If Your Whirlpool Refrigerator Isn’t Making Ice, Replace the Cycling Thermostat

Alex HRefrigerator RepairLeave a Comment

Your ice maker operates on a strict schedule. Once you flip down the control arm to turn on the ice making cycle, it starts preparing to freeze the ice. The cycling thermostat tells your ice maker when it’s cold enough to start the first steps. But if that thermostat is shorted out or broken, your ice maker will never get the signal to start working and it won’t be able to make any ice.
The cycling thermostat is a part that you can replace on your own. If you have a Whirlpool refrigerator, order replacement part #WP627985 and follow these steps. All you need is the part, a screwdriver, and alumilastic, a sealant compound that helps the thermostat accurately gauge the freezer’s temperature.

1. Unplug the refrigerator.

Whenever you are making repairs to a refrigerator or other major appliance, the first step should always be to unplug the machine. During the course of this repair, you will be disconnecting wire harnesses and removing the ice maker assembly from the refrigerator. Disconnecting the power source is essential for your own safety and the safety of the surrounding area.

2. Remove the ice maker.

Open the freezer section of your refrigerator. First, remove the door to your ice maker so you can access the large parts. Next, take out the shelf on top of the ice maker assembly. It may slide freely out, or you might need to pull it up and back to snap it free from the front retaining arms. Once the shelf is set aside, pull out the ice bin and also set it aside.
Now you can uninstall the ice maker itself. Remove the bottom mounting screw holding the ice maker against the refrigerator wall. The top two mounting screws don’t directly hold the ice maker; instead, the assembly has two hooks over the screws. So loosen the screws just enough that you can lift the ice maker up and away from the wall. Before you completely remove the ice maker, disconnect the wire harness in the rear.
Shut the freezer. The rest of the repair procedure involves only the ice maker.

3. Dismantle the ice maker to reach the cycling thermostat.

The thermostat is in the middle of the ice maker assembly, and you need to remove both the module and the black housing to reach it.

Remove the control module.

First, wiggle the square cap free and set it aside. Then press the locking tab holding the wire harness in place; set the wires aside without completely removing them from the assembly. Next, remove the control arm (the wire arm you press up and down to turn the ice maker off and on) by pulling each side out of the slots.
Next, remove the three screws holding the head in place. Pull the head out and set it aside.

Take off the housing.

Remove the two screws securing the housing to the rest of the ice maker. Two heating pins are also threaded through the housing, so carefully wiggle the housing free without bending or snapping the pins. The cycling thermostat is on the back side of the housing between the two holes for the heating pins.
Press down on the pins of the thermostat to push it out of the housing.

4. Replace the thermostat and retaining clips.

Before you install the new thermostat, remove the old retainer clips and replace them with the clips that came with the new part. These clips help wedge the cycling thermostat into place so it stays firmly in contact with the ice maker and doesn’t shift. It needs that direct contact to read the temperature.
Once the retaining clips are in place, push the new thermostat into the housing so the pins reach through the other side.
Add a thick smear of alumilastic to the flat top side of the thermostat. This compound conducts heat and helps the thermostat gauge the temperature of the ice maker. Make sure the surface has a thick coating; it doesn’t have to be completely covered, especially because the material will spread once it’s compressed against the side of the ice maker.

5. Reassemble the ice maker.

Slide the housing back into place by threading the heating pins through it. Be careful not to touch or smear the alumilastic. Once the housing is firmly in place, inspect it for any excess compound and wipe it away. Then resecure the housing with the two Phillips screws; make sure it’s tight enough to ensure surface contact between the thermostat and the ice maker.
Next, reinstall the control module. You will need to thread the D-shaped shaft through the module, so spin the ‘teeth’ of the ice maker’s water compartment so you can line up the shaft with the module’s hole. Thread the module into position and then resecure it with the mounting screws.
Then put the control arm back in place by slipping each end into the slots. Also plug the wire harness back in and click the cap into place.

