Question about Frigidaire FRS3R4EW 33" 22.6 Cu. Ft. Side-by-Side Refrigerator w/ 4 Button Ice/Water Dispenser & Cle...

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Coil freezes but defrosf heater works..

Could it be the defrost thermostat if so how do test

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  • Frigidaire Master
  • 9,472 Answers

The problem is the "defrost thermostat" is bad and needs to be replaced. Here is the part to order.

Richard Roth

Posted on Oct 29, 2012

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Posted on Jan 02, 2017

  • 878 Answers

SOURCE: Freezer Troubles

Skap, the question is whether the evaporator coils are completely frosted up or just the top section. Frigidaire has had a lot of issues with restrictions which would cause just freezing on the top half. I will attach some pictures. Your unit has an adaptive defrost. I believe that you can advance it into defrost by pressing the light switch 5 or 6 times. If you pull the bottom grill, there should be a tech sheet with the instructions behind it. Usually when this adaptive defrost unit fails, you will not have a freezer fan, for it runs through this adaptive defrost board. Your heaters are calrod and usually do not fail. They can become unplugged due to ice build-up. You can check to see if you have 120V getting to them after putting the unit into defrost. If not, check the defrost thermostat (bi-metal). If it's bulged, it's usually a bad sign. Defrost the unit with a hair dryer while unplugged. You have to remove the back freezer panel to get at the bi-metal, defrost the unit and check the drain pan.

Posted on Sep 11, 2006

  • 709 Answers

SOURCE: Freezing freezer

Hi Dave,


You should take your problem to the Repair Clinic at  It is a fantastic website with all the parts and solution to your problem available.I hope this helps you.

Posted on Oct 12, 2007

  • 4059 Answers


also check defrost timer,defrost thermostat. In most newer models the timer has been replaced by an electronic control board. If the heater and thermostat are ok it’ll be the control.

Posted on Jul 01, 2009

  • 1218 Answers

SOURCE: What is function of bi-metallic thermostats in

Good day,
The bi-metal or also called a limiter or defrost thermostat is wired in series with the main heater.
When the timer switches the machine from the running mode to the defrost mode, it shuts off all cooling and turns the main heater on. This could be anywhere from 21 minutes to 35 minutes. The bimetal is a thermostat. It shuts the main heater off when the coil reaches approx. 50 degrees. Without it, the machine would get extremely hot, defrosting all the food, and in some cases even begin to melt plastic parts in the freezer compartment. It's also a safety device, in case the timer went into defrost and failed there. Without it, it would totally destroy the machine, even to the point of creating a possible fire hazard.

Posted on Jun 12, 2010

Testimonial: "Thanks for the info. When I took the freezer section apart I had to use a hair dryer to remove the insulation as it had chunks and sheets of ice attached and imbedded in the evaporator coil. All meat though especially in bottom of basket had defrosted and ruined. I turned timer to defrost and heater coil began heating up. Fridge and freezer not cooling as cold as used to. Looks like bimetal thermostat and heater working. Could it be bimetal thermostat not turning off soon enough. But why would evaporator core be freezing but ice container which is on front door of freezer is thawing ice and will have water in it from melting. "

  • 43501 Answers

SOURCE: my freezer won't freeze, but the refrigerator


Many times a freezer and/or refrigeratordo not work right because of a dirty condenser coil...there are also many otherthings that can go wrong. If you are hearing a clicking or buzzing then check out thelast two tips.

If your refrigerator is running but warm, then...

Check out this tip that I wrote about that... it is a great place to starttrouble shooting your unit...and something that you can do rather then callinga repair person to do a simple thing for you...

Refrigerator Condenser Coil Cleaning Refrigerator Repair

Refrigerator Troubleshooting Refrigerator Compressor

Refrigerator Compressor Start Capacitor and Start Relay


Posted on Sep 23, 2010

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1 Answer

Coils freeze up and fridge runs all the time till I melt coils.

There might be a few causes

Door Seal might be defective causing the door not to shut tightly this causes air from the room to get into the freezer through the opening and as the air comes in contact with the evaporator coils, it freezes. Normally the defrost system removes the ice but if the seal is defective the coils freeze too quickly and the defrost system cant keep up

If the freezer evaporator coils ice over, the defrost thermostat might be defective. Several times a day the defrost heater turns on for a few minutes to melt away any frost that may have accumulated on the freezer evaporator coils. In order for this to work, the defrost thermostat has to sense that the coils are cold enough. If the coils are cold enough the defrost heater will turn on. If the thermostat is defective it may not be able to sense the temperature of the coils and then won't turn on the defrost heater. If the defrost heater doesn't turn on, the evaporator coils ice over and eventually no air will be able to travel through the coils to provide cooling to the freezer. The defrost thermostat can be checked for continuity. It should have continuity when it reaches the low temperature of its operating range.

Jun 03, 2015 | Refrigerators


Kenmore side by side is not cooling , and the coil at the back is freezing


When the fridge is not cooling , and the coil at the back is freezing, the problem is always the defrost system.

The defrost system function is to prevent the condenser coils from freezing.

