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FIXED KitchenAid Refrigerator KRFC704FBS01 ice maker stopped working, next day noticed it wasn't as cold as it should be

Doodadnules

Premium Member
Joined
Oct 19, 2021
Messages
6
Location
MI
Model Number
KRFC704FBS01
Brand
KitchenAid
Age
1-5 years
Our ice maker stopped working. I opened the door panel and checked things out. I found the white plastic cube tray upside down and twisted. I messed with the ice bin, bin full sensor arm, flipped the switch on/off, etc. Nothing. So, I turned off the power for about 15-20 minutes and then powered it back on. Still, nothing. Doing some research, I see these ice makers fail with some regularity. So, I assumed that was it and did a little shopping and found it's a $100 problem. Not really too big of a deal.

The next day, I opened the fridge to get something and noticed it wasn't as cold as it should be. Upon some further checking, I confirmed the refrigerator temp was too warm and also, the freezer was warming with some items partially thawing. Fortunately, we have a couple more refrigerators and so, we moved everything out. I removed power to the unit overnight. We plugged it back in around 7AM this morning. Within a couple of hours, the fridge appears to be running and cooling normally. It's worth noting that after the overnight power down, the "Power Loss" light and alert were active. This did not happen after the first power cycle. I'm thinking the 15-20 minutes wasn't a long enough power down cycle.

Anyway, so, I'm thinking the ice maker died at some peak current of the motor from twisting the tray and some voltage spike sent the controller into some funky state. Once the power was cycled properly, it appears to have rebooted and is functioning normally. We'll see later today when I head home at lunch.

I ordered a new ice maker since the position of the tray has never changed even after the long power cycle. The auger works. All other lights, controls, etc., seem fine. It will be interesting to see if the ice maker resets itself at some point. The new ice maker will be here in a couple of days. If it doesn't straighten out before then, I'll replace it and go from there. That assumes the cooling continues to behave normally.

Any credibility to my analysis or, should I be checking into things further? The fridge is about 2.5 yrs old. Thoughts? Things to watch for? Diagnostic tests? I downloaded the technician manual and see all the various tests that can be run but, a lot of it seems really arcane. I didn't see any type of overall self-diagnostics that could be run to report errors, etc.

Any and all advice is certainly appreciated.
 
Last edited:

Dan O.

Appliance Tech
Staff member
Joined
Oct 9, 2004
Messages
4,360
Location
Ontario, Canada
Our ice maker stopped working.
...
The next day, I opened the fridge to get something and noticed it wasn't as cold as it should be.

The icemaker has an internal thermostat. If the freezer is too warm, operation of the icemaker will cease. You might want to look into the cause of your cooling problems. If it started cooling again after a full manual defrosting, there might be a defrosting problem.

JMO

Dan O.
 

Doodadnules

Premium Member
Joined
Oct 19, 2021
Messages
6
Location
MI
Thanks for the feedback. if there is a defrosting problem, is there a diagnostic test that will indicate that? Also, the ice maker stopped at the peak of being torqued (twisted) to eject the cubes. After the full overnight power cycle, and now some 7.5 hrs after being powered back up and cooling normally, the ice maker is in that exact same position. It did not reset and move to the home position, etc. I suppose it could do that but, it would be pretty sad software engineering. Should the ice maker have at least rotated the tray back to the correct orientation to accept water and freeze?
 

Dan O.

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Joined
Oct 9, 2004
Messages
4,360
Location
Ontario, Canada
There is a 'tech sheet' in the appliance with test procedures. I found a PDF copy I've attached.

I do not know the answer to the icemaker question as I have not worked with the KitchenAid twist-tray icemaker design. There are some mentions of it also in the tech sheet. I don't know how detailed.


Dan O.
 

Attachments

  • KA_KRFC704FSS01_Tech_Sheet-W11190777.pdf
    1.8 MB · Views: 22

Doodadnules

Premium Member
Joined
Oct 19, 2021
Messages
6
Location
MI
Thanks much. I was able to find that as well but, again, pretty arcane tests and not sure what they might tell me. Maybe I could run test 120 which is some sort of ice maker cycle test.

I have the motor mechanism out and on the bench. I checked the motor windings and there is about 175 ohms of resistance. When I applied ~6VDC to the motor leads, it tried to move but, it is trying to move in the same direction and seems to not have enough torque. It's like it needs to move in the opposite direction. When I reverse the voltage, nothing happens but, I can hear a very slight motor hum. It could be the motor is trashed. I don't really know. It is a very mechanical design with contacts that short at various points in the rotation, etc. Without knowing if the motor is supposed to reverse, for example, I can't really decipher what is supposed to happen next.

Ultimately, it's frustrating to have a $4.5K refrigerator that is gently used (2 people in the house) for 2.5 years and have it crap itself. Surely, they can do better.
 

Jake

Appliance Tech - Admin
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Messages
123,872
Location
McMullen Valley, Arizona
Yes, the new ice maker should fix yours.

I located a similar thread I helped with here:
And sure enough the new ice maker fixed it. Your model uses that exact same ice maker I posted in post #7 of that thread.

Let us know how it goes.

Jake
 

Doodadnules

Premium Member
Joined
Oct 19, 2021
Messages
6
Location
MI
Thanks much Jake. Here's an update.

