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Replacing a defrost thermostat

It appears that you have to cut the wires and re-attach the wire using a wire nut. However I was told by a local tech that you have to use a lighter to melt the wire connector. Can you maybe help with this?

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  • Refrigerators Master
  • 2,651 Answers

You do need to cut and splice in the new defrost thermo. i wouldnt use lighter to do anything but light a cig! just wrap the connector with electrical tape when done, you dont want moisture to bet with the connecter is all.

Posted on Mar 21, 2008

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Kenmore fridge ice maker makes ice sometimes and sometimes doesn't


There are precisely 2 causes of such problems. Either the defrost thermostat is bad and need to be replaced or the water inlet valve is blocked or faulty. Either ways you will have to run a test on them both and replace the faulty component. Before you begin to test your icemaker's water inlet valve or the defrost thermostat, make sure you disconnect the appliance's power supply. The easiest way to do this is to unplug the unit from the wall. Alternatively, you could trip the appropriate switch in the circuit breaker panel, or you could remove the appropriate fuse from your home's fuse box.
To test the water inlet valve,
  1. Locate your icemaker's water inlet valve, it is typically located behind a refrigerator. Gently pull your refrigerator away from the wall. You may want to place scraps of carpet, of some other soft material below the fridge to prevent damage to the floor. Turn of the water valve's water supply by closing the shut-off valve in the waterline leading to the water valve. Remove the lower access panel on the back of the refrigerator using a screwdriver or a nut driver.
  2. Place a container under the valve to catch any water that may spill from the water valve and its fill tube. Remove the water valve's fill tubing. Loosen the flare nut on the brass fitting that is found on the inlet side of the water valve. You can use a wrench to loosen the flare nut.
  3. Your water inlet valve is held in place on your refrigerator by means of a metal bracket. Use a screwdriver or a nutdriver to remove the screw that holds the water valve's bracket to the refrigerator cabinet. Gently pull the water valve out of the cabinet, and remove the tube from the outlet port.
  4. There are two wires connecting to the terminals of your water inlet valve. If yours is a double solenoid water valve, it will have four wires. Be sure to label each wire so that you know where to reconnect them later. Firmly grasp the metal connector of the wires in order to remove the wires. You may need to use a pair of needle-nosed pliers. Do not pull on the wires themselves.
  5. Set your multitester to the R X 1 ohms setting to test for continuity. Place each of the multitester's leads on a terminal. Your multitester should display a reading between 200 and 500 ohms. Closely examine your water inlet valve. The exact ohm resistance rating you should test for may be marked on the valve.
  6. If the test you conduct with your icemaker water inlet valve does not produce these results, then you should replace the component.
To replace the water inlet valve:
  1. Locate your icemaker's water inlet valve, it is typically located behind a refrigerator. Gently pull your refrigerator away from the wall. You may want to place scraps of carpet, of some other soft material below the fridge to prevent damage to the floor. Turn of the water valve's water supply by closing the shut-off valve in the waterline leading to the water valve. Remove the lower access panel on the back of the refrigerator using a screwdriver or a nut driver.
  2. Place a container under the valve to catch any water that may spill from the water valve and its fill tube. Remove the water valve's fill tubing. Loosen the flare nut on the brass fitting that is found on the inlet side of the water valve. You can use a wrench to loosen the flare nut.
  3. Your water inlet valve is held in place on your refrigerator by means of a metal bracket. Use a screwdriver or a nutdriver to remove the screw that holds the water valve's bracket to the refrigerator cabinet. Gently pull the water valve out of the cabinet, and remove the tube from the outlet port.
