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Old 03-26-2015, 09:05 PM   #1
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Keep valve to the ice maker from freezing?

Has anyone figured out a way to keep the solenoid water valve to the ice maker from freezing? It is in the compartment with the refrigerator and not much protection.
I found the solenoid water valve to the ice maker leaking. Must have frozen during the last cold spell on the trip back to Fort Worth from Pharr Texas. The weather went from 82 in Pharr to 23 west of Austin on 281 where we decided to get off the road as it was sleeting. I checked around the usual local RV places and they all wanted about $50.00 plus tax. Went on Amazon and got one for $23.00 shipped.
Not a hard job about 15 minutes after I got the part.
The part that took longer than changing the valve was cleaning up the rats nest of wires in this area. I just string tied the worst of it, making sure no wires were rubbing on sharp edges. Only found 4 places where the wires were run over sharp edges, 2 places the water line was rubbing on sharp metal. I still have to find a couple of small artist brushes to paint the drip tray and rest of bay.

(http://i155.photobucket.com/albums/s300/WILDEBILL308/Mobile%20Uploads/2015-03/th_IMG_20150311_125210_042.jpg)

After
(http://i155.photobucket.com/albums/s300/WILDEBILL308/Mobile%20Uploads/2015-03/th_IMG_20150323_114430_533.jpg)

Bill
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Old 03-26-2015, 11:27 PM   #2
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BILL: Your solenoid valve is "different" from mine, but they all are essentially the same concept. I think you'll find the white tube with the wire and foil wrapping goes from the bottom of the valve and up to your icemaker. You can CAREFULLY unscrew the nylon nut that attaches the tubing to the valve, and allow the tubing to drain. It looks like your inlet (water supply) is the yellow tubing going into the top of the valve. If you disconnect that and cycle the solenoid a time or two, the valve body should be empty and not freeze. However, if you connect to shore water OR turn on your pump you will get water shooting out of this tube unless you cap or plug it somehow. On mine (Norcold) the water supply attaches to the valve with a standard female garden hose fitting allowing me to attach a short piece of garden hose with a wooden dowel and hose clamp as a plug. Obviously, this is a PITA and you lose the ability to make ice when the refer is "winterized" this way. OBTW, my solenoid was over $50.00 bucks at the cheapest online source I could find. The local RV dealer parts counter wanted $109.99 plus tax.
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Old 03-27-2015, 06:42 PM   #3
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Any time I find a wire/hose rubbing on a sharp edge, I wrap it in a piece of an old junk water hose and secure the ends with strap ties.
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Old 03-27-2015, 09:39 PM   #4
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edgray, I find Amazon good place to find parts. Like I said $23.00 shipped was a great price. They had many outer types of valves so you should be able to find one.
You can see that their is foil and a heat wire on the line to the ice maker but someone had removed the foil from the intake side.
Cat320, My problem is I worked building F-35 jets in a previous life and just cant stand the mess and sloppy way these coaches are wired.
The problem was the cold came to me and I was on the road. It was 80 in Pharr Texas when I headed north up us281. When I got to where us290 goes east to Austin it was down to 23 and sleeting hard. Got off the road at Millers Creek RV Park and spent 2 days waiting for the roads to improve. Wasn't thinking about the valve freezing.
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Old 03-27-2015, 09:49 PM   #5
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There's no reason the solenoid valve has to be in the unheated area behind the refrigerator. You could move the solenoid inside a cabinet and just run the hose (with heat tape) up the back to the ice maker in the freezer. Disconnecting the hose at the solenoid should allow the hose to drain out of the hose into a pan laid under the valve body.
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Old 03-27-2015, 10:38 PM   #6
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Buy a 3' 120VAC heat tape; wrap the water solenoid and tape/zip-tie the rest to the ice-maker feed lines. No heat tape handy- use an old incandescent rope light, or put a drop-light in the compartment below the solenoid.
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Old 03-28-2015, 10:14 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ray,IN View Post
... put a drop-light in the compartment below the solenoid...
That's what I do.
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Old 03-28-2015, 07:18 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cat320 View Post
That's what I do.
That doesn't do much good going down the road. I am investigating a couple of fixes I will post more latter.
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Old 03-28-2015, 08:18 PM   #9
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run the heat tape off the inverter so its always on
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