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Coils in freezer icing up & will not defrost itself

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Locate the defrost timer, should be in the refrigerator compartment in the area near the temperature controls. May see a round hole in the plastic cover which gives access to a clutch head screw, turn the screw clockwise SLOWLY until you hear one audible click. The compressor will shut off and the defrost heaters in the coil area should turn on. If after 25 minutes the unit does not restart cooling turn the screw again to the second click. The compressor will then start cooling.(Replace Timer)

If the system does NOT defrost after turning the timer to the first click and the system restarts after 18-22 minutes your problem is in the defrost heater circuit. Could be an open defrost heater or defrost thermostat. The back wall of the freezer section must be removed to read out the heater with an Ohm meter for continuity.

Posted on Jul 01, 2008

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Freezer coils are iced up so the unit does not cool

Garth, The defrost Thermo should be closed when installed otherwise when the timer goes into defrost mode (I am not familiar w/ your model, could be 8,12 hr) the heater coil will not heat up.When closed it will allow the heater to defrost the freezer allowing the air to circulate & cool the fridg section also. The thermostat kicks in to turn off the heater, when it feels there is no more ice to defrost. the actual temp of the thermo can vary.
In the field we trained techs to replace the thermo and timer as a rule if all other components checked & visually looked good. If the heater was discolored or bulged we would advise replacement of it also.Remember the timer is the power source, the heater the engine & the thermo the safety. good luck, sl

Aug 24, 2012 | Refrigerators

1 Answer

My GE Monogram sidebyside...making a whiny noise. I opened freezer & there was ice & frost everywhere & all over everything. Freezer should be 0 and its 11, fresh food should be 37 and its 40....

your defrost heater behind the inside rear freezer panel is open or the defrost thermostat is bad and the ice buildup on the coils is probably touching the fan blades that move the cold air from the evaporator coil

Sep 11, 2011 | GE Refrigerators

1 Answer

The temperature of the fridge has risen to 11/12 degrees & wont come down? Freezer works fine! Any answers please

Don't know the make and model of your fridge, but most fridges have only one evap coil located in the freezer. The fridgerator compartment is cooled by a fan to blow air from the coil back into the fridgerator section. Check that the fan is working and the vents in the fridgerator are not blocked. Often the problem might be that the defrost circuit is not functioning causing ice to build up on the evap coil thus block the air flow to the fridge. If you seen any ice build up in freezer or refrigerator that could be the problem. If that is the case, then you need to have the defrost circuit troubleshot, typical failures are the heater itself or the defrost timer if you have an older model. Hope this helps you.

Oct 08, 2010 | Refrigerators

1 Answer

My Whirlpool Freezer/Refrigerator model# ET19RMXGW02 is not keeping items cold. The ice maker is not working. There is frost in on the back wall of the freezer but objects like ice cream are all soft. ...

your evaporator coil behind this frost on the wall is iced up and you cant blow cold air through solid ice,remove this panel and defrost the coil,then check the defrost heating element below the coil,the defrost thermostat located on the coil or the defrost timer itself for being defective

Aug 05, 2010 | Whirlpool Refrigerators

1 Answer

Defrost tube doesn't drain water and ice form under crisper trays This is a bottom freezer - drain tube is clean and I need to melt the ice every two weeks

This sounds like a problem with the self-defrost feature of the fridge. The three major components of most self defrosting freezers are: 1) defrost heater coil, 2) defrost terminator 3) defrost timer. The defrost's electric heater coil & terminator (a simple thermal sensor / switch) are in the freezer compartment in *very* close proximity to the freezer coil for the refrigerant (all of these components are usually hidden behind a protective panel) or in direct contact with the freezer coil (as is the case for the defrost terminator) The defrost timer assembly consists of a small clock motor and relay contact points. This assembly can be located anywhere the manufacturer desires.

If the timer motor has failed, or if the contact points in the assembly have shorted or failed in one position or the other - the defrost cycle will be stuck in one position (either cooling or defrosting) or the other. If the heater coil has failed, the rest of the defrost system is probably working ok, but the heater coil will fail to warm up to melt ice build up. The defrost terminator simply tells the the defroster that the cooling coil has reached a temperature high enough to have allowed the ice to melt off of it and drip into the pan & tube. If it has failed it could be telling the defrost system there is no ice built up.

