Samsung Ice Maker – a detailed review by Ice Maker Experts
The essential advantage of a modern appliance is to go above and beyond their traditional functioning and provide conveniences for the consumer. It’s a common experience to go to the fridge to grab ice for a drink only to pull out an empty or nearly empty ice cube tray. The couple of hours it will take to produce new ice cubes was the problem that refrigerator ice makers were designed to address and the convenience offered to the consumer is the reason why devices like the Samsung Ice Maker are so popular.
Over time, however, parts wear out with use, and one of the key features of any automatic ice maker is that there are moving parts that are crucial to their operation. If a gear breaks or a wire wears out, the entire part must be replaced, which is often an intimidating prospect for anyone who isn’t used to repairing their own appliances. If you are willing to take the risk of replacing the Samsung Ice Maker of your Samsung refrigerator on your own, you will find that you have several options.
Like any repair or replacement to consumer products or appliances, the issue of your warranty ought to be investigated before you go any further. The terms of the warranty on your refrigerator may vary, but it should cover the cost of a replacement part if you are within the coverage period. If you are replacing the Samsung Ice Maker in your refrigerator with the same OEM part, check your warranty to see if the part is covered by your refrigerator’s warranty and, if so, following the warranty terms is strongly suggested. It covers the whole refrigerator, not just the ice maker.
What Is a Samsung Ice Maker
The Samsung Ice Maker is the OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) device built into some popular models of Samsung refrigerators. Providing a steady, consistent production of ice cubes automatically, this device is specifically fitted to a compatible model of refrigerator. Check the specs on an individual model to see if this device comes with the refrigerator you are considering.
The Samsung Ice Maker will fit in some models in these specific product lines:
The Samsung Ice maker itself isn’t anything special to look at, but these models in these series feature a bottom-freezer design, it shouldn’t matter since you won’t see it. It uses a mechanical arm to determine the level of ice in the ice cube bin underneath. It features an 8-pin connector that connects it to the refrigerator’s power supply and produces the standard half-moon shaped ice cubes commonly found with automatic ice cube makers.
Parts wear out over time, and while the Samsung Ice Maker should last for many years.
How It Compares
We picked a couple of similar ice makers to see how the Samsung Ice Maker compares:
Samsung Ice Maker
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The [amazon link=”B00307ZA7I” title=”Samsung Ice Cube maker” /] provides a steady production of ice automatically, meaning you will probably never “run out” of ice. Contained inside the freezer, it feeds water into an attached ice cube mold and monitors as the cube begins to freeze, dumping the ice into the ice cube bin underneath when it determines that the ice is sufficiently frozen. It then refills the ice cube mold with water and starts again, repeating the process until the ice bin is full and only starting up again when it detects the ice level has fallen.
While not the cheapest option we looked at, the Samsung Ice Maker was fairly well priced for what you are getting: a mechanical system that fits your refrigerator perfectly.
The hardest part will be removing the door and shelves inside the freezer. Once this is done; however, replacing the part is as simple as getting on your back with a Philips head screwdriver and removing two screws, separating the power connector and swapping the two units out and plugging and screwing the unit in place.
For the most part, there isn’t much to critique about the design of the Samsung Ice Maker. It does exactly what it’s meant to do with very little fuss, and the time it takes to produce a full bin of ice is entirely dependent on the temperature setting for your freezer.
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Supco 8 Cube Ice Maker Replacement Kit
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We reviewed the [amazon link=”B003IVGJBC” title=”Supco 8 Cube Ice Maker Replacement Kit” /] as a proxy for the kind of third-party replacement kits that can often be found for various models of refrigerator ice makers. The appeal of these kinds of devices is unquestioningly their price.
You can usually purchase devices like these for less than the cost of a matching OEM part for the same appliance, and their quality can be good enough to make them a good option. While they may match or exceed OEM specifications, that does not mean they are the same device, and they will never come pre-installed on new appliances.
In the case of the Supco 8 Ice Maker, it can replace the In-Door ice makers for over 2000 different models of refrigerators made by KitchenAid, Kenmore, and Whirlpool, making it a popular replacement for hard to source or expensive OEM parts.
While the Supco 8 is the cheapest ice maker on our list, it is cheaper than the Samsung Ice Maker, so the cost savings might not be worth the potential compromise on quality that can sometimes plague third-party replacement kits.
