Question about Hotpoint HSS25IFMCC / HSS25IFMWW Side by Side Refrigerator

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Hotpoint side by side freezer defrost heater

I have a hotpoint side by side fridge 12 yrs old and when I open the freezer I can see a red glowing light at the back side of the freezer. Also I can hear water sizzling as it drips. I took the back panel off and it looks like the glass tube, defrost heater, is very hot and the frost is melting causing it to drip onto the bulb. The next morning the freezer coils were all frosty again it all seemed okay. The next evening the same thing happened agai. Is this normal, is this safe? My husband works graveyard and I am alone with a 2yr old at night, I'm afraid it might cause a fire. Can it be fixed or do I need a new fridge? Thanks Krissie red glow in back of freezer seems to be too hot.... is this a fire hazard or just the normal defrost activity?

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  • Anonymous Dec 14, 2008

    Mine is only 2 years old and I'm having the same problem.

  • melmike Jan 18, 2009

    I had a Hotpoint fridge (not side by side though) that was 1 year old that caught fire last month... I wonder if there is a problem! It caused over $50,000 in damage.



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Posted on Jan 02, 2017

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SOURCE: fridge/freezer cooling inefficiently

Either the repair guy did not wire up the heater correctly or he replaced the wrong part, if the heater was good it was likley to be the defrost thermostat...I would call the repair guy back to check.

Posted on Jun 23, 2009

  • 4070 Answers


The evaporator coils frost up in normal use and every eight hours or so the entire unit shuts down and the defrost heater comes on to melt the frost. This cycle last about 20 minutes. The melted frost drips into a drain pan and through a drain tube to the drain tray under the freezer/refrigerator where it's evaporated by the condenser fan.

Your drain tube may be stopped up with ice at the upper end because it drains too slow because it's stopped up at the lower end in the evaporator pan under the unit at the floor. It can get dust and mold in it. Once you get the ice out at the top a little pressure with a turkey baster will usually clear it out. Flushing it out with hot water and clorox may help. Make sure it drains quick enough to prevent refreezing. . The drain should be located below the evaporator coils on the back of the freezer.

Posted on Jul 12, 2010

  • 43501 Answers

SOURCE: In the freezer compartment I

You just caught it is the defrost mode...nothing to worry about, it will do that for a few minutes to a half hour and then go back to cooling again.


Posted on Apr 17, 2011

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Hotpoint fridge not working

The first thing you want to do is open the freezer and see if the fan inside there is running. The reason is the freezer cools the refrigerator side by circulating air from the freezer. If the fan is running then your problem is one or more parts of the defrost system is malfunctioned and in return your problem arises. There are three parts to the system, the defrost timer or in some cases control board, defrost thermostat also known as a bi-metal, and the defrost heater. The defrost system is set up to operate as so. The defrost timer or control board will turn the machine off, in some cases every 8 hours, some 12. During this time period the defrost heaters, located behind the freezer wall and rest underneath the evaporator, yet wires to them run up the side of it, are energized and emit heat that raises upward to melt the ice that has formed on the evaporator coils. The bi-metal or defrost thermostat is at the top of the evaporator. When the heat from the heater starts to reach the bi-metal, it breaks the circuit turning the heater off. The whole purpose of this is because the freezer cool the refridgerator side by drawing air across the coils and blowing to the other side via the evap fan motor. In my opinion, if you change one part of the defrost system change them all because usually when one part fails another will follow, so save yourself the time and the food loss, the cost difference is minute.

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1 Answer

Freezer cold but fridge part struggling admiral hmg19149

Up under the control panel , will be a larger hole with a screw slot up inside . Once you find this hole , insert a screwdriver into the slot ( open the freezer door ) and turn the screwdriver slowly , until the freezer fan cuts off . This piece you are turning , is the defrost timer , and you have turned the refrig into defrost . Remove the food and icemaker ( if equiped ) and remove the rear inside freezer panel , by removing the 4 screws ( 1 on each corner ) . After removing the panel , look below the coils for a red glow (defrost heater ) . If you get the red glow , replace the defrost timer , pt # 68233-3 . ( This is while still in defrost ) . If no red glow , replace the heater ( pt # 61002045 ) and replace the defrost thermostat also ( pt # 61005254 ) The defrost thermostat , cuts the heater off , when defrosted enough , to keep the frozen food from thawing . This piece , a 1 " round cylinder , is clipped on the top of the coils , with 2 wires going to it .

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1 Answer

Back wall freezes up on freezer side while fridge side is too warm. fridge temperature stays between 60 to 70 degrees

Is the freezer fan working ? If not , control board probably bad . Pull refrig out from wall and remove power . Remove the 8" X 10" panel and you will see the main control board . Remove the blue plug with 3 larger wires . The sequence is : wire1 , wire2 , space , wire3 . Using a short piece of wire with both ends stripped about 1/4 " , insert the wire into wire2 and wire3 . Plug refrig back in . Look in the freezer at the bottom rear for a red glow ( may take a minute or so ) . If you see a red glow , the main control board is bad ( the board you unplugged the wires from ) . If no red glow , then disconnect power to fridge , remove the jumper , and reinstall the blue plug and the panel .
Remove the food from the freezer section and remove the rear freezer panel inside the freezer . There you will see a round 1 " disk , clipped on top of the coils .Pt # WR60X10068 Defrost thermostat . At the bottom of the coils , you will see a heater . Pt # WR51X10042 Defrost heater . Replace both of these as the heater gets hot , and cuts off by the bimetal . he heater only has a screw on each side attaching it to the coils , and the bimetal just clips on . Easily repairable .

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Hi, You have a self defrosting problem.
Remove the rear inside freezer panel and check continuity on the defrost element and bi-metal switch.The bi-metal has to be tested cold. If there is continuity on both parts, you will need to change the defrost timer.
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1 Answer

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Hope this helps. Please rate my answer so that I know how I am doing.


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This is from the GE Appliance "Knowledge Database" Web site:

Refrigerator - Explanation Of Red Glow

In a no frost refrigerator, the defrost timer activates defrost heaters in the evaporator section (rear of freezer) which heat up and melt the frost off the evaporator coils. This process lasts for approximately 25-45 minutes and usually happens up to twice a day.

During this time, there will be no running sounds, no fan noise, and you may hear water dripping or sizzling as it hits the heaters. On side by side models, you may even be able to see an orange glow at the bottom of the freezer.

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  • the defrost timer and bimetal thermostat have apparently both malfunctioned. (rare)
  • if someone has worked on it in the past they may have bypassed the  bimetal thermostat.
  •  the bimetal thermostat turns off the heater if it gets too hot (above 45 in the freezer) 
  • and the defrost timer is only supposed to stay in defrost for 8 minutes or so. 
  • so considering the heater was on and it was hot in the freezer is evidence of these two components not doing their job.

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