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Thread: Ice maker pouring water out

  1. #1
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    Default Ice maker pouring water out

    Model Number: GD5RHAXNB00
    Brand: Whirlpool
    Age: 6-10 years

    Hello all --

    It sounds like our problem is similar to dorito23's. The water on ours just kept coming out after the tray filled. My wife shut it off using the ice-maker power switch on the side-panel inside the freezer compartment. We waited a few days and I turned it on again (though I'm not sure why I thought it would magically work then). The water didn't immediately turn on, so I thought it would be okay, but a few minutes later it started pouring water out.

    I pulled out the ice-maker, but now it sounds like the valve is more likely the culprit. The refrigerator model number is: GD5RHAXNB00 (zeroes at the end) -- should I replace the valve?

    A couple other questions --
    1) While inspecting the ice-maker, I took off the large white plastic gear (the one with the copper electrical connection-points on the back, and the "do not rotate manually" message on the front), and now I'm not certain which of the two possible positions it should be in when I put it back. When the ice-ejection-fingers are in the straight-up position, there is a red hash-mark and notch on the gear can either be right near the small metal drive-gear (just past the 9 o'clock position) or 180-degrees away from it.

    2) Unrelated to the ice-maker problem, several months ago, the refrigerator side's light didn't work right and we heard a clicking/buzzing noise when the refrigerator door was open. I taped down the switch that activates the interior light and the noise stopped. Any ideas? We're okay with having a dark refrigerator, but since I came to the experts, I thought I'd ask!

    Thanks for all your help,
    Paul
    Last edited by pjadams; September 11th, 2011 at 03:26 PM.

  2. #2
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    I'll start with the ice maker problem. If you can shut the water off by turning the ice maker off or by removing it, then the water valve is probaly working properly. Test the optics:
    *TEST FOR WHIRLPOOL OPTICS *Open the freezer door and check the status LED 2 Blinks followed by a 1 second delay-repeated: Tape the emitter door back so it doesn’t block the beam 2 Blinks followed by a 1 second delay: Bad optics Part# 4389102 (Ice Level Control Board 4389102 Order now for same day shipping. 365 day return policy. RepairClinic.com) LED is on steady: Optics good

    The lights not working in the refrigerator are most likely due to a bad control board. It's located by the compressor and at this time I'm not sure if it has anything to do with the ice maker or not. I'm trying to look it up but it might take a while. Take the control board out and take a look at it. See if there are any burn marks on it. Here is the part for your model:
    Control Board W10135090 Order now for same day shipping. 365 day return policy. RepairClinic.com


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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by rickgburton View Post
    I'll start with the ice maker problem. If you can shut the water off by turning the ice maker off or by removing it, then the water valve is probaly working properly. Test the optics:
    *TEST FOR WHIRLPOOL OPTICS *Open the freezer door and check the status LED 2 Blinks followed by a 1 second delay-repeated: Tape the emitter door back so it doesn’t block the beam 2 Blinks followed by a 1 second delay: Bad optics Part# 4389102 (Ice Level Control Board 4389102 Order now for same day shipping. 365 day return policy. RepairClinic.com) LED is on steady: Optics good

    Hi Rick -- that's pretty amazing. You nailed it -- that is exactly the pattern I'm seeing from that LED. I'm curious why a bad optics board would cause the water to flow continuously. The link shows that the installation isn't terribly difficult -- will there be instructions included with that part?

    The lights not working in the refrigerator are most likely due to a bad control board. It's located by the compressor and at this time I'm not sure if it has anything to do with the ice maker or not. I'm trying to look it up but it might take a while. Take the control board out and take a look at it. See if there are any burn marks on it. Here is the part for your model:
    Control Board W10135090 Order now for same day shipping. 365 day return policy. RepairClinic.com

    I am (of course) no expert on this, but the light hasn't worked in months, maybe more than a year (we can't even remember), so I'd be a bit surprised if the two problems were connected. The compressor is in the back/bottom, perhaps? Is there a good source for a "map" of the control boards' locations?

    Thanks a bunch for your help!
    Paul

  4. #4
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    The optics replacement is really easy and it does have instructions. Why it would cause the water to overflow, I'm not sure. I guess it depends where the ice maker is in a harvest cycle. Here's the deal with the board; When Whirlpool first came out with that board I had a service call where the lights wouldn't work and the display wouldn't light up. I checked the bulbs and the door switch and both checked good so I assumed there was a broken wire in the cabinet somewhere. My customer was ok without lights untill a couple months later when there was a cooling issue. I replaced the board and the lights and display worked and it fixed the cooling issue. So I guess as long as the machine is working ok and you don't mind no lights, it's not a big deal. Wheather it will give you a problem with cooling later, I don't know. It's in back on the left side of the compressor and I believe there is a cover over it.
    OWNER RICK'S APPLIANCE REPAIR
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by rickgburton View Post
    My customer was ok without lights untill a couple months later when there was a cooling issue. I replaced the board and the lights and display worked and it fixed the cooling issue. So I guess as long as the machine is working ok and you don't mind no lights, it's not a big deal. Wheather it will give you a problem with cooling later, I don't know. It's in back on the left side of the compressor and I believe there is a cover over it.
    I found the board right where you said it would be, and when we open the door (with the light switch un-taped), the slow buzzing is coming right from that board. Maybe it's something shorting out rapidly, I don't know, but the board is the source. I am okay with no light, but if it can also cause a cooling problem later, I'd rather replace it now and not worry about it.