6. Reinstall the ice marker.

Start by connecting the wire harness in the back of the ice maker. Then feed the refrigerator’s nozzle into the ice maker’s side cup and push the ice maker a few inches back while also holding it flush against the refrigerator wall. Hook the ice maker over the two mounting screws and let it hang freely as you retighten the two screws. Next, put the bottom mounting screw back in place.
The ice maker itself is fully back in place. Now you can slide the bin back under the ice maker. Slide the top shelf over the small mounting arms and on the rear mounting pegs, and then snap it onto the front arms. Turn on the ice maker by pushing the control arm down before putting the door back over the bin. Then plug in the refrigerator and wait for the freezer to cool down enough to start the next ice-making cycle.
If you have more appliance repairs on your to-do list, search our repair guides at Fred’s Appliance Service here. We can help you make your own repairs or send a technician to your house for tricky part replacements.

How to Replace Your Whirlpool Oven’s Insulation

Alex HOven RepairLeave a Comment

Your oven has a layer of insulation under the surface. Not only does this keep the machine’s heat in place so you can cook efficiently, it keeps the heat from damaging your surrounding cabinets and flooring. But that insulation can get damaged over time. Water might find it’s way in and make the material start to turn moldy. Mice might wedge their way to nest in the warmth if your area has harsh winters. No matter what’s wrong with your insulation, replacing it quickly can save you a lot in your energy bills and replacement costs. Order a replacement layer of insulation for your Whirlpool oven (part #WPW10208653) and follow these steps to replace it yourself.
While replacing the insulation itself is simple, the insulation can be tricky to access. The majority of this process involves dismantling the machine so you can freely access the material on the sides and top of the oven. To do this, you just need a screwdriver and a wood or plastic block.

1. Unplug the oven and move it into the center of the room.

During the course of this repair, you are going to accessing the oven’s internal parts. While you will not be directly manipulating the wiring, leaving the power on will be dangerous. So unplug the oven, or flip the correct circuit breaker if it is wired directly into the house’s power.
Then pull the whole appliance into the center of the room. While you dismantle the machine, you will be removing the side panels. Make sure you have plenty of workspace and room to set down the panels you will be removing.

2. Dismantle the machine

Remove the oven door.

Swing the oven door open and locate the hinges on either side of the bottom. Snap open the hinge locks holding the door in place. Then grab the sides of the door, close it halfway, and slide the door forward so the hinges slip out of the oven. This part is heavy and fragile, so be prepared for the weight. Set it aside on a cushioned surface without putting pressure on the front glass.

Remove the rear access panel.

Go to the back of the appliance. Loosen all ten screws securing the top rear access panel. Then pull the panel free and set it aside. This will let you swing the control panel up and out of the way once you dismantle the cooktop.

Remove the cooktop.

Go back to the front of the appliance and locate the two corner screws under the lip of the stove that are holding the cooktop in place. Unscrew them and set them aside. Then remove the cooktop: lift the front of it at a forty-five-degree angle and then slide the raised back free from under the control panel. Carefully set this part aside.
Now you can see the panel holding the top elements in place. Unscrew the sides so you can lift this panel up later. Do not fully remove it or disconnect the wiring.

Remove the side panels.

The side panels are held in place by screws along the sides of the back panel and more screws under the top control panel. Remove the screws at the back of the machine and then swing the control panel back out of the way to remove the remainder of the screws. Then, starting on one side, lift up the front corner of the element panel and pull on the back of the side panel so it swings free. It may remain secured to the front of the oven on the mounting tabs, so carefully pull or swing it free. Set the first panel aside and repeat this step on the other side panel.

Access the top sheet of insulation under the elements.

While you don’t want to fully remove the remainder of the top paneling, it is blocking your access to the insulation. So tilt the element panel up and set the front on a wooden block. Then unscrew the door latch and set it loosely inside the machine.

Remove the inner side panels.

There is a connecting rod running across the top of the oven under the panel. It is attached to second side panels. Unlatch this rod and set it aside so you can start removing these side panels. Each second side panel has two screws holding it in place. Remove the screws and lift the panels free and set them to the side. Both panels need to be removed.

3. Remove the old insulation.

The insulation should be right under the second side panels you just removed and the tilted top element panel. Carefully start prying the edges of the insulation loose. Excess material will have been pushed under the sides of the appliance. While nothing is holding the insulation into place. the fibers may be caught against any sharp metal edges. Make sure every edge of the insulation is loose and that the material is hanging loosely from the top of the appliance.
Then, at the top of one of the sides, start gently pulling the material across the top to free it. Stop if you feel any resistance and try to remove the insulation in a single sheet. If you’re removing the old insulation because of mice damage, inspect the machine for any loose tufts. Set all of the insulation aside.

