Testing ice maker water supply at the solenoid

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jptl

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Location
Potomac, MD
Model Number
106.56536400
Brand
Sears Kenmore
Age
6-10 years
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.

water supply 002.jpg water supply 004.jpg water supply 005.jpg water supply 006.jpg water supply 008.jpg

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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Jake

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Excellent instructions jptl.:)

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

2198597 Complete Icemaker Assembly (8 Cube)


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

[video=youtube;aKolPRgXIgk]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aKolPRgXIgk[/video]

Test(cheater) cord:
TestCord.png

You can get a cheater cord like this at any hardware store in your area OR use a old lamp cord.

Jake
 

pstockwell

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arizona
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?
 

Jake

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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
 

jptl

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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.)
 
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pstockwell

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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...
 

Jake

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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:
8201515 Icemaker Motor Module


Jake
 

pstockwell

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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?
 

Jake

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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
 

pstockwell

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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...
 

Jake

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Did you see the new ice maker cycle once you installed it?

Did you recheck your black rubber fill tube above your ice maker to make sure it didn't clog while you were waiting for your new ice maker to arrive?

When you did the cheater cord test on your water inlet valve, did water come through the black rubber fill tube into the ice maker?

Jake
 

pstockwell

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follow-up

Yes, I tested the inlet valve again and water flows into the ice maker if I force it using the short wire. The ice maker does not appear to be running any kind of cycle and has been installed for 24 hours... When I close the flap for the optice it is a permanent red. If I let go of the flap it flashes. Everything seems to be working, but no ice or ice maker cycle...
 

Jake

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Ok, its possibly a defective ice maker, you ordered it from the link I posted in this thread? If so you can return it for another one.

Jake
 

pstockwell

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I switched the on/off switch to a different position. About an hour later, we heard ice drop. None has dropped since and the there are no ice cubes in the ice maker. It is as though the water didn't work. It would be good to know exactly how this ice maker works so I could debug what is wrong. Your help is appreciated.
 

Jake

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This is the service manual on your ice maker, it explains everything on from the theory of operation to the repair of it: [url]www.applianceblog.com/manuals/in-door_ice4322658A.pdf[/URL]

This problem your having is very much out of the norm, as you can see others who has replaced the ice maker assembly say thats the fix and its working good with them.

Its possible you may have an intermittent problem in the optics as well.

You can always order the optics kit and if it doesn't fix it them you have 30 days to return it for a full refund.

Here's the optics kit for your model:
Whirlpool W10757851 Cntrl-Elec - AppliancePartsPros.com


Jake
 

justsomeguy

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Hi I just joined with pretty much the same problem...
Fridge model 106.53642300
Ice machine W10190965 <---fresh replacement

I broke the gear in the first one, bonehead move.
Here is the gist of my problem. No call for water.
I replaced the ice machine, used the 'jump V and L' ports test, no result.
I went in back and switched the fridge connectors from the water valve to the "ice" valve. Hitting the water dispense paddle produced copious water into the freezer (since ice machine was removed).
Ok, Valve good. I had 110v at the black wire coming to the ice machine. Jumping the black to the tan wire in that connector also does nothing. Holding flapper, holding switch....nothing.

Where does that tan wire go from the freezer connector ? Straight down to the valve?

Thanks
Tony
 

Jake

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Hi Tony,

That ice maker is not the correct one for your model, you can't substitute a normal one for the one your model requires.

Here's the ice maker for your model you can order:
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 ice maker.
Whirlpool 2198597 Complete Icemaker Assembly (8 Cube) - AppliancePartsPros.com


Jake
 

justsomeguy

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Jake
I fed that number (or the number off the icemachine itself) to the techs at midwest appliance parts. It is physically identical to the one I took out.

That being said, IF I WERE TO JUMP THE BLACK WIRE TO THE TAN WIRE IN THE CONNECTOR COMING TO THE ICE MACHINE....wouldnt it activate the water solenoid???
Tony
 

justsomeguy

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Jake, That is my fridge model number, here is the ice machine # .
106 2198597
Ice Maker Icemaker W10122502 & 2198597 fits Kenmore
It replaces ice maker part numbers:
* W10122502
* 626663
* 2198597







that's from my auction. Looking at my pad of notes, I have no idea where I got 10190965 from? its under my fridge model #.
So that number is wacked, and I think I do have the right ice machine...If it was markedly different I wouldn't have installed it.
But like I said, looks like the valve is good, I am just not getting a call down there....Wish I had my meter to confirm voltage at the valve....
Any ideas on the tan wire?
Tony :confused:
 

Jake

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Ok Tony, well, let me explain how I've been trained to look-up parts for more than 20 years, always look them up with the model#, never go by JUST the number off the part itself, as those are stamped on when they are made, and could be a general number just for that production line at the factory, and could change at any time when a part is upgraded.

When I looked up that part on your model at Sears, it doesn't even give a part# for the complete ice maker assembly, but since I've been changing these left and right since the introduction of the in-door ice maker production line, this ice maker you have on your model when it was made, did come from the factory as the original replacement, as I called the factory when I worked at Sears to verify it.

Unfortunately, Sears doesn't make their wiring diagrams available online, so I can't tell you about that tan wire.

Do you notice your ice maker cycling at all and not putting in water? Or not cycling period?

If not cycling period, then I'd ohm the in-line thermal fuse, its located on the wiring harness to the ice maker. If that in-line thermal fuse is open, then we found the problem. Because it seems you've done everything correctly.

It comes integrated with the ice maker wire harness, in case you need to order it:
Whirlpool WP2187467 Harness, Wiring - AppliancePartsPros.com


Its the black wire, ohm that black wire for continuity.

Jake
 
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