Repair your ice maker motor without buying a whole new assembly

ice-maker-repair

There are a number of things that can go wrong with an automatic ice maker. But one of the more common problems is that the motor which scoops the ice out of the integrated trays can burn out after years of use. [Dave] recently repaired a common ice maker motor and shows us how cheap and easy it can be. See how he did it in the video after the break.

Pictured above is the motor and gear box from the ice maker. Before disassembly he verified that the problem is with the motor by placing a piece of paper in the path of the fingers that move the newly formed ice. After removing the sensor arm and three screws he was able to pull this front portion from the unit. The two wires are clipped as near to the motor as possible and the motor itself comes out with just a twist. After verifying that the gears are not broken he sourced a $2.50 motor replacement by Googling the part number (M004 3W in this case). Once the new unit arrived the motor wires are connect in much the same way that a punch down Ethernet jack makes a connecting with insulated wires.

This is something worth looking into if your ice maker is not working. The manufacturer may suggest replacing the entire unit which can be well north of a hundred bucks… this is a worthwhile gambit to save some cash. Well, we guess you could always build your own non-electrical ice maker.

Comments

  1. Everett says:

    This still isn’t “repairing” the motor. He purchased a new motor assembly and simply replaced a sub-component of the “ice maker” assembly. Lame.

  2. Ren says:

    It’s worthy of HaD, thanks!

  3. Nick says:

    Hmmm….my pencil isn’t erasing. Oh the eraser is shot -buys new eraser, puts it in- appears on hackaday “How to fix your pencil without buying a new pencil”

    Sorry, but kind of lame for HaD….

  4. Mike Mixer says:

    I had to replace the entire assembly because nobody sells the plastic gear that motor turns. The contacts for the mold heater had gotten corroded or otherwise failed to contact so the motor just kept turning while it tore the teeth off the gear. I couldn’t even find an old gear off of an ice maker at an appliance store, they just throw that stuff away.

  5. I need sort of things :))

  6. Al says:

    Thanks, never know when I need this knowledge.

  7. aztraph says:

    I see a lot of comments here, lets put a few things into perspective:
    1) this is a fairly standard ice maker that would probably cost him $150 plus labor and shipping to install, final bill could easily be over $200 if I came out to do it.
    2)replacing the motor is a valid option but if you are a tech like me, you have a dismal view of the ordinary individual being able to accomplish this procedure.
    3)he saved a TON of money by being extra-ordinary and doing it himself, that’s a win anyway you slice it.
    4)HE’S WILLING TO SHARE HIS EXPERIENCE WITH OTHERS, granted it’s not that hard, but this tells me his heart is in the right place.

    I say Good job, and since you showed your work and it obviously works, would you like a job? the pay is miserable and hours are atrocious just so you know

    • Hitek146 says:

      I just showed this to my buddy that has been running his own refrigeration repair business for over 35 years, and he said that he knows exactly the unit in the picture. He says that if the motor failed when it was fairly new, that replacement can be a valid option. He also said that most of these that he has seen fail after the “standard” 5-7 year lifespan of the whole ice maker, at which point the contacts are also usually shot and the tray is usually delaminating, so it is usually necessary to replace the whole unit most of the time.

      • aztraph says:

        my view is this, you only need three things to make ice, a working ice maker, the ability for it to fill with water (good water pressure and properly functioning water valve) and the ability to get to 0 degrees Fahrenheit.

        the way I test it is to ask the customer to fill the ice mold tray with water, and wait, after a few hours if it doesn’t drop ice, and the ice is frozen solid, then chances are its the ice maker. if it DOES drop ice its the water valve. the ability is to get to 0 degrees is usually a given but I have had it come up before.

        I love it when people say their fridge stopped working and so did their ice maker, not realizing that the operation of one depends on the operation of the other.

    • josh says:

      Granted the replacement part was really inexpensive, the question remains, “What did shipping cost?”

      Also, the last time I replaced my ice maker (the tray was corroded and leaving black flecks in the ice), it cost me $50 for the whole kit from Lowe’s and about 10 minutes to install (kids kept walking off with the tools).

  8. Bill Gander says:

    Forwarded this article to my Dad. Maybe he’ll finally win the ice war :) Thanks for the write up :)

  9. W Cohoon says:

    In Sept 2011 my in laws had a repair service replace a 6 year old ice maker for about $250 / $300 (Not sure). In March 2013 the “New” ice maker failed.

    This maker (tray etc) appeared and tested ok except for the motor. As repair was “urgent” another new ice maker assembly was purchased for $104 (free shipping) and I installed it. There are many videos on parts web sites and “youtube” showing how easy it is tor remove and test. As easy as it is, the videos are worth viewing as they do simplify the work. AFTER seeing THIS video I purchased two new motors. Cost $1.50 each + shipping $2.58, TOTAL $5.58 (for the NEXT failure). Normal Appliance parts web sites do not list the “Motor Only” for sale. You can get a “module” containing a motor for about $50. Find a seller for motor only thru Google with the existing motor part number. THANK YOU Mike Szczys.

  10. Especially in hotter climates like Arizona and Florida. This is why it is often necessary to add an icemaker to your RV. Otherwise you end up buying ice at truck stops, Wal-Mart’s and convenience stores as you go.

  11. Guber says:

    Thanks. Very informative. 2 issues:

    – how do I know the motor is bad? There are about 6.5 kOhm resistance through my existing motor, good or bad?

    – you say cost is $2.5 for replacement. I find no replacement for under $19. Where did you get it from? Link to seller please?

  12. frank says:

    Can’t seem to find the M004 3W motor anywhere

  13. chet says:

    I can’t find the motor either. Any help?

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