PSS26MSWASS GE Refrigerator Ice maker won't fill

WBN3

Premium Member
Joined
Oct 3, 2019
Messages
4
Location
Texas
Model Number
PSS26MSWASS
Brand
GE
Age
More than 10 years
Hey folks... first post on the forum. I haven't searched for a thread that addresses this, but I have done lots of googling, which is what brought me here. Be kind...

The ice maker on our side-by-side quit working, but the front dispenser still puts out water. I did some basic troubleshooting to see whether it was the ice maker mechanism or something else. After doing the manual reset, the unit cycles through the sweep of the arms but won't fill. I don't hear the solenoid actuating, but I don't know exactly when in the cycle it is supposed to energize. I removed the solenoid valve set and blew water that was left in the line up into the tray, so the line itself is clear. The unit made cubes (really a misnomer because they aren't cubes, but what else do I call them - ice wedges?) with that water and discharged them. I tested the solenoid coil and all three coils (two for the front dispenser, one for the ice maker) had resistance in the ~315 ohm range, which I believe checks that box. I assumed the valve must have been stuck closed, so I ordered a replacement solenoid set and installed it yesterday. I realized after doing some reading that I may have gotten the cart before the horse, but it wasn't too expensive ($35) so I am fine with spending that money.

Unfortunately, as I feared, the new solenoid set does the exact same thing. I now need the troubleshooting steps for testing power to the solenoid, because I'm sure if I power it up with a 120V supply, it will open and put water in the unit. Is the power source for the solenoid on a control board or in the ice maker unit? I've found the parts diagram and see where the control board is, but it's too expensive to just guess. Thanks in advance for your suggestions and advice.
 

Jake

Appliance Tech - Admin
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Messages
102,867
Location
McMullen Valley, Arizona
Hi,

I always check for 120 volts at the electrical connector of the ice maker side of the water inlet valve.

You can test at the electrical connector that plugs into the ice maker side of the water inlet valve with your multimeter for 120 volts towards the end of the ice maker cycle, just leave your meter probes in the electrical connector to it during the entire ice maker cycle and watch your meter for 120 volts towards the end of the cycle.

If no 120 volts means your ice maker is bad, and you'd need a new ice maker:
WR30X10093 Electromechanical Icemaker Kit



Do you know how to force the ice maker to cycle?

Here's how to force cycle it: If you have the ice maker which has a gear in the middle once you remove the front ice maker cover, turn that gear CLOCKWISE slowly till it starts to cycle on its own, then it will put water in towards the end of the cycle.

If you have the newer style with the switch on it:

--->Turn the switch OFF, then ON, then hit the feeler arm three times in 15 secs to force a cycle.

Let us know what happens.

Jake
 

WBN3

Premium Member
Joined
Oct 3, 2019
Messages
4
Location
Texas
Thanks for the reply... yes, I found that reset procedure. Mine is the newer type ice maker with the feeler arm and I/O power switch to the unit. I used the procedure to confirm that the mechanical arms that push the ice out of the tray work. As soon as I trigger a reset, I hear it begin the thaw cycle, after which it starts moving the arms. It just requires patience to sit watching the multimeter... and if there is never a voltage increase, then I could wait for a VERY long time. I was just wondering how long the typical cycle should take. I"m guessing if I haven't seen a voltage increase after 5 minutes, I've got my answer?

Also - your recommendation to replace the ice maker implies that the power is supplied to the solenoid directly from the unit that's in the freezer compartment, not from the PCB in the back of the cabinet (part number 801 in the attached diagram). Is that correct for my model?
 

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Jake

Appliance Tech - Admin
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A normal ice maker cycle takes between 2 to 3 minutes and no more than 5 minutes, yes you are correct.:)

Correct, the voltage to the water inlet valve comes from the ice maker itself, not the motherboard #801.

Jake
 

WBN3

Premium Member
Joined
Oct 3, 2019
Messages
4
Location
Texas
In my description of the problem, I omitted some background that may actually be meaningful. Late last week, the plastic ramp that sends the cubes down into the bucket (part 821 in the attached diagram) came loose somehow. I really have no idea how it got loose, but I had to disconnect the ice maker and remove the unit from the freezer to get it reattached. That was the first time the ice maker had ever been removed in 12 years. The problem of not filling and making ice began after that, so I now have to question whether I did something to cause this problem... wouldn't be the first time I was my own worst enemy.

Tonight I removed the ice maker and opened it to inspect the circuit board inside and see if there were any obvious sign of fried components. I don't have a trained eye, but I didn't see anything that looked blatantly obvious. Absence of proof of a failed part is not proof of the absence of failure, so I'm not super confident in that inspection... it was a "one sided test" as an old mentor used to call it - you can only prove half of the possibilities (failure).

After I removed the ice maker I also removed the assembly that has the auger motor attached. To remove each of those things required that I unlatch the modular electrical connectors. The ice maker has the male side of a four-wire plug and the harness for the auger/ice maker has the female side. That harness plugs into a connector in the back of the freezer box with what looks like 6 wires. Both connectors are latching and directional, so there doesn't seem much chance that I could get it wrong.

However... when I put it all back together tonight, and triggered the manual thaw/dump/refill cycle, I believe I heard the water valve open. I need to let it run through a couple of cycles to see, but if it is, then I just have one question: how did the previous manually triggered cycles of the ice maker allow the sweep arm to operate but not actuate the solenoid? Maybe it's an intermittent fault... just wondered if any of this new info spurred additional thoughts about possible causes.

Thanks!
 

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Jake

Appliance Tech - Admin
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Messages
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Ok,

821 is the ice stripper:
WR29X10085 Ice Stripper


You say it came out of place? Did you check to make sure it wasn't cracked or broken? There is a video in that part link that shows how to remove it and replace it.

how did the previous manually triggered cycles of the ice maker allow the sweep arm to operate but not actuate the solenoid?
Could be the ice maker is starting to intermittently just wear out, if its been working good for 12 years, that's extremely good, most ice makers don't go past 7 or 8 years.

Jake
 

WBN3

Premium Member
Joined
Oct 3, 2019
Messages
4
Location
Texas
Just to close out this thread - received the replacement ice maker today and we now have an ample supply of ice. This was a tricky one because the original one didn't just die... I found it with very small amounts of ice in the tray more than once, so apparently something was preventing it from keeping the fill valve open long enough. Whatever the issue, I'm happy now. Thanks @Jake for your assistance!
 
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