  4. There are two wires connecting to the terminals of your water inlet valve. If yours is a double solenoid water valve, it will have four wires. Be sure to label each wire so that you know where to reconnect them later. Firmly grasp the metal connector of the wires in order to remove the wires. You may need to use a pair of needle-nosed pliers. Do not pull on the wires themselves.
  5. Discard the used water inlet valve and proceed to connect the new one. Attach the new valve in the opposite order of what the old one was removed. Replace the rear lower access panel and restore power to your refrigerator. Push your refrigerator back in its spot.
To test the defrost thermostat,
  1. Locate your refrigerator's defrost thermostat. In freezer-on-top models, it may be located under the floor of the unit, or it could be found at the back of the freezer. If you have a side-by-side refrigerator, the defrost thermostat is found at the back of the freezer side. The thermostat is wired in series with the defrost heater, and when the thermostat opens, the heater shuts off. You will have to remove any objects that are in your way such as the contents of the freezer, freezer shelves, icemaker parts, and the inside rear, back, or bottom panel.
  2. The panel you need to remove may be held in place with either retainer clips or screws. Remove the screws or use a screwdriver to release the clips holding the panel in place. Some older refrigerators may require that you remove a plastic molding before you can gain access to the freezer floor. Exercise caution when removing the molding, as it does break fairly easily. You could try warming it with a warm, wet towel first.
  3. There are two wires leading from the thermostat. They are attached to terminals with slip-on connectors. Gently pull on the connectors to release the wires from the terminals. You may need to use needle nosed pliers to help you. Do not pull on the wires themselves.
  4. Proceed to remove the thermostat. It may be secured in place with a screw, clip, or clamp. The thermostat and the clamp on some models are one assembly. On other models, the thermostat clamps around the evaporator tubing. In some other cases, the thermostat is removed by squeezing in on the clip and pulling the thermostat up.
  5. Set your multitester to the R X 1 ohms setting. Place each of the multitester's leads on a thermostat wire. When your thermostat is cold, it should produce a reading of zero on your multitester. If it is warm (anywhere from forty to ninety degrees Fahrenheit), then this test should produce a reading of infinity. If the results you receive from your test differ from the ones presented here, then you will need to replace your defrost thermostat.
To replace the defrost thermostat;
  1. Locate your refrigerator's defrost thermostat. In freezer-on-top models, it may be located under the floor of the unit, or it could be found at the back of the freezer. If you have a side-by-side refrigerator, the defrost thermostat is found at the back of the freezer side. The thermostat is wired in series with the defrost heater, and when the thermostat opens, the heater shuts off. You will have to remove any objects that are in your way such as the contents of the freezer, freezer shelves, icemaker parts, and the inside rear, back, or bottom panel.
  2. The panel you need to remove may be held in place with either retainer clips or screws. Remove the screws or use a screwdriver to release the clips holding the panel in place. Some older refrigerators may require that you remove a plastic molding before you can gain access to the freezer floor. Exercise caution when removing the molding, as it does break fairly easily. You could try warming it with a warm, wet towel first.
  3. There are two wires leading from the thermostat. They are attached to terminals with slip-on connectors. Gently pull on the connectors to release the wires from the terminals. You may need to use needle nosed pliers to help you. Do not pull on the wires themselves.
  4. Proceed to remove the thermostat. It may be secured in place with a screw, clip, or clamp. The thermostat and the clamp on some models are one assembly. On other models, the thermostat clamps around the evaporator tubing. In some other cases, the thermostat is removed by squeezing in on the clip and pulling the thermostat up.
  5. To install your new defrost thermostat, reverse the removal process. Reconnect the wires, replace the panel, and restore power to your refrigerator. For those models where the defrost thermostat is attached to the evaporator coil, make sure you install the new thermostat in the same location and position of the old one.
Hope this was helpful. Thanks for using fixya

