I hate printers. I’ve hated printers for decades. They are the failed alchemist of the office. They work busily spitting and sputtering with tiny copper coils and beakers to turn your documents from ones and zeros to something you can hold in your hand. Like the medieval alchemists before them, they generally produce disappointment. Most office windows don’t open to prevent people inside from hurling printers from tall buildings.
If there is a domestic equivalent to the dreaded printer, it is the ice maker. Those of you who have been with me for a while may recall my previous battles with our ice maker. After I bested it a year ago it decided it was ready for round two.
We have a fairly typical ice maker in a side-by-side and fairly typically it freezes up every few months. I’ve gotten the routine of fixing it down. I know exactly which screwdriver to grab, and when the ice maker sounds like a cat trying to throw up, it is time. So when I saw what should be ice cube crescents turning into full circles on Sunday morning I sprang into action. I pulled out the ice bin, popped off the cable connection, unscrewed the one Phillips head screw, and pulled out the ice maker.
I rinsed the freezing doohickey under hot water until the ice melted enough to fall out and let the whole unit dry on a towel for a bit. Not fully satisfied with my handiwork I decided to empty all the ice in the bin and put everything back with a nice clean ice bin. Ice maker reinstalled and clean bin replaced I awaited the sound of fresh ice hitting empty plastic.
But it never came. What did come was the text from my wife, about 24 hours after I’d reinstalled the ice maker, informing me there was water on the floor in the kitchen and ice on the bottom of the freezer. And boy, was there ice. I don’t know how other ice makers work, but ours has a little spout that sticks out of the back and fills the ice tray. There’s no connection or anything fancy, just a little spout like you’d see on a small desktop fountain. The simple design probably makes it easier for me to get the ice maker out to defrost it, but it also makes it easier for me to put the ice maker back in without the spout being over the cube tray.
Unimpeded by the ice cube tray, the fill spout poured carefully measured amounts of water over the contents of our freezer at what I can only imagine are intervals carefully timed to assure the previous portion has frozen. As it turns out an ice maker can produce an incredible amount of ice over a twenty-four-hour period. There are also an amazing variety of places in a freezer for ice to collect as it finds its way to the bottom. Including the motor housing of the ice dispenser.
If you’ve never taken a wooden mallet to large sheets of ice in your freezer while wondering what is so hard about emptying plastic ice cube trays every time you want ice I don’t recommend it. We put down towels to help keep the ice that was going everywhere from melting and puddling under the refrigerator. I left my project unattended for a few minutes to get my wife’s hairdryer from the bathroom and came back to find Vera eating freezer floor ice off the towel.
Surprisingly, my wife let me use the hairdryer in the freezer again with nothing more than a strongly phrased question and an eye-roll. I was careful this time to aim like a stormtrooper and managed not to melt anything but ice. I am sure the ice maker is regrouping and plotting its next move. Occasionally at night when all is quiet as I walk through the kitchen turning off lights and getting the house ready for bed I can hear it rattle the water line behind the freezer at me almost as if it’s trying to say something.