Model #FRS20ZGGB0, this side by side refrigerator stopped making ice a few weeks ago and the man of the house decided to do a little research, save some money and fix it himself. He started with the logical point of failure, the ice maker itself, and after replacing it there still wasn't any ice. Then after doing some more tinkering and getting some actual advice online, he proceeded to replace the dual water valve with out any luck. After a few weeks and well over $100 dollars, the lady of the house called for service to get the ice maker working again.
Now this post isn't meant to poke fun at the DIY'ers or even to discourage people from trying. As a professional technician, I want people to learn as much as they want to about their appliances and how they work. The more you know will allow you to be better informed when you do need to call for service and to avoid getting scammed by those technicians that like to be less honest than the rest of us. There are many repairs that the average person can do to save some money by doing it themselves. Just know when to stop and ask for help before things get more expensive than it would have been to have it fixed by a professional.
Even though the customer had already replaced some components, I started as I normally would by verifying the failure, then proceeded with my normal coarse of diagnosis. Many ice makers that are part of the freezer are simple self contained machines that only require an external power and water source to make ice. This makes the trouble shooting process simple because if those two things are available, the ice maker itself becomes the likely failure.
Using my multimeter, I verified voltage to the ice maker and the customer confirmed they had seen it cycle several times recently. So with power present, that only leaves water as the missing component. Water was coming out of the dispenser, so we know water isn't turned off, which leaves the valves as a possible failure point. The customer had already replaced the dual valve and its clean appearance within the rather dusty mechanical compartment confirmed this. Using my multimeter, I set out to check for voltage to the water valves which is controlled by the ice maker itself. Think of the ice maker as a simple timer that turns on and off the various components at set times. With the ice maker cycling, I found voltage to both water valves indicating we still have power present and the ice maker is working.
Now as I said, I had power to both valves. This is the one piece of information that customer didn't have when he replaced the dual water valve on the left side of the compartment. Had he known there was another valve on the right side, he may be resolved the problem himself, albeit after spending more money. On this model, there is a set of valves on the inlet side of the water system and one on the outlet side. The reason for this is to allow the water filter to be replaced without turning off the water at the source. It also offers a bit of safety because two valves would need to fail in the open position to cause a flood. But if you don't know to look for this other set of valves, well then you may need to call a professional for help.
I did a resistance check of each valve and found the inlet valve was reading as an open circuit. If current can't flow, no magnetic field will develop to open the valve. So by replacing the failed water valve, I was able to cycle the ice maker and had water in the mold before I left the home. The customer was glad to have ice again and thought it best to call for assistance in the future. I told him either way, I was here to help.
Presented by - All Tech Appliance Service, your Portland Oregon appliance repair company. We service many brands of refrigerators, washers, dryers, ranges, dishwashers, freezers, ovens and microwaves including popular brands like Whirlpool, Kenmore, Maytag, Frigidaire, Amana, GE, Jenn Air, Ikea, Sears, Estate, Roper, Electrolux, KitchenAid, Fisher & Paykel and more. We also provide preventative appliance maintenance, dryer vent cleaning, replacement appliance installation, and property management appliance service. Visit us online at www.AllTechAppliance.com
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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