    So, I'll have a couple new boards ordered soon, and I thank you VERY much for your help. I would have probably replaced a perfectly good ice-maker (and still had the same problem in the end). I'll report back once I've installed the boards.

    One last thing -- do you happen to know about the orientation of that white gear (inside the ice-maker) that I mentioned before? It seems (from the placement of those copper strips on the back) like only one orientation should work.
    Last edited by pjadams; September 12th, 2011 at 10:14 AM.

  6. #6
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    I'm not sure if that board would cause a cooling issue or not. As far as the white gear goes, there is a small notch by the red hash mark. With the ejector fingers at 2:00, that notch should be at the 5:00 position and line up with a hole in the module just to the left of the two smaller holes marked T and H.
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  7. #7
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    Okay, I ordered the parts and here is what happened (partial success):

    The control board (in the back of the fridge) was definitely bad -- the buzzing was an electrical arcing (I could see the small scorch marks on the back of the board after pulling it out). I replaced the board and the light in the fridge side now works.

    The ice-sensor board was not bad, but it's only my fault that I ordered a part I didn't need. When doing my blinking-light check (holding back the flap that blocks the light-beam when the freezer door is open), I stupidly forgot to slide the ice-maker switch to "on", not realizing that said switch isn't anything electrical, but only causes a piece of plastic to block the light-beam. Once I set it to "on", the optics tested fine (light was on solid with an unobstructed beam).

    I saw somewhere else about using a jumper-wire to cause the ice-maker to go into "harvest" mode (by jumping the "H" and "T" spots in the motor housing). I did that and closed the freezer for a little bit, and nothing happened. I saw in a YouTube video:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VCUgA5T5ASw
    a
    bout using a digital multimeter to test resistance at various points to test heater, motor, etc. They are supposed to be:

    Heater -- test L to H -- 72 ohms
    Timer module -- test L to M -- 4400 ohms
    Valve -- test N to V -- 150-350 ohms
    Thermostat -- test T to L -- 0 ohms (no resistance) [when tray is filled with solid ice] -- I didn't test this

    Mine tested, respectively, 70 ohms, 74 ohms, and -2M ohms (???). So it seems that my heater is OK, but the timer module (with motor unit) seems to not be good. I don't know why the valve reading would be so odd, but the valve seemed to be working before.

    Anyway, my theory is this: the motor stopped working right in the middle of that 7-second fill cycle, causing the gear to stop rotating and thus keeping the connection closed that sends power to the valve. Does that sound plausible?

  8. #8
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    Sure, anything's possible. When you shorted T and H, you had the plastic flapper taped back on the optics, and there wasn't anything blocking it, and when you push the door switch, the ice maker started the harvest cycle?
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  9. #9
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    Hi Rick,

    Sorry... I wasn't very clear. After I jumped "T" and "H", I held the flapper back and the door-switch in (to simulate the freezer door being closed) and the motor did not turn the gear, and it did not go into "harvest" mode. I didn't know how long it should take, so I shut the door (ensuring no obstruction to the light-beam) and waited a minute or so, with still nothing happening (no movement of the gear, no water coming down the input tube). That's when I decided to use the DMM to test the motor, heater, etc.

    Does the gear need to start out in any particular spot before the "jump-T-and-H" test will initiate the harvest-cycle, or should the jump cause the motor to activate regardless of the current orientation of the gear? I tried it with the ejector fingers at roughly the 2 o'clock position and the red hash mark near the T and H holes. Then I tried again with the hash mark at the 6 o'clock position. Should the motor begin to turn right away after jumping and closing the freezer door?

    Thanks again for your help!
    Paul

  10. #10
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    FORCE CYCLE
    To force cycle the ice-maker, remove the cover over the module and locate holes "T" and "H". Take a small piece of wire bent in the shape of a U and short "T" and "H" together. The ice-maker will start the harvest cycle. Wait about 10 seconds and remove wire. The Ice maker will continue through the cycle. At the end of the harvest cycle the ice-maker supplies the coil on the water valve with 110 VAC.
    NOTE:
    If your refrigerator uses the Optics, you’ll also have to tape the emitter flap back and not block the space between the emitter and receiver. You will also need to hold the light switch in until the ice maker starts then remove the wire. Close the freezer door.
    OWNER RICK'S APPLIANCE REPAIR
    APPLIANCE TECHNICIAN FOR 29 YEARS
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