Depreciated frozen asset

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.


  1. fillyjonk »

    19 August 2015 · 10:38 am

    I’ve been told ice makers are the weak link in fridges. (I don’t have one on mine, not after the line blew in my parents’ fridge and flooded the hall closet on the other side of where the line was).

    My fridge is closing in on 15 years and I admit I look at it nervously and debate buying a new one vs. waiting for the doubtless-inconvenient time it will choose in which to crap out.

  2. Chuck »

    19 August 2015 · 10:54 am

    Google the part number for the valve. You might find one for $1.95.

  3. McGehee »

    19 August 2015 · 11:21 am

    We’ve had our fridge so long I’ve forgotten what brand it is (I think GE). We bought it, IIRC, during holiday sale time because we were closing on the house (the one we moved out of three years ago) on Dec. 1.


    I’ve brought up the possibility of replacing it a few times, but it’s still churning out ice cubes (knock on wood-grain contact paper over particle board — hey, it qualifies).

  4. CGHill »

    19 August 2015 · 11:58 am

    The mechanism seems sufficiently worn — particularly, the nonstick coating on the ice mold is deteriorating — to make me want to replace the whole icemaker, rather than just the valve (which is probably not expensive).

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