Monday evening, I popped open the freezer to withdraw something for Tuesday’s dinner, and there was a quarter-inch-thick coating of ice on the bottom. Even more fun, the ice bucket, normally filled with proper cubes, contained one large rectangular block of ice.
Most logical assumption: icemaker malfunction. I filled up the ice mold from a coffee cup; two hours later it had produced the expected number of cubes, but the mold was empty. This tells me that the mechanism still works, but the water valve is toast. A parts operation offered to sell the valve separately, for about 60 percent of the price of an entire icemaker. (Lowe’s has a bolt-in replacement for about $100.)
Now the fridge, a just-above-bottom-of-the-line Whirlpool masquerading as a Sears Kenmore, is about to reach its 12th birthday. I see no reason to spend the better part of a grand replacing the whole thing if I can replace the icemaker without incident. Then again, I have very little faith in my appliance-repair skillz.