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 U-Line Ice Makers
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Page: of 3

davita

RO# 16378

Posted - Nov 12 2009 :  07:08:46  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Dan,
I was on that same boat a couple of months back cruzin New England, Martha's Vineyard and back to Long Island.
My recollections of the trip are interspersed with a wine and margarita tasting that went wild.
I do recall getting on a public bus to Newport RI and seeing how the other half live....not a pretty sight.
This was after flying business from Vancouver to New York and an Amtrak train to Providence.
The conversation about the ice-maker working was, I recall, something to do with silicone and duct tape....noooo...silicone sealing did the trick... my friends used duct tape to shut me up!
Wot no smileys here?

David



Homeport: Vancouver Go to Top of Page

Vic Willman

RO# 3655

Posted - Nov 12 2009 :  13:47:56  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thanks Dan, I didn't know that U-Line had switched over to an auto-reset circuit breaker for the limit switch. In the days when I worked on them (pre-1990) the limit switch was a one-time fuse. When it blew, the machine was completely dead until the limit switch was either bypassed or replaced.

Should the machine get "stuck" partway through the ejection cycle, the mold heater will stay on indefinitely - until everything starts rotating again. The limit switch is put there to protect against the machine catching on fire if the mold heater stays on too long. With them switching over to an auto-reset circuit breaker (which I don't think is a good idea), you simply wait until things cool back down, then it tries again - and again - and again. Until the cubes themselves melt, and the ejector can start turning again.

The ice mold itself, has some sort of epoxy lining to make it nice and smooth inside, to aid in the release of the ice cubes. This lining is attacked by winterizing the machine with non-toxic anti-freeze. The anti-freeze softens the epoxy lining and over time, destroys it. Then you get bits and pieces of it in your ice cubes the following year, along with bits and pieces of the aluminum mold material. NEVER winterize an icemaker with any sort of anti-freeze. Disconnect the water line from it, disconnect the tube from the bottom of the water valve, run the machine for two hours with no water attached to it, then store it dry for the winter.

To sum up your particular situation, I think you simply "got a lemon." U-Line icemakers, unless they've significantly cheapened them in the last 20 years, have always been quite reliable and would last for many years. Their weak link was always their cold control, which would crap out about every 5 years or so. Then the machine would get cold but wouldn't eject the cubes. Replacing the cold control would fix it, but it was a real PITA to do.



-- The Head Master --

Homeport: Millville, NJ Go to Top of Page

boatbum

RO# 36

Posted - Nov 12 2009 :  15:45:05  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Vic from what I read these are not circuit breakers, they are merely temperature activated switches. They open at one temperature and close at another. In both of the types I have experience with due to this unit, they both reset. It's a bimetallic switch not unlike what happens in a household thermostat.
What turned into a bonus round of debug for me was that every time I pulled the cover off and started probing the dang thing reset and left me hanging.
As it stands now, without the icemaker active the unit is doing well as a secondary refrigerator and if we put bottles of water in the tub they freeze.
The thing hardly runs at all now.

Is it normal for them to run continuously when making ice?

I learned over a weekend using the inverter to drive the A.C. power on the boat that when it's making ice it sucks much more power. I'm thinking that instead of using heat there has to be a better way to eject the cubes. I don't think household units in regular refrigerators use this method.

As an aside and one more bonus the S.O. is really pissed because we missed a viable Gulf Stream crossing because I elected to order the parts.

David when they escalate to Saran Wrap move on.



Edited by - boatbum on Nov 12 2009 15:46:26

Homeport: Go to Top of Page

Vic Willman

RO# 3655

Posted - Nov 13 2009 :  08:35:25  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Dan wrote: Is it normal for them to run continuously when making ice?

Pretty much. The refrigeration unit is only rated for around 400 BTU's, so it has to work pretty hard to remove enough heat to freeze the water in the ice mold, and do it in a timely fashion - every 45 minutes or so.

Once the ice bin has filled, and they go into "maintenance mode," the machine only runs about 25% of the time, sometimes even less, depending on the ambient temperature in the compartment where the machine is located.

The machine only draws around 2 amps while cooling, and about 2 1/2 amps during the harvest cycle when the mold heater is activated; but when the power source is an inverter, the power drain from your batteries can still be quite substantial. With inverters being comparatively inefficient, the power drain from your batteries will be somewhere around a continuous 20-25 amps, not counting any other items that may also be powered by the inverter.




