Kenmore icemaker inop

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Old 04-08-10, 03:08 PM
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Kenmore icemaker inop

Kenmore side by side refrig/freezer model 106 56532400.
The icemaker "froze" in a position where it wouldn't eject the ice cubes into the hopper. Stayed that way for approx 8 hrs.
I removed the icemaker, thalled and dumped the ice cubes out then reinstalled the ice maker. It seemed to work fine for a few day's then quit making ice. The icemaker "froze" in the position where it needed to turn the water on to fill the tray but wouldn't fill. I turned the frig off for approx 60 secs then back on. It made only one more tray of ice over the course of the 3 days it took for the new icemaker to arrivethat I ordered from Sears. I replaced the whole ice maker assembly w/the new one and it made one tray of ice and thats it.
The red light on the photo cell that detects when the hopper is full flashes red when the door is open and when I manually depress the freezer light switch it goes out. The flapper that opens to block the photo cell doesn't seem to effect the red light no matter if it's open or closed.
Any suggestions?
Thanks
Dave
 
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Old 04-08-10, 11:01 PM
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With the freezer door open, the red light should flash two times with a pause. if you push the flapper closed the red led light should stay on steady. The trick here is, the ice maker needs to be in the "parked" position to read the led properly. If the ice maker is stalled mid cycle it will not indicate properly. The "parked" position for the ice maker is the rotating arm just starting to mesh with the stripper (stationary fingers).

If you press the flapper and you are still getting two flashes then a pause from the red led light, chances are the optics board is defective. Both boards on the left and right side are changed as a set.
 
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Old 04-09-10, 12:37 PM
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Thanks for the reply gdoug.
With the door open the led flashes twice then pauses. It does the same no matter if the flapper is in or out. When I turn the light out the led goes off, no matter the position of the flapper.
The rotating arm is about at the 2 oclock position. So it is not parked correctly as you said. It's stalled there.

Is there any way to test to see if the optics board is bad/good?
Is there any way to get the rotating arm back to the proper position?
Thanks
Dave

Originally Posted by gdoug View Post
With the freezer door open, the red light should flash two times with a pause. if you push the flapper closed the red led light should stay on steady. The trick here is, the ice maker needs to be in the "parked" position to read the led properly. If the ice maker is stalled mid cycle it will not indicate properly. The "parked" position for the ice maker is the rotating arm just starting to mesh with the stripper (stationary fingers).

If you press the flapper and you are still getting two flashes then a pause from the red led light, chances are the optics board is defective. Both boards on the left and right side are changed as a set.
 
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Old 04-16-10, 06:46 PM
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Update

I ordered an ice maker repair manual from Sears and after I recieved it I unfortunately learned that it doesn't cover models w/the optic controls but it does give a good overview, but not worth $34.00 for my model......

This thing is very baffleing. It will make ice, maybe a couple trays over the course of 8 hrs. If I let it, it would probably fill up the bin in about a week.......

This is what I've just observed. (ice hard in tray, scraper almost touching the cubes)
1) With the door open, light on and flapper open the optic led flashes twice and pauses.
2) With the door open I closed the flapper and the optic led still double flashed and paused.
3) With the door open, flapper closed and the light off, the led went to a steady on-off-on-off blink and the scraper arm rotated and dumped a load of ice cubes in the bin.
It almost appears that when I manually turned the light off 1st, before I closed the flapper is when I got the steady blinking LED and that is the indication I believe it has when it's operating properly.

Now, I've gone back to check it after I heard it dump the ice and it has filled the tray with water but I'm getting different light indications. Scraper is at approx 11 oclock position (almost straight up).
1) With door open, light on, flapper open I get 2 flashes and a pause.
2) With flapper closed and door open/light on I get a steady on LED.
3) I then turn off the light with the flapper closed and the LED goes out. This is almost opposite from the 1st indication.

I dunno. Perhaps the LED flashes at different rates dependant upon the position of the gear that turns the scraper. I took the old one apart and the large gear opens and closes several contacts as it rotates.

Could the optics cause intermittent operation like this?
Could this new electric motor/gear assembly in the brand new ice maker be bad?

I may power it down, take both optics boards out, check for any physical problems, let them bleed down then reinstall & try again.
At $84 plus shipping I'm not ready to order just yet....
 
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Old 05-13-10, 03:00 PM
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Final update

I found out by accident that I could get the icemaker to work by opening the freezer door and alternately opening and closing the flapper door while doing the same w/the light switch.
If when I openned the door and closed the flapper the LED would pulse on/off twice (with the scraper "parked") I knew it wasn't working so I'd then use the above alternating method and finally get the solid LED. This would work for a while. It would keep the hopper filled but I'd have check it 3 - 4 times a day.
I broke down and ordered the new optics. A large $100 bill including S&H. The single part # comes w/both the transmitter and reciever boards. An instruction/troubleshooting sheet also came with them. Got it in 3 days.
According to the troubleshooting sheet, my optics were infact defective.
Replaced the optics and I'm getting the correct LED indication in every mode.
Now awaiting the sound of falling icecubes.
Dave
 
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Old 05-13-10, 04:08 PM
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Not real fmiliar with icemakers. Optics, eh? Did you try to figure out why the optics went bad with the old one? Hopefully it wasn't something as simple as the optic fogged or something. Inquiring minds have to know. I always try to figure out if even companies make something to appear to fail, when in reality it may be something simple, for profit.
 
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Old 05-13-10, 07:48 PM
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Optics

This particular model uses a photocell to cutoff ice production when the ice piles up in the bin and blocks the beam. It's a far cry from the lever type control I was used to.

This photocell setup uses two solid state circuit boards. The transmitter board on the freezer's right hand side and the reciever board on the left.
Like gdoug pointed out in his reply, they are swapped out as a pair. Why? I dunno, could be the freezer environment or could be they are matched. Sears combines them under one part number.

I did wipe the optic's lenses down and did a couple power cycles but the icemaker continued to work very intermittently. Theres a small sealed relay on the transmitter board and a couple diodes & resistors, the rest is some type of solid state circuitry. I try to never say never but I doubt I could repair these board(s) down to the component level. I probably couldn't even unsolder a couple of the smaller IC's.

I've been hearing the sweet sound of ice cubes falling into the bin all evening now
This frig is approx 5 yrs old and in this time I've replaced the icemaker's motor assembly once, the entire icemaker assembly and now the optics boards. I probably didn't need to replace the entire icemaker this last time as it appears the optics was the problem.
Why did they fail? hard to say. The icemaker assembly has a small AC motor the turns the ice scraper arms as well as trips contacts at certain posistions to energize other related circiuts such as the heater to loosen the cubes in the tray to be scaped into the bin, the water inlet valve and to control the 2 optic boards. Thats alot of electronics in that freezing environment.
Course the Kenmore frig we had before this one lasted over 16 yrs and that includes the icemaker, but it didn't have quite the electronics as this newer one.
 
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