Appliance Repair Blog

4389102 Ice Level Optics Board Diagnostics & Replacement

Posted on July 11, 2014

Whirlpool built refrigerators (also found on Jenn Air, Kenmore, Kitchen Aid, and Maytag brand refrigerators) with the ice bin located in the door use two optic control boards (part# 4389102) to tell when the ice bin is full of ice. There is an emitter control board that sends out an infrared beam, and a receiver board that receives the infrared beam. When the ice container fills up with ice, the beam is blocked, and it tells the ice maker to stop filling up with ice. If the ice maker optic control boards fail, it can cause the ice maker to continue to make ice even when it is full of ice or turned off, or it can cause the ice maker to not produce any ice at all. The optics control boards are replaced as a set, even if only one of the two control boards are bad, both will need to be replaced.

How To Test The Whirlpool Ice Maker Optic Control Boards 4389102

First, open the freezer door and look at the status LED on the right hand side. Make sure the ice maker control is turned “ON”. The status LED should blink twice, pause, and then repeat (blink blink…. pause. blink blink… pause).


Next, with the freezer door open, hold down the flapper door on the left hand side to un-block the optics beam.  With the optics beam unblocked, the status LED should light up and stay on (not blink).  If the status LED continues to blink twice, then you have faulty optic control boards and they will need to be replaced.


If there is no status LED light, then the ice maker could be in “harvest” mode.  Hold down the freezer light switch, the status LED should flash every second while in harvest mode.  If the LED light still does not light up, then the optic control boards will need to be replaced.

How To Replace The Whirlpool Ice Maker Optic Control Boards 4389102

First, unplug the refrigerator.

Remove the three Phillips screws on the right hand side.


Disconnect the wire harness on the back side and then remove the two Phillips screws to release the receiver control board from the housing.  Re-install the receiver board in the reverse order.


Next, remove the three Phillips screws on the left hand side.


Disconnect the wire harness on the top side and then remove the two Phillips screws to release the emitter control board from the housing.  Re-install the emitter board in the reverse order.


Do you need to replace the optic control boards?  Click the link below to visit our store and purchase new ones.  Be careful when shopping around for this part, as many stores sell a lower quality knockoff version of this part.  You can be assured when you order the optics control board kit from Parts Dr that you are receiving a new OEM part.

Ice Level Optics Control Board Kit – 4389102



19 Thoughts on "4389102 Ice Level Optics Board Diagnostics & Replacement"

  1. Kay Posted on July 27, 2014

    Hello – I did all of that, replacing the optics board transmitter and receiver, but it still won’t make ice. What should I do now?

    • Bob Posted on January 1, 2015

      Kay- Same problem here, did you ever get it resolved? I changed the optics (which were bad) and it’s still not making ice. My optics were down for a couple of years, wondering if all that sitting time (the freezer was always in use) caused another malfunction?

  2. Kay Posted on January 14, 2015

    Bob – as it turned out, my entire unit was faulty, not just the optics. I found the part at a local appliance supply and it only took about five minutes to replace it. It all works fine now!

  3. Dina Posted on January 16, 2015

    I’ve replaced the receiver and emitter board and still no ice. When I hold down the freezer door switch the status LED doesn’t flash once every second. Do I still have a problem? I get the 2 pulses/1 second delay and a steady light when the emitter flapper is pressed in.

    • Ryan Posted on January 17, 2015

      When doing the blink test you cannot have the door switch held down. When the beam is blocked you should get 2 pulses and a 1 sec delay.

      • Kathie Posted on January 22, 2015

        I do get 2 pause 2. Hold flapper it’s constant. Then separately I tried holding flapper door and light switch off and the Led stays completely off. Is that correct? If holding both at same time should the Led be on or off ?

        • Ryan Posted on January 22, 2015

          The light switch cannot be pressed in when doing the test.

  4. Denise Posted on February 9, 2015

    Ice maker not making ice or getting water. I’ve checked to see if it was frozen tube with hairdryer. with freezer door open i get 2 blinks. With the flapper depressed its a solid red light. when i push the light button there is no red light. Help.

    • Ryan Posted on February 19, 2015

      The optics board test is not meant to be done with the door light switch pushed in. It sounds like your optic boards are most likely working correctly. To check the water line to see if it is frozen, you should remove the line from the water valve and blow through it. If the line is frozen you should thaw the line and then replace the water inlet valve to keep the line from re-freezing. If the optic boards are good then you could have a bad ice maker or bad water inlet valve.

  5. Denise Posted on February 19, 2015

    So it’s either a frozen water line, water inlet valve, optic board or a bad ice maker. Thanks

  6. Jose Posted on March 14, 2015

    I have a kitchenAid which is not make ice. When I look at the optic board, I do not see any light at all. Is there a fuse or an electrical check i could check to be assure the board are bad and not that i have a problem elsewhere?

    • Ryan Posted on March 16, 2015

      Since the light from the optics board is infared, you cannot see it with the human eye. That is why you should perform the diagnostic tests that we list to see if they are functioning properly.

  7. jim Posted on March 17, 2015

    I have replaced valve and ice maker is still not making ice. When the door is open there is open should I see the optic light blinking. I have no lights at all. What else can I do

    • Ryan Posted on March 17, 2015

      Check the water line going to the ice maker and make sure the line is not frozen. The best way to do this is to unplug the refrigerator and remove the line from the water valve and blow through it. To test the optics board you will need to perform the optics control board tests to see if they are working properly.

  8. nick Posted on March 19, 2015

    I don’t know if my ice maker is having the same problem with it or not so here’s what I found after analyzing it: the icemaker unit seems to be functional as the tray is filled with cubes and the fingers of the maker are in resting positon, the ice maker control board has a flashing red light even when the flap of the adjacent side infared receiver is closed and there is no light being sent from the receiver to the control board, it has been about a week now since I have not had any ice produced, I’d appreciate any tips or help anyone can provide on whether I’d need to replace the control board, infrared reciever or both.

    • Ryan Posted on March 20, 2015

      It is possible for the ice maker to be bad even if there is ice in the tray. You will not be able to visually see any light coming from the optics boards since it is infrared light (not visible to the human eye). If the optics boards pass the tests, then they are usually okay and do not need to be replaced.

  9. jim Posted on March 20, 2015

    I replaced the optic sensors on both sides turned off ice maker then unloaded the freezer. turned the freezer to the lowest setting to let any ice freeze up in the line thaw along with using a hair dryer and blowing air inside and out side were the water line is located. Making sure not to melt the lines and I even turned off the refrigerator off for a couple hours. Food in refridgerator should be OK for that length of time if not opened. When I was satisfied I turned on the refrigerator and freezer filled the ice maker with water then turned on ice maker then waited to see if ice maker would cycle. It did and is now making ice. Also make sure you have good water flow to the water and ice valve.

  10. jim Posted on March 20, 2015

    When I open the door the optic light blinks twice then close the receiving door on the left side it will stay lite . do not block light single.

    • Ryan Posted on March 23, 2015

      The receiver on the left side is not supposed to light up.

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