Appliance Repair Show Transcript - August 24, 2008

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GE Gas Range Top Burners Not Functioning Properly and Oven Not Heating

 

JOHN MCCULLOCH

We're going to start things off on the program this morning with Anne, from Warren, with a GE stove where the oven doesn't work, here on the Appliance Repair Show. Hi Anne, go ahead please.

 

ANNE

Hello. I appreciate your program very much. Knowing that there's help out there is really needed these days. My problem is my stove went out. It's an electronic ignition, GE. I got the four burners lit and they're working properly. The oven doesn't go on.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

All right. Now you have a gas stove?

 

ANNE

Yes.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

And the surface burners all work?

 

ANNE

Yes, but there's a problem with the large one and the right front burner. But my main...

 

JOHN SOWDEN

Is that the one you use the most?

 

ANNE

Yes.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

Yeah, normally those are the ones that wear out first.

 

ANNE

And the dish on top of the unit when I have a larger pot on there, an eight or ten inch frying pan or pot, eventually the dish that sits on top of it, it moves, for what reason I don't know but it moves like a quarter of an inch and when I take the pot off or check it, sure enough I have to shut it off and push it back.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

It could be that either the burner assembly or the burner cap is just tired, and it's actually due to the heat warping and expanding.

 

ANNE

It's wobbly, yes.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

You can replace either one and/or both to solve that. If the burner cap is the same size as another burner that you don't use as much, you can try changing them.

 

ANNE

Oh, that's an idea!

 

JOHN SOWDEN

And see if that helps. At least you'll know which one to replace. So what's the problem you're having with the oven?

 

ANNE

Since everything went out, I got the burners going but the oven, when I turn the dial on the stove, nothing happens.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

Okay.

 

ANNE

But the light is on. When you open the door the light goes on.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

Okay. So you have power to the stove and when you turn the thermostat on you don't get any ignition?

 

ANNE

That's right.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

Okay. Do you see anything glowing in the oven?

 

ANNE

When I turn on the thermostat, what do you mean?

 

JOHN SOWDEN

You turn the knob to set it to bake or 350 degrees...

 

ANNE

Oh, you're talking about the stove? Not the thermostat for the furnace?

 

JOHN SOWDEN

No, the thermostat for the stove.

 

ANNE

I'm sorry! I have to get this straight so I know what I'm talking about.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

When you turn on the stove, you don't have any ignition in the oven? Do you see anything glowing or any small orange light towards the bottom of the oven?

 

ANNE

That's correct.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

You do not?

 

ANNE

That's right.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

Well, that tells me that the igniter is not working. You'll see a small glow as the igniter fires up and ignites the gas system. If you see nothing, you normally have a situation where the igniter has failed and is broken, or the oven thermostat, even though you turn it on and set it to 350 degrees, is not sending power to the oven igniter. You can also have a situation where the gas valve itself could fail if you have an open circuit in the gas valve. So, there are three components that can cause the issues that you have. You may want to have a service person come out and inspect this, as well as the other parts of the stove that you're having problems with, and get it all straightened out in one swipe.

 

ANNE

There's no way I can do it myself?

 

JOHN SOWDEN

No, it's not like the old stoves where you can take a match down there and light it. It will not work. Its ignition and it's made to work with electricity and not a flame, so that oven igniter has to be in the circuit as well as the oven gas valve has to be working properly, so there's no work around on that one. You have to find the failed component and replace it.

 

JOHN MCCULLOCH

And that's what you need to do, call somebody or ask a neighbor and ask who they use, or call the company that made it and ask who's qualified to fix it.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

That's correct.

 

1998 Whirlpool Refrigerator Freezer Temperature Dial Won't Turn

 

JOHN MCCULLOCH

Here's Paul, in Sterling Heights, with a question on a Whirlpool refrigerator freezer on the Appliance Repair Show.

 

PAUL

Good morning, John. I got a dial that controls the temperature that controls the freezer, you know that has A, B, C, and D?

 

JOHN SOWDEN

Okay.