Jan 27, 2011 | Refrigerators

5 Answers

Kenmore Elite Bottom Freezer Mod. #795 75544401


Excessive ice build up on the shelves or walls will fool the thermostat into not coming turning the compressor on
Do Not use any sharp objects to scrape or chip ice in the freezer as you may damage the coils, which are the shelves or walls in a manual defrost freezer. You can use a hair dryer, shop vac, a fan setting in front of the freezer with the door propped open or set pans of hot water on the shelves to help melt the ice. If you poke a hole in the coils and the freon leaks out, start looking for a new freezer as it will not be worth repairing.
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  • 1) Unplug the refrigerator.
  • 2) With the freezer frozen down, (it must have been running at least a couple of hours to give the contacts in the defrost thermostat a chance to get cold and close) remove the evaporator cover (the cover in the freezer that covers the cooling coil)
  • 3) Plug the refrigerator in.
  • 4) Locate the defrost timer and, with a screw driver, turn the timer to the defrost mode. ( There is a slot on the timer that the screwdriver will fit in. Turn it clockwise. The refrigerator will stop running when it goes into the defrost mode.)
  • 5) Wait about 5 minutes, then see if the defrost heater is heating. It will get VERY HOT, so be careful! If it is heating, the defrost heater and defrost thermostat are good. The timer should be replaced.
  • 6) If the heater is not heating, then the timer is probably good. (While this is not true ALL of the time, in my 15 years in this business I have seen this NOT true only twice. You could still have a bad timer, but is is unlikely)
  • 7) UNPLUG THE REFRIGERATOR!
  • 8) Use a hair dryer to defrost the evaporator (cooling) coil.
  • 9) Visually inspect the defrost heater. Check for a broken or burned area on the heater. Replace the heater if you find this.
  • 10) If you do not have a multi-meter, skip to 13. If you have a multi-meter, check the resistance of the heater by disconnecting the wires from both end of the heater and, with the meter set to "OHMS", put one meter lead on each end of the heater.
  • 11) If you get no resistance reading, replace the heater.
  • 12) If you get a resistance reading, replace the defrost thermostat. (See 6 above.)
  • 13) If you do not have a mulit-meter, make sure the refrigerator is unplugged, then locate the defrost thermostat. It is a round, quarter sized part with two wires coming out if it. It usually mounts directly to the evaporator coil.
  • 14) Make a note of how each wire is attached to the thermostat.
  • 15) Remove all wires from the thermostat.
  • 16) Using a wire nut (you probably removed two of them to remove the wires) connect ALL of the wires that WERE attached to the thermostat together. (NOT THE WIRES THAT ARE MADE ONTO THE THERMOSTAT, BUT THE WIRES THAT WERE ATTACHED TO THE THERMOSTAT)
  • 17) Plug the refrigerator back in. Make sure the timer is still in the defrost mode.
  • 18) Wait a couple of minutes, then check to see if the heater is heating. It will get VERY HOT, so be careful.
  • 19) If the heater is heating, replace the thermostat.
  • 20) If the heater is not heating, replace the heater.

  • for more help go to this links one by one.
    http://www.american-appliance.com/catalog/newsdesk_info.php?newsPath=14&newsdesk_id=37
    or
    http://www.applianceaid.com/
    pixel_trans.gif

    Aug 28, 2008 | Kenmore 73502 / 73504 / 73509 Bottom...

