Refrigerator's in-door ice/water dispenser isn't working

I have this new-to-us GE refrigerator. It has an in-door water/ice dispenser. Model # is GSS25WGMCWW. The control panel on the door has gone out me for the second time in a month. The owner’s manual does not have any troubleshooting suggestions for this.

The first time, we called a repairman, but he didn’t show up when he was supposed to, so I started playing with things, unplugging the machine, emptying the ice container, and who knows what else. Nothing happened. I walked away from the refrigerator and came back about half an hour later and the thing was working.

It worked fine for about a week and a half. Now the thing has died again. I tried to do everything I did last time, but it’s still not working.

The ice maker still makes ice. The control panel doesn’t have a lock out button, like some other models have. I can’t think of anything we did to cause it to lock itself out, but that’s possible. It seems to me that each time I just walked up to it and noticed is was off. None of the control panel buttons work, lights are out, and it won’t dispense water or ice.

If anyone has any suggestions before I go call another repairman, I would greatly appreciate it.

Well, those things are notoriously unreliable, so sez Consumer Reports. If you’re handy, you might try taking it apart and looking for loose connectors. And if you’re at that level of handiness, you can also just try replacing the parts yourself. These guys seem to carry the parts you’d need, probably for about the same amount of money it’ll take just to get the repairman to your front door.

The intermittant aspect of your complaint makes me first suspect the wiring harness, particularly at the pivot point. Typically you will find this beneath the upper hinge cap and there should be a small molded connector there to permit complete door removal. Depending on the options present, there should be anywhere from three to six conductors.
Using a VOM, you ought to be able to determine which circuits close to initiate different functions, and once you’ve done so, leave the meter connected and flex the harness to see if there’s a broken conductor beneath the insulation.

You guys are great! You just saved me more than enough money to cover my membership. :slight_smile:

It is the wiring harness. Specifically, the connectors right under the cap on the top hinge. Now I’m not sure which end is bad, and from the diagrams Finagle linked to, I’m not sure I want to try replacing it myself, but at least I know what’s wrong and can keep jiggling it if I have to until I decide to replace it.
Thank you both very, very much!

This happened to us one time, and a friend who had had a similar problem gave us some advice. Sometimes the dispensing mechanism “freezes up” and has to be thawed out.

She suggested that we take a quilt or blanket and put it just inside the freezer door with the door closed for 12 hrs or so. Make sure you take all the frozen food out of the door first. Worked like a champ, and we haven’t had any problem with it since.


Never mind. I should have previewed before posting. Glad you found the problem.

If you’re able to diagnose where the broken conductor is, and are handy with a low (25W) soldering iron, then a bit of that and some heat shrink tubing should get you back in business for a while without doing the whole harness replacement thing.

Always glad to help. :smiley:

Since we’re diagnosing icemakers … my 13-year-old KitchenAid side-by-side fridge/freezer has stopped making ice. It has an in-door water/ice dispenser. The chilled water dispenser still works (so water IS flowing into the machine, and not being frozen solid in the lines or anything), but the icemaker makes no ice.

Any advice? I grow tired of making ice in old-fashioned trays and then dumping it into the ice hopper.

Chances are good that the timer in the icemaker has died - not an unlikely prospect for a 13-year old fridge. IIRC, KitchenAid fridges are made by Whirlpool, so parts should be fairly easy to find, if any are left this many years later.

Have you checked that wire mechanism doohickey (that’s a technical term) that’s triggered by a full ice tray to see if the icemaker just shut itself off? Other than that, I suppose just the line to the icemaker could be frozen. Or, yes, time could have taken its toll on one of the parts. Depending on the age of the fridge, you can likely find the parts on line and it’s probably not rocket science to install a new one.

Yeah–it’s not that. Could be the timer, gotpasswords. I’ll look into that.

I’d replace the whole fridge (I’m sure it’s probably past that replacement rule–where buying a new fridge will wind up saving you money just through energy efficiency), but I’m strapped for cash, and it’s my sister’s vacation house.

Anatomy of an icemaker: Wire bail down closes switch for ‘hopper not full’. Cycle motor advances and closes fill switch. Water feed solenoid opens to permit flow into cube cavity. As timer motor advances, fill switch reopens, de-energizing fill solenoid. Water in cube cavity begins process of solidification. When imbedded sensor in cube cavity indicates temperature drop to point of cube formation, mold heater is energized to break cubes free, cycle motor restarts and harvest cycle takes place, sweeping cubes into collector. At end of cycle, motor stops, along with mold heater, and if ‘hopper not full’ situation still exists, it starts all over again.

Many ice make problems are fixed by replacing a $5 microswitch.

DanceswithCats gives good advice. My experience was that the most common problem with icemakers was the solenoid valve first, motor second, microswitch third. You can test the solenoid by manually cycling the icemaker and listening for the click-hum of the solenoid energizing. It could also be that the cam is not engaging the microswitch. Some models are adjustable and I have seen that before also.