 

PAUL

And I can't turn it. The unit up there that has one for the refrigerator and one for the freezer, I took it down and there's a pin that sticks out of the top, about the size of the lead in a wooden pencil, and that will not turn at all. Will not move. There's a slot up there, about a quarter of a circle that it's supposed to turn in.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

Yeah, you're trying to turn what is basically an air damper versus the actual thermostat itself.

 

PAUL

Oh, is that the square thing in the refrigerator in the back?

 

JOHN SOWDEN

Yeah. See, it depends on your unit but a lot of times you'll have one dial that's actually for the thermostat that electrically turns the unit on and off, and at other times they'll have a separate control, and what that does is it divides the airflow between the refrigerator and freezer sections.

 

PAUL

Okay.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

So one is the actual freezer temperature at which the unit shuts off, and the other one determines how much cold air you push into the refrigerator section.

 

PAUL

Yeah, I see it up there.

 

PAUL

I think I called you last week. I had a problem with my ice maker and all the water ran out and flooded the refrigerator and the floor and water came out of that unit, right on down the back wall.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

And that's probably what happened, you froze up the damper assembly and that's why it won't turn. All it is really is a little plastic gate with some sort of a linkage that turns on a dial.

 

PAUL

Can I use a hair dryer on that?

 

JOHN SOWDEN

You can, but you can also melt that plastic if you leave it in one spot too long. So if you have another refrigerator somewhere where you could move the food for now, then just turn the refrigerator off for a day or so and remove the doors; it would be a good idea to clean it all out. That's the best way to do it is to let it all dry out. You can, if you want to, get in there with a hair dryer, but be careful.

 

PAUL

Yeah, it's just plastic.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

It's just plastic and the hair dryer will definitely help free it up, but if you've got that much water running in there and all the vents and stuff from your other problem...

 

PAUL

The one for the refrigerator works fine, it's just the one for the freezer.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

Yeah, I'd recommend turning the unit off and just letting it dry out that way it will solve any future problems you may have.

 

PAUL

You know, I heard you give that phone number to call, an 800 number?

 

JOHN SOWDEN

For RepairClinic.com, the number is 1-888-343-4948

 

PAUL

Thank you very much. I listen to your program every week!

 

Maytag Batch Feed Garbage Disposal Emitting Odor and Running for Awhile After the Switch is Turned Off

 

JOHN MCCULLOCH

We'll talk now with John, in Howell, about a garbage disposal here on the Appliance Repair Show. Go ahead please, John.

 

JOHN

Good morning, John. Just to tell you, I've used your company two times now and fixed two problems.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

We'll that's good to hear.

 

JOHN

Yeah, it is! I fixed problems with a refrigerator and a washer. So now I have a problem with a disposal. My mom has a Maytag; she called it a batch feed or something.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

Yes, a batch feed.

 

JOHN

So, we went over there the other day and there was a little bit of an odor coming out of the disposal. So, I put my hand in there and it was pretty gunky-looking inside. The other problem she was telling me she had is when she took the cap off, the thing was continually running for a couple of seconds afterward.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

Right.

 

JOHN

So I'm thinking that little switch in there must be sticking.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

Yes, as you alluded to, there are two styles of garbage disposals. There's the continuous feed (part # L20-C), which you normally have a wall switch and you turn it on and put your garbage in there and run the water through and then when you're done you turn the wall switch off. Then there's the batch feed, where you put the debris in the machine and then you put the lid on it and turn the lid, and then the turning of the lid makes a switch and turns it on. So you have to do it batch by batch, and that's why they call it a batch feed.

 

JOHN

Oh, that makes sense.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

So from what you're describing, most often the problem is there's a switch that's threaded into the side of the housing, and as you turn the cap on that, you are physically making connection with that switch, and when you undo it or remove the cap, it's supposed to turn off but it gets gummed up at times. So what you can do is, you can try removing it, and again most of those are threaded into the case, and try to clean up the actuator. See if you can get it to work. If not then you have to replace that switch.

 

JOHN

Okay. So I was wondering if you sold...this thing needs cleaning on the inside, and I can look on the internet for places that mail order but I would rather just stop at your store. Do you sell those brushes with the cleaner that go inside of them? 

