Model #KSRS27ILSS01, this side by side refrigerator had worked fine for years, but just recently it stopped making ice. Ice makers not producing ice can usually be reduced down to a few simple causes, and once you know what to look for and where to look, the repair can usually be made easily and in a short period of time. After I started my trouble shooting routine, the reason for the failure become obvious, but the cause took a bit more investigation.
Ice makers have become very commonplace in refrigerators these days, and if you are someone that enjoys the convenience of having ice available simply by pressing a button, it can be rather frustrating when the unit stops functioning. Most ice makers are automated in their operation and require only a source of electricity, a water supply, and cold air in order to produce ice. If the ice maker looses any single item, or it fails itself, the ice production will decrease or stop altogether. By checking each item, we can usually determine where a failure has occurred and get the unit back up and running.
On this unit, the first thing I noticed was the end of the fill tube was frozen and blocked with ice at the point it enters the fill cup of the ice maker. If no water can get to the ice maker, the ice maker isn’t going to work. This has been an issue on many of these refrigerators with the in the door ice buckets, and the repair can be quickly completed as I outlined in a post Kitchenaid Refrigerator Frozen Icemaker. But the difference I noticed on this model was the ice wasn’t contained to the fill tube, but the fill cup was iced up as well (see photo above). This would indicate water was most likely still flowing into the ice maker fill cup even after it was turned off.
Water to the ice maker comes from the house source via an assembly that usually will consist of one or more water valves. These valves are held shut by water pressure from the line, and are opened by energizing an electromagnetic coil. This ensures the valves will fail in the safe or closed position should there be a problem. But if the valve is unable to completely seal closed, water will leak past the valve and enter the fill tube.
I removed the ice maker from the freezer and cleared out all the ice stuck within the fill tube and fill cup. After reinstalling the ice maker, I started a harvest cycle which allowed me to visually see the ice maker operate mechanically and fill with water. Everything worked as expected, but the thing that seemed out of the ordinary was once the valve turned off, water continued to drip from the fill tube. Looking like I found the problem, I removed the old valve assembly and installed a new water inlet valve using the new quick connectors. After turning the water back on to the unit, I started another harvest cycle, but this time, when the valve turned off, the water stopped flowing.
Just a note: when replacing water valves, the new valve may be an updated version and may not look identical to the one you are replacing. Often times, like on this one, the old valve used screw on compression fittings that need to be cut off to allow the water lines to slide into the new style quick connectors.