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Jason, Home Appliance Technician
Category: Appliance
Satisfied Customers: 410
Experience:  Home appliance technician with 10 years experience working on numerous makes and models.
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I have a KitchenAid ice maker which is 10 years old. Periodically

Resolved Question:

I have a KitchenAid ice maker which is 10 years old. Periodically the ice sheet will not slide completely down the metal plate where the ice forms and it gets stuck on the cutting wires while still halfway down the metal plate. Thus when the cycle starts again the recirculating water flows down the ice sheet into the bin and melts the ice. Naturally the water bin is depleted and we get the gavitating sound of the pump sucking air until the timing cycle gets to the point the water is to be refilled. (I assume it's all timed out as I don't see any limit switches etc.) Does the metal plate assembly where the ice forms wear out over time? Does the surface not heat up enough to let the ice slide fast enough to get past the first wires on the cutting surface before they start to freeze? I have cleaned the machine with the recommended liquids up to 3 times and it seems to have little effect.
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Appliance
Expert:  Jason replied 5 years ago.
There is a hot gas solenoid that reverses the freon in the system to heat the plate and melt the ice sheet so it slides off, but that appears to be working if the ice sheet slides off a little. The other thing could be that the heater grid is defective and not heating to cut the ice. Do you see any broken wires on the grid? Also, I know you said you cleaned it, but try it again. There are little grooves that occur naturally in the metal of the plate. Mineral deposits from the water freeze to the plate and can get stuck in those grooves. If they get stuck, it creates a rough surface and this friction can stop the ice from falling off. If this sis the first time you are cleaning the ice maker, it is possible that it would need multiple cleanings to get the plate clear of those deposits.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I have cleaned the machine multiple times between run times with the listed cleaner with no real improvement. I even tried CLR. Over time will the metal plate lose its ability to let the ice slide, its smoothness? Could it be the plate is pitted to the point it needs to be replaced?
Expert:  Jason replied 5 years ago.
It is possible if it was left a long time without cleaning. The mineral deposits can build to the point that with ice sliding over them, they can damage the plate. If this is the case, I would replace the unit. Th e plate is the evaporator of the unit, meaning it carries refrigerant in it. To replace the part, you would need an EPA certified tech and the repair cost would be high.
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