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GE GSS22WGPH WW won't defrost

I have a 5 yr old GE GSS22WGPH WW that will not defrost. About every two weeks you have unplug the unit for a day or so, or remove the interior back panel from the freezer and thaw the evaporator coils with a hair dryer, they will be completely encrusted in ice completely blocking any air flow. I have cleaned the condenser coil and fan of dust, fuzz, etc.

Defrost timer or heater perhaps? What is the test procedure for these components, or other areas that might be the cause of trouble? I live about a 2-hour drive from the closest big city so finding competent repair services is a challenge.


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  • colville86 Jul 29, 2009

    The defrost heater element was bad... THX!



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Hi, You can test the defrost heater for coninuity. Unplug the refrigerator and remove the heater. If the heater shows an open circuit, it wil need replaced. The defrost heater is the most common problem with this model. If the heater shows ok, you can test the bi-metal switch for continuity. This switch must be tested while it is cold.
This model has a mother board system rather then a defrost timer. The mother board cost is in the area of $160.00. Make sure the defrost heater or the bi-metal switch are ok before changing the mother board
Please let me know if this helps you at all or if I can assist you further.


Posted on Jul 29, 2009

  • Victor
    Victor Jul 29, 2009


    You are very welcome. Thanks for using



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I am sure you can do this yourself, Jeff. The test procedure is as follows. Bypass the defrost thermostat (round thingy strapped to evaporater ) place the frig into defrost by manually turning the timer with a screwdriver clockwise untill you hear a loud click. You should be in defrost mode now. If the heater element comes on then you have a bad defrost thermostat. If they do not come on then the element is bad. You can check element for continuity with an ohm meter. The defrost timer rarely goes out but they occasionally do. Wait to see if the timer comes back out of defrost on its own. Takes about five to ten minutes .If it does not, then you can visually inspect timer. There is a sight window on the back of timer that should be spinning if motor is good. Hope this helps

Posted on Jul 29, 2009


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it could be a defrost heater problem . the heating cycle is not defrosting the ice that is why your having frost build up. the heater could be damaged, thermosdisc damaged, electronic timer module damaged.try thawing it up by unpluging it for a day or two until there is no more water dripping at the back then try it again, im sure the refrigerator section would cool again for a week or two before it wouyld go back to the same problem. dont forget to bring back the setting to 5 for freezer and 35 for refrigerator in order for the thermostat to work.

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