Question about Kenmore 13.7 cu. ft. / 388 liter Upright Freezer 23424

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When Freezer goes into Heater Defrost Cycle it shorts and trips the GFI. I have to turn the defrost timer to reset and enable the GFI. Is it the heater that's bad? PLMK Thanks, Dan.

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Good day,
It could be either the main heater, as you said or the defrost thermostat which is clipped to the top of the cooling coil.
You will need an ohm meter for testing.
Set the meter at RX1 remove the wires that connect the heater to the machine. With the ohm meter, use one end of the probe on one of the 2 heater leads. The other probe can be touched to the cooling coil, since it is grounded. You should read infinity. If you get any reading on the meter,replace the heater. It is necessary to perform the test on both heater leads, one at a time.

Do the same thing with the defrost thermostat. However, the thermostat can not be allowed to warm up since it will open it's circuit when it reaches somewhere around 50 degrees, and not reset until it goes back to 20 degrees.

Posted on Jul 12, 2010

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We have Frigidaire Upright Freezer. After 6-7 days its stops cooling as its condenser gets ice around it whereas the fan is working good. We clean the ice and it again starts working/cooling.


There are a few possibilities. Freeze-ups are a result of the unit either not having sufficient airflow or the compressor running too long and too often. As you note the fan is good, chances are airflow is not the issue. There are a few quick items that you can check on:

1. Check door seals. Leaks will cause the interior to lose cooling faster and result in compressor overloading.
2. Do not overload the freezer. Too much inside the freezer will cause loss of airflow INSIDE the unit and can cause issues.
3. Avoid putting too much unfrozen material into the freezer at once. It takes a lot of work to remove all the heat from a large amount of material.
4. Avoid multiple opening and closing of the door. Upright freezers are inefficient as they lose all their cold air as soon as you open the door. Chest freezers do better if you must go into the unit often.

Lastly, undercharged refrigerant system can cause the same issue. If you don't have any of the other problems noted, have a serviceman check the refrigerant and fill the system as needed.

Feb 29, 2016 | Frigidaire Freezers

2 Answers

Freezer trips breaker


If it is tripping the breaker when the unit is in defrost this is will not be the capacitor. You could have a heater or defrost thermostat issue. Please contact a professional for a full diagnosis.

Jul 30, 2012 | Frigidaire 20.3 Cu. Ft. Frost-Free Upright...

1 Answer

Not freezing


Either the defrost circuit has failed or the refrigerant is low - my money is on the defrost circuit.

Most defrost circuits have three main parts:

1) defrost electric heating coil
2) defrost terminator
3) defrost timer.

The heating coil and terminator are in the freezer compartment - behind a protective panel. The heater is usually piggy-backed on the freezer coil and the terminator is in contact with the freezer coil to detect its temperature. The defrost timer is a simple assembly of a clock motor with switch contacts that can be located anywhere the manufacturer desires. The timer turns on or enables the defrost circuit every 8 or so hours for up to 30 minutes give or take.

When the timer has enabled the defrost cycle, the cooling mode ceases; the compressor shuts off and power is sent through the terminator to the heater. The heater warms and melts any ice build up on the freezer coil. The water drips to a pan and flows down the tube to a pan under the fridge - where it is evaporated off. The heater warms the freezer coil until either a) the timer returns to cooling mode or b) the terminator senses a preset rising temperature on the freezer coil. Once either condition is present, power is interupted and heating stops. The compressor is energized through the adjustable thermostat in your fridge. Since it is warm, the compressor turns on and cooling begins.

If any of the components listed above (1,2 or 3) have failed, the defrost cycle never warms the freezer coil and the ice never melts to clear the freezer coil as intended. Air can not be circulated through the freezer coil since it is choked with ice, so even though the compressor runs, the fridge and freezer spaces never get colder. The adjustable thermostat never sees the temperature you've set so the compressor never shuts off.

Water dripping in the fridge is melting ice from the freezer space - as the freezer is not getting colder - only the protected space around the freezer coil is.

To fix this, you'll have to get the service manual or schematics for the fridge to determine where the parts are located and do some troubleshooting with a multimeter after disassembling the freezer compartment and wherever else to access the timer if needed. This is not a good first appliance repair job for a DIYer due to the danger of refrigerant and testing live electrical parts in closed in spaces.

I hope this helps.

May 20, 2010 | Kenmore 20.3 cu. ft. / 575 liter Upright...

1 Answer

Freezer won't freeze



If the evaporator coils behind the back panel of the freezer are icing up because of auto defrost failure that will stop the circulation of cold air and eventually affect the freezer too.
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 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.

Nov 08, 2009 | Frigidaire Freezers

1 Answer

BEKO CA541FF - 4 Years Old Fridge is OK at 4c to 5c Freezer -5c to -4c Cannot now hear gurgling noise of cooling cycle What should I check first? Thanks, Duncan


You only hear the gurgling when the compressor cuts off so it must be running all the time and still not getting cold enough in the freezer. This sounds like a defrost problem.


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 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.

Nov 04, 2009 | Freezers

2 Answers

My upright freezer won't self defrost. Frost builds up right awa


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 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.

If you need help finding your model number see here> http://www.appliancepartspros.com/modelnumber_locator.aspx

To locate your timer, motherboard, control or adaptive defrost control , enter your model number and search for the part or post back on Fixya.
http://www.searspartsdirect.com/partsdirect/index.action?psid=26129238&sid=PSx20071217x00001a

Sep 19, 2009 | Kenmore 13.7 cu. ft. / 388 liter Upright...

1 Answer

My admiral fridge/freezer runs a lot but does not get down to temperature


If the evaporator coils behind the back panel of the freezer are icing up because of auto defrost failure that will stop the circulation of cold air and eventually affect the freezer too.

check defrost timer, defrost heater, 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.

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. 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 14, 2009 | Freezers

1 Answer

Not recovering


Make sure the fan in the freezer is running circulating the air.
How to check everything
http://www.acmehowto.com/howto/appliance/refrigerator/refrigerator.php

If the evaporator coils behind the back panel of the freezer are icing up because of auto defrost failure that will stop the circulation of cold air and eventually affect the freezer too.

check defrost timer, defrost heater, 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.

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. 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 03, 2009 | Freezers

1 Answer

Food thawed, freezer running. I moved packages from in front of air ways and turned thermostat to coldest setting & it didn't change anything, freezer still at 32-33 degrees. help


If the evaporator coils behind the back panel of the freezer are icing up because of auto defrost failure that will stop the circulation of cold air
check defrost timer, defrost heater, 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.

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. If it doesn't, check the heater and defrost thermostat. Turn the timer again till everything starts back up to end the defrost cycle.

How to check everything
http://www.acmehowto.com/howto/appliance/refrigerator/refrigerator.php

Aug 30, 2009 | Freezers

1 Answer

Freezer is covered with frost, I defrost it with a hair dryer and the next day it is back to the same as it was before


How to check everything
http://www.acmehowto.com/howto/appliance/refrigerator/refrigerator.php

If the evaporator coils behind the back panel of the freezer are icing up because of auto defrost failure that will stop the circulation of cold air and eventually affect the freezer too.

check defrost timer, defrost heater, 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.

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. If it doesn't, check the heater and defrost thermostat. Turn the timer again till everything starts back up to end the defrost cycle.


Your 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.

Aug 22, 2009 | Freezers

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