4. Install the new insulation

Carefully push a short edge of the insulation across the top panel. The edge with perpendicular cuts should be oriented to the rear of the machine. Once the short edge has reached the other side of the top, start pulling that side down until the material is evenly distributed across both side panels.
Tuck excess insulation under the oven body. Make sure both sides have enough excess material so the friction holds the material in place. The insulation should be taut but not tight, and the material should be slid behind the side panel hinges.

5. Reassemble the machine.

During this step, you are going to follow the steps of dismantling the machine backward. Start with the second set of side panels. Mount them into place and retighten the screws.
Then slip the connecting rod back across the underside of the top. Latch it to both sides of the appliance. Next, reinstall the door latch with the two screws. Remove the block and carefully lower the top element panel back into place.
After that, reinstall the two outer side panels. Slip the front edge of each panel into the mounting tabs, then swing them into alignment towards the rear of the machine. As you’re moving the side panels, make sure the top panel is lifted up and out of the way. Once each panel clicks into place, retighten the screws along the edges of the rear panel and under the top control panel. Then swing the control panel back into position and screw it in place.
Before you reinstall the cooktop, replace all of the screws you took out along the top panel. Then slide the back of the cooktop into place under the control panel and lower the front until it’s flat along the top of the machine. Tighten the screws to lock in place.
Next, put the top rear access panel in position. Then replace the oven door. Make sure you close the hinge locks and make sure the weight of the door is supported before you let the door go.
Now you have new insulation to keep your cabinets protected and mice out of your oven’s inner workings. For more oven and major appliance repairs, go to Fred’s Appliance Service here. We can answer your questions or help with the more complex repairs your appliance need.

Dryer Repair for Damp Clothes: How to Replace a Whirlpool Dryer Blower Wheel

Alex HDryer RepairLeave a Comment

Dryers have a lot of moving parts, and there are a lot of different ways they can break. But if the fan is damaged and not making noise, or there’s little circulation in the drum and the clothes stay damp, there’s usually only one possible cause: a damaged blower wheel. Order a replacement part and follow these steps to remove the old wheel and install the new part.
Whirlpool-brand major appliances don’t always come under the main name brand of ‘Whirlpool,’ and sometimes the parts can be cross-applied regardless of the specific brand and model. Look for part number 33002797 or B0053Y2WWW when repairing the following dryer brands: Admiral, Amana, Jenn-Air, Kenmore, KitchenAid, Magic Chef, Maytag, Norge, Roper, Sears, and Whirlpool.

1. Unplug the dryer.

Whenever you’re replacing a part in a major appliance, it’s important to remove the power source before you get started. During the course of this part replacement, you will be dismantling the machine and disconnecting wires, so unplugging the dryer or flipping the circuit breaker is essential for everyone’s safety.

2. Remove the door and panels.

Open the door. On the right side, you will see two hinges. Loosen both screws, and then pull up on the door to release the hinges. At this point, the door should pull completely free, so set it aside. Then unscrew the door clasps on the left side of the door opening and set them aside.
Remove the lower front panel by pulling the top of the front panel free so it swings on the bottom clasps. Once the front panel is at an angle, lift it up from the mounting brackets. Set it aside.
Remove the top panel: Loosen the screws holding brackets in place on each of the front corners. Once the screw is removed, you can push the bracket up out of its frame and remove the piece. Once the two bracket, one on each front corner, are removed, you can lift up the top panel on a back hinge.
Disconnect the wire harness connected to the light socket. Because each wire configuration has a different size, you don’t have to mark them or remember the orientation. However, with most wire harnesses and complex parts, it’s a good idea to take a picture for easy reinstallation.
Remove the remainder of the front panel by removing the four screws around the perimeter of the dryer drum. Unscrew the parts holding the front panel flush against the machine, not the nearby screws in the cutouts. Once the panel is loose, set it to the side without stretching or tugging the attached wires.
The attached wires lead to the moisture sensors, and they can now be disconnected. Use a flathead screwdriver to depress the locking tabs holding the two wires in place. This time, take a picture so you orient the wires correctly during reinstallation.
Take out the two screws holding the dryer’s bulkhead in place. These are the screws in the metal cutouts that you avoid earlier. As you’re loosening the second screw, hold the part so it doesn’t fall. Pull it out at a straight angle and set it aside.