When the condenser coil is frozen, the unit will not cool down anymore, as heath connot be pumped out of the fridge and freezer.

The defrost system comprises of a defrost thermostat, a fan, and an heating element, and it is located behind the freezer firewall.

In the example below, taken from my daily Fixya solutions I will use a Kenmore side by side 363.50227000.

If your model is different, then you will need to order parts for your model, do not use the parts below. To find parts , try Sears, or see: Where do I find parts and diagrams for my...

Also diagram and parts location may differ.

Here a diagram, click on the picture to enlarge:


Here parts to be tested, click on the link to purchase part:

Defrost thermostat (part 240 on diag)

Is tested removing it from the unit, after disconnecting power firts. Test is done using a multimeter set at Rx1 (Ohms).
Ifthe part is good the multimeter will read low or zero impedance at roomtemperature, if thermostat is bad, it will stay open (infinity).

Heater (part 230)

Itis tested reading Ohms , similarly to thermostat, if the heater hascontinuity, then it is good, if circuit is open, it must be replaced.

evap fan asm (Part 613)
It is tested energizing the motor, and observing if it is working.

Thesystem can also be tested by jumping the defrost thermostat, and observing if the element is heating up and the fan working.

for safety reasons, all testing and repair must be done by a trained person.

Before attempting repair, better contacting Kenmore after sale service at the number listed on your owners Use and Care manual.


on Jan 28, 2010 | Kenmore 22.0 cu. ft. Side-By-Side...

1 Answer

Fixya manuals

It doesn't defrost
  1. Defrost control board
If the defrost function is not working on your refrigerator it could be an issue with the defrost control board. This control board oversees several internal conditions and regulates the activation of the defrost cycle. A faulty board can be the primary reason your refrigeration unit is not transitioning to the defrost cycle. Over time, the buildup of ice on the evaporator coil will prevent the refrigerator and freezer from maintaining proper internal temperature. It is advisable to first check the defrost heater and the defrost thermostat for continuity prior to replacing the defrost control board.
  1. Main control board
A possible cause for a refrigerator not defrosting, especially on more modern units, is the main control board. The main control board acts as a "brain" for the unit controlling the defrost cycle, compressor, and run time, and essentially acts in place of the defrost timer. The control board can be tested using an ohm meter for functionality and will need to be replaced if bad.
  1. Defrost timer
If the refrigerator is not defrosting the timer could be malfunctioning. Numerous times throughout the day the defrost timer should cycle the defrost heater on as a means to melt frost buildup on the evaporator coils in the freezer. If this timer does not cycle on, then it may be faulty and require replacement.
  1. Defrost heater assembly
If your refrigerator is not defrosting accurately this could be an indication that your defrost heater assembly has failed. This could cause the frost to accrue on the evaporator coils, eventually blocking the airflow resulting in the unit not cooling properly. The defrost heater assembly can be monitored for continuity using an ohm meter and will need to replaced if there is none present.
  1. Defrost thermostat
Another cause of your refrigerator not defrosting is a faulty defrost thermostat. A requirement for the defrost heater to activate to melt away frost on the evaporator coils is a functional defrost thermostat. The defrost thermostat senses the temperature of the evaporator coils and initiates the thawing process by activating the defrost heater. If the thermostat is faulty, it will not sense the lowering temperature of the coils and will not turn on the heater, resulting in an advanced frost build-up. The defrost thermostat can be checked for continuity by using an ohm meter; if there is no continuity the damaged part will need to be replaced.
  1. Defrost sensor with fuse
Another possible cause of a refrigerator that does not defrost properly is a defrost sensor with a fuse. If the defrost sensor fails, the fuse acts as a one-time-only fail safe for the sensor -- if the sensor does not shut off the defrost heater, the fuse will blow when the set temperature is reached. This safety precaution is to keep excessive harm from your unit by the heater and is a one-time use, resulting in the replacement of the entire defrost sensor.
Defrost drain problems
  1. Clogged or freezing defrost drain
If you are experiencing defrost drain issues, it is possibly due to a clogged or freezing drain that is blocking water flow to the bottom of the freezer. This will cause the defrost water to drain and drip down to the bottom of the freezer section. To correct this issue, thaw any ice or remove debris that could be causing the clogged drain or replace the drain heater.
  1. Drain heater
If you are experiencing defrost drain problems, inspect the defrost drain heater. A dislocated or burnt out drain heater will result in the drain tube freezing over. Attempt to return the part to the designated position or replace the damaged part to correct the issue. Search Over 2 1 Million Appliance Parts

Sep 06, 2014 | GE Monogram ZIRS36NM 36'' Stainless All...

1 Answer

Kenmore coldspot coils freeze up fefrigerayor does not work

Check the defrost timer if that is good check the defrost heater and the defrost thermostat. It is common for the defrost thermostat to go bad.