-- The Head Master --

Homeport: Millville, NJ Go to Top of Page

boatbum

RO# 36

Posted - Nov 13 2009 :  17:58:47  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Actually the draw on ours is only about 12-14 amps while running the uline, laptops and WxWorx. When the dedicated freezer kicks in it jumps up to 24 amps dc.
Today the new icemaker showed up at the marina and I installed it. Things are going *MUCH* better now. About 4 or 5 loads of ice have fallen and there are no icicles yet.
The installation went very smoothly. The only hitch was they have a different connector at the five wire splice that is compatible but will not lock in place.
Here is a shot of the mold:


We always used air and blew out the fresh water system. Antifreeze never touched this that I know of. The tab on the right side was causing cubes to crush and jam the eject during heating so I am thinking this was early failure due to excessive heat. That tab was on the inside of the mold when we got it, and it took a year for us to figure that out.



Edited by - boatbum on Nov 14 2009 07:24:30

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PJ

RO# 396

Posted - Apr 27 2010 :  07:29:30  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
My U-line ice maker went bad on the run from Jacksonville to Charleston , from all I have read above it is the cold control. I t gets cold and will not eject the ICE. How can I test the cold control?


Homeport: Charleston, SC Go to Top of Page

Vic Willman

RO# 3655

Posted - Apr 27 2010 :  10:59:43  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
PJ, it's fairly easy to check the thermostat. First, remove the cover from the front of the ice mold mechanism (white plastic, 4" square, on the very front of the icemaker unit inside the machine). There are two slots at the bottom of it. Insert a screwdriver in one of the slots and twist it. Note: you'll usually crack it when trying to get it off, no big deal. It usually just cracks in the corner, making it easier to remove next time.

When you've got the cover off, locate the SMALL gear. The newer ones are metal and have a hex molded on them, to allow you to put a small wrench on them. (the older ones were plastic, and had no hex on them) But if it is, say, a 1985 or newer unit, it will have the hex on it.

With the machine on and running, grab the hex with a wrench and force-turn it about 1/4 turn COUNTER CLOCKWISE. Remove the wrench. The compressor and fan should immediately shut off, and the gear should continue to turn. Within about 5-7 minutes' time, it should continue around, dump any ice that is in the mold, bring in new water for the next batch of cubes, then park itself and the compressor and fan will come back on and begin the cooldown cycle for the next batch of ice. If it does all of that, the thermostat is bad and needs to be replaced.

The thermostat is located on the right-hand side, behind the lower grille. You'll see a round decal with an arrow, saying "Colder." That's the thermostat (U-Line calls it the cold control). There are (2) screws holding it in place. Before trying to remove it, turn off the power to the unit, at the breaker panel (don't just shut off the switch on the front of the machine). On the rear of the thermostat are several wires. Be sure to note which wire connects to which terminal on the thermostat. The tabs are numbered on the thermostat - don't just go by the position of the tabs, mark down the actual number (red goes to #3, etc.). The replacement thermostat may not be laid out exactly the same as the original, so the position of the tabs can't necessarily be trusted.

Next, the machine will have to be removed from any cabinetry where it might be mounted, as you need to get to the back side of it. A long capillary tube goes out the back of the thermostat, through the lower portion of the machine, up the rear of it, and it goes into the rear of the ice mold unit.

Pull the capillary tube from the rear of the ice mold unit, and fish it out through the front of the machine. Remove the old thermostat unit completely.

On the new thermostat, straighten about 12" of the capillary tube, and feed it into the tube in the rear of the machine where you removed the old one. Push it in until it "bottoms" inside the tube that protrudes out from the ice mold unit. When it has bottomed, bend the capillary tube sharply and feed it down the rear of the machine and gradually unwind the rest of the coiled capillary tube and fish it through the machine from the rear to the front.

Re-connect the wires, then turn the screw adjustment all the way counter-clockwise (to the warmest possible setting). Leave it at that setting. Then let it hang by the wires and turn the machine back on. If, after 2 hours, everything seems to be working correctly, turn the machine off, mount the thermostat in its permanent location and replace the lower grille. You're done.

If it doesn't work properly, double-check the wire connections on the new thermostat, to be sure they are correct. Again, only go by the numbers on the individual terminals, they may not be in the same respective locations as they were on the original.

Note: always leave the thermostat in the warmest possible setting, unless the ice is wet and soft.