3. Remove the drum.

Before the drum can pull free, you need to loosen the belt from the pulleys.  Reach behind the blower wheel to the back of the machine and push the idler pulley to the left. This reduces tension on the belt so you can pull the belt free and let it hang loosely around the drum.
Use the top of the belt as a handle to pick up the drum and carefully lift it out the side of the machine. Set aside the drum.

4. Access the blower wheel.

The blower wheel is in the front left corner and you should be able to see the part. The first step to removing the part is removing the front cover. Look for the screw holding the cover in place against the machine and remove them. Next, remove all the screws along the edge of the cover that holds it to the blower.
Once the cover is loose, carefully move it to the side inside the dryer. The right side is connected to several wires, and you shouldn’t have to disconnect them.
In order to remove the blower wheel, you have to hold it firmly in place. The motor behind the blower wheel is what makes it spin. So you have to reach behind the motor (located behind the dryer wheel) and hold the motor pulley in place with a socket wrench. It’s a bit like untightening the nuts when you’re changing a tire: you need tension on the central axle as you loosen other parts.
Once the motor pulley is held in position, loosen the central bolt holding the blower wheel in place. Because this is the same piece as the motor pulley, you need to turn it clockwise to loosen it. Once it’s free enough to hand loosen, spin the wheel free and set it aside.

5. Install the new blower wheel.

Retighten your grip on the motor pulley. Then tighten the blower wheel in place by hand spinning it counterclockwise and then use a socket wrench to tighten it slightly.
Carefully put the cover back in position and start replacing the screws. Just like when you’re replacing a tire, start by putting the screws back on opposite sides of the cover and then in as much of a star pattern as you can. This ensures that the cover is correctly in place and won’t pinch anything.
Once the cover is on, retighten the bolt to the base of the machine.

6. Reassemble the machine.

During this step, you’re going to work backward to put all of the parts back into position.
Start with the dryer drum. Use the belt to guide the drum back into position in the machine. Then work the loose length of the belt back over the pulleys by pulling the idler pulley to the left. From your position at the front of the machine facing in, the pulley should go down along the right side of the white idler pulley and then abruptly go left around the far edge of the smaller pulley before it turns back to the right and around the drum. Doublecheck that there’s tension, no twists and that the belt is groove-side down on the drum.
Reinsert the bulkhead by slipping it through the drum and around the blower wheel cover. It should fit in place without being tight. You might need to lift the drum slightly to align all of the parts. Once it’s in place, push it against the dryer’s frame and screw it into position with the two corner screws.
Reconnect the moisture sensors, using your picture to align the colors and the light wire. Most machines have a small interior panel along the side of the machine for the light’s wires. Run them through the gap so there is no risk of friction during the machines use.

7. Reassemble the panels.

Put the front panel around the drum and bulkhead. Line it up with the holes along the perimeter and retighten the screws. Make sure none of the wires are pinched or stretched.
Next, lower the top panel and make sure the front clasps click into position. Hook the brackets around the front corners of the top panel and slip the brackets flush against the front of the edge of the machine. Retighten the screws.
Then snap the lower front panel into position. Hook it into the bottom clasps and then push the top edge against the machine.

8. Reinstall the door.

Reattach the clasps and screws to the left side of the front panel. Then pick up the door and insert the hinges into position. Hold the door while you tighten the hinge screws so the weight doesn’t bend the hinge metal.
Like with every repair job, start the machine’s cycle to make sure everything was reinstalled properly and the machine can function. If you have time, put a hand towel in the dryer and let it run long enough to test for hot air circulation.
For more dryer repair procedures and how to troubleshoot other major appliances, go to Fred’s Appliance Service here.

