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

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Whirlpool made Sears Kenmore Flex-Tray Icemaker

Twist-Tray Icemaker


The flex-tray's cubes are in the shape of little ingots. Apparently the cube shape was more pleasing than that of the Whirlpool compact icemaker's crescent shapped cubes. The cost of a second synchronous motor was saved by driving the icemaker gears and the defrost switch actuater gears with one motor. This requires that the icemaker stay in it's normal location for the refrigerator to operate!

The Whirlpool flex-tray icemaker gets its name from the way it makes ice. It basically puts water in a plastic ice cube tray, freezes it, tips it upside down and twists it to dump the cubes into a bin - much the same way you would make ice manually using a flexible ice cube tray.

Whirlpool put most of these icemakers in Sears Kenmore refrigerators in the 1970's. They were eventually replaced by the more reliable compact icemaker but not before thousands of them were produced. There are many survivors so here is the information you will need to keep them going:

Problem Diagnostics

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

  • Ice cubes have been replaced by a block of ice in the bin. Mineral deposits have formed on the bottom of the plastic tray and water is flowing over non-ejected cubes into the bin.
  • The refrigerator is warming up with all the earmarks of a defrost problem (frost on the back wall of the freezer). Inspect the defrost function components of the refrigerator.
  • The tray is not moving at all but the defrost function of the icemaker appears to be working. It may be time to replace the icemaker gears and check the drive pin.
  • The icemaker is dumping the water from the tray before it has a chance to freeze. There is no thermostat in this icemaker. Water in the tray is given plenty of time to freeze as long as the freezer temperature is less than 10 degrees F. The icemaker motor turns when the compressor is running. If your refrigerator has defrost problems, the compressor will be running all the time and the temperature will go above 10 degrees in the freezer section. Put a thermometer in the freezer section and confirm whether or not you have defrost problems.
  • The tray is going around but no ice is being produced. Check the internal components and the external water supply.

Replacement Part Numbers

Two such units were produced. One was number 628385 (now number 4389196) and designed for use in 22 cubic ft. Whirlpool/Kenmore top-freezer models. The other, part number 628384 (now number 4389195) for all other models.