May 11, 2010 – How Ice Makers Work

Posted in appliance parts, Home tagged , , , , , , at 7:10 am by Liliana

Icy Lemonade

Icy Lemonade

An ice maker is an independent small appliance that resides within the freezer.

Components of the ice maker:

  • An internal motor that (together  with a micro switch) specifies how long the water-fill valve needs to stay open in order to supply the correct amount of water. The motor also controls the ice-ejection sequence.
  • Tray for the ice cubes.
  • Thermostat that senses when ice is at proper temperature.
  • Ice cube tray heater; located under the ice maker water tray, it slightly warms the ice cubes to loosen them for ejection.
  • Sweep fork or push bar that pushes the ice cubes from the tray.
  • Holding bin that holds the ejected ice cubes.
  • Shut-off arm (looks like a coat hanger) that operates the switch turning the ice maker on and off.
  • Water-fill valve supplies household water to the ice maker; located on the outside (back of the refrigerator) near the bottom.

How ice makers work:

  1. The internal motor signals the water-fill valve to open the flow of water specified into the ice maker tray.
  2. When water tray thermostat senses that the tray has reached the right temperature, it signals the ice maker to begin ejecting the cubes.
  3. The ice maker then turns on the ice cube tray heater, which warms the tray enough for the ice cubes to move freely.
  4. The sweep fork then rotates and pushes the cubes up and out of the tray; if the ice maker has a push bar instead, it pushes the cubes up and out of the tray.
  5. While the ice maker is discharging the cubes into the holding bin, the metal wire swings up to let the cubes drop down.
  6. When the cubes have dropped, the wire goes back down, unless the holding bin is full. If the bin is full, the wire can’t go all the way down. This action turns off the ice maker until there is room in the bin for more ice.
  7. When there is room in the ice bin, the wire goes all the way down once again.  This allows the ice maker to refill with water and repeat the process.

Enjoy cool, icy drinks on warm days this May.