This is where meeting the OEM part specifications is crucial since many replacement kits are designed to replace parts for many lines of appliances. Not all these lines will have precisely the same design for common parts, and this can potentially lead to issues with how well they fit and how well they operate inside the appliance.
It sometimes takes an effort to make a replacement kit like this work with a machine it was specifically labeled as compatible with, so making it work with a refrigerator that it wasn’t designed for takes serious mechanical know-how. If you aren’t sure you have the kind of skill or experience to make this product work with your unit, you probably don’t, so you might be better off sticking with something closer to an OEM part.
This is where the Supco 8 fails. The device operates as it's supposed to, but the quality of the material used in its construction is of poor quality, specifically the coating for some of its surfaces. The coating of the ice mold is Teflon, which is known to start flaking off over time. This means you might have Teflon flaking into the ice you put in your drinks and is a very bad design decision.
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Kenmore Replacement Refrigerator / Freezer Ice Maker
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This is an after-market product manufactured by Kenmore for [amazon link=”B00DRIEV16″ title=”Kenmore refrigerators” /], but may be configured to work with your Samsung refrigerator. These kinds of generic replacement ice makers can be an affordable alternative to replacing a faulty ice maker with a specific OEM replacement part.
The main appeal of this kind of aftermarket generic is the reputation of the manufacturer. In this case, Kenmore has a long history with complex household appliances, and they have a very real interest in ensuring their parts, whether a specific OEM part or after-market generics are of high enough quality that they don’t hurt the reputation of the larger brand.
The price of the Kenmore Replacement Ice Maker is about the same as the Samsung Ice Maker, so while technically they’re in the same category in terms of price, you should consider the extra expense it might take in terms of other hardware to make this work with your Samsung model.
Installing the Kenmore Replacement Ice Maker isn’t as difficult as the Subco 8 might be in that it is of similar dimensions to the Samsung Ice Maker itself. It isn’t a perfect fit though, so additional work needed to be put in to make it useable.
On its own, the part is well crafted and designed. We especially appreciated the metal bar that measures the ice level of the bin as opposed to a cheaper plastic arm, but it is a generic part made for many different models, but not the Samsung line of refrigerators. A well-designed part in a refrigerator it wasn’t designed for will always seem a little bit “off”—how much that bothers you is entirely a subjective matter so long as it works and you have the know-how to make it work with your refrigerator.
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LG Electronics AEQ73110205 Refrigerator Ice Maker Assembly
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This [amazon link=”B00AH5ZOI6″ title=”LG Electronics Ice Maker” /] is very similar in design to the Samsung Ice Maker, so if you have the skill, the training, and are willing to attempt repairing using this part, it is a high-quality ice maker assembly. It operates like the Samsung in that it turns the mold over to dump the ice into the bin below, unlike the Supco 8 and the Kenmore, which scoops the ice cubes out of their molds and into the ice cube bin.
This was the most expensive ice maker on the list, with the lowest price. Since replacing a part in an appliance with an incompatible part is a bad idea generally, in this case, you would be replacing the original Samsung part with a more expensive incompatible part.
With some careful rigging, it's possible to make this work as a replacement ice maker, but it is still more of a challenge than your average person will be capable of. If you have the skill, the training, and the time to make this work, you would also probably have just purchased the OEM part in the first place.
The Ice maker itself is well built and works well when used with a compatible refrigerator model. It doesn’t use a rod or a lever to measure when the ice cube bin is full, but rather it uses a laser to measure when the ice cube bin needs refilling.
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Samsung Ice Maker 4.0/5.0 Stars Overall
Replacing the ice maker in your Samsung refrigerator is not the easiest task for some people, so for those without the technical know-how to make the alternatives work with their refrigerator, the only real option is the Samsung Ice Maker itself. The OEM part is not cheap, but it’s not outrageously expensive for what it is. It is readily available, and so long as you can lay down and get into the freezer space, it is a very simple installation.
If you are a skilled technician who could in practice make any of the other ice makers on the list work with your refrigerator, in the end, it simply isn’t worth it. The cheapest option is poor quality, and the other alternatives don’t make sense from either the cost or the design perspective. Plus, you are always taking a risk when installing parts into complex machinery for which the part is not intended, so there’s no compelling reason for installing a generic ice maker. If you are replacing the ice maker, you would be better off just sticking with the Samsung Ice Maker.