How to Replace Ice Maker Optic Boards in a Side-by-Side Refrigerator

 

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This DIY repair guide gives detailed instructions for how to replace the pair of ice maker optic boards in a side-by-side refrigerator. The emitter optic board on the left wall of the freezer sends an infrared beam across the top of the ice bucket to the receiver optic board on the opposite wall. When the ice in the bucket piles high enough to block the infrared beam, the received board shuts off the ice maker. If the ice bucket is overflowing, check whether the receiver optic board is working correctly by lifting the flipper cover on the left side of the freezer to block the infrared beam; the red LED light on the receiving optic board should blink twice, pause and repeat. Close the flipper cover to allow the infrared beam to travel between the optic boards; the red LED light should stay lit without blinking. If the board fails this test, replace the boards with the manufacturer-approved replacement part.

Use this procedure for Kenmore, Whirlpool and KitchenAid side-by-side refrigerators.

Repair difficulty:
     
Time required:

Less than 30 min.

Parts Required

  • Refrigerator ice maker optic boards

For manuals, repair guides, and specific part recommendations, enter your model number.

Tools Required

  • Phillips screwdriver
  • Slot screwdriver
  • Work gloves
  • Grounding strap (optional)

Before you begin

Wear work gloves to protect your hands. Safely store any food that could deteriorate while the refrigerator is shut off. 

Before handling the new emitter optic board, touch the metal refrigerator cabinet or wear a grounding strap to prevent static from damaging the component.

 

Instructions

 Warning: Undertaking repairs to appliances can be hazardous. Use the proper tools and safety equipment noted in the guide and follow all instructions. Do not proceed until you are confident that you understand all of the steps and are capable of completing the repair. Some repairs should only be performed by a qualified technician.

Step 1: Disconnect the electrical power

Unplug the refrigerator or shut off the circuit breaker for the refrigerator.

Step 2: Remove the emitter optic board

The emitter optic board is on the left wall of the freezer. Remove the 3 mounting screws and slightly pull out the emitter board. Using a slot screwdriver, release the locking tab on the wire harness and disconnect it from the emitter board. 

Remove the screws that secure the emitter circuit board and pull it out.

 

Step 3: Install the new emitter optic board

Place the new emitter optic board in the housing and secure it with the mounting screws. 

Connect the wire harness to the new emitter board, making sure that the locking tab snaps into place. 

Position the emitter optics board in the opening in the freezer wall and line up the screw holes. Insert the mounting screws and tighten firmly.

 

 Warning: Before handling the new emitter optic board, touch the metal refrigerator cabinet or wear a grounding strap to prevent static from damaging the component.

Step 4: Remove the receiver optic board

The receiver optic board is on the right wall of the freezer. Remove the 3 mounting screws and slightly pull out the emitter board. Using a slot screwdriver, release the locking tab on the wire harness and disconnect the harness from the receiver board. Remove the screws that secure the emitter optic board to the housing. Pull the emitter board out of the housing.

Step 5: Install the new receiver optic board

Place the new receiver optic board in the housing and secure it with the mounting screws. Connect the wire harness to the new receiver board, making sure the locking tab snaps into place. Position the receiver optics board in the opening in the freezer wall and line up the screw holes. Insert the mounting screws and tighten them firmly.

 Warning: Before handling the new receiver optic board, touch the metal refrigerator cabinet or wear a grounding strap to prevent static from damaging the component.

Step 6: Restore electrical power

Plug in the refrigerator or turn on the house circuit breaker to restore power.