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Can Ice Maker Be Saved?


QUESTION: I have a Hotpoint refrigerator Model C.T.F. 18 E. It has a General Electric ice maker that is now throwing the ice cubes over the container. Is there any way to get the crazy cubes back to normal?

ANSWER: Assuming that the freezer temperature is OK and the ice cube flipping just started, I suspect that you probably have a problem with the amount of water entering the ice cube mold.

It's likely that the water flow has become restricted by a partially clogged filter screen in the water fill valve to the ice maker. It's also possible that the saddle valve, installed in your house's plumbing, might be partially clogged with sediment or mineral deposits.

A good way to check to see if you have the right amount of water in the ice cube mold is to look at the water level in the mold after a fill cycle. There should be enough water in the mold to fill each cavity to within one-quarter-inch of the top. If you find the water level low, or you suddenly notice the ice cubes have become smaller than normal, then you need to disassemble and clean these valves or replace them to get the cubes back up to size.

To do this repair, you need to get a repair manual for GE / Hotpoint refrigerators and freezers. You can order the manual by calling GE's national parts center at (800) 626-2002.

Latex Paint Works Best on Styrofoam Q: Can you tell me what kind of paint I can use to color Styrofoam without having the paint eat the material? I have several Styrofoam ice chests that we use when traveling. They're getting very soiled and grubby looking on the outside although they are still white and clean inside. I haven't been able to find new ones in these sizes that just fit the spaces in our car.

A: You can paint polystyrene with any latex (water-soluble) paint. Solvents in oil-base paints might partially dissolve the foam and could form a sticky surface that would not dry.


To submit a question, write to Popular Mechanics, Reader Service Bureau, 224 W. 57th St., New York, NY 10019. The most interesting questions will be answered in a future column.

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