-- The Head Master --

Homeport: Millville, NJ Go to Top of Page

PJ

RO# 396

Posted - Apr 28 2010 :  06:01:00  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Vic Thanks so much. I will not get to the boat for 2 weeks so I am going to order a control. Where do I order the temp control, part number? When I was at the boat last week I turned the wheel clockwise and it went back to the original position. So I think it would be the control.


Homeport: Charleston, SC Go to Top of Page

boatbum

RO# 36

Posted - Apr 28 2010 :  07:51:34  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Work directly with uline, and order the parts from them. They will want your model and serial number.


Homeport: Go to Top of Page

Bliss

RO# 2743

Posted - Apr 28 2010 :  09:22:03  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
V. my 1997 330 Sundancer has the U-Line. I'm away from the boat so don't have the model #. It will slooowly make one little bunch of cubes. No more. They remain cold. I can buy a bag of ice on the way to the boat and fill the bin and they will stay cold.
If I have read the above correctly the best guess is a cold control failure and the probable fix is its replacement as described in your's of the 27th just above. Does that seem about right? Many thanks.



Homeport: Reef Point Racine, WI Go to Top of Page

Vic Willman

RO# 3655

Posted - Apr 28 2010 :  09:41:34  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Bliss, most likely the cold control, but could be other things as well. Force-turn the gear as described above. If it completes the cycle within 5-7 minutes, the cold control is bad. But if it takes a lot longer to complete the cycle - more than 20 minutes, it could be the mold heater or the limit switch as well.



-- The Head Master --

Edited by - Vic Willman on Apr 28 2010 09:42:17

Homeport: Millville, NJ Go to Top of Page

Bliss

RO# 2743

Posted - Apr 28 2010 :  09:45:28  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Many thanks! I may get around to this in the next couple of months. My work and travel AND the occasional bag of ice are going to get in the way of my repair ambition. Again, thanks.


Homeport: Reef Point Racine, WI Go to Top of Page

tmal2

RO# 12663

Posted - May 01 2010 :  09:17:55  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Vic, I'd appreciate it if I could pick your brain for a few minutes. I've got an older (late 80s-early 90s but the ice making mechanism was replaced about 4 years ago.) Raratin ice maker that seems to do everything right except add water to the mold. I've tested the unit as you mentioned by turning the hex gear counter clockwise a 1/4 turn and everything seems to work as you said it should with the exception of water entering the tray. The entire cycle seems to take about 1-2 minutes.
I do hear the valve open but can't tell if water is coming out. I'm gonna go to the boat today and remove the line coming out of the valve to see if there is water flow.

Is it possible that there is some kind of blockage between the valve and the ice making mechanism? Where should I start looking if it is a possibility? Is there something else i should check that I'm not thinking of?

Thanks in advance for any advice you may have to offer.

Tim



*****UPDATE***** 5/2

Vic, I went to the boat yesterday and took the hose going from the water valve to the ice making mechanism off and manually started the cycle by turning the hex nut.

As soon as I turned the nut the compressor shut off and the unit started it's cycle. When it called for water, the valve did open and water came out so it seems like everything is working to that point. Does my problem sound like something as simple as a blocked hose leading to the mold? Does the mold itself have some kind of water control on it that may not be working properly or does it just free flow into the mold?

One other thing. I saw you mention that the entire cycle should take 5-7 minutes. With my unit, from the time the compressor first turned off to the time it turned back on again after the cycle was complete was about 2 minutes. Is this normal?

Thanks again

Tim



Edited by - tmal2 on May 02 2010 07:28:08

Homeport: Warwick, Rhode Island Go to Top of Page

Vic Willman

RO# 3655

Posted - May 03 2010 :  10:15:58  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Tim, there's a plastic tube that comes out of the bottom of the water valve, which goes out through the bottom of the machine, then up the rear of the machine, and into the rear of the ice mold unit to supply incoming water to the mold - it's the one you removed to check that the valve works. Sometimes it lays on the side or top of the compressor as it is routed through the bottom of the machine. The heat from the compressor can melt it, and seal it off. That would be my suspicion, particularly if there's no indication of a leak anywhere at the bottom of the machine. Or, sometimes the heat will melt a hole in it - and the water leaks out, never making it to the ice mold. The only way to know for sure is to look. It may be necessary to remove the machine from where it is mounted, and get it up on a workbench to fully check it out.

If the tube does indeed have a hole burnt in it, or if it is sealed off, you can get tubing unions made out of white nylon at any Home Depot or Lowe's, to do a repair to the tubing. But if the tubing is all dried out and brittle, it might be a better idea to replace it. 4 feet of 1/4" O.D. vinyl tubing should do it - can't image that it'd cost more than about $3.00.



