Water freezes before reaching icemaker

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Old 04-10-14, 05:15 PM
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Water freezes before reaching icemaker

I have a Frigidaire refrigerator with an ice maker that wants to do nothing but drizzle water into the ice bucket. It hasn't made any ice in about two days. I tried defrosting the icemaker itself with a hair blow drier, and I did get rid of all the visible traces of ice, but the problem didn't get any better.

Here is a photo of the problem:



As you can see, the water is freezing well before it gets to the ice tray. According to my remote thermometer, the freezer section gets down into the single digits (F) just a few minutes after the door is closed.

Is this something that might be cured if I shut down the fridge until it thaws through-and-through, or should I call a repairman?
 
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Old 04-10-14, 07:36 PM
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I don't think the water is freezing before it gets to the ice maker, I think it is either over flowing the ice tray, the cubes are not ejecting the ice tray, or there is a slow leak from the solenoid not closing.

I would start by shutting off the ice maker, removing it, and getting all the water out. While it is out, check with a meter to see if the tray heater is good. It heats up the tray a little so the ice cubes pop out easily. You may also want to make sure the filler tube is clear and properly mounted.

After the ice maker is dried out, reinstall it and see what happens.
 
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Old 04-10-14, 08:57 PM
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You're going to need to change the water fill solenoid. Water comes in at the red circle and you can see that's where it's frozen solid.

Definitely turn off the ice maker. You don't want the mechanism to be activated when frozen like that.... parts snap.

If you leave the model number I'll get more info.

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Old 04-11-14, 12:06 PM
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Once I got it away from the wall, I found there's been water running down the external plastic tube that runs from behind where the ice maker mounts in the freezer, down to the water valve at the base. And there was a puddle of water beneath the refrigerator. The frozen water is backed up the trough, all the way into the rear wall of the freezer.



Tolyn Ironhand, I have an ohm meter but about all I know how to do with it is turn it on. Am I testing for impedance? My wire color choices on the connector are blue, black, yellow and green/white.


PJmax, the model number is FRT21IL6JW2

What you're calling the solenoid, I'm guessing that's the same as what the diagram on the back of the fridge calls the "water valve"?
 
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Old 04-11-14, 12:23 PM
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Your testing resistance. Set your meter to ohms (Ω) Here is a short video that shows it. It might not be the exact same ice maker, but the process will be the same. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vtZ1jGO9kCI

However I think the water inlet valve (what we were calling the solenoid) is the issue. Read here:

"If the ice maker is overflowing the water pressure to the water inlet valve might be too low. The water inlet valve requires a minimum of 20 psi to shut off properly. If the pressure is lower, the valve may not close fully when the power is shut off. This results in the valve leaking water into the ice maker and causing it to overflow. If the water pressure is good, replace the water inlet valve."

Info found here: Refrigerator Ice Maker Overflowing - Repair Parts - RepairClinic.com
 
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Old 04-11-14, 12:52 PM
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If this is the solenoid, I've got it off the fridge, but don't see any obvious way to disconnect the blue tube.



How do I remove the blue tube? I've still got a couple of hours to get to the parts store this afternoon if I don't piddle too much.


Tolyn Ironhand, the wires on the solenoid were blue and yellow, so I'd guess the black and green/white were power to the heater.

With the meter set to 2000 ohms and the red lead in the green/white socket, when I touch the black lead to the heater coil, I consistently get a reading in the low 30s. Dunno if that's significant, but I have no idea what I'm doing.
 
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Old 04-11-14, 01:27 PM
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The blue tube might be held on with a barbed fitting. IF you have enough slack in the tube, just cut it off as close to the fitting as you can with a knife without damaging the fitting.
 
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Old 04-11-14, 01:59 PM
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The top of the tube unscrews from the coupling at the back of the ice maker. I took the whole shebang to the parts store and they showed me how to get the tube loose. Push in on the which plastic disk and the tube pulls out.

I ordered a replacement solenoid, $33 OTD, should be in Monday.


Did my meter test tell you anything useful? The folks at the parts store said it isn't uncommon for the solenoid and the ice maker to go bad in tandem, so I still might be in for a new ice maker, too.
 
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Old 04-11-14, 05:16 PM
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Did my meter test tell you anything useful?
Maybe. Getting some kind resistance is a good thing. I don't know what is supposed to be but 30 Ohms at 120 volts is about 500 watts which is believable.

When looking for parts, try to find the part number and then search that number with the part name. Searching for your model of fridge I found the inlet valve number as 242252603, and then searched "water inlet valve 242252603" on google. I found that part for $15 - $20 on eBay. IF you do end up buying an Ice maker I found some sites have it for over $100, while others have it for $50. It pays to shop around.
 
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Old 04-11-14, 05:58 PM
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The ice makers that are over 100.00 are usually factory type replacements.... OEM. The 50.00 ones are universal import units. I've had good luck with the imports. They aren't built as well as some of the original ones but should last several years.


Your problem is a defective water fill solenoid. Checking the resistance only tells you if it's working. Yours is leaking... it's bad. As long as the drive mechanism hasn't cracked from being in operation from all that ice.... you should be ok.
 
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Old 04-13-14, 10:50 AM
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Since the replacement solenoid wasn't going to arrive until Monday, I put it all back together, after it had sat unplugged for a few hours, with the freezer door standing open. It's making ice again now and there's no signs of leakage, but I'll be installing the new solenoid as soon as it arrives. And I'll keep an eye out for problem with the ice maker itself.

Thank you for your expertise, gents.
 
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Old 04-22-14, 12:34 PM
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I wanted to update this thread because thawing the ice maker and draining all the water from it worked miracles. I still haven't replaced the solenoid because it makes more ice and better ice than I can ever remember. It's been more than a week now and shows absolutely so signs of the leaking that had become so problematic before, so I am inclined to believe a bit of debris had got lodged in the solenoid and was preventing it closing. Draining the system appears to have flushed it out.

I'm still out the price of the solenoid, but I saved the cost of a service call, and I'm one spare part to the good. Such a deal!


I have no idea how people ever fixed stuff before they invented the Interwebs.
 
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Old 04-22-14, 08:50 PM
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I have no idea how people ever fixed stuff before they invented the Interwebs
They called service people like me.

It's good you have a spare water fill solenoid because yours could start leaking again.
 
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Old 07-24-14, 01:28 PM
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Well, PJmax. when you're right, you're right.

It'd had a couple of minor occurrences of dumping water into the ice bin, but nothing consequential enough to goad me into swapping out that solenoid. Until yesterday. It peed all over the kitchen floor. So last night, I finally put it in the new unit.

Fingers crossed.
 
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Old 07-24-14, 07:56 PM
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Fingers crossed

Usually once they leak..... they do it again. Good you had the spare ready to go .
 
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