Our Whirlpool refrigerator with an enclosed ice maker located in the roof of the refrigerator section stopped working. I pulled it and found it had been spilling water (Over flowing? Or a plumbing problem?) and had encased its self in a half inch of ice. I cleaned it out and replaced it.

Still, the old ice maker did not make ice. I pulled it again and discovered the thermal switch to have a measurable resistance at room temperature. My assumption at this point, the thermal switch had failed and no longer closed after the water froze. (Is this how it is supposed to work?)

I then replace the entire ice maker assembly. This includes the motor, ice tray, heater and thermal switch. The new ice maker filled the ice bin in a day and continued to work for several weeks. Finally it stopped.

I pulled the new ice maker and found it encased in about an inch of ice. (More then the old ice maker!) So, questions...

  1. Curiously, the old and new ice makers had liberal amounts of grease on the lip of the metal ice tray. I completely cleaned the grease off of the new ice maker thinking it was a manufacturing mistake. As there are no moving parts anywhere near the applied grease. If this was meant to mitigate leakage, it could have only kept drops of water back in the try. What is the grease for??
  2. I assume timing for water dispensing comes from the ice maker motor turning the large gear containing many rotating contacts. Could it be the new ice maker water dispensing time is to long? That the new ice maker is faulty?
  3. I recently changed the refrigerator's water filter. I did not use a questionable cheap filter. I bought the recommended filter at more than double the price. Could the new filter be defective? That is, perhaps the ice maker water dispensing time takes into account a water filter slowing the water flow rate. I find this hard to believe as the refrigerator comes with a bypass option which allows water to flow directly to the ice maker directly with no filter installed.
  • 1
    Sadly, many fridges with the ice maker in the refrigeration section have issues with icing up and breaking stuff. I won't get fooled again...
    – Jon Custer
    Sep 19, 2023 at 13:31

1 Answer 1


What is the grease for??

Not sure, I've never seen grease where you describe it (on the tray). Anyway, I don't see how this would relate to your problem.

Could it be the new ice maker water dispensing time is to long?

This is not likely, as the fill time should be set for the tray/water-cup size. However, most do have a fill height adjustment screw if you want to try that and see if anything changes.

the new ice maker is faulty?

Always a possibility, but it seems more than coincidence that you are having the exact same problem with the new unit that you had with the old unit...

There is a water control valve (usually located right at the water-supply connection location in the back of the refrigerator) that opens and closes to send water to the icemaker when the timer/motor control unit asks for it during the normal cycle (unless the unit detects that the ice bin is full). It is not uncommon for the valve to malfunction. It seems that perhaps the water control valve might be leaking-by (not closing fully).

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