-- The Head Master --

Homeport: Millville, NJ Go to Top of Page

tmal2

RO# 12663

Posted - May 04 2010 :  14:51:12  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Vic Willman

Tim, there's a plastic tube that comes out of the bottom of the water valve, which goes out through the bottom of the machine, then up the rear of the machine, and into the rear of the ice mold unit to supply incoming water to the mold - it's the one you removed to check that the valve works. Sometimes it lays on the side or top of the compressor as it is routed through the bottom of the machine. The heat from the compressor can melt it, and seal it off. That would be my suspicion, particularly if there's no indication of a leak anywhere at the bottom of the machine. Or, sometimes the heat will melt a hole in it - and the water leaks out, never making it to the ice mold. The only way to know for sure is to look. It may be necessary to remove the machine from where it is mounted, and get it up on a workbench to fully check it out.

If the tube does indeed have a hole burnt in it, or if it is sealed off, you can get tubing unions made out of white nylon at any Home Depot or Lowe's, to do a repair to the tubing. But if the tubing is all dried out and brittle, it might be a better idea to replace it. 4 feet of 1/4" O.D. vinyl tubing should do it - can't image that it'd cost more than about $3.00.





Thanks for the input Vic. I may have gotten lucky. I was at the boat the other day and remembered that you once mentioned something about and adjusting screw for the water level going into the mold. I adjusted that screw a little and actually got the machine to make ice.
The problem I have now is it's not filling all the molds so I assume I need to adjust that screw some more. Unfortunately, I forgot which way I turned it to increase the level.

Could you please try to explain to me exactly what that screw does and how the mechanism works so I know for future reference.

Thanks again.

Tim



Homeport: Warwick, Rhode Island Go to Top of Page

Vic Willman

RO# 3655

Posted - May 05 2010 :  09:53:26  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
As the ejector fingers are rotating to push the cubes out, a cam is turning on the other side of the metal plate. At a certain point in its rotation it contacts a microswitch that causes the water valve to open. The spring-loaded adjustment screw controls how long the water valve remains open; it's typically open for around 3-6 seconds.



-- The Head Master --

Edited by - Vic Willman on May 05 2010 09:54:35

Homeport: Millville, NJ Go to Top of Page

tmal2

RO# 12663

Posted - May 08 2010 :  10:57:00  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Vic Willman

As the ejector fingers are rotating to push the cubes out, a cam is turning on the other side of the metal plate. At a certain point in its rotation it contacts a microswitch that causes the water valve to open. The spring-loaded adjustment screw controls how long the water valve remains open; it's typically open for around 3-6 seconds.



Thanks for all the information and help Vic. I've adjusted the screw and everything seems to be working properly now.




Homeport: Warwick, Rhode Island Go to Top of Page

PJ

RO# 396

Posted - Jun 07 2010 :  07:54:38  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
still not making ice. I put new cold control in, would not make ice. Checked the wiring I did it correct to what i had written down.
just turned the 1/4 turn and it made ice in about 5 min. I watched the wheel it turned and then backed off and then turned again and again until it dumped the ice.

What is the next thing to check.
the only thing that works on this boat is the owner




Homeport: Charleston, SC Go to Top of Page

Vic Willman

RO# 3655

Posted - Jun 07 2010 :  15:23:27  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
From the time the compressor and fan shut off, until the cubes are dumped, water coming in, and the ejector mechanism parking and a new cooldown cycle starting, shouldn't take more than 10 minutes, usually less. The fingers will rotate and press on the cubes, trying to push them out. The gear wheel will rotate back and forth as it tries to push the cubes out. During this time the mold heater is on, loosening the cubes in the mold - usually takes a couple minutes until the cubes loosen, then the ejector motor takes over again, and continues pushing the cubes out. If it takes notably longer than 10 minutes to push the cubes out, you've likely god a bad mold heater. At that point, it is best to replace the complete icemaker unit inside the machine.

I suspect you may have mis-wired the new cold control. You have to go by the actual numbered contacts on the cold control, not the positioning of the contacts - because they've changed them through the years.







-- The Head Master --

Edited by - Vic Willman on Jun 07 2010 15:29:51

Homeport: Millville, NJ Go to Top of Page

PJ

RO# 396

Posted - Jun 07 2010 :  15:37:44  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
vic the compressor cycles on and off when I turn the cold control. Could it be the switch on the bar??


