Ice maker dispensing door will not open
September 8, 2014 10:37 AM   Subscribe

My ice maker makes ice (yeah) and the auger will turn when depressing the plate on the front of the refrig door. But the little trap door will not open to let the ice drop down. Do I have to replace the whole ice maker or is there any trick to fixing this myself?

I can manually push the lever to open the door but the automatic action is not happening. When I stick my finger in the opening where the lever fits in there is some piece of plastic that jiggles around in the opening. Is it broken or is that normal? It is a Frigidare side by side.
posted by shaarog to Home & Garden (5 answers total)
You may have broken a piece, or ice may be jammed in it.

Can you pull out the ice bucket and empty it all, maybe wipe down everything with a hot wet washcloth, then dry it fully?

If it is broken, you can generally do an internet search using the unit name and model number for one of the diy sites that also sell parts on how to take it apart and replace what might be broken.

I've done that for my ice dispenser; I filmed myself taking it apart (as well as stills) because there were some tricky bits with springs that I had to conquer.

You may also need to do a search on "similar" models until you find one. Mine had a specific model number that defined it as a "builders unit" instead of a "retail" unit but it was basically the retail unit with a different model number.
posted by Buttons Bellbottom at 10:41 AM on September 8, 2014

I just recently did battle with my (not-making-ice) icemaker. For your situation, assuming the jiggly plastic bit is not a broken thing, could also be a bad door switch -- most icemakers are interlocked so the ice doesn't drop when the door is open.

My problem was elsewhere, so I can't give you specific diagnostic tips, but you and Dr. Google should be able to rule out the door switch with a multimeter and the test ports on the front of the ice maker (you have to pop the front cover off). I mention it because it is a probably cheaper and possibly easier repair to make.

Not that swapping the icemaker itself - or just taking it out to look at this jiggly piece that is worrying you - is hard, unless you, like me, have short arms (and, like me, you have a bottom freezer and are too lazy to shut off the power/empty the freezer/take off the door).
posted by janell at 10:50 AM on September 8, 2014

In humid summer months a trap door that never fully closes can let moisture in and the whole dropshaft will fill up with frost and clogged cubes.

Is there some way you can examine the chute/trapdoor from the entrance on the inside and see what's going on in there?
posted by JoeZydeco at 11:10 AM on September 8, 2014

Response by poster: I have taken out everything and there is no frost or frozen anything. I will get the model when I get home and try Google again. Not very helpful if you do not know what you are looking for! Thanks for the suggestions.
posted by shaarog at 12:09 PM on September 8, 2014

Sorry, I should have said "do a search with the model number" and varied descriptions of the problem, such as "ice door will not open". Might be a loose wire or a burnt wire and you have to swap out an electrical switch or pad.
posted by Buttons Bellbottom at 12:23 PM on September 8, 2014

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