How to Cycle a Whirlpool Icemaker


The Whirlpool style icemaker is a nearly universal feature of most American brand appliances. The icemaker is used on GE, Maytag, and Frigidaire refrigerators as well as Whirlpool. The process of forcing an icemaker to cycle can range in difficulty from extremely easy to impossible, depending on the exact model. The first step in cycling a Whirlpool icemaker is identifying just what kind it is.

Things You'll Need

  • Flat screwdriver
  • Wire skinners
  • Short length of heavy, single-strand wire

Identifying your icemaker

  • Look at the front panel of the Whirlpool icemaker. Remove the panel by inserting a flat screwdriver along the edge and prying outward. The panel will come off, revealing the control area of the icemaker.

    If you see two white, plastic gears in the control area, refer to step 2.
    If you see one central plastic wheel but no gears, refer to step 3.
    If the panel cannot be removed, refer to step 4.

  • Look at the center of the Whirlpool icemaker to find the rotating arm that pushes the ice cubes out. Grab the plastic teeth on the arm, and gently pull them in a clockwise direction. You will hear a slight winding sound. The icemaker should start into its cycle. Reach in and pull the arm a little bit farther if the cycle does not start. Replace the control panel by pushing until you hear it snap into place.

  • Make a jumper wire by skinning each end of a short piece of single-strand wire. Skin the insulation on the wire about a half inch back on each side. Leave enough insulation for your fingers to grab onto the wire around the middle. Bend the wire into a horseshoe shape so that the two bare ends face the same direction.

    Find two holes on the control area of the Whirlpool icemaker labled "T" and "H." Insert the jumper wire into these two holes, and wait for the icemaker to begin its cycle. Pull the jumper out and replace the control panel by pushing until you hear it snap into place.

  • You have an electronic Whirlpool icemaker if the control panel is not removeable. You should refer to the techsheet/wiring diagram that came with the refrigerator to check for information on the cycling process. Techniques can vary, and some of these icemakers cannot be cycled at all. Refer to a professional appliance technician if you are having trouble with an electronic Whirlpool icemaker.

Tips & Warnings

  • You can often buy an icemaker installation kit for less than a standalone icemaker. Electronic icemakers cannot be repaired. The only option is to replace the unit.
  • A heater bar runs along the underside of these icemakers, and it can be very hot when the icemaker is cycling.

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  • Larry Harding, Appliance Technician, Hendersonville, North Carolina
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