 

JOHN SOWDEN

We sell what they call Disposer Care (part # 8171408RM), which are packets of a cleaner. You can also just take some ice cubes, they work pretty well. Just throw them in there and fire it up. You never have to worry about jamming it that way because it will always melt. That will help push some things through and a lot of times, especially in a batch feed, just run it for a while and let the water run through, because as I said it's batch by batch and a lot of times that stuff will reside in there a bit longer than the continuous because you turn the water on and let it run for a while.  So I would try that, but as far as the unit not turning off, that's not a good situation, to have it running after it's supposed to stop.

 

JOHN

No!

 

JOHN SOWDEN

So if you can't take that switch out and clean that actuator up and get it to free up, then I'd just replace the switch.

 

JOHN

Would I need to pull the disposal out first?

 

JOHN SOWDEN

Normally not. They're threaded right into the top of the case.

 

JOHN

Oh, okay.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

But what you want to do is, make sure if you replace it or even remove it that you see how far it is screwed into the case because that difference is what helps turn it on and off. So if you put it back and you turn the cap and it doesn't work, you might not have it in all the way. Again, if you put it in too far and you turn the cap and it's really hard, you could actually break the actuator off, so it's a good idea to mark how far it sits inside that housing.

 

JOHN

Okay. I'll give that a shot. Thank you.

 

1997 Maytag Gas Dryer Makes Grumbling Sound on Startup

 

JOHN MCCULLOCH

We go now to Bill, in Shelby Township, with a question on a dryer here on the Appliance Repair Show. Hi, Bill. Go ahead, please.

 

BILL

Hi guys, great show! We appreciate all the help.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

We appreciate you being there for us.

 

BILL

I have a Maytag dryer that's approximately eleven years old. It's a gas, and on initial startup it makes a grumbling sound and then it goes away. Then even when the dryer is off, I open the door and I physically rotate it with my hand, I can duplicate the same sound and I'm just trying to think, could it be as you have mentioned before in different situations, the rollers or the belt slipping?

 

JOHN SOWDEN

Yeah, there are several wearing parts in that unit. There are the rear drum rollers, kind of like little tires that the rear drum rides on. Those can get worn out. There's also a pulley that puts tension on the belt, that the little bronze bearing inside that can get worn as well. The other thing you want to inspect is the blower wheel. It's a plastic wheel mounted to the motor shaft. If that is stripped out or loose on the shaft you can get some noise. Normally, the unit will still work okay for a while, because as it turns it will turn with the motor, but not one revolution per revolution as it should. It just spins on the shaft. If you can reach in and turn the blower wheel and the drum or the motor doesn't turn with it, then you need to replace that little plastic fan blade.

 

BILL

I looked on your website, which by the way is very helpful as far as the exploded views showing different parts of the equipment. I'm assuming that I can just take off the whole front of that dryer.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

Yes, the front comes off.

 

BILL

You just reach in-

 

JOHN SOWDEN

Yes, and the secondary shroud in there there's just two screws inside that you remove and you can lift up and take that off and then get right in there towards the drum and the blower housing assembly.

 

BILL

All right. Thank you very much.

 

1976 Kitchen Aid Dishwasher Dish Racks are Rusting

 

JOHN MCCULLOCH

And in this segment, we're going to start out, in Frankenmuth, with Deb on the Appliance Repair Show. Go ahead please, Deb.

 

DEB

Hello. I need racks for my dishwasher and I cannot find them.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

You cannot find them?

 

DEB

I cannot find them!

 

JOHN SOWDEN

What kind of dishwasher do you have?

 

DEB

It's a Kitchen Aid made by Hobart.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

Okay. So it's an older unit.

 

DEB

Yes, made around 1976.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

Okay.

 

DEB

But the prongs are all shot now.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

Yeah, after thirty years sometimes that happens.

 

DEB

I know, but it's such a good machine!

 

JOHN SOWDEN

The racks, it depends on the model number. If you open the door and look on the left-hand side of the tank-

 

DEB

I did, I have it written down.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

And it's KD what?

 

DEB

It's, no it isn't! "223533740" is the serial number.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

Yes. We're looking for the model number.

 

DEB

ML42117.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

Okay. There's still another number somewhere. It's going to say KDI, KDS, something like that.

