Mon 23 Feb, 2009 01:57 pm
We've got a relatively new Kenmore refrigerator (<3 years old), with a standard upper freezer / lower refrigerator configuration, and an automatic icemaker.
For virtually the entire time we've owned this refrigerator, we've had problems with the icemaker. The problem is not the icemaker itself, or the cubes or the cycle - or anything like that. For some reason, after the icemaker makes cubes and drops them in the reservoir, periodically you'll go to take out some ice cubes, and the ice cubes are one solid mass of frozen ice cubes - all stuck together.
My best guess is the periodic no-frost cycle is running and is maybe running too long and raising the temperature in the freezer to rise enough that it causes the ice cubes to melt - and then the regular freezer blower cycle kicks back in, and voila - a solid mass of ice cubes.
Because of laziness/ingnorance/stupidity/fill-in-the-blank, we let the one-year warranty slip away from us, without calling Sears about the problem, and now I guess the fix is up to me. I've worked with automatic icemakers in the past and even prefabricated my own part once to replace a piece that broke due to temperature cracking/failure - so I know what I'm doing that regard. But the defrost cycle is a little different. I'm clueless where that's controlled from, but mostly I've got to believe that all I need to do is shorten the defrost cycle a little bit, to keep the ice cubes from getting up to a temperature where they actually start going back to a partially liquid state.
Any insights on any of this from the collective audience?
Check for a defective solenoid. It controls the water flow and it probably is sticking open and letting the ice tray overflow on to the icecubes below and creating a block of cubes. Any little piece of debris can keep the solenoid from fully closing.
This is a good theory, however I've monitored the icemaker cycle and the icemaker cycle is running exactly as it should and the ice cube reservoir is filling with exactly the right amount of water - and there is no spillage into the ice cube storage area.
I guess when I hear someone suggest the "solenoid" solution, I always harken back to the words from my father, and how when his car wouldn't start - someone would inevitably suggest there was something wrong with the solenoid on the starter. Well, in the now 40+ years that I've been driving, when I've had car starting difficulty - it has turned out that in virtually NONE of those instances was it EVER the solenoid. It was always the battery. That's why I always tend to default to the obvious solution any more - and not some obscure solution that has very little probability of being the problem.
Just a little bit of hard-learned folksy wisdom that I've gained from many, many years of experience.