How to Troubleshoot a U-Line Ice Maker

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Even with good maintenance, a quality ice maker has problems from time to time. Some of these problems can be easily fixed if you understand the system and functions. U-Line definitely falls in the quality ice maker category with over 50 years in the ice-making, refrigeration, and wine preservation industry. Like many quality ice makers, the U-Line ice maker manual is pretty simple to follow should you find yourself needing to engage in U-Line ice maker troubleshooting.

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How Does an Ice Maker Work?

Understanding how things work is essential to successful troubleshooting. An ice maker uses the basic refrigeration process to freeze water. Some models have a tray (mold) filled with water by a sensor-controlled electronic water valve (solenoid). Once the water has frozen, over a period of time, the ice is released by heating the mold to release the ice and then a 3 rpm motor rotates the mold to drop the ice in a bin.

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Normal sounds include a click when the water turns off, the sound of water flowing, the compressor humming, refrigerant flowing (sounds like boiling liquid), the condenser fan running, and ice dropping into the bin.

Ice Maker Stops Making Ice

If you find that your ice maker is not producing any ice, check to make sure that it has electrical power and no error codes. If you find error codes, check the manual for possible diagnostic suggestions or call U-Line support. Use a small level to confirm the ice maker is level both side to side and front to back. Being level assures proper water levels in the mold.

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Many U-Line ice maker models only use a solenoid valve to fill the mold. In this case, be sure to listen for the very distinct click sound of the valve opening. If you do not hear the solenoid opening, then check to make sure that the ice maker is in full operation mode by checking the bin arm. In the fully raised position, the arm stops the production of ice. If you find the bin arm fully raised, simply push it downward until it stops.

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No Water Flow

If you find there is no water filling the mold, then check the water source. Regardless of the series you have, a good source of water is essential. Check and replace any water filters and make sure all water supply valves are on. Another issue commonly overlooked is that the hoses feeding the ice maker might kink while putting the unit in place. Check to make sure there are no kinks in the water supply tubing.

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Refrigerator Ice Maker

Many refrigerator manufacturers use U-Line ice maker assemblies, and therefore troubleshooting is similar for different brands. Listen for normal noises as well as checking the water supply. See if the built-in water filter needs replacement and replace it if necessary. Refrigerator ice makers also have a bin arm, so confirm that it is not in the upright position.

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Sabbath Mode Setting

Some U-Line ice maker models have a mode called sabbath mode. This mode will prevent the ice maker from producing ice but will still keep the already produced ice frozen for up to 24 hours. To restore normal production from sabbath mode, press and hold the power button until the unit turns on.

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Ice Maker Assembly Removal and Replacement

Being that U-Line standalone ice makers and refrigerator ice makers are similar in design, removal and replacement of the assembly is similar.

Step 1: Unplug the Unit

Unplug the unit from the main power source and disconnect the assembly's wiring harness inside the unit.

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Step 2: Remove the Control Capillary Tube

A capillary tube senses temperature. These copper or aluminum tubes are inserted inside another tube called the sensing tube. Remove the capillary tube from the sensing tube.

Step 3: Remove the Water Inlet Tube

The water inlet tube is the tube that feeds water to the mold from the water valve. Remove the tube from the assembly.

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Step 4: Remove the Front Cover

The front cover snaps in and out of place. Remove it by gently pulling it away from the assembly.

Step 5: Advance the Ejector Blade

With a 5/16-inch hex head wrench or nut driver, rotate the ejector blade by turning the hex head screw counterclockwise until the blade is at the 3 o'clock position.

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Step 6: Remove the Ice Maker Assembly

Remove the three screws securing the assembly to the freezer wall housing. Carefully remove the ice maker assembly.

Step 7: Install the New Assembly

Install the new assembly by reversing the removal process. Apply any supplied sealant to all exit holes as necessary.

Step 8: Test the Operation

Once the new assembly is installed, plug the unit back in and test operation of the ice maker.

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Common Problems and Solutions

Some common problems are easily handled without professionals. The ice maker unit may sometimes develop frost on its internal surfaces. Some frost is normal and will melt during the off cycle, but a buildup of 1/4 inch or more will require a manual defrost.

High ambient temperatures and humidity levels of the environment are an important concern for the proper performance of the ice maker. Humidity in excess will cause frost on the inside of the ice maker and will also cause condensation on the external surfaces. The easiest way to stop this from happening is to control the environment of the ice maker. If you are having these issues and your unit is outside, then moving it inside may solve the problem.

Light Stays On With Door Closed

Your U-Line ice maker may have a light inside the unit. From time to time, these lights may remain on when the door is closed. If the light is controlled by a switch, simply turn it off. Some models are controlled by a magnetic door switch known as a reed switch.

The door seal of your U-Line ice maker is magnetized. This magnetic seal both engages the reed switch and seals the door. If you find your light is staying on when the door closes, check to make sure the seal is sufficiently making contact to the door frame. Another issue that may arise from a bad seal is frost around the door seal and on internal surfaces. Clean the seal and door frame to ensure the magnetic seal makes good contact to the door frame.

Problems Caused By Low Temperatures

The temperature inside the ice maker can cause problems. If the temperature is set too low, the ice will stick to internal surfaces. The temperature can also cause the ice to stick inside the mold. This can cause problems, such as the overflowing of the mold into the bin, creating ice buildup on the base of the bin. The fix can be simple by adjusting the temperature to a warmer set point. If there is a buildup in the mold, manually defrost the unit before making any adjustments or U-Line ice maker repairs.

The temperature adjustment is as simple as turning the adjustment screw counterclockwise with a flat-blade screwdriver in small increments. By setting the temperature to be a little warmer, you will get faster ice production and save energy.

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