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FIXED WRF736SDAM13 Refrigerator Ice Level Sensors

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Ken Frisbie

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Jul 19, 2019
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9
Location
Middletown PA
Model Number
WRF736SDAM13
Brand
Whirlpool
Age
1-5 years
My refrigerator has stopped making ice. Other than replacement, is there a way to check the Ice Level Sensors to prove if they are working or not?
These parts are not inexpensive so I don't want to replace parts that are not needed.

I have run the diagnostics on my refrigerator and everything seems to check out with one exception. Service Test 15 Ice Level Sensor displays 01 = Bin Full. I would guess that if the system believes the ice bin is full it will not allow any part of the ice maker to operate.
Service Tests 45, 46, 56, 57, 58 and 59 all check out as functioning properly.

I found info on an older Whirlpool refrigerator where they used a jumper wire to test (and further prove) whether the optics sensor (receiver) is working or not. The jumper was to override the "bin full signal", therefore when the refrigerator door is closed, with the jumper in place, the ice maker would function normally if the sensor was good, otherwise it would not. These sensors were considered to be the most common items to fail with these types of ice makers. Which contacts would I connect a jumper to override the bin full signal on my receiver Part No. W10518658 (now W10898445). Can the emitter also be tested? Should both parts be replaced and do they come together in a kit? Thank you. Ken
 

rickgburton

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On the dispenser board, check for 14 VDC across J5-1 and J5-3. If the voltage is correct, on the receiver board check for 14 VDC across J1-1 and J1-3. This should be the same as yours. Check the wire colors.
44208
 

Ken Frisbie

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Location
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Hi Rick, Thank you for your quick reply. Your answer leads me to a couple of questions.

1. How do the covers come off the emitter and receiver, I assume they pry off at the little slots on the back side of the covers or is there a release inside those slots? (on the older models they were screwed on).

2. How do I get to the contacts on the Dispenser Board to check the voltage between J5-1 and J5-3? I have seen video where the the Control Panel above the dispenser is removed for replacement but they didn't open it up to get to the PC board. If that is where the Dispenser board is, how do I get to those contacts? Apparently, it is not removed for the test because it needs to be powered. Do you have a picture of that board also?

I am not very good with a voltage meter but I will give it a try.

Thanks again for your help!
 

rickgburton

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The cover should pop off the receiver. Check for 14V DC across the red wire and the blk/wht wire.
 

Ken Frisbie

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Messages
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Location
Middletown PA
Voltage tests results

Got the cover off the receiver. My wire colors are different but they match the wire colors on the spec sheet (under the door hinge cover). The Multimeter showed 13.79 Volts across the pin slots inside the plug at J1-1 & J1-3.
Then I reinstalled the plug into the Receiver and checked the voltage at the Emitter plug at J1-1 and J1-3 but I got no voltage there. (The Emitter wires are different colors too)

(Prior to removing the Receiver, I had removed the Emitter cover and it came off with a great deal of pressure. I managed to break the plastic hook that releases the cover - will try to SuperGlue the hook end back on. From that experience, I was able to remove the transmitter cover without breaking it.)

I wasn't sure I understood all the Diagnostic tests correctly, so I rechecked them and this one has me stumped.
"Service Test - 67 Water Filter Switch Test
Displays the water filter switch status in real time on the UI display. Verify that the open and close status display correctly.
(01 = Switch open, filter installed, 02 = Switch closed, filter not installed.)"

My results show the following results
With the filter installed and the filter door closed the test result is 02 and with the filter door open the test result is 01.
With the filter removed and the filter door closed the test result is 01, and with the filter door open the test result is 01.
I would think the result should be 01 with the filter installed.
What Switch are they talking about? Should this have any bearing on the ice level problem and/or other tests?

Just to be sure, I installed a new Whirlpool filter and I get the same results. However, something else has been happening when I use the water dispenser. We nearly always here noise coming from around the top left door hinge when we draw water. (I am sure the water line goes to the water dispenser through there) I suspect the noise is air in the line. I always run 4 or 5 gallons of water through the dispenser after installing a new filter. But even months later we still get air bubbles in a glass of water and hear the noise too. Sometimes the bubbles are very noticeable, and it isn't often that there is no noise.

Where do I go from here?
 

rickgburton

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OK, the wire colors are different but the pinouts are the same:
WRF736 optics.jpg

The smart filter switch is a normally closed door/light switch by the water filter. It is a bit confusing. Switch open=contacts closed. Switch closed= contacts open. If the control can see a closed circuit (switch not pressed in) it knows the filter door is open and the filter is out. When you install the filter and close the door the control sees an open circuit and figures the filter is in and the door is closed. This is from similar model but the switch is in the same place. The filter body activates the switch:
WRF795.jpg


I've never heard air in a water line make noise before but my hearing not that good. If there's air in the water line after running that much water through it, it's coming from the dissolved gasses in your water.
Water flows through the dispenser system when the dispenser lever is depressed. The lever closes the dispenser switch and activates the valve. When the valve opens supply pressure pushes water through the dispenser system and out the spout. When the valve closes water pressure in the dispenser system is eliminated and flow ceases. Any air or dissolved gases (oxygen, nitrogen, etc.) in the water will continue to expand and seek the highest point in the system. This migration of these gases can cause run-on or dripping. This condition is aggravated further as the water supply warms up during the summer months.
 

