How icemakers work—understanding the fundamentals
The basic parts of an icemaker:
Heating coil unit
Auger and ice bucket
The ice-making cycle:
1. A switch opens a solenoid water valve and lets in just enough water to fill the plastic ice mold.
2. The icemaker has a built-in thermostat which monitors the temperature level of the water in the molds.
(The cooling unit in the refrigerator does the actual work of freezing the water, not the icemaker itself.)
When a temperature around 9°F is detected, the thermostat closes a switch in the electrical circuit.
3. Closing this switch turns on the heating coil underneath the icemaker. As the coil heats up, it warms
the bottom of the ice mold just enough to loosen the ice cubes from the mold.
4. There are plastic notches in the icemaker housing that match up with ejector blades. The blades pass
through these notches and push the cubs into the ice bucket.
5. Just before the cubes are ejected, the shut-off arm lifts up. After the cubes are ejected, the arm falls
down again. When the arm reaches its lowest resting position, it throws a switch in the circuit which
activates the water valve to begin another cycle. If the arm can't reach its lowest position, because there
are stacked-up ice cubes in the way, the cycle is halted to prevent an overflow of ice cubes.
6. The motor turns on at this point, rotating the auger. The auger scoops the ice cubes up and pushes them
to the front of the icemaker.