How Do Refrigerator Ice Makers Work?

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A refrigerator ice maker works by using a connected water supply to automatically dispense enough water for filling an ice tray, and then calculating when the ice is ready to be dispensed, based on how the ice expands. Learn how a motor in the ice maker rotates to push the ice out of the tray with information from a remodeling contractor and home repair specialist in this free video on appliances.

Part of the Video Series: Home Improvements & Maintenance
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Video Transcript

Hi I'm Tim Gipson, I'm going to talk to you about how a refrigerator ice makers work. Now ice makers work automatically based on a cycle. If you have water that's available where your refrigerator is located, there's a thin tube that's attached to a valve that comes in to the back of the refrigerator that supplies water into the refrigerator. Then up top here, you have your ice maker which is simply a tray and inside the ice maker mechanism, you have an automatic faucet that turns on and off. So what it does when the ice tray is empty, it'll turn on and it will dispense just enough water to fill up the tray inside the ice maker. Now after the ice is frozen and because it expands, there's an indicator in there and there's a time cycle which tells it that that ice is ready to be dispensed. Then what it does is it activated a motor in here and rotates these finger-like devices. And these finger-like devices will actually rotate, turn around and it will push the ice out of the tray that's built in and into your hopper. So in this case, we've got ice in the door here and so as this, as these fingers cycles around, then it pops the ice cube out and places it into the tray. And then the water dispenses and it repeats. So that's how a ice maker works. So I'm Tim Gipson talking to you about a refrigerator ice maker.


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