Appliance Repair Blog

Thoughts and commentary about appliance repair topics including common failures and repairs, plus links to frequently used parts, industry news, along with information to help you better understand your appliances. Resources available for the technical professional and the do-it-yourselfer.

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Model #KSRG25FKBT03icon, this side by side refrigerator was making ice, but would not dispense the ice when the lever was pressed. Normally the sound of the auger motor would be heard when the ice chute door opened, but now nothing. The customer tried to change the selection on the dispenser front from cubed to crushed, with the same results. At least the manual method, reaching into the ice bucket, was still working until service could arrive to repair the problem.

Ice dispensers vary in design and operation from one manufacture to another and in some cases, model to model. Many have ice bins mounted high in the freezer section, while others will be mounted inside the freezer door. But one thing that is going to be common is a motor turning an auger of some design to move ice toward the dispenser chute and some means to dispense either crushed or cubed ice.

The ice bin on this model refrigerator is mounted in the top of the door and uses a vertical auger to draw cubes toward the opening to be dispensed. Depending on the rotation of the motor, the auger can provide for cubed or crushed ice as selected by the dispenser. The bin can be removed from the door for ease of cleaning and attaches to the motor drive shaft by a spring loaded metal coupler. This keeps the motor out of the way, and allows for a simple connection point to limit potential drive failures.

Since the unit was not dispensing ice at all, I went straight to the motor to see if I could find voltage going to the motor. This is a logical place to begin my search because it is easy to get to, and if I have voltage but no motor operation, well I don't need to look much further to find which refrigerator part has failed. Plus, it is the more logical of places to start if one were to play the odds. Never to take guesses, I used my multimeter to check for voltage to the motor when the dispenser lever was pressed.

A couple things to keep in mind when doing this. First, the door must be closed, or at least the door switch must be closed or current will not flow. The voltage circuit for the dispenser goes through the switch so if nothing on the dispenser works, that might be a good place to look. Second, the motor used for this auger has several wires leading to it, but we are only concerned with two of them as the others are for directional control.

With the door switch actuated and my meter leads in the connector, I pressed the ice lever sending 117 volts AC to the motor. Just as I suspected, voltage was present, but the motor wasn't working. Time to replace the motor. But before we get to deep into this, as I have said before, it's a good idea to figure out why things fail to hopefully prevent it from happening again.

The design of this motor and shaft has the potential for moisture to get into the motor cavity and start to cause problems if the shaft seal begins to fail. Take a look at the top photo and see how much water is around the opening. Once the water gets past the seal, it can follow the shaft all the way to the motor and begin collecting on the lower cover. Since it's just as cold around the motor as the rest of the freezer, ice begins to form and if the right circumstances come together, the motor and it's internal inverter board fail.

To fix this problem, I cleaned and dried as much water as I could find, then installed a new auger motoricon onto the mount. I then pulled the shaft out by removing the two screws on either side of the coupler and cleared all the ice and debris from the opening. Before putting the shaft back in place, I installed a new shaft sealicon, to help keep the water out. Once back together, the door was closed, and the ice paddles depressed. The familiar drive motor sound could be heard which meant ice was ready to be dispensed.

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Anonymous said...

This 'repair blog' is not correct!! Information I get from the Inet is often very helpful, but this may have cost me a motor! The motor is DC only, and direction is controlled via curent direction from the controller board! The other wires are NOT directional control, but a thermistor to indicate to the controller board that the motor is not overheating. Puting AC onto the motor conenction might destroy the motor (as it did for me -- costing me about $1000) Would be nice if posters would know what they are talking about before providing such information!

TechnicianBrian said...

I am very sorry you may have caused damage to your motor, but I must point out a few things about your comment that are incorrect. The model refered to in this post uses an AC motor to drive the ice auger. Current flowes through the dispenser panel and the dirrection is dependant on which terminal connections are powered. The motor you are refering to is used in the Whirlpool Fast Fill dispenser system and yes, the direction is controlled by current flow from the control board. The motor also has its own inverter board to convert AC into DC for use by the motor. Two different series refrigerators, the motors are located in completely different locations and are not interchangeable. It is unfortunate if you did find the information in this post confusing, but that is why each post begins with a full model number of the product being serviced. Just because something looks the same, doesn't mean it works the same. As I said, they are two different refrigerators with really no interchangeable parts. Also, I hope you didn't waste $1000 on a motor as they are available from Appliance Parts Pros for $93.52 for your refrigerator. Thank you for visiting, and I hope you confirm any information you get off the internet before spending to much money. I can be reached via email if you need any further assistance.

Mike said...

Good information, but can you clarify if the motor pictured, 2198594, and the linked part item #32, WP# 2188869 does or does not have its own inverter board to convert AC into DC for use by the motor? I have the same motor in my Kenmore ice dispenser which I was planning to replace on Monday because it did not work (has 115 ac at motor, but no 115 dc. Thanks.

TechnicianBrian said...

Hey Mike, the two part numbers you provided will get you the same part which is an AC auger motor. It is located inside the freezer door under dispenser bumpout and is accessable by removing a panel. The refrigerators with the DC motor have the motor mounted behind the dispenser housing and are accessable by removing the dispenser. They also have blue connectors so as not to get them confused. So if yours is the AC version and you have voltage to the motor but it doesn't work, the motor must be bad.

Mike said...

O.K. So the inverter is not in the motor? I should have 115ac at the motor (have on pins3&5)as well as 115dc (zero DC pins 1&2 &/or 6&7). I have good ac at the motor and dispenser control board but zeor dc at all test points. Just don't know if the inverter is in the motor or dispenser board?? Thanks again,

TechnicianBrian said...

Mike, it would be easier to assist via email and if I knew which model refrigerator you are working on. Use my contact page to provide the information and I will see what I can do to help.

Anonymous said...

More info -- In my previous comment I indicated that the motor was DC -- it is. My KAid model is KSRS25RSBL00 (side by side) and your photos look identical to my refrig layout, etc. The motor assy. No. is: 2252130, and costs about $100 (not $1000 -- my bad). There are 5 pins on the assy for the motor connection to the control board, 2 are for the DC motor connection, 2 are for the thermistor, and one is 'blank'.

Providing the motor assy part number would help clarify the differences, since they look similar.


TechnicianBrian said...

You are correct that your motor is a DC motor as your refrigerator has a fast fill dispenser. That is the reason I provide model numbers for the appliances so readers can determine if the information is applicable to their model. I don't provide part numbers because the same part may not be utilized the same way in a different model. The motors do look alike, but are located in two different areas of the freezer door and use different colored connectors for clarification.

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