Refrigerator Repair: How to Remove and Prevent Ice Build-Up in the Freezer

Alex HRefrigerator RepairLeave a Comment

Have you ever gone out to your refrigerator in the morning only to step in a puddle of water, wondering where it came from and how it got there?
The water seems to be leaking from underneath the refrigerator but that still doesn’t really tell you how it got there. Before you make that service call, read on to see if you might be able to perform this refrigerator repair yourself.
The first thing to do is open the freezer drawer, slide the bottom basket out so you can inspect the freezer floor. Is there a sheet of ice present? If the answer is yes, then the repair is fairly straightforward but will take a bit of time and patience if you’ve never done it before.
More than likely, the drain grommet has become gunked up and needs to be replaced. Ah, I can hear some of you asking, what is a drain grommet?  A grommet is best described as a nipple that sits securely at the end of the drain tube allowing water to pass through to the drain pan. It opens when the freezer goes into the self-defrost mode, allowing water to flow through the drain line to the drain pan and closes when self-defrost concludes. The reason it closes is to prevent warm air from entering the unit through the drain tube.
The sheet of ice is the biggest clue and what it tells you is that the water that is supposed to be flowing through the drain line to the drain pan is frozen. And every time the refrigerator goes into self-defrost the melted water has nowhere else to go other than the floor of your freezer with some of it leaking out on to the kitchen floor.
What many people do is unplug the unit and remove everything from the freezer and refrigerator, leave the doors open, and allow the frozen water to melt away. They correctly troubleshoot the problem by understanding that the water in the drain line is frozen. What most people fail to do is ask why or how that happened in the first place.
Depending on the level of your experience this repair should take 45 minutes to an hour to complete.
Tools Needed for This Repair
  • ¼ inch Nut Driver
  • Putty Knife
  • Flathead Screwdriver
  • Needle nose pliers
There are two things you need to do to carry out this repair. The first is to gain access to the lower back panel to the drain line so the grommet can be replaced. The next thing to do is to gain access to the front freezer compartment to thaw out and remove the ice that has accumulated in the drain pan and drain line. It may not make a difference which way to approach this process, but we shall begin this repair by replacing the drain grommet.

How to Access the Drain Grommet

  • Unplug the unit before doing any work. Always Safety First!
  • Loosen and remove nine screws from the lower back panel
  • Disconnect wiring harness that goes to the inlet valve
  • Remove back panel and set aside. You are now looking into the compressor compartment
  • Move out of the way a plastic device that enables the water to complete its journey to the drain pan
  • Just above this part is the drain grommet which is attached to the drain tube. Remove the drain grommet and inspect for wear and tear, dust, and gunk like stickiness. If the grommet appears like it has melted or is dirty beyond what you are able to clean it, then replace it.
  • But if it looks good enough to use again, clean it.
  • Clean the grommet by running warm soapy water through the opening
  • Securely attach the clean or new grommet back on to the end of the drain tube
  • Plug the inlet valve harness back into place on the rear panel.
  • Reattach the rear panel.
Wouldn’t it be nice if that was all you needed to do? To complete this repair, however, you need to return to the front freezer compartment to remove the ice build up on the freezer floor and from the drain pan. The following brief will explain how to do that.

How to Access the Drain Pan

The last thing you need to do is gain access to the drain pan and drain tube. Be patient and cautious around some of the sharp edges you encounter. After you remove all your frozen goods do the following.
  • Loosen the four screws that hold the freezer door in place. Lift it from its frame and set aside
  • Remove the bottom basket
  • To remove the upper tray, push in the small tabs on either side near the front. There are two remaining screws, one on each side, that must be removed before you can remove the tray.
  • If you have an ice maker, remove it by locating two screws on the top and one on the bottom. The ice maker should be free to pull out, so you have access to the wire harness that connects it to the unit. Disconnect the harness, remove the ice maker and set aside
  • Locate the back cover and remove the two screws that hold it in place. The screws are located at the bottom of the cover.
  • Press the two tabs on top of the cover with the flathead screwdriver. The cover is flexible and needs to be manipulated to completely remove it. Be careful of sharp edges.
  • Using the flathead screwdriver, press the tab that holds the thermistor cover in place. Remove the cover and set aside.
You should now have access to the drain pan. Do you notice ice build up in and around the drain pan? The following should help you remove it.
  • Slide a putty knife along the icy slot that opens to the drain pan. Break up as much ice as possible. By now, with the refrigerator unplugged much of this ice should have melted away.
  • Use the turkey baster to squirt hot water on the drain line which is located dead-center in the drain pan. Keep squirting hot water until you are sure all the ice has melted away.
  • Use the putty knife to help break up the sheet of ice on the freezer floor
  • Wipe the area down with a clean towel
  • In reverse order, replace the rear cover, thermistor cover, ice maker, upper tray, lower basket and finally, replace the bottom door
Plug your refrigerator back into its power source and return the frozen goods back into the freezer.
If this repair seems to be a bit complicated or you don’t have the time to do it yourself, give a shout out to a professional appliance repair company.