Mar 29, 2014 | Refrigerators

1 Answer

Ge side by side ref.

no,its more than likely the defrost heater located just under the coil thats freezing up,check this heater for continuity,if its o.k. then test the defrost thermostat thats clipped onto the same coil near the top of the coil,note,the defrost thermostat needs to be below 15 degrees to check good as its a thermal switch,then if still problems then check the main board in the back of the unit behind a panel this is where the defrost circuit gets its power,but i will likely say its the heater thats open because i replace about 5 per week with the same issue as yours

May 22, 2012 | GE Refrigerators

1 Answer

Refrigerator freezing even when you turn it down

Your refrigerator is freezing due to the unit most likely haveing a defrost issue. This is usually caused by the defrost thermostat, the defrost heater, or the defrost timer or adaptive control having a fault condition. If you remove the rear panel in the rear of the freezer it will give you access to the evaporator coil. Located to one of the side usually clipped onto one of the copper lines you will see a small circular round sensor with two wires coming from it. Unplug the machine and defrost with a hair dryer any ice build up on the evaporator coil. If you have a multimeter you can perform a ohms test to assure that the thermostat is working properly. A defrost thermostat usually has an ohms reading of at least .50 ohms or higher. Located under the evaporator coil is the defrost heater. If you unplug both sides of the heater you can also perform a ohms test with a multimeter which would usually read around 21 ohms or higher. Most often this issue is caused due to the defrost thermostat due to this part being manufactured poorly on most all machines. If you find that you have a positive ohms reading on both these mentioned parts. You would then look at the defrost timer or adaptive control as the part causing the fault condition. I will await your reply and to you testing these first two parts before further posting how to test the defrost timer.
I await your reply,
Thank you,

Dec 31, 2011 | GE Profile 25.6 Cu. Ft. Side-by-Side...

2 Answers

Defrost not working

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The evaporator coil behind the cover on the back wall inside the freezer will ice up under normal conditions. Every 8 to 10 hours for around 20 minutes the defrost timer (or in most newer models the electronic adaptive defrost control) will turn the defrost heater on to melt the built up ice. There is a defrost thermostat which prevents the heater from overheating the freezer by breaking the heater circuit when the temp reaches close to 32 degrees F. The entire cooling system shuts off during the defrost cycle and starts back when the timer advances through the cycle.

If this ice is not melted it will continue to build up until the air can’t flow over the coil to circulate the cold air through the freezer and into the fridge. The temperature change in the fridge is usually noticed first followed by the freezer.

If the defrost thermostat is bad, it can prevent the heater from coming on OR it won’t turn the heater off when it gets too warm. It is clamped to the evaporator coil at the top to sense the temp. If it appears to be misshapen it is bad.
With an ohm meter it should show continuity when cold and none when warm.
You can also bypass(disconnect the two wires plugged into it and twist them together) the thermostat to see if the heater comes on then. If it does then you know the thermostat is bad and needs replaced.

The defrost heater is located on the evaporator. It is in a tube which is at the bottom and can also go up the sides of the evaporator. On some types you can see a burnt spot if it’s bad. With an ohm meter it should show continuity from end to end when disconnected from the wiring in the freezer. You can also test the wiring for voltage when it’s in the defrost mode.

If you have a defrost timer you can test it. It can be located under the fridge behind the kick panel on the front. Some are in the fridge with the controls at the top. You can turn the defrost timer till it clicks and everything shuts down. The heater should now come on. If it does, replace the timer because that means the timer is not running. If it doesn't, check the heater and defrost thermostat. Turn the timer again till everything starts back up to end the defrost cycle.

If you have an adaptive defrost control instead of a timer, replace it if the heater and thermostat test good. It is located in the fridge with the controls in some models and on the back in others. You can post your model number into one of several appliance parts sites on the internet and search for defrost components to find your parts.

Jan 03, 2010 | Jenn-Air JCD2389G Side by Side...

1 Answer

Not cooling/freezing

defrost heater, defrost thermostat
How to check everything

You can turn the defrost timer till it clicks and everything shuts down. The heater should now come on. If it doesn't, check the heater and defrost thermostat. Turn the timer again till everything starts back up to end the defrost cycle.

Sep 11, 2009 | Refrigerators

1 Answer

1999 Frigidaire Refrigerator

Check rear wall of freezer by feel for frost. Heavy, even frost indicates likely problem in the defrost system. Unplug unit. Defrost heater (in freezer behind rear wall panel), defrost thermostat (same area-must be checked at freezer temperature) or Defrost timer-located lower back outside of unit. Near compressor. Do continuity test on heater and defrost thermostat and if they show continuity (good), replace defrost timer. If not, replace the one that tests bad.

Defrost coils fully. Reassemble.

Please let me know if I have helped with comments and rating.

Refrigerator will work about 7-10 days after being defrosted until thick frost builds up again cutting off air flow to both compartments

Sep 07, 2009 | Frigidaire Freezer 20.3 Cu. Ft. Frost Free...

1 Answer

GE refrigerator TBX25zpk coils Freezing

It's almost always the defrost heater. If you have volts to the defrost thermostat the defrost control is working. Set your meter to check ohms and remove the wiring from the heater. If anything changes when you touch the meter leads to the heater terminals then the heater is probably good, but my guess is nothing will change, which means you've got a bad heater.

Jul 21, 2008 | GE (PSS26MSRSS) Side by Side Refrigerator

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