Ken Frisbie

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Location
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Wow, Rick, that is confusing, but I really didn't want to digress from my original problem of having no ice.

Getting back to the electrical power test results on the receiver and emitter. To refresh, I got 13.79 Volts at the Receiver across the pin slots inside the plug at J1-1 & J1-3? Is that voltage acceptable?

Then I reinserted the plug into the Receiver and checked the voltage at the Emitter plug at J1-1 and J1-3 but there was no voltage there. Does this mean the Receiver is bad? Could the Emitter be OK?. Should I just replace the Receiver and see if that solves my problem? Where should I get the parts? Is there anything else I need to check? Thanks, Ken
 

rickgburton

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Ken Frisbie

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Thanks again guys! I have come to believe since there is no power at the Emitter board, but there is at the Receiver, then there is likely a problem with the Receiver, that also causes no power to the emitter. Is that correct? And since there is no power at the emitter, it cannot be ruled out as a problem either???? If there was power getting to the emitter would it put out an infrared light beam? Cell phone cameras will show IR light. ( I tried that with my TV Remote and it works)

Since we hadn't had any problems with our unit before, I had not been aware of any light in the ice bin area. There is a red bulb (LED?) on the receiver board right behind a very small opening in the receiver cover and just to the right of the on/off switch. I have never seen that light come on, nor can I find any mention of that light in the Use and Care Guide. I have seen such a light (much larger) on older models discussed on this site. Since that light doesn't seem to work, is that further evidence that the Receiver Board is the problem? (but I haven't seen mention of that as an indicator). Under normal operating conditions, would that light blink under different conditions as it does in the older models?

I am sorry if my questions are too basic, but then I need lots of help with this stuff like this.

Thank you very much for sharing your knowledge!
 

rickgburton

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The LED doesn't blink. The receiver is the problem. The part link is in post #8
 

Ken Frisbie

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Something has changed!
I was just getting ready to order the Receiver Board but ran the diagnostics one more time. Service Test 6 has changed from 01 to 02. What now?

Here are all the current test results in bold characters.

Service Test - 1: FC Thermistor Result - 01 (01 = pass, 02 = open, 03 = short).

Service Test - 2: RC Thermistor Result - 01 (01 = pass, 02 = open, 03 = short).

Service Test - 3: Evaporator Fan and Air Baffle Motors Result - Displays 01 and 02 when alternately toggling SW3. Also hear fan go on and off.
SW3 (01 = fan on. Air baffle open, 02 = fan on. Air baffle closed)

Service Test - 4: Compressor/Condenser Fan Motor/Evaporator Fan Result - Displays 01 and 02 when alternately toggling SW3
SW3 (01 = on, 02 = off).

Service Test - 6: Defrost Heater/Bi-metal Result - 02 bi-metal open (had previously read 01 bi-metal closed)
(01 = bi-metal closed, 02 = bi-metal open). )))

Service Test - 7: Defrost Mode Selection Result - Alternately flashes 01 and 02 when toggling SW3. Left set at 01.
SW3 (01 = ADC on, 02 = basic mode on 8 hour timer

Service Test - 8: All UI Indicators Result - Appears that All indicators are on.

Service Test - 9: UI Button and Pad test Result - All Switch positions read correctly, 1, 2, 3 , 6 and water pad.

Service Test - 11: Dispenser Lighting Result - All lighting changes correctly with SW3

Service Test - 15: Ice Level Sensor Result - 01 bin full while bin is actually empty (01 = bin full or not present, 02 = bin not full)

Service Test - 16: RC Door Switch Input Result - Correct readings with each refrigerator door open or closed
(01 = RC door open, 02 = RC door closed).

Service Test - 17: FC Door Switch Input Result - Correct readings with freezer drawer open or door closed
(01 = FC door open, 02 = FC door closed).

Service Test - 19: Ice Maker Fill Tube and Fascia Heater Status Result - Displays 01 and 02 when alternately toggling SW3
SW3 (01 = on, 02 = off).

Service Test - 32: Ambient Thermistor UI Control Result - 01 Pass
(01 = pass, 02 = open, 03 = short).

Service Test - 33: Humidity Sensor UI Control Result - 20
(humidity % value 0-99 = pass or Er = fail)

Service Test - 34: Vertical Mullion Heater Mode Result - Displays 01 and 02 when alternately toggling SW3
SW3 (01 = sensor operation on, 02 = sensor operation off) (heater on 100%).

Service Test - 35: Vertical Mullion Heater Status Result - Displays 01 and 02 when alternately toggling SW3
SW3 (toggle between on and off) (01 = on, 02 = off).