Homeport: Charleston, SC Go to Top of Page

Vic Willman

RO# 3655

Posted - Jun 08 2010 :  07:34:49  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Check it. If it appears dubious, replace it. They have a little plunger on them, that sometimes will stick in the "in" position.

It's a standard microswitch that can be gotten at most electronics supply stores. Take it with you to match it up, but first draw yourself a little sketch, showing where all the wires go. Should cost less than ten dollars.



-- The Head Master --

Edited by - Vic Willman on Jun 08 2010 07:36:15

Homeport: Millville, NJ Go to Top of Page

PJ

RO# 396

Posted - Jun 08 2010 :  17:01:53  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Vic the micro switch was good. The screw that the microswitch actuator attached to had backed out. As a result the plastic tab that the screw went into was broken off. So as a check I put the screw in and put it back together and it made ice like mad. I have shut it down and will epoxy the part back on and make it a permanent fix. Wish I would have checked b4 I got the temp control
Thanks for your help.

Now to fix the vacuflush



Homeport: Charleston, SC Go to Top of Page

jmas

RO# 4313



Posted - Sep 15 2011 :  19:36:31  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Vic, How would I go about removing the ice cube making parts from the unit(pre 1990)and using it as a freezer??.

Joe M.
Luhrs 340 Express Fish

Homeport: Pompano Fla. Go to Top of Page

GSENT

RO# 12438

Posted - May 30 2012 :  21:17:39  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Vic,
I cannot tell you how many times I have referenced this helpful topic. Thanks again for all you contribute to the forum.


GARY STALEY

Homeport: PGH, PA Go to Top of Page

folieadeux

RO# 27326

Posted - Sep 20 2012 :  14:09:43  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Vic-

This is an old thread but hopefully you are still around and can help me with my U-line ice-maker. It is a 2005 U-line installed in my 2006 Meridian. It has worked great for the 3 years I have owned the boat.

About a month ago when I walked from the house to the boat just to do routine checks and found inside my U-line the ice cube bin was a solid block of ice. Looked like the water fill control just never stopped pumping water. I turned off the U-line and let it defrost for several days.

When I started the U-line back in operation, it will get cold and stay cold.....but no water into the trays to make ice.

I have removed the white square cover inside the U-line and "cycled" the gears numerous times in hopes that it would clear itself of problems. I can watch once the gears start turning the "fingers" will move thru the ice tray and everything appears to work properly but when the "fingers" are finished rotating, no water flows into the ice cube tray.

I have verified the incoming water pressure is good. Interior temp is good enough to store ice inside the U-line for weeks without melting.

What are your suggestions for troubleshooting. I had really thought it was the water control valve but after reading your posts on this thread I might be on the wrong path. Thanks for your help.


Neal and Barbara
Savannah,GA
"Olive or Twist" 2006 Meridian 391 T-Cummins 380QSB, Onan 9K

Homeport: Savannah.GA Go to Top of Page

AustinPaul

RO# 17353



Posted - Jul 09 2013 :  08:05:06  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Ice tray?

Hi there! I'm sure this answer is contained somewhere in this thread, but I could not locate it.

What is your best recommendation for a replacement Uline ice tray/bucket?

Thanks!
Paul


*************************
"SNARE'D"

Homeport: Austin, Texas Go to Top of Page

Bimini Sands Condo

RO# 33604

Posted - Apr 21 2014 :  08:18:25  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thanks for your indepth info. I completely rebuilt my uline unit before heading over for a weekend trip to my Bimini Condo -- works like new again!


[url=http://biminisandscondoforsale.com]Bimini Sands Condo for Sale[/url]

Homeport: Florida Go to Top of Page

Doc

RO# 17228



Posted - Feb 11 2015 :  14:06:45  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Just went out to the boat to get ready for a weekend trip tomorrow and it will not come on. Usually starts humming when I turn it on at the machine. All the breakers are on.

I think that I remember starting to come home after the last trip and noticed the ice had started to melt in the bin.

It is only 18 months old but sounds to me like it has died.


There is safety in the slip.

42' Nordic Tug

Homeport: FL Go to Top of Page

boatbum

RO# 36

Posted - Feb 11 2015 :  19:12:25  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
We installed a Nova Kool reefer in place of the Uline Combi and will never look back.

With our unit a fan used to come on with the compressor. Without that being active I would suspect a power feed issue. Could be an inline fuse?



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