Appliance Repair Blog

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Model #KUIA15NRHS6icon, this freestanding, clear ice maker was making all the normal sounds and even seemed to be cooling, but there was no ice to be found. Upon my arrival, I found the unit cooling and the evaporator plate was very cold to the touch indicating the sealed system was working properly. The reservoir was full of water, but the final ingredient to this unit making ice, recirculating water, didn't seem to be working. With my search narrowed down, I jumped in to find what had stopped the ice production.



These freestanding ice makers are generally rated by their ability to make large amounts of clear ice. Most ice production from household methods comes out a bit cloudy if you take a close look at the cubes and this is generally due to impurities that are found in most water supplies. Water filters will reduce this, but cloudy ice is a product of how this ice is produced. Clear ice makers on the other hand don't freeze water in molds, but rather, build it up in layers which reduces the impurities and thus, gives a nice clear ice cube when complete. People claim they can taste the difference in the two, but it all seems to taste the same to me.

This ice maker produces clear ice by recirculating water over a refrigerated plate which causes the water to crystallize in thin layers. The water is added to a reservoir by a fill valve and a recirculating pump literally creates a water fall over the plate, and the ice slap grows rather quickly due to the very cold evaporator plate. Once the slap has reached the correct thickness, a refrigerator part called a reversing valve is used to reverse the refrigerant flow, causing the warmer refrigerant to flow through the evaporator plate which begins to melt the slab of ice. It doesn't take much before the slab breaks free, and slides onto the cutting grid. This grid of wire has a small current flowing through which produces just enough heat to start cutting into the slab. After several minuets, the slab will be cut into several cubes and falls into the ice bin. This process continues until the bin is full, and because the ice production is quite fast, owners of these units are rarely out of ice.

Unfortunately for this customer, they had been out of ice for some time and really wanted to get their ice maker repaired. As I mentioned above, the one sound I didn't hear was the flow of water over the plate from the recirculation pump. The pump is located in the water reservoir in back of the bin and by removing one screw and cover, can at least be accessed for testing. With the ice maker operating, I used my meter to check for voltage to the pump at the connector on the right. My readings indicated voltage to the pump, which means the pump has failed.

I installed a new recirculation pumpicon in place of the failed component, and started a new production cycle to make sure everything was working. The reservoir filled with water and the compressor came to life. After the normal two minute delay, the pump turned on cascading water over the evaporator plate. It took just 15 minutes for the first ice slab to form, and another was starting as I walked out the door.

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