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I have a Whirlpool french door refrigerator (model WRX988SIBM) with the ice dispenser in the door of the refrigerator and it quit making ice over 4 years ago now. I didn't use a ton of ice and just got used to filling some trays. It's not the simplest of ice makers so determining what is wrong isn't as simple as the old school ones.

What really has me perplexed is yesterday it started working again out of nowhere, made a full bucket of ice, and now it's back to not working. Clearly it has the capacity to make ice or this random incident wouldn't have happened. Does anyone have a clue where to even start with this?

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    Check the limit switch that's connected to the "bucket fill" rod. It might be out of whack. Make sure the ice machine is securely plugged in.
    – JACK
    Oct 27, 2022 at 20:50
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    Most answers here are making assumptions about the type of icemaker in this refrigerator. Can you add a photo? Not enough for an answer, but most built in icemakers have a 'test' button that will force the ice to dump from the tray and go through the motion of refilling - on mine, the 'ice full' bar is lifted, the ice dumped and the bar dropped to 'sense' the ice level. When cleaning the freezer, I have noticed that the condensation that accumulates, and freezes can sometimes cause the switch in the icebar to freeze shut (always full). If the icemaker can be removed and cleaned, give it a try
    – GCon
    Oct 29, 2022 at 6:40

6 Answers 6

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made a full bucket of ice

Could be all kinds of things, but since a full bucket normally requires several batches of ice, that could indicate a problem with the "bucket full" switch:

  • Switch stuck in "full" 4 years ago caused it to stop producing ice.
  • Switch suddenly reset, so it started making ice.
  • Bucket filled, switch turned off (i.e., indicating "full") and is now stuck at "full" again.

If you can figure out how to bypass the switch, it would be easy to see if that's the problem. Don't leave it bypassed though, unless you enjoy finding ice everywhere.

And if this is correct, it is actually an indication of good engineering design. You want the "bucket full" switch to fail "full" - better to not get any ice than to get way too much...

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    Tried that, it's an optical sensor so I taped the plastic piece that hides it and stops the ice maker and that didn't work. I ran a diagnostic test that I found online and it came back as "no cooling" Looks like it's around 14 degrees in there and it is supposed to be 10. Still no clue why it worked randomly. Oct 28, 2022 at 13:07
  • Generally temperature for residential refrigerator 32-40, freezer 0. But frost-free freezers (which almost all are except some standalone freezers) can vary a lot. But since temperature might be a factor, try adjusting the controls - unfortunately usually two, one for overall temperature, one for balance between refrigerator and freezer, with meaningless numbers instead of actual temperatures. Oct 28, 2022 at 14:16
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    @user1723699: "Top of the line" is almost always a bad choice. It's always about projecting an air of luxury/eliteness, not actually working well. I've never gone wrong with "lowest price that fits your constraints (size, etc.) and looks decent". Oct 28, 2022 at 16:12
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    @user1723699 Putting tape on top of an optical sensor would force it into "bucket is full" mode, though, wouldn't it? Or maybe I'm misunderstanding what you did?
    – Martha
    Oct 28, 2022 at 16:24
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    It's also possible that the water line to the ice maker froze up. In the old fridge I had, the water line for the ice maker branched off from the line to the water dispenser in the door so you could still get water but no ice. Something could have heated up the line to the ice maker just enough to clear the blockage.
    – vir
    Oct 28, 2022 at 18:53
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I had the same thing happen. Turns out, there's a bar that reaches out over the ice bucket, and when it empties its ice tray it slides the new ice under that bar. This pushes the bar up when the bucket is full.

Lifting the bar shuts off the ice maker.

You can also lift the bar by hand. If you lift it a little, it will spring back down when you let go (assuming the ice tray is not full). If you lift it farther, it will go past a detent and stay in the high position. This is intended as a manual shut-off.

If you didn't happen to know about that functionality, LOL, you might well bump it accidentally into a high position. And then 4 years later you might accidentally bump it into a low position, and suddenly the ice maker is at it again.

I would throw that ice away. That water has been sitting static in the feed line for 4 years. The city puts chlorine or chloramine in the water to sanitize it, but not that much. 1 or 2 ice batches should clear the line.

Keep in mind the ice maker doesn't magically fill the bucket in 1 stroke. It makes a small amount of ice in an internal ice tray (much like you do). Then when it has had time to freeze, it ejects that batch of ice into the bucket, and refills with water. It takes 3-10 such batches to fill the bucket. Each batch takes 3-6 hours depending on the model.

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  • I'm working under the assumption that OP did know about the bar and fiddled with it without success and that the microswitch it triggers is the problem. But yes, it could be user error. Oct 27, 2022 at 21:58
  • This ice maker doesn't have that. It is all in the ceiling of the refrigerator and dispenses into the french door. There isn't even a bar to fiddle with. Oct 28, 2022 at 13:09
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My ice maker also stops working periodically. Turning the fridge on and off seems to reset it. Try using the breaker to turn off the fridge for 5 min and see if it turns it back on. Perhaps you lost power without realizing it.

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I had the same issue with my Whirlpool French door fridge just last week. It had 2 cubes stuck between the tray and the bar, holding the bar in the up position. Those rascals didn't move when I took the basket out. I thought they would have easily fallen, but no! I and had to twist them to get them off the bar. Once removed got ice again and have been since.

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    In that case, the ice will eventually sublimate (turn from solid to vapor) due to the defrost cycle, so that problem should sort itself in a month or two. Oct 27, 2022 at 23:23
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    yeah, I need ice all day. I didn't wait that long.
    – RMDman
    Oct 28, 2022 at 1:38
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My LG fridge has an in-door ice maker that exhibits similar symptoms. In my case, the gears that drive the feeler bar will occasionally jump timing, so that the bar appears to be in the correct position to make additional ice, but the motor/sensors think it is reporting full.

I have to disassemble the icemaker a bit to get at the gears to reset them to the proper positions, which causes the ice maker to resume making ice.

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Ice makers, in general have 1 of 3 problems. Number 1 has already been mentioned.

  1. The handle switch (bucket full) is active.
  2. The motor which pushes the ice out is not turning (assuming bucket handle is not up).
  3. the heater in the ice maker try is not working.

There are a few other possibilities I will explain shortly. When the cycle to dump ice starts, the motor rotates the cube push bar, and turns on a heater underneath new ice cubes. The push bar rotates, pushing the ice out of the tray into the bucket. By the way, as part of the cycle before the rotating push bar stops, the ice tray fills with water and the heater turns off. The water freezes and the dump cycle goes again.

First, has the cube tray filled with water completely? The cycle can't start until the tray is filled with water. If not, find a way to fill it with water. *if the maker dumps ice in a few hours, there is the problem. Water hose may be clogged or not getting water...check the fill solenoid (external part from ice maker).

If still not dumping ice, see if the rotating push bar has rotated trying to push the ice, if yes, the problem is the heater is not coming on.

Going simple the entire ice maker can be easily replaced (ebay, Amazon, etc.) Note, this will not fix it if there is another external problem like the water solenoid, water to fridge not turned on, clogged water filter, etc. Troubleshoot the cycle to find the fix. Good luck.

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