Ice Maker optics low voltage problem

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poko2002

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Joined
Jul 2, 2007
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Location
North Bend, WA
I have been reading the many posts regarding ice maker failures with the Optics control system for various models including KitchenAid, Whirlpool and Kenmore, and reading the very good 48 page manual on the ice maker/dispensing system https://www.applianceblog.com/manuals/in-door_ice4322658A.pdf. Needless to say I have gathered a lot of information. I now think I almost understand how it works. The only real issue is how the optics receiver PC board works. There is no wiring diagram for the board that I could find.

Several of the posts indicated measuring a low(35 to 96 VAC) voltage at the input to the motor control between points “L” & “N ”or between the input connector white and black wires. Since logic would dictate that this input voltage to the control motor must be 115VAC for it to operate that this is a problem. Since this input is from the optics receiver board the problem must lie within the board and it is defective. This is not the case and THIS VOLTAGE IS NORMAL AND CORRECT. It is a monitor voltage and is always present (except during a harvest). I came to the same wrong conclusion.

A SIMPLE TEST: Remove the receiver PCB and remove its 8 pin connector. Jumper pins 3 and 4(number one is at the bottom). A paperclip works well but remember this is HOT!! Turn off power (unplug) first or make sure the paper clip is taped where you touch it. This connects the 115VAC input directly to the motor control. This bypasses the optics circuit completely and if all else is working properly it will produce ice as fast as it will freeze. If it makes ice with the jumper, but not with the PCB installed then the problem probably lies in the circuit boards. If it does not work with the jumper the problem probably lies in the ice maker itself.

Pin 3 is shown on the wiring diagram (6-1) as black and is directly connected to the line voltage. On my Kitchenaid (and maybe other models) this wire is dark blue with a stripe and comes from the “Holiday mode switch”. In Holiday mode the power is cut to the ice maker and dispenser. If pin 3 is not 115VAC then you are in “Holiday Mode”.

If anyone would like a more in depth explanation of my findings please email me at mwaiken@earthlink.net

My two year old Kitchenaid did not work with the jumper. The thermal was good, the heater was good, so I replaced the motor/circuit assembly and it now works great.
 

ApplianceJunk

Appliance Tech
Joined
Aug 31, 2005
Messages
395
Location
Milbank, South Dakota
Another quick test I do on the Optics control system is hold my camera phone up to the infrared light part on the left side of the freezer.

As with many digital cameras you can see the infrared light on the camera screen. If the light is working you will see it as a white light on the screen of the digital camera.

I don't know if this works with all digital cameras, but it does work with my camera phone and the couple point and shoot camera's I have around the house.

You can also do with with tv remotes to see if they are putting out a signel
 
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