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The ice maker is installed in the freezer compartment of the refrigerator.  The ice maker has three distinct operations, to fill with water, freeze the water and harvest the ice cubes.

 

The freezer temperature determines the efficiency of an ice maker, the colder the temperature in the freezer the faster ice will freeze in the mold or tray.  In order for the ice maker to harvest the ice cubes, the temperature in the freezer should be colder than 12 degrees Fahrenheit.  The water supply is metered into the ice maker mold or tray by a water valve which is usually located in the compressor compartment. The water freezes in the ice maker tray as it would in a manual ice cube tray.

Ice makers have a thermostat that is mounted on the icemaker mold which will sense the temperature of the ice.  When the water and ice have cooled down to 17_3 degrees Fahrenheit, the thermostat will activate the ice maker motor and heater circuit.  The motor will rotate the ejector blade allowing it to rest on the ice cubes and at the same time exerting pressure.  The ice maker mold heater will warm up the ice cubes just enough to release the ice cubes from the mold.  This procedure will take approximately 3 to 5 minutes to release the ice cubes from the mold.  When the ice cubes become free from the ice maker mold the ejector blade will continue to rotate, scooping the ice cubes out of the ice maker mold and depositing them into the ice bucket.

The shut off arm moves up and down as the ice maker cycles.  At the end of the cycle the arm will lay on top of the ice cubes as the cubes fill the ice bucket.  The shut off arm raises to a designated point and turns off the ice maker, halting the ice production.  As the ice level in the bucket falls from use, the ice maker cycle will resume then the water valve opens again allowing the water to enter the ice maker mold to be frozen into ice cubes, beginning the cycle all over again.

If your ice maker has stopped producing ice or dumping the ice cubes out or will not fill with water there are ice maker replacement parts in most cases for most make and models to repair your ice maker.  The water inlet valve, module, ice lever/bale arm, ice maker mold with heater or drive gear.  In some cases you can purchase a brand new OEM ice maker or an ice maker kit that comes with an ice bucket and water fill valve for just about the same price that it will cost in parts to repair the old ice maker, not to mention your time and labor.