 

DEB

Well, that's what they told me at one place, but there are no other numbers here.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

Really?

 

DEB

Yes and he said, "Lady, you've got an old one!"

 

JOHN SOWDEN

Yeah, it could be. Or, at times...are you the original owner of the dishwasher?

 

DEB

Yes.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

Okay, because at times, if they've changed the tank at one point and didn't put the model sticker back on when they did that.

 

DEB

The model sticker is right here on the side, and there's no other number on it.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

All right. Well, you say it's a 1976 unit?

 

DEB

I would say about 1976 we put it in.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

I would guess that to be a KDI16 or a KDI17 is what I would use, and that's what you should probably use in order to obtain the racks.  They have a break, basically, the seventeen series and before use one style, and then the KDI18 and beyond use a different style, as far as that vintage goes. Most of the racks are still available for those, but they're pretty expensive.

 

DEB

I know, they're about one hundred dollars each.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

Yes.

 

DEB

I guess my feeling is, it works great and a hundred dollars is cheaper than buying a new one that might not work.

 

JOHN MCCULLOCH

And if you do it by tomorrow night at midnight, you could save fifteen percent, which is fifteen dollars, and on two racks that would be thirty bucks!

 

JOHN SOWDEN

Yes, so it would cover shipping and buy lunch!

 

DEB

Okay. How can we guarantee which one it is? Do they list measurements?

 

JOHN SOWDEN

Yes, if you go to our website, RepairClinic.com, and you use, just put in KD17 or KDI17 and you will see a picture of all the components we have in stock for your unit, and from there you can either measure yours or match it up that way.

 

DEB

Okay.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

Now, I will tell you that, in a lot of them, they have changed the style of the racks, so the upper rack may or may not fit, and sometimes you have to get a different side rail depending on your unit. So what they did after twenty years or so is they came out with one rack to fit a lot of different variations, and if you have very tall plates, you might have a situation with the new racks where the plates in the lower rack will now hit the upper rack.

 

DEB

Oh!

 

JOHN SOWDEN

Yeah.

 

DEB

This has a kind of circular one underneath the top rack. It's on the bottom of the top rack.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

Right. You've got the round, what they call the spider assembly, I do believe.

 

DEB

Okay.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

Yes, so most of them are still available. It is really interesting that you don't have that model number in there. Is it a sticker or a metal tag?

 

DEB

Metal tag.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

Okay. So it's a pretty old unit then. I'd say it's a KDI16 or a KDI17. If it's older than that, which it could be, you might not be able to get the racks due to availability but yeah, they don't make them like that anymore!

 

JOHN MCCULLOCH

But she'll be able to see the racks.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

Yes, you can measure them up and see and if for some reason they are incorrect, you can always send them back, we have a thirty-day return policy, no questions asked. You just send them back to us.

 

DEB
All right, I'll do that. Thank you very much for your time!

 

1996 Top Loading Washing Machine Water Runs Out the Bottom of the Unit When Turned On

 

JOHN MCCULLOCH

And let's go to Detroit, to Glenda, for a question on a washer here on the Appliance Repair Show. Hi Glenda, go ahead please.

 

GLENDA

Hi. I have a washer and when I start it with the water running, the water runs straight out the bottom.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

Runs straight out the bottom! Is it running out as fast as it's coming in?

 

GLENDA

Yes, it starts coming in and it's just running back out.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

And how old is the machine?

 

GLENDA

I've had it probably twelve years or more.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

Twelve years or more?

 

GLENDA

Well, it might not be that much.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

Okay and this is something that just occurred, or has there been a little bit of water on the floor?

 

GLENDA

No, it just happened.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

Just happened. Well, if it's coming out at that rate, as soon as you start to fill it, most often you've either got a hole in the tub, the outer tub, or one of the hoses has sprung a leak and/or popped off.

 

GLENDA

Yeah, it's probably a hole, because the water doesn't go in the tub. It just comes out the bottom.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

Right, right. It's coming from the underside of the machine. Is this is a top loading washing machine?

 

GLENDA

Yeah. Well, it turns.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

But you don't have a door in the front; you've got a door in the top?

