these cases. Jake, please correct me if I'm wrong here.
    So, in my case it was in fact a bad module.
    Mr. Stockwell, be prepared to install a new module...and take comfort in the fact that you've ruled out all other possibilities.
    The reason that I'm saying this is it's clear that there's a design defect in the modules that were used in various brands over the past few years. I'm really hoping that the thousands of replacement modules have a revised design, or else we'll all be back to buying new modules in the next few years.
    When my father-in-law was complaining last week about not having any ice in his 2 year old Whirlpool, I said "Let me guess....removeable ice compartment in the door". "Yup. How'd you know?"
    I took a look at it, and it was nearly the exact maker to the one in my Kenmore. I said "It's a bad module. Order one and I'll put it in."
    Although the solenoid test is the proper way to rule out a water feed problem, these particular modules are so problematic that I just had him order a new module. When it came, I installed it in all of 10 minutes, and voila! A working ice maker. I impressed the hell out of him, as I clearly knew what I was doing.
    Well, I had a good teacher (thanks again, Jake.)
    Last edited by jptl; April 2nd, 2009 at 08:41 AM.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    arizona
    Posts
    15

    Default Ice Maker Module

    The model # is KSCS25INSS00 kitchenaide. I did the water test and water came out the black spout inside the freezer so that is all good. Is it the module that sends the electrical signal to the inlet valve that it is time for more water? I am moving on to the module (Ice Maker, right?) tomorrow and removing it from the freezer to see if anything is clogged. I hear it spinning once in a while, but who knows at this point.

    JPTL, I appreciate your input and you are right, I am just trying to be as methodical as possible to rule things out before I take the $90 plunge... When you say module you mean the ice maker compenent, right?

    I will follow the instructions of how to remove the ice maker and see what is going on.. I look forward to hearing your answers to my questions and appreciate the help...

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    McMullen Valley, Arizona
    Posts
    70,296

    Default

    Yes jptl, your right on the money!

    Its likely the ice maker module pstockwell.

    Here's the ice maker module kit for your model, in case you don't want to order the complete ice maker assembly:
    Manufacturer's Number: 8201515


    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

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    arizona
    Posts
    15

    Default Maybe last question

    Even though I have a kitchenaide I can use the whirlpool parts you are suggesting, right? I realize this may be a dumb question, but I just want to confirm before I pull the trigger. Is there any reason I wouldn't just pay an additional $20 for the full ice maker assembly? Is it easier to replace it all?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    McMullen Valley, Arizona
    Posts
    70,296

    Default

    Yes, KitchenAid and Whirlpool are identical for parts.

    Yes, its actually better to pay the little more extra to get the complete ice maker assembly, so you don''t have to take the ice maker apart at all, just remove the old ice maker, and install the new ice maker, much easier.

    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
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    arizona
    Posts
    15

    Default trouble

    OK, I tested the inlet valve using the shortcut wire and it worked, I bought and installed a new icemaker and it still is not working. It does not fill up with water and do its thing. It is as though the little motor isn't working to send the signal to the inlet valve and so on...

    Now what do I do to get this solved, because buying ice sucks...

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