Service Test - 36: Ice Box Fan Result - 01 with airflow, then toggle SW3 to 02 airflow off
SW3 (01 = on, 02 = off). Verify airflow from the ice box fan.

Service Test - 37: Ice Box Thermistor Result - 01 Pass
(01 = pass, 02 = open, 03 = short).

Service Test - 38: Forced Defrost Mode Result - Displays OF, Sh and Lo when toggling SW3
Finished test by switching to OF

SW3 (OF = no forced defrost, Sh = short defrost, Lo = long defrost).

Service Test - 45: Ice Maker Water Fill Test Result - Displays 02 (Off), then toggle SW3 displays 03 (On). Water runs a few seconds then switches back to 02 (Off). Additional toggles of SW3 alternately changes to 03 (On) and 04 (Pause) then back to 03 and 04, when alternately toggling SW3
SW3 will toggle between on and paused (02 = off, 03 = on, 04 = paused).

Service Test - 46: Water Dispensing Test Result - Alternately displays 00 (valve off) and 01 (valve on) with activation of the Water Dispense Valve
Test at Water Dispenser Pad (00 = water dispense valve off, 01 = water dispense valve on).

Service Test - 56: Ice Maker Error Codes Result - E0 = No errors, Functioning Ice Maker.

Service Test - 57: Ice Maker Harvest Result - Activates Harvest with SW3 and the results display as 1, 20 then 01 (with Doors Closed)
Digit 1 (0 = heater and motor off, 1 = ice maker heater on, 2 = motor rotating clockwise until it finds home position)
Digit 2 (0 = in progress, 1 = harvesting completed, 2 = harvesting not completed). Doors must be closed.

Service Test - 58: Ice Maker Heater Activation and Thermistor Result - Activate IM Heater with SW3, then additional toggles
of SW3 switches to Codes 00 and 10

SW3 to activate and switches Heater On and Off
Digit 1 (0 = ice maker heater off, 1 = ice maker heater on)
Digit 2 (0 = Temperature warmer than harvest temperature, 1 = temperature cooler than harvest temperature, 2 = open, 3 = short

Service Test - 59: Ice Maker Motor Result -
SW3 Activates Motor Sequence - and displays 01-, then pressing SW3, displays a flashing 10 for 70 seconds then displays a flashing 02;
Then pressing SW3 displays 2-, so pressing SW3 again displays 30 briefly then changes display flashing 01

SW3 to activate
Digit 1 (0 = motor off, 1 = motor rotating clockwise until home position, 2 = motor off, 3 = motor rotating counterclockwise until home position)
Digit 2 (0 = in progress, 1 = harvesting completed, 2 = harvesting not completed)

Service Test - 67: Water Filter Switch Status Results - A. With filter installed and filter door closed, display is 02 (switch closed, filter not installed);
B. With filter installed and the filter door is opened the display is 01 (switch open, filter installed)

(01 = switch open, filter installed, 02 = switch closed, filter not installed).
 

rickgburton

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Just because the defrost thermostat status changed from closed to open doesn't mean there's anything wrong. It could have just completed a defrost cycle or the door was open for a long time or even unplugged for a while. Do you have a defrost problem?
 

Ken Frisbie

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Thank you for your reply! What would be the signs of a defrost problem? I have not seen frost in the refrigerator or freezer nor any signs of melting and refreezing in the freezer nor around the ice maker. Have not seen any water running down the walls of the refrigerator. What shall I look for?
 

Ken Frisbie

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Cooling Problems? No, we don't believe so! How do I observe the evaporator coils? From the Parts list it looks like it is probably behind the Freezer Drawers. Do I need to remove the drawers and coverings?
Should I change the Defrost Mode in Service Test 7?
Should I check the Refrigerator and Freezer temperatures?
I am just guessing at what to do next.
 

rickgburton

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Ken Frisbie said:
I am just guessing at what to do next.
Change defrost? Checking the evaporator for a defrost problem? When you're up to your ass in alligators it's hard to remember your initial objective was to drain the swamp....LOL Quit messing around with all the service tests, replace the receiver and you're done.
 

Ken Frisbie

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I have been meaning to follow up as my several problem(s) have been resolved. After my last post, the bottom freezer frosted up and warmed (the bi-metal problem). I called in the service man and had him fix that (BI-METAL ASSEMBLY WPW10514110) as well as the ice level sensor problem. He ordered both the receiver (W10898445) (just in case) and the emitter (W10870822), and I lucked out as the emitter was all I needed for the ice level sensor issue. Problem solved and it made ice like crazy for a month. Then a month later the freezer frosted up and warmed again and had to replace the main control panel (WPW10589838) on the back of the refrigerator.

Knock on wood, it has been working as expected since. Total cost was around $700 including 2 each diagnostic and repair trips. The Genuine Whirlpool parts were considerably less expensive than everything I found online.

We are very pleased with our local Appliance store service department and Technician, but we will be wary of Whirlpool products in the future. We bought that refrigerator in August of 2015. Also bought a gas stove and a microwave at the same time (All Whirlpool)

Thanks Rick!
 
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