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Ice maker limit switch

Discussion in 'Electronic Design' started by Richard Henry, May 21, 2008.

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  1. The ice maker in the coffee rrom at work has a little metal arm that
    raises up when new cubes are dumped from the freeezer tray and then
    attempts to return to its rest position. If the arm cannot go all the
    way down the presumption is that the ice cube holder is full and and
    no more cubes will be added.

    However, several times a week a cube gets pinched betwen the arm and
    the side of the motor housing, permanently shutting off the supply of
    new cubes. Whenever I got ice, I check the ice maker condition and
    repair it by knocking the jammed cube loose with a spatula from the
    tool drawer.

    This got me to thinking - how bad could hte failure be if we
    completely removed the limit switch arm? Would ice cubes completely
    fill the freezer compartment, eventually forcing open the door and
    flodding the floor?
     
  2. neon

    neon

    1,325
    0
    Oct 21, 2006
    never repair something that itis not broken.IF you remove the arm then water will never stop coming into the ice maker and ice will biuld up to where dislodging them with a spatula will not work anymore. but what do i know try it and let me know.
     
  3. ehsjr

    ehsjr Guest

    How hard/easy is the repair to do? I have to do
    something about mine - it's making ice a lot slower
    than it used to.

    Ed
     
  4. mpm

    mpm Guest

    Actually, its' not quite this simple. Several things could be going
    wrong.
    (I've fixed a few of these over the years....)

    First, the problem is the cube gets stuck, not the arm.
    This entire gadget actually works off a simple timer/switch
    mechanism. (Sort of like those used on an old washing machine).

    The heater will turn off, even if the ice cubes are not ejected.
    (Remember it's based only on time.)
    And of course, if they don't eject properly, the ice will then re-
    freeze when the heater turns off, only now, the ice is stuck to the
    little plastic white parts and will never un-stick because the plastic
    isn't heated.

    What actually causes this is micro-imperfections in the plastic tray.
    (Could also be dirty, so disassemble and try to clean, if possible.)
    Most icemakers install with just 3 screws, and 1 Molex type connector
    way in the back. There's also an overflow drain. Believe it or not,
    the tray fills via timer also. No float mechanism!

    Anyway, when the plastic tray gets worn (hard to believe water alone
    can do that, but I guess solid ice has more friction), the ice won't
    budge. Usually, these are half-moon shaped ice pieces, and they just
    get pushed out - the tray itself is not heated, just the metal parts
    that separate the cubes. (The metal parts actually slice the ice AS
    it is being pushed out of the tray.)

    I suppose it is possible that the motor switch (all 1 piece, which
    typically uses contact brushes) could be failing to engage the heater
    for a portion of it's "On" time, in which case, you would probably
    have ice stuck in a different position. Not as you described - i.e.,
    between arm and motor housing. So my guess is the heater is just
    fine. Esp. if subsequent batches eject correctly.

    I would take the whole unit out, let any ice in it melt, then clean
    the tray and re-assemble.
    That might get you another year or so of life, but you're best bet is
    to either replace the white platic ice tray part, or the whole damn
    thing. Whichever is cheaper.

    The limit switch is very likely NOT what is causing the ice cubes to
    stick. FWIW.

    Referigerator Repairman - One of my many undocumented talents!
    Good luck!
    -mpm
     
  5. mpm

    mpm Guest

    I'm officially envious now....
    SubZero makes some really, really nice ice makers!!

    Mine (part of fridge) makes this half-moon shaped cubes, which I
    loathe.
    The conform almost perfectly to the size and shape of a tall Collins
    glass.
    Before too long, you're typically wearing a portion of your drink.
    Sooner, if the drink involves a good quantity of alcohol. :)
     
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