    1 Answer

    My lg fridge wont make ice


    If Your fridge wont make ice, there are just 2 components responsible for that. The water inlet valve and the defrost thermostat. You need to run a test on both to be able to tell which is the faulty component. To test the water inlet valve, Consult with an appliance repair technician if you do not feel you have the skill or the ability to successfully complete any of these test.Before you begin any test on your icemaker's water inlet valve and defrost thermostat, make sure you disconnect the appliance's power supply. The easiest way to do this is to unplug the unit from the wall. Alternatively, you could trip the appropriate switch in the circuit breaker panel, or you could remove the appropriate fuse from your home's fuse box.
    1. Locate your icemaker's water inlet valve, it is typically located behind a refrigerator. Gently pull your refrigerator away from the wall. You may want to place scraps of carpet, of some other soft material below the fridge to prevent damage to the floor. Turn of the water valve's water supply by closing the shut-off valve in the waterline leading to the water valve. Remove the lower access panel on the back of the refrigerator using a screwdriver or a nut driver.
    2. Place a container under the valve to catch any water that may spill from the water valve and its fill tube. Remove the water valve's fill tubing. Loosen the flare nut on the brass fitting that is found on the inlet side of the water valve. You can use a wrench to loosen the flare nut.
    3. Your water inlet valve is held in place on your refrigerator by means of a metal bracket. Use a screwdriver or a nutdriver to remove the screw that holds the water valve's bracket to the refrigerator cabinet. Gently pull the water valve out of the cabinet, and remove the tube from the outlet port.
    4. There are two wires connecting to the terminals of your water inlet valve. If yours is a double solenoid water valve, it will have four wires. Be sure to label each wire so that you know where to reconnect them later. Firmly grasp the metal connector of the wires in order to remove the wires. You may need to use a pair of needle-nosed pliers. Do not pull on the wires themselves.
    5. Set your multitester to the R X 1 ohms setting to test for continuity. Place each of the multitester's leads on a terminal. Your multitester should display a reading between 200 and 500 ohms. Closely examine your water inlet valve. The exact ohm resistance rating you should test for may be marked on the valve.
    If the test you conduct with your icemaker water inlet valve does not produce these results, then you should replace the component. To replace the component, please follow the steps below:
    1. Locate your icemaker's water inlet valve, it is typically located behind a refrigerator. Gently pull your refrigerator away from the wall. You may want to place scraps of carpet, of some other soft material below the fridge to prevent damage to the floor. Turn of the water valve's water supply by closing the shut-off valve in the waterline leading to the water valve. Remove the lower access panel on the back of the refrigerator using a screwdriver or a nut driver.
    2. Place a container under the valve to catch any water that may spill from the water valve and its fill tube. Remove the water valve's fill tubing. Loosen the flare nut on the brass fitting that is found on the inlet side of the water valve. You can use a wrench to loosen the flare nut.
    3. Your water inlet valve is held in place on your refrigerator by means of a metal bracket. Use a screwdriver or a nutdriver to remove the screw that holds the water valve's bracket to the refrigerator cabinet. Gently pull the water valve out of the cabinet, and remove the tube from the outlet port.
    4. There are two wires connecting to the terminals of your water inlet valve. If yours is a double solenoid water valve, it will have four wires. Be sure to label each wire so that you know where to reconnect them later. Firmly grasp the metal connector of the wires in order to remove the wires. You may need to use a pair of needle-nosed pliers. Do not pull on the wires themselves.
    5. Discard the used water inlet valve and proceed to connect the new one. Attach the new valve in the opposite order of what the old one was removed. Replace the rear lower access panel and restore power to your refrigerator. Push your refrigerator back in its spot.
    To test the defrost thermostat, please follow the steps below:
    1. Locate your refrigerator's defrost thermostat. In freezer-on-top models, it may be located under the floor of the unit, or it could be found at the back of the freezer. If you have a side-by-side refrigerator, the defrost thermostat is found at the back of the freezer side. The thermostat is wired in series with the defrost heater, and when the thermostat opens, the heater shuts off. You will have to remove any objects that are in your way such as the contents of the freezer, freezer shelves, icemaker parts, and the inside rear, back, or bottom panel.
    2. The panel you need to remove may be held in place with either retainer clips or screws. Remove the screws or use a screwdriver to release the clips holding the panel in place. Some older refrigerators may require that you remove a plastic molding before you can gain access to the freezer floor. Exercise caution when removing the molding, as it does break fairly easily. You could try warming it with a warm, wet towel first.
    3. There are two wires leading from the thermostat. They are attached to terminals with slip-on connectors. Gently pull on the connectors to release the wires from the terminals. You may need to use needle nosed pliers to help you. Do not pull on the wires themselves.
    4. Proceed to remove the thermostat. It may be secured in place with a screw, clip, or clamp. The thermostat and the clamp on some models are one assembly. On other models, the thermostat clamps around the evaporator tubing. In some other cases, the thermostat is removed by squeezing in on the clip and pulling the thermostat up.
    5. Set your multitester to the R X 1 ohms setting. Place each of the multitester's leads on a thermostat wire. When your thermostat is cold, it should produce a reading of zero on your multitester. If it is warm (anywhere from forty to ninety degrees Fahrenheit), then this test should produce a reading of infinity. If the results you receive from your test differ from the ones presented here, then you will need to replace your defrost thermostat.
    To replace the defrost thermostat, please follow the steps below:
    1. Locate your refrigerator's defrost thermostat. In freezer-on-top models, it may be located under the floor of the unit, or it could be found at the back of the freezer. If you have a side-by-side refrigerator, the defrost thermostat is found at the back of the freezer side. The thermostat is wired in series with the defrost heater, and when the thermostat opens, the heater shuts off. You will have to remove any objects that are in your way such as the contents of the freezer, freezer shelves, icemaker parts, and the inside rear, back, or bottom panel.
    2. The panel you need to remove may be held in place with either retainer clips or screws. Remove the screws or use a screwdriver to release the clips holding the panel in place. Some older refrigerators may require that you remove a plastic molding before you can gain access to the freezer floor. Exercise caution when removing the molding, as it does break fairly easily. You could try warming it with a warm, wet towel first.
    3. There are two wires leading from the thermostat. They are attached to terminals with slip-on connectors. Gently pull on the connectors to release the wires from the terminals. You may need to use needle nosed pliers to help you. Do not pull on the wires themselves.
    4. Proceed to remove the thermostat. It may be secured in place with a screw, clip, or clamp. The thermostat and the clamp on some models are one assembly. On other models, the thermostat clamps around the evaporator tubing. In some other cases, the thermostat is removed by squeezing in on the clip and pulling the thermostat up.
    5. To install your new defrost thermostat, reverse the removal process. Reconnect the wires, replace the panel, and restore power to your refrigerator. For those models where the defrost thermostat is attached to the evaporator coil, make sure you install the new thermostat in the same location and position of the old one.

