Tip & How-To about Refrigerators
To check the defrost circuit , unplug the refrig and inside the refrig section at the top
about 2" in from each side in the back , there are "D" slots to put a finger in , and pull
downward and foreword , to remove the control panel cover . Once removed , there is a 1/4"
screw on each side holding the adjustment indicator panel on , 1 phillips screw behind both
light bulbs , and 1 screw holding the complete panel to the rear wall . After removing these
5 screws , at the top right corner , with about 6-8 wires going to it , is the adaptive
defrost board ( adc ) . Sometimes you can see the electronic board and on newer refrig's , a white
box will be seen . Inside this box , is the adaptive defrost control . Disconnect the plug
going to the board and on the right side of the PLUG , the far right wire is yellow , then
another color , then white . Using a small insulated wire with both ends stripped , insert
one end into the yellow wire hole and the other into the white wire hole . This will send power directly thru the defrost bi-metal ( thermostat ) AND
heater to check if they are good .Plug the refrig back in . Now , if you have a clamp on amp meter , clamp around the jumper wire while pushing in the light switch ( to turn off the light to get only defrost amps ) which should be 3.5 or above indicating bi metal and heater are good and adc is bad , OR , wait about 3-5 min and
look for a red glow at the bottom of the inside freezer panel , which will be the defrost
heater or listen for sizzling which will be the frost melting and dripping onto the heater
.If NO red glow , watch for a spark while removing the jumper wire you installed , from the
plug . If a spark IS seen , then the heater was on and the heater AND bi-metal are good . If
you see the red glow , hear the sizzling , or see the spark , then the adaptive defrost
board should be replaced . If no glow , sizzling or spark , then unplug the refrig and
reinstall the refrig control section .
Remove the food in the freezer section enough so that the 2 screws holding the lower freezer
panel on and the freezer panel , can be removed . Remove the panel . If the heater (black
element at the bottom of the coils ) wires are visible , trace them to the top of the coils
and disconnect . Use an ohm meter to determine if the element is good ( should show continuity ) . If the element IS
good , at the top of the coils , is a 1" cylinder with 2 wires , clipped onto the coils .
This is the defrost thermostat ( bi-metal ) . Replace this part if the element shows good .
If the element shows bad , replace the element . NOTE 1 : sometimes the element and the
bi-metal come wired together and the replacement part comes with a new heater and bi-metal
already wired together . This would be the advisable replacement part . However , each part
can still be replaced individually . NOTE 2 : If looking at the bi-metal and the top plastic
" cap " looks cockeyed , replace the bi-metal as moisture has gotten inside and disturbed its
designed function .
Posted by Mike Smith on
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