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Old 04-06-2009, 12:18 PM   #1
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So, your icemaker doesn't work!

When I bought the repo Safari Cheetah (2005), I knew that the ice maker did not work. When in for initial services after purchase, I asked them to check the ice maker in my Norcold 1200 series refrigerator. The news came back that the water solenoid was fine and it was probably the ice maker itself.

It was Friday afternoon and the repairman just wanted to leave and cash his paycheck. On his way out the door he said you should probably just replace it, it's too expensive to troublehoot. The guy was a plain grump so I decided to order one and installed it myself. I did and it did not work. Knowing that the serviceman had screwed up several other things (long story), I decided that he probably never checked the solenoid. They are not expensive, so I decided to order one and installed it myself. I did and it did not work. Being the stubborn SOB that I can be, I searched these forums and found a link to the repair manual for my unit. Got out the trusty meter (should have done that in the first place) and found that the thermistor (thermal fuse) is bad. The manual says to replace the entire wire harness. The manual also provides the directions for a total disconnect and removal of the fridge because that's the only way you can get at the harnes to replace it.

Still being the SOB that I can be, but too lazy and old to take it out and too frustrated to pay the grumpy guy to do it, I am trying to figure a way to do the repair and/or replacment without removing the fridge. So, does anyone know if I can just cut the bad thermistor out and splice in a new one? It would sure be about 20 hours shorter to do. Is it safe to do.

Please help an old, tired and cranky SOB.
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Old 04-06-2009, 03:59 PM   #2
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We have a 07 HR with a demented Dometic refrig. It too had a problem with the ice maker and I got the same answer "just replace it" from my dealers shop. So I did and it still did not work. I checked every connection and everything seemed Ok. Then I read where the ice maker needed 40psi to work! I removed the pressure regulator and the thing started to make ice. It still is not as good as the one at home in the GE frig. but it is doing OK. One note, the ice maker is just the same as the one in the house frig. You can get one for about $40 at a supply store or buy at the dealer for $140.
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Old 04-06-2009, 04:09 PM   #3
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If you can get at the thermistor why not cut it out and splice in new one. Just use crimp type connectors.
Disconnect the 12v feed and 110 from outlets please.
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Old 04-06-2009, 07:01 PM   #4
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Hi JIm,
What part of the icemaker is not working? Is it electrical or is it just not getting any water? I've found that there is a valve between the icemaker's quarter inch clear hose and the supply water line. Could it be closed ? Am I just clueless to your problem? Don't hold back, I can take it. The tech probably already checked that out.

Good luck,
Tom
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Old 04-06-2009, 07:15 PM   #5
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Tom,

My wife though of that one, not me, it's open. When I downloaded the service manual, it had a step by step trouble shooting guide. On the side of the icemaker (deinstalled and cover off) there are test points that you can either use a volt/ohm meter for certain tests and jumpers for others. All worked fine except for the test for the wiring harness that contains the thermistor. The test points should have 112 to 124 volts, mine had 0 volts, the manual said that that means the thermistor is bad (always open/no current to unit) and needs to be replaced.

Replacement requires removal of 12 volt, 110 volt, water, remove mounting screws from outside, removal of mounting screws from inside and sliding the unit out from the cabinet to get at the harness which is tiewrapped to the frame in the back. If this sounds like a lot of work, it probably is, that's why I am looking for an acceptable short cut.

By the way, it is amazing the service manuals you can find online nowadays!!!!!!!!!!! Just wish I was smart enough to use them!

Jim
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Old 04-06-2009, 07:18 PM   #6
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Oh, I forgot to mention that I am 6'3" and 390 lbs (used to be bigger before the surgery). The refer in the Safari Cheetah 38PDQ barely has enough room to get the refer out, much less with me in front pulling it!
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Old 04-06-2009, 09:23 PM   #7
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Jim, only suggestion I can offer that may work without pulling the fridge, is to access the wiring harness through the roof mounted fridge vent. Now that may not be a good idea for a guy that weighs 390 lbs, but that would be your call. I do remember someone using the roof access and I am almost sure it was to remove the ice maker harness.
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Old 04-06-2009, 09:26 PM   #8
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As I understand the unit can be purchased at places like Lowes and Home Depot, though I do not know the model or SKU numbers

And the cost of replacement is about 1/2 the cost of the minimum technician fee

The only exception to this is wire-harness issues.. But those *I* service myself as a rule (or water tube)

If you are near Detroit I can look at it for you after Tax Day, I"m busy this week, (NO I don't do taxes, save my own, and they are done long ago)
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Old 04-06-2009, 09:48 PM   #9
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John,

Thanks for the offer, Melboure Beach Florida is a long way from Detroit. By the way, Detroit is where we are from originally.

Rex

The roof vent sounds like a potential, I will have the wife (way less than 390lbs) take a look.
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Old 04-07-2009, 09:01 AM   #10
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Jim
On our older Norcold 1200LRIM series, the icemaker is a Whirlpool model that you cand get at Lowes for about $50. I replaced ours about 2 yrs ago, it was still working but leaking water from the ice mold. To get it out thee are 4 screws, one wire harness on the back and lift the water inlet out of receptacle. Before replacing pull the end cover and find the water level screw. It comes set to the lowest water level or smallest cubes. The instructions tell you how to set the water level. I measured marked and drilled a hole in the cover to match the screw so it can be adjusted without moving the icemaker.
Recently the main control panel had to be replaced and the thermister was replaced also. It just plugged into a harness alongside the light at the top of the fridge compartment.
Hope this is of some help.
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Old 04-07-2009, 10:19 AM   #11
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That is what I meant by Replacement less than repair

Technician in this part of town 110/hr

Entierly new ice maker in the box $50

Simple math
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Old 04-07-2009, 05:32 PM   #12
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Jim,
I believe that the thermal fuse you are looking for is in the short harness that connects the icemaker to the inside back of the freezer. If you pull the icemaker out you will find a metal clamp holding the thermal.
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Old 04-07-2009, 06:22 PM   #13
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Ok, so heres where I am. I already know it's the thermal fuse in the wiring harness. I know where it is, it's attached to the back of the icemaker. I know that you can replace the thermal fuse instead of replacing the entire harness which is a far better option, cause the only way to replace the harness is to remove the fridge from the cabinet. I know that it is a no-no to replace the thermal fuse per all manufacturers, then again the thermal fuse is $1.25 and the harness is $36.00.

Now what is left? I have to remove the double layer heat shrink from the existing thermal fuse on the existing wiring harness to get at it. Then, cut it out and look at the little writing on the side that says what temp the thermal fuse is. Go to Radio Shack and get the correct replacment along with the special waterproof connectors and double layer heat shrink. Splice in the new thermal fuse using the connectors and carefully heat shrink it. You should not solder the thermal fuse in place because the heat required can, and mostlikely will, ruin the fuse. Then put it all back together and see if she will fly, or at least make ice.

If it all works, better than removing the fridge. I will post when finished with the results.

Thanks to all for your help. You are great people!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Old 04-08-2009, 10:54 AM   #14
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Maybe the new coach would be cheaper if the ice maker works.????? I think I went through the same thing a year ago.. Joe
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