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Thread: Icemaker driving me nuts...

  1. #1
    DIY Senior Member Pewterpower's Avatar
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    Default Icemaker driving me nuts...

    I have a Kenmore side by side with your typical ice maker in it. Except it's not making ice....
    The unit itself is working fine. What I've narrowed it down to is that the I/M is not sending enough power to the water solinoid to operate it properly.
    The solenoid itself is fine cuz I've switched the wires that go to the "water in the door" lever and I'm able to fill the ice tray by pressing the lever.
    The "water in the door" lever, when pressed, sends 110v to the solenoid. The Icemaker, when it asks for water, is only sending about 100v, so it is not opening and operating properly.
    I took a reading off the wire at the plug, right before it goes into the I/M and there is 110v going into the I/M but only 100v is making it to the solenoid.

    I replaced the I/M with a different unit and I am getting the exact same results.

    Why the heck is 110v going in, but only 100v coming out??? All contacts were cleaned and look good......

  2. #2
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    These things often use a crimped connection, and if someone got sloppy and didn't strip the wire first (most crimps require this, but not all), then you may have a high resistance connection. If it is 110 on the input and 100 on the output, that would be my first thought. If you take a small pin, you can pierce the insulation (be very careful and do it with the power off!), then measure the voltage after the connection. An alternative would be to cut it, then repair it with a wire nut. So, since the water switch seems to work, it sounds like it is the supply end of the connector going to the ice maker solenoid.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  3. #3
    DIY Senior Member Pewterpower's Avatar
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    The plug that comes from the fridge and goes into the icemaker seems to be OK. I can jump the two wires inside that plug and get 110v. It will also activate the solenoid and send water just like it's supposed to. But when I plug it back into the I/M, and the juice is flowing thru the I/M, then I'm only getting 100v out of the I/M and its not enough to activate the solenoid.

    That's why I figured my I/M was shot, so I got a replacement. But the replacement does the exact same thing. I suppose it's entirely possible that the replacement is bad too...........

    So maybe that plug on the soleniod is the villian? I'll check that tomorrow. Thanks.
    Last edited by Pewterpower; 05-22-2008 at 07:19 PM.

  4. #4
    DIY Senior Member Pewterpower's Avatar
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    The voltage drop is definately coming from the icemaker itself. All the wiring and connecters going to the the I/M read 117v. There are test points on the I/M read only in the 90s and that's all I was getting at the solenoid as well.
    I find it hard to believe that I bought a replacement I/M and it has the exact same problems as the original........ but I guess stranger things have happened.

  5. #5
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Default Im

    Operate the icemaker cycle manually and I think you will find that it works perfectly. The solenoid should operate at even less than 110v. Your problem may be a freezer that is not cold enough to initiate the icemaker cycle. If the IM does not get cold enough, it does not sense that the ice is frozen, so it NEVER begins the harvesting cycle, regardless of any outside conditions. Replacing the unit with the same results, implies that it IS a tempeature condition and not an electrical one.

  6. #6
    DIY Senior Member Pewterpower's Avatar
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    It harvests just fine. I can manually fill the ice tray/mold with water and it will make and eject ice cubes automatically just like it's supposed to.
    For some reason I can only get 90v to the solenoid, which is not enough. When I apply 110v to it, it works like a champ. (what I did was switch the wires from the I/M and the "water in the door" lever, so when I pressed that lever it would fill my I/M)

  7. #7
    write diagnostic firmware for embedded industrial digital cameras (aka machine vision) gdog's Avatar
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    Not sure if this is your issue but last two kenmore fridges we've had stop making ice when the water filter gets clogged up (after a few months). If you haven't replaced your fridge water filter in last 6 months, I would start there. The first couple of times it happened was still under warranty and the repair tech told me about it.

    FWIW

  8. #8

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    How about tracing the wires and doing some resistance checks. You have eliminated the switch in the IM as being the source of problem, so it has to be a connection somewhere in the wire loop ether to or from the IM. The wiring diagram on the back of the fridge should help. I would start at the solenoid and work my way in both directions.

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