I took the motor out of the assembly and opened it. I couldn't find anything that looked wrong or broken so, I reassembled it and tried to operate it on the bench out of maker. It rotated when I applied ~6VDC so, I reversed the polarity and ran it until the tab that engages the tray was 180 deg from where it was. Then, reassembled the unit with the tray in the upright position as if it were ready to fill. The motor does run both directions and there are mechanical stops at each side. I took the unit home last night, installed it into the fridge that is running fine at the moment, and this morning, I have ice. The troubling part is, I have no idea why the fridge and freezer warmed or why the IM stopped in the eject position, etc. I now believe the IM stopped due to the warming of the freezer/fridge. Oh, before installing, I measured the voltage on the pins where the IM connects and it showed 12VDC.

I measured the temps and they are freezer = 1F, fridge = 36F, and ice bucket = 8F. These are as set by the control, or close enough, but I don't really know what the ice bin temp should be but, its 8F. Seems reasonable to me.

So, now, it's a waiting game to see if and when the fridge shats itself again. My only thought about a cause could be that my lovely better half tends to stuff the freezer like a Thanksgiving turkey. It may have been so full that air flow got blocked. Also, my elderly mother is staying with us so, it could have sat for hours with the freezer door slightly open (due to the stuffing) and so, this whole episode may have been self induced. If so, my apologies to Whirlpool for blaming the fridge.

As another poster mentioned, this could be a defrost cycle issue as well. It's never happened before but, that's normally the case when something breaks. It has to start somewhere. It would be great if there were some overall diagnostic test(s) I could run to make sure everything is working normally. I have the tech manual and all of the tests but, they leave off the most fundamental instructions like how to select and enter a test. An example would be great. I get the whole holding down the "-" buttons to enter diagnostic mode but, it's not clear, to me at least, how to navigate to a specific test and then execute. Any advice here would be appreciated.

Thanks to all for taking the time to comment. Your insights are all very helpful. I know nothing about refrigerators. Other than they are a pain in the rear when they don't work.
 

Jake

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Under 10 degrees F is what you want to see for the ice maker to work properly, so you are good at 8 degrees.

Yes, you can DO--->Service Test - 120 Door Ice Maker Self Diagnostics
--->The display shall show the following transitions as they occur.
“00” – Stopped
“01” – Moving Counterclockwise to Ice Break Position
“02” – Moving Clockwise to End of Harvest Location
--->If Ice Bin Is Full Jump To Step 04
--->If Timeout Occurs (60 seconds) Execute Step 04
“03” – Reached End of Harvest Location
“04” – Moving Counterclockwise Back To Homing Location
--->If Timeout Occurs (60 seconds) End Test
--->The display shall show the error codes following the execution of the test.
“PA” – All Steps Successfully Passed
“bF” – Ice Bin Is Full
“E1” – Cannot Find Ice Break Position
“E2” – Cannot Find End of Harvest Location
“E3” – Cannot Find Home
“E4” – Multiple Failures

So, now, it's a waiting game to see if and when the fridge shats itself again. My only thought about a cause could be that my lovely better half tends to stuff the freezer like a Thanksgiving turkey. It may have been so full that air flow got blocked. Also, my elderly mother is staying with us so, it could have sat for hours with the freezer door slightly open (due to the stuffing) and so, this whole episode may have been self induced. If so, my apologies to Whirlpool for blaming the fridge.
Yes, it was probably just a "one off" coincidence when you opened the fridge to get something and noticed it wasn't as cold as it should be. But if you see that happen on a regular basis then you do have a cooling issue.

Jake
 

Doodadnules

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Oct 19, 2021
Messages
6
Location
MI
Thanks much Jake. I'll run the diagnostics on the IM. Is there an overall test that checks defrost circuits, etc., that I should run?
 

Jake

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Yes.

Service Test - 89 Run FC Defrost Heater
• When entering this service test, defrost heater turns on and stays on for 5 minutes or until the evaporator thermistor goes above 60°F.
• “ON” will be displayed while the operation is executed.
Service Test - 90 Run RC Defrost Heater
• When entering this service test, defrost heater turns on and stays on for 5 minutes or until the evaporator thermistor goes above 60°F.
• “ON” will be displayed while the operation is executed.
Service Test - 91 Run a Forced Defrost
• Activates the forced defrost.
• When “ON” is selected and exiting Service mode, defrost will be executed.
• When “OFF” is selected and exiting Service mode, defrost will NOT be executed. To advance between control mode “ON” or “OFF” Use “+” or “-” key. Once desired setting is selected, push “Drawer” key to activate then “Max Cool” to exit this mode.

Jake
 

Doodadnules

Premium Member
Joined
Oct 19, 2021
Messages
6
Location
MI
Well, just to update the issue, after a week, the fridge and ice maker are running and working perfectly. Absolutely no indication of any ongoing issue(s).

I now believe the cause was either an over stuffed freezer that limited air flow or, an over stuffed freezer that caused the freezer door bind and not fully close. If the unit sat for a day or, whatever, with the door 1/4" open, this could certainly cause some icing and other issues. We have this happen on occasion in our garage fridge.

A quick tip that I hope may help someone is the ice maker removal process. There are two tabs, one on the left (visible and obvious how to release) and one on the right. The one on the right is not visible and not obvious how to release, at least not to me. The right clip is located directly above a slot on the right side bottom of the ice maker. This clip can be released by using a medium sized flat screwdriver. Insert the screwdriver pointed upward vertically into the slot and simply press directly upward. This will flex the clip upward and out of the channel that it locks onto. Doing this after releasing the left clip allows the ice maker to simply pull straight out. Very simple really once you know about the right side clip.

Take care everyone and thanks again to all for the info and assistance.

Dave
 

Jake

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Sounds good Dave.(y)

Thanks for the update and added information for the ice maker removal process!

Jake
 
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