 

GLENDA

Yes, right.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

Yes. Okay. If it's ten or twelve years old, then more than likely it's got what they call a direct drive unit. It doesn't have a belt; they have a coupling that we use between the motor and the transmission. We have instructions on our website on how to remove the cabinet where you can inspect the tub and/or hoses to see where the leak is at, or you can always have a service man come out. If the unit's ten years old, I think it would be worth having a service call to see how it's going. If it was twenty or twenty five years old, I would say you might want to look at a new one but I'd at least have somebody come out and look at it if you decide you don't want to tackle it yourself.

 

GLENDA

So do you think I need a hose?

 

JOHN SOWDEN

It could be something like that. It's normally pretty apparent where the leak is coming from, if it's coming out with that much force. At times it could be just a hose, a cracked drain hose, or it could be the pump is cracked and it's leaking out there, but if the water is coming out at that rate, finding the leak is pretty straightforward. Again, you can go to our website if you have somebody who's fairly handy that you know that can come over. We have directions on how to access that machine on our website.  You can have them get busy for you, or you can call a service person.

 

GLENDA

Would you recommend a service person?

 

JOHN SOWDEN

What I recommend always is, ask your friends and family and/or call the manufacturer and have them tell you who in your area that they recognize as an authorized servicer, which means that they're well versed on that machine.

 

GLENDA

Okay. Thank you.

 

Kenmore Dryer Won't Shut Off Unless Door is Open

 

JOHN MCCULLOCH

And we'll go now to Dennis, in Monroe, for a question on a Kenmore dryer, here on the Appliance Repair Show. Hi Dennis, go ahead please.

 

DENNIS

Good morning! I've got a Kenmore dryer that will go through the full cycle, it buzzes, but it will not shut off. If I open the door, it will stop, and then as soon as I close the door it will start up again.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

Okay. So as soon as you open the door it will stop?

 

DENNIS

It will stop.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

But as soon as you close it, it takes off again?

 

DENNIS

Yes, that's correct.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

Okay. Well, I would say at that point that you either have a motor start switch that's possibly stuck closed, or even possibly the start button is stuck closed. So, the start winding for that motor is staying in the cycle for one reason or another. You have to get the wiring diagram out, which is normally on the back panel or control panel, and see what components are in series with the motor start circuit. One of those is not stopping. When the motor starts, generally when you push the button you're engaging the start winding and the motor, as it gets up to speed, will switch from the start to the run winding internally. The motor itself, it could be failing and not doing that, and it's running off of the start and run at the same time. Normally if that's the case, the unit will overheat and shut off after a period of time, because you're loading up the motor but you've obviously got an electrical problem there, and all you can do is get in there and figure out where the culprit is.

 

DENNIS

If I turn it to the next cycle, it will start right back up too.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

Right. There's something that's keeping the start portion of that in the circuit; as soon as you close the door you're sending power to that circuit. So something's not turning off, and again it's normally in the motor start switch. It could also be that the timer is stuck, or something could have shorted out and welded the contacts in a couple components and caused it to stay on.

 

DENNIS

Okay. I will check that out.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

Yeah, sometimes the electrical problems aren't fun to get into.

 

DENNIS

Thank you for your assistance.

 

Dishwasher Had Door Switches Replaced but Shut Off Halfway Through Cycle

 

JOHN MCCULLOCH

We'll start out this segment with a dishwasher that won't dry with Gary, in Dundee, here on the Appliance Repair Show. Go ahead please, Gary.

 

GARY

Good morning, John. Repeat caller, same appliance.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

Okay...

 

GARY

I took your advice and purchased a new door switch, put it in and it fired it up. I was all happy and I thought, "Well, I'll let it run through the cycle" and the LED lights kept lighting up across the board...

 

JOHN SOWDEN

So you were halfway through the cycle, right?

