Ice Maker Melt Down

    Typical ice maker found in many brands of refrigerator.

    Typical ice maker found in many brands of refrigerator.

    Our ice maker stopped working a few months ago and guided by a posting from Dennis & Carol’s RV Adventures blog I quickly zeroed in on the problem.  In my case the connection was apparently just loose and there were only very mild signs of heating at the contacts.  I cleaned and tightened the contacts and reassembled the unit.  It worked like a charm for a few months.  A week ago, it stopped working again. The contacts still looked good. Another cleaning got it working again but only for a few days.   This time when I pulled the ice maker I found the connectors had completely melted.  Repairing was not a very good option.

    The problem with this ice maker is the way the power is routed from the cover to the components.  In the cover picture you can see the connector on the upper left and the copper runs to the clips.  The ice maker body end  picture shows the pins sticking up in several locations.  When the parts are assembled the the clips slide over the pins and are suppose to make electrical connections.

    Icemaker cover.

    Ice maker cover with power lines.

    Icemaker body end

    Ice maker body end with power pins.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    The next two pictures show how this clip/pin connector system doesn’t work for the heater.   The metal clip has basically burnt away and burnt and melted the plastic around it.  On the body side the pin to the heater shows signs of the overheating and the plastic has melted.  You can also see how the burning plastic and metal splattered the surrounding area.

    Burnt clip on cover for heater power.

    Burnt clip on cover for heater power.

    Burnt pin for heater on body

    Burnt pin for heater on body

    The clip/pin connector doesn’t seem appropriate for a high current application like a heater.  I suspect that in a RV the extra vibration created while driving could be exacerbating the problem.  We are going to add turning off the ice maker to our departure checklist.

     

    The good news is there was a “used like new” ice maker on Amazon for $22.00 with free 2 day shipping.   As is typical for used items from Amazon the ice maker from amazon was basically new in an opened box.  The new unit is installed and working perfectly.

    If this one fails my next step is to find a way to attach a wire to the heater pin and solder or crimp attach it to the connector.

     

     

     

     

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