No Longer Available–Now What?

Our ice maker stopped working a few weeks ago. I first replaced the ice tray inside the refrigerator. While it worked after the repair, the water wasn’t flowing to it to make the ice.

Above is the actual part of the water inlet valve. It controlled the water for ice and got cold water in the front door.

The great thing about the internet is you can find parts from sources worldwide. However, in my case, the part was nowhere to be found. The “Currently unavailable” message was on every website I visited, and even calling around locally, no one had one in stock.

I went to forums and had no recommendations for anything other than rebuilding it.

Problem Solving

While searching, I realized this Kenmore part looked similar. The exact number of inlet, outlets, and similar switches, just a little different placement of the components.

I took a risk and ordered the part. The cost was about $38, vs. the original piece was more than $100 in many locations.

It took me about 15 minutes to install, minus one trip to Home Depot to get a $6 part to convert one water line to a bigger line. I turned it on and tried it. At first, when making ice, the water shot out the front of the door, where you fill your cup with just water. It took about a minute to figure out I had switched the connections.

I made the change in the connection, and now everything works.

Nikon D5, Sigma 24-105mm f/4 DG OS HSM Art Lens, ISO 4500, ƒ/4, 1/100

This is what I do every day for my clients. I identify the problem needing to be solved and then look for a solution.

Many people today can type in the model number of their refrigerator and find the part. Yes, this is problem-solving and would be helping a client. However, how many would be able to find a solution when the solution isn’t so clear-cut?

Nikon D2X, Sigma 18-50mm f/2.8 EX, ISO 400, ƒ/2.8, 1/20

I will be honest that I often pray when I come up with problems, and the solutions are not so clear. I have yet to have a voice talk to me and tell me the answer. What I have had to happen many times after some time in prayer is the ability to let go.

After letting go and knowing I do not have a solution, I can be much more creative. I believe that the creator of the universe works through me in ways I cannot explain and helps me to think in ways I would never have done by myself and come up with some solutions.


First, let me say that you cannot get enough education to know it all. Education is about a lifestyle of constant learning.

If you are starting, take formal classes at a college or trade school. Find a mentor and ask lots of questions.

Remember that if the solution is obvious to most anyone, then there is little you can do to be of any service. Your value is helping solve problems that people cannot solve themselves.

All problem solving is creative thinking. Whether it is accounting, childcare, food service, or something in the arts, when you are up against a new situation, and the solution hasn’t been done before, you are creative if you solve the problem.

I make this last statement because if you are an artist, like a photographer, as I am–You should take as much pride in doing the business part of the job as you do in the artistic part.

I will leave you with a scripture that reminds me that God can work through me if I only let God do so.

“But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come.

John 16:13