    6. Hope this information helped.

    Jan 16, 2011 | LG LSC27910TT (265 cu ft) Side by Side...

    1 Answer

    I need step by step instructions on how to install defrost thermostat for model # GSS20IEPWW side by sideRefrigerator?


    Empty the freezer. Unplug the fridge. Take all the shelves and drawer out of the freezer. Remove the lightbulb cover and bulb. Take out the screws that hold the panel on the back of the freezer wall. Slide the panel up slightly to clear the thermistor housing (a small 'bump' on the bottom left side) and remove the panel pulling from the left side forward. The defrost heater is on the bottom of the coils held on by two screws, and the thermostat is clipped on to the top coil and has pink and blue (sometimes orange) wires going to it. Don't worry if the wire colors on the new one are not the same. Unclip the thermostat and cut the wires, leaving yourself enough wire to strip them back and connect them with the new ones. Use crimp connectors or wire nuts (for wet applications) and then clip the thermostat back on. To replace the defrost heater, remove the two screws and disconnect the wires. The new defroster might have both wires on one side, rather than one on each side. That's okay, just move the wire on the left over to the right along side the other wire, and connect. Put everything back together, and plug back in.

    Dec 31, 2010 | GE GSS20IEPWW / GSS20IEPCC Side by Side...

    1 Answer

    What does error code 24 mean?


