Question about Whirlpool 25.3 Cu. Ft. Side-by-Side Refrigerator with Thru-the-Door Ice and Water - White-on-White

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Door frame warm

The frame between the two door is hot and there is a smell like melting plastic

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Nearly all modern fridges are self defrosting. Additionally, some models offer the option to minimize moisture on the cabinet. To do both the defrosting and controlling moisture build up, small heaters are used. Defrost heaters are located in the freezer compartment.

Typically, the other heaters are installed in the frame on the front of the fridge cabinet, near the freezer opening. This is where sub-freezing cold air would escape and contact the warmer (room temperature) outer cabinet. This causes condensation much the same way a glass of cold water "sweats" sitting on a counter or table. The warmer and more humid the room is, the more quickly the condensation will form. The heater is used to quickly evaporate any moisture that collects on the cabinet. This heater is operated at the same time as the defrost heater, and they are turned on by a timer, 2 or 3 times a day for about 20 to 30 minutes each time. When they are powered, it is expected that the cabinet will be warm to the touch. You may smell plastic, as the door seals adjacent to and in contact with the heated parts of the freezer opening are warmed, and is normal - particularly if new. The heaters should never be hot to the touch nor should smoke be seen.

I hope this helps!

Posted on Feb 14, 2012


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