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- > Do-It-Yourself Appliance Repair Help > The Kitchen Appliance Repair Forum > What's wrong with my ice maker? Kenmore 106.56666500 (made by Whirlpool)

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What's wrong with my ice maker? Kenmore 106.56666500 (made by Whirlpool)  Rating:  Rating
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 Posted: Wed Jul 2nd, 2008 11:57 pm
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dufftime
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Hello appliance gurus!

Model:  Kenmore 106.56666500 side-by-side, manufactured by Whirlpool according to Samurai's Kenmore model chart.  The build date is 06/2005.

Ice maker:  It's the in-door type that uses optical sensors to determine if the ice bin is full.

Problem:  Water is not dispensing into the ice maker mold.

I did quite a bit of troubleshooting over the weekend, continuing into today and am on the verge of (gasp!) calling the fridge repairman on what appears to be a simple part swap-out.  I found a repair manual in PDF format which has gotten me to where I am now.

The ice maker stopped making ice about 3 weeks ago.  Here's what I know:
  • The water dispenser is working (meaning I can get cold water from the front of the unit into my cup), so plenty of water pressure.
  • The ice auger is working - but I'm pretty sure this is unrelated.
  • The valve/solenoid unit found at the bottom-rear of the fridge is functional.  This is the plastic unit with one valve to the water dispenser and the other to the ice dispenser.  I sent 110V to the ice maker's side solenoid and water was dispensed into the ice maker.
  • I jumped the T and H holes in the motor which triggered the "harvest" mode, during which time I felt the mold heat up, the "harvest fingers" moving around a full revolution, and after removing the jumper saw the water dispense after passing 10 o'clock.
  • The ice cubes created from the jumper test have been in the mold for about 75 minutes (no "re-harvest").  I read somewhere it should be about every 50 minutes.
As far as I can tell (and this is just from reading posts on the web), this means everything is working :?  Could it be the freezer side isn't cold enough?

Can someone point me to the next troubleshooting step?  I have a multimeter if it helps.

All and any responses appreciated! :D

Thanks,
Dufftime

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 Posted: Thu Jul 3rd, 2008 12:16 am
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dufftime
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My apologies.  I also should have mentioned the optical troubleshooting tests passed (e.g. 2 LED flashes goes to solid LED when the emitter door is pressed down).
 

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 Posted: Thu Jul 3rd, 2008 12:19 am
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RTFM
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im assuming you had the sensor door held in while you jumped out the ice maker. normally if you dont , you wont get power to the icemaker. that said, yeah i would check your temps in the freezer at the icemaker. either it isnt cold enough to trigger a harvest or the temp switch in the ice maker is bad, thats what you jumpered across. dont check the air temp, check the mold temp for a true ice temp. you may wanna check the copper busses on the back of the ice maker module for burnt spots as well.

you can also bypass the optical switch on the reciever board. its the one on the right. turn off the power take the 3 screws out and pull the molex connector off the board, using an INSULATED paperclip jumper the 2 black wires (right next to each other) on the molex. when you restore power this will instantly start a harvest cycle IF the temp switch in the icemaker is closed AND the module head is functioning correctly.

Last edited on Thu Jul 3rd, 2008 12:23 am by RTFM



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 Posted: Thu Jul 3rd, 2008 12:25 am
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Pegi
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It is about 2 hours for the freeze time for the ice, that 50 minutes is the time out on the system after working on it to get the ice maker to go thru a test....so wait for 2-3 hours to see if it dumps ice, and yes the freezer needs to be around 0 degrees.  Need a thermometer in there to moniter it, opening the door to check progress will make the ice maker take more time also as warm air will go into the compartment...



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 Posted: Thu Jul 3rd, 2008 03:33 pm
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dufftime
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Thank you RTFM and Pegi for the replies. :D

The ice cubes are still in the mold from yesterday - no harvest cycle.  I
guess we can assume it's the freezer temp, temp sensor, or temp switch.