The parts for this job aren't very expensive, and you can fix it yourself *IF* you have some know how, a bit of an electrical background (know how to use a meter and understand electricity) and can disassemble / reassemble the freezer area without damaging the refrigerant lines. You could buy all the parts and replace each, one by one until it starts working again, but that would be a bit expensive. A repairman coming out to do the repair might be even more though. You'll need to get schematics or the service manual for the particular Sub Zero model (probably the serial number, too) to determine the exact locations of the components and follow any troubleshooting steps if provided.

Don't choose this repair as your first appliance repair job though - it is more involved and dangerous than most others due to frostbite hazards of the refrigerant (if allowed to escape) and electric shock.

Good luck!

May 20, 2010 | Sub-Zero 650 / O Bottom Freezer...

1 Answer

Freezer is not cooling properly. The controls are turned all the way to the coldest setting and the freezer is only about 25 degrees.

it sound like you need to access the evaporator unit in the freezer and see if its iced up and the defrost is working,this can be done by taking cover plate off in freezer section,if its iced up defrost it,clean condenser coils under refrigerator of dust,then turn unit on and see if it cools right again,also if it works for a while then does it again the defrost timer that power the heating coil below the evaporator coil may be bad or the element itself may be bad that defrosts the coil

Jan 16, 2010 | Refrigerators

1 Answer

GE 24 Profile refrigerator: The freezer part

my refrigerator goes into auto defrost every 60hrs for 45 minutes or till the bi metal(defrost thermostat) says it had enough....recently i had ice built up on the coil because my defrost thermostat was stuck open...

ice builds up because the moisture that comes from opening the door or food condenses on the cold coil...tempurature of the coil is below 32 degrees which will ice up the condensed moisture...

defrost is timed to remove this build up

Oct 01, 2009 | GE Profile 26.6 cu. ft. Side-by-Side...

2 Answers

Coils inside freezer keep icing up.

If freezer is icing up, you might have a defrost problem. Frost free models have a heating element that is controlled by a timer to automatically defrost ice, ie defrost timer turns on defrost heating element every 12 hours to melt ice in freezer and allow good air flow.
You can test defrost element with an ohm meter(located inside freezer coils-will have two wires going to a plug connection), if OK replace defrost timer (located in various places depending on make and model of fridge)

Aug 08, 2009 | Refrigerators

1 Answer

I have a Kenmore side-by-side frig which I was told was mfg by Whirpool: Model 106.51264104 Mfg April 2003 It stopped cooling on both sides. A repr tech replaced "RELAY CAPASITOR ASSY." I now get freezer...


Okay if not the coils inside the freezer section behind the panel that covers the coils is where the ice is located? I don't know of any other coils inside the freezer? Did you confirm that compressor itself is running? Not just the fan and clarify again the location of the ice.If you have frost on the freezer coil, you probably have a defrost problem. Your freezer should go into a defrost cycle about twice a day. When this happens the compressor and fans shut off and a defrost heater in the freezer coil will turn on heating away the ice. This usually last 10 - 20 minutes. If the defrost coil doesn't defrost it will become a solid block of ice and this will inturn block the air from blowing into your refrigerator compartment. There are several things that can go wrong with the defrost cycle such as the defrost timer, defrost heater, or the defrost termination thermostat.After defrosting the coils with a hair dryer, they have not frozen up again in several days. I did notice that the air diffuser in the refrigerator side does not seem to open by itself. It is not broken physically. If I open the luevers manually, eventually they will close and not reopen.


Relays will burn out for the same reason a light buld burns out. So many hours of life and they go. Also a power surge from a storm can cause them to go.
If the compressor is cold try a relay. If you hear the compressor click on and then click off after 3-5 seconds try a relay.

Thank You

Jun 01, 2009 | Refrigerators

1 Answer


After they replaced the part did they defrost the unit. there is probably ice build up on the coil behind the service panel in the freezer compartment. If the defrost control was the part replaced you can probably push the refrigerator side light switch in and out 5-6 times and force a defrost. if the unit goes into defrost then all the components are fine and you just need to manually defrost the coil either by off loading all food and leaving the unit off for 4-6 hours with doors open. of offloading freezer side remove rear access cover in freezer exosing evaporator coils and use a hairdryer to defrost the ice accumulation. good luck Peyton

Mar 06, 2009 | Maytag MSD2756G Side by Side Refrigerator

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