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Ask Tom Goellner Your Own Question
Tom Goellner
Tom Goellner, Home Appliance Technician
Category: Appliance
Satisfied Customers: 1627
Experience:  32 yrs. experience servicing major appliances and HVAC equipment.
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I have a Whirlpool refrigerator - Model # GX5FHDXVY07 -

Customer Question

I have a Whirlpool refrigerator - Model # ***** - French door with freezer below.
The icemaker quit working, and I have found that there is no voltage at the 4-pin plug
that feeds the icemaker. The icemaker, itself, seems to be OK.
Before I take the back off of the refrigerator to hunt for a wiring diagram, is there a fuse or breaker that might have tripped? I'm pretty sure that the 110V supply to the icemaker is the top and bottom pins of the plug. Otherwise the refrigerator works great.
PS - I am a "shade tree" electrician, having wiring a 3000 sq. ft. 2-story house. And I have constructed many electronic devices in my lifetime.(3 degrees in physics)
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Appliance
Expert:  Tom Goellner replied 1 year ago.

Where are you reading the voltage - at the ice maker or at the back wall where it starts ? There is a thermal fuse in line of the cord of the L1 wire the hot wire.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I'm reading it at the female plug on the back wall of the freezer compartment.
So, where is this thermal fuse located? That sounds like the problem. There is no
voltage on any of the 4 connections on this plug. My analysis of the unit says that
there should be 110 V between the 1st (top) and bottom pins of this socket. Correct?
Expert:  Tom Goellner replied 1 year ago.

The thermal fuse looks like a rectangular "bulge" in the wire going to the icemaker , usually clipped into a bracket on the side of the icemaker

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thus I assume that if I remove the back of the refrigerator, I can trace the wire to the fuse. Can I access the fuse and replace
it or is it a sealed unit? Also, any idea what might have blown the fuse. Do I need to look for some problem with the icemaker?
Expert:  Tom Goellner replied 1 year ago.

You don't need to remove the back of the refrigerator - the fuse is in line , in the cord to the icemaker. The cord comes from the back wall and goes to the ice maker - THAT"S where the thermal fuse is - in that cord and it is clipped to the ice maker side - there in case the ice maker sticks in harvest with it's mold heater on - fuse opens and kills power to kice maker , otherwise the heat would melt all food in the freezer and even warp the interior wall next to the ice maker.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
But with the icemaker removed from the freezer, how would a fuse in that cord prevent 110 V line voltage from appearing at the plug in the back of the freezer wall? The problem would seem to be between this 4-pin plug and the power supply line to the refrigerator. Correct?
Expert:  Tom Goellner replied 1 year ago.

OK , I see we were on the wrong track ( or I was ) If you have no voltage back there - you must remove that back panel and trace the wires,to find a bad connection or broken wire.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
OK - I will do that this weekend and let you know what I find. I was hoping that there was a breaker or a fuse that might be the cause, but apparently I'm looking for a connection problem. It would be helpful to have a schematic, which I might find when I remove the back.PS - I have continuity between the black and white leads to the icemaker - the same DC resistance that I measure at the motor. So, I assume that it would function if it had voltage. Thus I need to hunt for the broken connection. I'll let you know what I find.
Expert:  Tom Goellner replied 1 year ago.

OK get back

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I have a sick wife and have not had the opportunity to work on the problem. Will do so ASAP.
Expert:  Tom Goellner replied 1 year ago.

No problem- get back when you can

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
We finally got well enough here for me to pull out the refrigerator and remove the back panel. The only thing I see is a vertical feed-through plug with wires that include the AC in, the water valve for the icemaker, the compressor, and the condenser fan. Everything else is above that plug and it's not accessible from the back. So, now my question is: does the back wall of the freezer compartment remove to allow access to the wiring? If it does, without a wiring diagram, will I be able to trace the wiring, or is it buried deep in styrofoam and other stuff? And is there a wiring schematic available to me at some site? If it's a hopeless case, I really don't want to get into it. I can buy bags of ice at the store cheaper than a major repair bill.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I received this return, but there was no reply from you.
Expert:  Tom Goellner replied 1 year ago.

I thought you understood you need to access it from the back wall inside the freezer - yes that back wall comes out , it's how you access the freezer fan, defrost heater AND you see the wires to the ice maker.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thanks. This weekend in Mississippi it's finally going to get below freezing for the first time. I will then remove the two freezer drawers with food still in them, take them outside where the food won't thaw, and attempt to remove the back panel. I still cannot imagine how that feed to the icemaker could be broken unless there's a relay involved that has gone bad. I hope I can trace the wiring without a schematic. I'll let you know what I find. If it could happen to me, it could happen to someone else who might call on your services.
Expert:  Tom Goellner replied 1 year ago.

There's no relay

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thanks - that helps. So, I'm looking for a loose connection. Makes it easier. Thanks again.
Expert:  Tom Goellner replied 1 year ago.

You'rewelcome

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I took it apart today. The lead to the icemaker jack that I'm pretty certain is the 120 volt feed goes directly vertically upward to another jack that apparently disappears into the upper part of the refrigerator. I see no way to access the back of that jack. But there was a block of ice attached to the sensors in the upper back of the freezer compartment. We've had trouble with condensation in the freezer, which I think has been solved. I thought that that ice might be confusing some of the sensors, so I removed it. So far, the icemaker has not resumed operation, but it may take awhile for it to start. I'll let you know.Without a schematic I cannot fully diagnose the cause. One crazy option might be to patch the 120 volt line voltage directly to the icemaker jack, bypassing whatever else is in that circuit. Of course, I would insert an inline fuse in my patchwork.