March 20, 2007
by: jovial_cynic
I like to think of myself as a handyman, able to repair most problems that come up around the house or the car. It keeps costs down (who wants to pay somebody $60/hour for something you can do yourself!), and it's a bit like training for when you're forced to survive in a junkyard, with nothing but a toolbox and a bag of rice.

... ok. Disregard my post-apocalyptic Mad Max-inspired daydreams.

Knowing how to fix your own stuff certainly beats having to pay somebody else to do it, especially as I can't afford to fork over that kind of money. But even if I did enough money, I'd like to think that I'd still tinker with everything that broke down in my home, to the best of my ability.

The icemaker in my Whirlpool freezer recently failed on me, and not knowing a thing about icemakers, I figured I should do some research and figure it out. I went over to after googling up icemakers, and saw that their example looks a lot like the icemaker I've got in my fridge. It turns out that there hasn't been any recent updates in the design of icemakers for a while, and that they're pretty much universal. The main difference between one unit and another is the power terminal that plugs into the icemaker.

After figuring out that the problem was in the heating element on my icemaker (the heater loosens the ice from the tray), I decided to yank the icemaker out of the freezer and look for another one.

Here's my old icemaker, without the front cover. I had it sitting on the kitchen counter when my mom came to visit from out of town. She thought it was a bread cutter. Moms are cute.

Here's where the icemaker used to live. Those wires end in a terminal that almost looks like a hard-drive plug. Hard-drive... in a freezer... hrm...

Here's two shots of the front, where the plastic dial-gear has been removed to reveal the stripped white tab. Since the heating element wasn't functioning, the ice wouldn't melt, and since the motor kept turning, and the motor engages with the teeth on that dial, the dial turned but the white tab (which connects to the bar that lifts the ice out after it's melted) didn't budge.

I picked up a new icemaker at Lowes (neither Home Depot nor Sears carried the unit) for $40 and went home and installed it. It was really easy, actually -- just three screws and an electrical plug. Not too bad at all.
np category: DIY


kristen said:
March 22, 2007

jovial_cynic said:
Yeah, I think so. I have a couple more projects around the house, and I'll probably post on those as well. I'm a little timid about plumbing, but I have a leaky faucet in our guest bathroom, and another leak in the sink in our master bathroom. Hopefully I don't break anything...
March 22, 2007

Kristen said:
Yeah, plumbing would be a scary one to mess up.
March 25, 2007

jovial_cynic said:
Actually... I chickened out. I called a plumber today. :)
March 26, 2007

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