Kenmore C978-66792-1 fridge: defrost ices and stops fan
I can melt the ice around the fan and the fridge works again for about a month. From another site I got the following advice which I will follow but: there is a plug with wires (heavy Orange and White) which are not hooked up and I don't see any place where they can connect into. Are these my problem or just wires for an ice maker model???? I have found the location of the theromstat and timer.
The most common fridge ''not cooling'' problem is a frost free failure... Once you locate the defrost timer, slowly turn the screw like wheel in the middle of the defrost timer with a straight screwdriver until the fridge shuts off. You are now in defrost. If the defrost heater(s) comes on now, replace the defrost timer and defrost thermostat.
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If the fan has failed or intermittent, the freezer wont freeze the food properly but usually you get a mountain of ice build up at the back of the freezer. This ice jams and stops the fan from turning. Alternatively, there could be a defrost problem. Unless it is a fully electronic defrost machine, there is usually a little timer on the back of the fridge to force a defrost after a certain time. The fridge will turn off, the defrost heater operates to melt the ice and then usually with 20 to 45 minutes, the defrost timer will "click" back on and start the fridge running again. If the timer is sticking, the fridge may stay on its defrost cycle and never start again, thus, it doesn't get cold. If you find the defrost timer, have a close look for a little shaft or slotted screw type stud sticking out of the middle of it. A slight turn of this and you should hear it clicking around. When you hear a loud click, that is either the start or end of the defrost cycle. If you have a full electronic defrost system, it may be a failed board, heater, thermostat or defrost safety fuse.
If the timer didn't fix your problem, and it sounds like it didn't, then there are 2 other components to a defrost system. The defrost heater, and the defrost thermostat. Both are located around evaporator. Back inside wall of freezer will have to be removed to access these parts. Thermostat will be clipped near top of evaporator coil. Heater will be near bottom of coil.
The defrost cycle is not working. After a predetermined number of hours of compressor running time, a timer actuates the defrost cycle, which stops the compressor and turns on a heating element to melt the ice. Either the timer or heating element is not working. Also, make sure the melted ice water is actually draining and not re-freezing.
The defrost circuit has failed. Typical failures are the defrost heater has opened, the defrost timer if equiped, is not advancing or the defrost thermostat is open. To check the heater, melt the ice, and use a meter to check if the heating elements are open, if they are, then you will need to replace the heating element.
GE refrigerators have a faulty design, and so don't defrost completely, so ice builds up in the evaporator coils and on and in the evap. fan motor. Melting the ice will make the fridge more efficient, and the fan quiet again.
The slow, easy way to fix is take out all the food, unplug the fridge, leave doors open all day. Ice will melt, and all will be fine ... for a few months, until the ice builds up again. The fast way is here.
Several things possible - fan in freezer side not running, defrost thermostat not working, if fan runs and cuts off & on, then the defrost heater strip could be out, but check the defrost timer under fridge; not cycling, you can manually turn to see if fan cuts off and on. If you have "ice shelf" in coils on freezer side then no air circulates in freezer and over into refrigerator side.