I went ahead and ordered an infrared thermometer from Amazon (Mastercool MSC52224A) and should be receiving it sometime next week.  I don't think it's the freezer temp but this can be useful around the house (checking A/C unit, the CPU and vid card temps on my computer, oil while cooking), plus it looks fun.  I'm such a geek! :P

I'll look for burnt spots on the copper and run the jump-black-to-black-sensor test this afternoon and post the findings.  What would the burnt spots imply?

Thanks again!
Dufftime

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 Posted: Thu Jul 3rd, 2008 03:37 pm
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Pegi
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 What would the burnt spots imply?
If on the module head would need to replace the head or the icemaker....

Should be able to remove the cover, jump t-h with the door switch held closed to see if it starts moving into the harvest cycle...



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 Posted: Thu Jul 3rd, 2008 05:41 pm
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dufftime
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I removed the ice maker to check for burn spots on the copper wiring; I assume this is the copper that is distributed across the back of the brown/tan plastic cover.  No burn spots and everything looks fine.

When I went to remove the ice maker, I found the ice that was there this morning to be half melted with the harvest fingers down near the 6 o'clock position.  Does this mean anything like the harvest cycle started?

Lastly, I did jump the 2 black wires inside the receiver board's molex and let the freezer sit closed for about 30 minutes to give it enough time to cool and nothing.

For my next step should I just wait for my IR thermometer to arrive?

Thanks again everyone!
Dufftime

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 Posted: Thu Jul 3rd, 2008 06:00 pm
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Pegi
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When I went to remove the ice maker, I found the ice that was there this morning to be half melted with the harvest fingers down near the 6 o'clock position.  Does this mean anything like the harvest cycle started?

_______________________________________________________
This means you have a very very sick module head and might catch on fire next...please replace either the whole module head or the whole ice maker, we have seen these melt down and catch on fire....



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 Posted: Thu Jul 3rd, 2008 06:25 pm
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dufftime
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Thanks again for the reply Pegi.  It feels like an accomplishment to finally narrow down the problem although you did all the real work :)

I went to repairclinic.com and did a search on my fridge's model # and got several results.

Is this the replacement part for the entire ice maker?  It's odd that it includes the wire arm for the ice detection (for in-freezer storage... mine in in-door).
http://www.repairclinic.com/SmartSearch/SSPartDetail.aspx?PartID=1857&PPStack=1

Or can I get by with just this?
http://www.repairclinic.com/SmartSearch/SSPartDetail.aspx?PartID=961550&PPStack=1

I don't mind buying the entire ice maker if it will guarantee a fix.  I'd prefer not to deal with the hassle of returning or exchanging the item.

Thanks,
Dufftime

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 Posted: Thu Jul 3rd, 2008 06:38 pm
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spud65
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this is the correct icemaker for your model # http://www.repairclinic.com/SmartSearch/SSPartDetail.aspx?PartID=1016069&PPStack=1

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 Posted: Fri Jul 4th, 2008 06:10 pm
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dufftime
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Thank you spud65.  I just placed the order and will post an update once it's installed.

Happy 4th everyone, and thanks again for all the help!

Dufftime

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 Posted: Sat Jul 12th, 2008 01:49 pm
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dufftime
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Hello!  I just wanted to drop a note to say my ice maker is working again.  I had a celebratory drink using my newly made ice cubes last night.

My thermometer arrived from Amazon last Tuesday, which I used to verify the ice mold was indeed < 0 degrees.  I thought "it has to be the ice maker motor" but I was still unsure... The replacement ice maker arrived yesterday and was installed in about 5 minutes (I have taken that thing out so many times I could do it blindfolded now :)).  10 minutes after installing I felt the fingers moving so I knew it was starting a harvest! :D

I wanted to thank everyone here for their assistance.  Although I wish the replacement part was less (total ~$170 w/ shipping), it still felt great to fix it myself and save on the repairman house call.

Cheers!
Dufftime

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