Question about Refrigerators

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Hello Expert, Our Whirlpool Gold refrigerator model GB9SHDXPS01 is warm, but the freezer is just fine. Frost builds up on the back wall. I removed all the ice with a hair dryer, but about 6 days later, the ice builds up again. I understand that indicates that the defrost system is not working right. What should I do from there? Knowing that this problem occurs often, what is the most proba Any help would be appreciated, thanks in advance.

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  • Master
  • 834 Answers

The problem is most likely either the defrost timer, and/or the defrost heater element(s) are faulty. The problem is actually that the defrost heater elements are not functioning properly and the evaporator core is actually freezing up and blocking the air flow through the evaporator core and also freezing up the thermal sensor, and when that happens there is no longer enough cold air being circulated through the refrigerator (that is actually how the unit operates and air must be able to flow through the evaporator core and then be circulated throughout the refrigerator to properly function) and as a result the refrigerator stops functioning and food can even thaw out in the freezer although the freezer seems to be iced up. (Usually at the rear wall where the evaporator core is located)

(Air flow through the evaporator core and cold air circulation and re-circulation through the refrigerator is performed by the air circulation fan and it also must be functioning)

Be sure to only use a blow dryer (with a towel on the bottom of the freezer) to thaw out the evaporator core and do not use any hard or sharp objects or the evaporator core can be damaged. The defrost timer can be located inside of the refrigerator itself, (see lower image) or it can be mounted outside usually either behind the air intake cowl or kick panel at the front base of the refrigerator, or most likely located behind the service panel on the rear of the refrigerator, and usually if the defrost timer is turning then it is most likely working, however the defrost timer can move very slowly and you can place a mark on the timer and the housing to check after about fifteen minutes to see if the position on the defrost timer has changed. The deforst timer on newer digital models can be built into the circuit board and is not a seperate timer mechanism. The defrost heater coils can easily be checked by dis-connecting them and using an ohm meter, and a high or an infinite reading would indicate a faulty heater coil, however most of the time they are easily identified as being bad just by looking at them.

Here are some images that should be similar to your situation to help assist you, and let me know if you require any further assistance.


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Posted on Sep 18, 2010

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  • Master
  • 17,130 Answers

You have come to identify the fault. The defrost timer is one which runs around a cycle to switch on the heaters so as the frost is taken off the coils.
The timer is normally located at the bottom rear of the fridge and the wires are connected from the heater and the relay circuit.
You must make a note of the connection wiring colours before removing the timer for purchasingg the same type.
Connect according to the note prepared.
It will be good to see if the Heater show continuity, the wires are not snapped in the frosting or a line connector make low contact with frost build up.Check this before the timer is bought.

Posted on Sep 17, 2010

  • Guy Cadieux Sep 17, 2010

    Caroldon,
    That was a fast answer : ). I just finished de-icing it. So ok, I will get to the heater and check continuity and contacts. However, looking at the drawings of this model, I don't find a timer. Is it possible that the heater is controlled by an electronic control card #AP4366538 ?

    Thx a lot again for your quick answering,
    Guy : )

  • Donald DCruz
    Donald DCruz Sep 17, 2010

    Yes , if the heater is connected to an electronic unit it is possible but in most cases it is a continuous timer which will not reset if power fails.

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