Proper Operation
Learn how your appliance is supposed to operate so you can determine if it is malfunctioning.

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Whirlpool Crescent-Mold Icemaker


Whirlpool acquired the crescent mold icemaker design when they bought the Servel company. Servel was manufacturing gas refrigerators that included this elegent little icemaker. Whirlpool put their brand name on the old Servel refrigerators and started integrating the "compact" icemaker into their other refrigerators bearing the Whirlpool and Sears Kenmore brand names.

The Whirlpool compact icemaker is indeed compact, but more important, it reliably cranks out lots of ice. Water enters a crescent mold during a timed fill. When the water is frozen, the harvest cycle begins with heating of the mold and ends with the ejector blades sweeping the cubes out into the bin below. It performs these functions with a minimum of parts and no twisting trays or leaking seals.

Modular Icemaker: Whirlpool has been manufacturing compact "modular" icemakers with a single module that replaces ALL of the individual components in the control head (microswitches, motor, cam and mechanical linkages). My personal experiences with these modules has been very disappointing. They have been failing in less than a year. The modules are expensive (more than $60) but seem to be coming down in cost. The business that I buy parts from has large numbers of these modules on back order so they are being replaced at a high rate. If you have a small plastic knob sticking out the right side of the control head to adjust the cube size and if you have a relatively new refrigerator, y ou probably have one of these modules in your icemaker. Confirm it by pulling off the control head will see a brown plastic panel instead of a metal one. A label inside the cover will also identify it as a "MODULAR ICE MAKER". They are a repairman's delight because they can be replaced in a couple of minutes with great assurance that the icemaker will work again....for a limited time. I am seeing indications that Whirlpool is working very hard to engineer reliability back into their historically very reliable icemaker but they have a ways to go. Go to the modular crescent mold section if you think you have one of these icemakers. The remainder of this section will deal with the repair of the older icemaker with the descrete components.

GE/Hotpoint was one the first major manufacturers to replace its push up ejector mold icemaker with the Whirlpool icemaker. Others followed until today the Whirlpool compact icemaker is, by far and away, the most popular design on the market.

Mechanical Drawings

The following is an illustration of a complete icemaker:


The control head basically contains a motor, thermostat, control cam and three microswitches (see diagram).

Control Head

The icemaker has a solid metal mold (that can't leak) with a heater embedded on the bottom. (see diagram).

Control Head

Problem Diagnostics

The problems are listed in the order that they occur most frequently. The repair procedures are designed to be printed out for reference while making the repairs.

  • There is ice, slush or water in the mold, no harvest and the bail is down. It may not be cold enough in the freezer section for the icemaker to operate.
  • There is nothing in the mold, no ice is being made and the bail is down. Early signs of this problem may be small cubes. Check the water supply.
  • There may be ice in the mold, no harvest and the icemaker is stalled mid-cycle. This time the problem is inside your icemaker. Check internal components.
  • The icemaker won't stop and is proceeding to fill the freezer with ice. The shut off linkage or switch has failed.