    This error codemeans defrost under heat. The thing about it is chances are there really is no problem. There is a wire that runs from the drefrost thermostat in the freezer to the conrol heading. This wire is split into three sections, and sometimes signal is lost, or degraded, going back to the control so the machine thinks that the defrost heaters are not working properly. The only real way to fix this is to take th freezer wall out, find the wire which I think is blue, and cut the junctions and use wire nuts to tie them together. There are two junctions in the freezer , and one near the control board, but if you can live with seeing the 24 code and know there is no problem, I wouldn't worry to much. Most of te time calling a tech will only get you smeone trying to sell you a part you don't need. Hope this helped.

    Nov 11, 2010 | Sub-Zero 700TCLH Bottom Freezer...

    1 Answer

    I need to know how to install defrost heater element in frigidaire model FRS22ZRG


    ok look for the freezer compartment. one located, there always some screws to remove there usually 1/4 inch about 5 or 6 of them sometimes 4 you remove that cover the defrost element is at the bottom look at the two wires and the position of the element. sometimes you have to snap it in other times it's a a whole piece (like ge) connect the wires one on 1 side and the other 1 the same way replace the defrost thermostat also. just cut the wires and use the wire nuts provided with it (if you buy genuine) mostly its an L40 if you buy a replacement your gonna have to get two of the orange wire nuts. just put the wires together and screw the wire nut on.

    Apr 23, 2008 | Refrigerators

    1 Answer

    Defrost thermostat connector


    There is usually a little tab inside the connector. Use a small flat blade screwdriver and pry into the center of the connection where one slips over the other. If you warm it up with a hair dryer it may pop apart easier. If it is rusted, burnt or corroded, just cut it off and use orange wire nuts to make the connection. Use electrical tape to seal the nuts. 

    Jan 09, 2008 | Refrigerators

    1 Answer

    Fridge not getting cold


    Hotfridge, you have an issue with automatic defrost... most likely located at the defrost terminator. Here are the steps to resolve the issue; First, go to your local appliance parts store and purchase a defrost thermostat. Part #WR50X55. It's a G.E. built part and will replace your bad one. UNPLUG YOU FRIDGE! You'll have to empty out your freezer compartment and remove the rear panel. Once this is done, you'll see the defrost thermostat physically mounted to the *evaporator. (*the aluminum coil assy. that's all iced up.) It looks like the one you just bought. Remove it from the evaporator and cut the wires right at the thermostat, then discard it. Strip the newly cut wires exposing 1/2" of wire. Strip the wires back on the new one the same as with your newly stripped wires. Wire color does not matter here, just connect one wire of your new part to one of the wires in the freezer, then do the same with the other one. Now mount it (use the clip provided) back to the evaporator where the old one was located. Repair complete. Except that you'll need to completely defrost (melt) all that ice out of there before it'll cool properly again. Grab a hair dryer for this job. Do this before you replace the rear panel, it'll go quicker that way.

    Aug 09, 2007 | Haier HRE10WNAWW Refrigerator

    1 Answer

    Freezer works bottom part does not......


    Yep, the ice buildup is restricting air flow to the fresh food compartment. This means you have a problem in your defrost circuit. First, go to your local appliance parts store and purchase a defrost thermostat. Part #WR50X55. It's a G.E. built part and will replace your bad one. UNPLUG YOU FRIDGE! You'll have to empty out your freezer compartment and remove the rear panel. Once this is done, you'll see the defrost thermostat physically mounted to the *evaporator. *(the aluminum coil assy. that's all iced up.) It looks like the one you just bought. Remove it from the evaporator and cut the wires right at the thermostat, then discard it. Strip the newly cut wires exposing 1/2" of wire. Do the same with your new one. Wire color does not matter, just connect one wire of your new part to one of the wires in the freezer, then do the same with the other one. Now mount it (use the clip provided) back to the evaporator where the old one was located. Repair complete. Except that you'll need to completely defrost (melt) all that ice out of there before it'll cool properly again. Grab a hair dryer for this job. Do this before you replace the rear panel, it'll go quicker that way.

    Aug 01, 2007 | Avanti FF1102SS Top Freezer Refrigerator

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