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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2 Comments

  • Reply
    Chuck & Debbie
    May 18, 2017 at 10:40 pm

    Hi there!
    My name is Chuck, my wife is Debbie. I just ran across a post you made on Rvillage about lifblue batteries. Some of the comments made made me raise my eyebrows and say, Hmmm, I need to find who this guy is. So I came here and read about Ed, then I read about Pam and I then looked at the rest of your blog thingy. I notice you just don’t post too often. That’s great! Debbie and I are going to start a blog but just do not want to be beholden to it. Anyway back to my curiousity about you two. The more I read and found out (Rvillage profile & blog about us) the more I realized we have a lot in common. Debbie is an MBA, loves cooking healthy, and we are traveling around the country with a 1 ton diesel and 35 foot 5th wheel. I have been in electronics since I was in high school and specifically am/was factory certified in over 30 brands of audio/video gear for repair. I got out of that as the industry became more of a disposable nature and have been the IT manager for a company in Florida for over 24 years (Yes, I started programming on a Radio Shack TRS 80 with a TV set and a casette recorder). We also carry kayaks, mountain bikes, snorkels (scuba tanks just don’t work in a 5th wheel), and other toys. We have hiked or kayaked all over the west before starting out on our adventure. The point is we hope to meet you all in person at some point in time. Who knows, might be next winter at Larry’s in Yuma! Our friends Jan & Drex will be going there for some more solar work and we will be travelling together so who knows. Hope I did not offend you by being a bit forward and open. Plus I am pretty sure Ed would like some of the tricks/much needed things I have done to our rig. We are Chuck & Debbie on Rvillage or chasw98 on instagram.

  • Reply
    Chuck & Debbie
    May 18, 2017 at 10:42 pm

    Oh, I should have checked grammar and spelling before hitting submit. Sorry.

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