 

GARY

Yes. It was running, I could hear it and everything and then all of a sudden it just quit and I can't get anything to restart again. I opened up the door and there's about two inches of water in the bottom because it hasn't drained out. I've unplugged it for days, plugged it back in again, but I cannot get the thing to restart like it did when I first put the new door switch in.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

Okay. Well you might have solved one problem, but there could be something that's now causing that. If there's something shorted in the circuit, you could have wiped the door switches out again, or the control board itself could-

 

GARY

That's what I'm leaning toward, myself, is the control board.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

Yeah, it could be. On some of those there is a thermal fuse on the board, which is replaceable separately. So you might want to inspect that. They have a cut out on the board itself so you can replace just that fuse.

 

GARY

Oh, okay. Great.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

So I'd look at that but the door switches are the first things to check, and you can check those with an ohmmeter (part # DM10T) to see if they're good or not.

 

GARY

Right, I did that and the old one in fact worked but it seemed to me that the return spring on it was weak, so it wasn't actually working. So I thought, I'll go ahead and change it...

 

JOHN SOWDEN

And you got half a cycle out of it?

 

GARY

I got a half a cycle.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

And again, the switches you can check with a meter and that's normally a good way. At times those little micro switches, they'll check all right with a meter (part # DMT) but they still will not pass voltage properly.

 

GARY

Under load.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

Exactly, under load, but now I doubt the switches are bad, especially since they're brand new. I'd still check them though, because if they're shorted, the circuit board went to that portion of the program and whatever it energized shorted out the unit, so it could be that you compromised the switches again. So I would check them, but you might want to start with the circuit board or the fuse, if there's one on it. Also, check the heating element and make sure that's not grounded or shorted.

 

GARY

Well, it was very hot in there.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

So that's working.

 

GARY

I'm pretty sure that's working okay. By the way, you've got a great website! It was very helpful with all the blowups and everything. I was able to zero right in on what I needed, I ordered the stuff and it came in a few days. Everything worked great, that part of it, but I may need to order another part.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

Well, you've got until midnight tomorrow to get fifteen percent off for all the WJR listeners and the code you want to use for that is WJR.

 

GARY

Sounds good! Thanks again, John!

 

JOHN SOWDEN

Well, we appreciate your business and I'm sorry I couldn't get it all the way good for you. I tried.

 

GARY

Do you make house calls, John?

 

JOHN SOWDEN

I used to for a lot of years!

 

JOHN MCCULLOCH

You should hear the stories he tells!

 

GARY

Oh, I can imagine! Thanks again, sir!

 

1998 Kenmore Side by Side Refrigerator/Freezer Ice Dispenser Dispensing Crushed and Not Cubed Ice

 

JOHN MCCULLOCH

And we'll take one more call. We'll go to Joe, in Sterling Heights, with an ice dispenser problem, here on the Appliance Repair Show.

 

JOE

Hi. I've got a Kenmore side by side refrigerator. It's about ten years old. It's a refrigerator/freezer and all it will do is dispense crushed ice, it won't dispense the cubes when you put the switch over to that side. Is this something I can fix myself, or do I need some professional help?

 

JOHN SOWDEN

Well, what switches it back and forth is your ice bucket itself. If you pull the ice bucket out you'll see a little metal arm at the bottom of it. That fits into a yoke in the back wall of the freezer section, and in that yoke there's a solenoid that lifts up to engage and/or disengage the blades in your dispenser.  So what happens is, when you select cubed or crushed you're either engaging or disengaging that solenoid electrically, which then lifts that arm up and either locks or unlocks the spinning blades in the front of the dispenser. So your problem could be mechanical or electrical, which means that if you've just got a bunch of stuff gummed up in the front of the dispenser, that can cause it to not engage properly, or it could be that the circuit board, which is normally behind the selector, has failed. If the solenoid itself, in the back wall, is open and it so doesn't matter how much current you send to it, it's not going to lift up that little arm for you.  The easiest thing to do is, take out the ice bucket and turn the ice maker off and lift the arm up, or turn the switch on and empty it out; you can just let it sit in the sink overnight and thaw out. If there's any ice chips in there that's causing a restriction, that's the easiest way to do it. If you put it back in and it still doesn't work, then you know the problem is not generally internal on that. You can also try turning that by hand when you have it out. From there, you're going to have to electrically troubleshoot it and see if that coil in the back wall has failed. If that checks out okay, then I'd replace the circuit board.

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