Question about Kenmore 5553 / 655532 / 55534 / 55539 Side by Side Refrigerator

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My refrigerator is not defrosting

I had replaced the defrost terminator & the timer but it's still getting a fozen coil. it looks like the timer is no moving

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  • barmor9th Jul 16, 2008

    I have replaced the defrost time but after about 4 weeks, it freezes up again and the refriderator side stays right at 50 degrees

  • daveforex Aug 30, 2008

    defrosting fan not running. Replaced defrost timer, and it start blowing but the next day it quit. My ice maker start melting. Done this twice, replacing the defrosting timer. I'm only getting around 100 - 105 AC volts.



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What about the heater

Posted on Jul 09, 2008


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2 Answers

Ice buildup on evaporator coils

Can you locate the model number of your Kenmore? The number should look like this 521.345678 and located around the inside of the fresh food section door.
It could be that the defrost heater came on the time you were watching bugt may have a bad connection or a defective defrost element. You need to test the heater for continuity to assure that the element is not broken. the defrost timer and defrost thermostat being new eliminates that as being the problem so I think your element or the connection is the most next likely cause, Let me know I don't mind helping, Thanks Sea Breeze

Defrost Heater Testing for Continuity

Jun 23, 2012 | Kenmore 25.1 cu. ft. Side-By-Side...

2 Answers

Defrost is stuck in one all time it not cooling or freezing

A DEFROST TIMER is a cycling device, it times the frequency and duration that the defrost heater coils melt the ice that builds up around the evaporator coils. If ice is allowed to build up, air will not be able to freely flow past them - resulting in reduced efficiency and sometimes a drastic warming of the cooling unit.


Most of the time, the defrost timer is in the cooling mode, allowing the compressor to activate when the thermostat signals it to. The remaining part of the cycle (usually less than 30 minutes)the timer is in defrost mode. In this mode, it signals the defrost heaters to melt the ice build up on the coils. This defrost action is limited by the defrost thermostat. If your DETROST TIMER go to bad, one symptom would be if your refrigerator is not cooling. Although there are many causes of this symptom, A stuck defrost timer can be one of them. The timer can get stuck in cooling (compressor activated) or defrost mode (defrost heaters activated) for usually two reasons:
- The timer motor can fail for one.
- The gears can also become locked up.

No matter what the reason is or which mode the defrost timer gets stuck in, the refrigerator can stop cooling. When the refrigerator is stuck in defrost mode, the compressor no longer comes on to cool the unit. If the timer gets stuck in cooling mode, the evaporator coils never get a chance to defrost, causing ice build-up to the point where there is a complete blockage of airflow past the coils.

The defrost timer can also cause the refrigerator to stop cooling due to failure of the internal switch which activates either the compressor or heater coils. Finally, when doing any repair on a refrigerator, check the condenser coils for dust buildup and clean accordingly.

According woth yur brand and model, look the part replacement in this link:

Good luck.

Jul 16, 2011 | Refrigerators

1 Answer

My fridge and freezer wont stay cold someone told me its some kind of fluid i was just wondering were i put it in at??

Most modern fridges use one type of freon gas or another. You must have a valid refrigeration license to purchase any type of freon due to the danger of having contact with it (instant frostbite) and leaking into the atmosphere cause depletion of the Earth's ozone layer. You would also need special tools to measure and check the amount gas introduced to the fridge without over or under filling or "charging" as it is often called. This is a job for a licensed pro.

With the above said, it is important to know the refrigerators do not often fail due to loss of refrigerant, but rather due to a faulty component in the defrost circuit. The defrost circuit consists of 4 main parts. They are: 1) defrost heater, 2) defrost terminator or sensor in series with the heater, 3) defrost timer and 4) wiring between the previous 3 parts.

The defrost heater is found in the compartment that houses the coiling coil. The defrost terminator or sensor is clipped or otherwise secured to be kept in physical contact with the cooling coil itself. The defrost timer may be located anywhere the manufacturer decides - a popular spot is in the toe space on the bottom of the fridge. The wiring, well, that is between all the parts. Chances are the wiring is fine - as would be the connectors to the individual components.

The defrost timer interval is about 8 hours. About 20 - 30 minutes in that 8 hour period the defrost switch is operated. This consists of switching power away from the compressor (so it shuts off) and to the defrost heater via defrost terminator. The heater is just a relatively small wattage heater that warms the freezer's freon filled cooling coil to melt any frost or ice build up on the cooling coil fins. It will be powered for up to 20 - 30 minutes by the timer or less - if the defrost terminator senses a rising temperature on the coil. This means that the heater will be on for either 20 - 30 minute OR until the defrost terminator gets warm enough.

If the timer is stuck - and never moves to the 20 - 30 defrost cycle, the frost on the coil will never melt away. If the timer does work, but the heating element has failed, the frost will never melt away. If the defrost terminator has failed open (preventing the power from getting to the heater), the will not work to melt the frost off the coil. If there is a loose, missing or damaged connection between the wiring harness and these components, it won't run as expected either.

To look at this problem yourself, empty the freezer and unplug the fridge. Access the coil by removing any ice maker and the back inside wall of the freezer. if it is iced up, you've probably got a defroster circuit related problem. You can allow it to defrost for the repairman or let it defrost and restock the freezer again. It should start working again for about a month before it frosts over again - depending on how often the freezer door is opened and how humid it is. Do this as often as needed until you can afford a repairman to look at the fridge.

I hope this helps. Please rate this reply - thanks!

Jun 24, 2011 | Refrigerators

1 Answer

Freezer iced up on my 55602400

What can you do about this. so you get an understanding of what is going on here is a short explaination of how the defrost works in the freezer section behind the freezer panel.
The coils inside the freezer are the only part inside the whole refrigerator that "get cold".The fan blows the cold air from the freezer into the fridgerator side. They need to stay free from excess frost build up so that air can pass through the coils and reach the refrigerator section of your refrigerator. Every eight hours or so, depending on the type of defrost timer or control you have, the compressor and fans will shut off and the machine will go into defrost mode.When the refrigerator is in defrost there is a heater that is tied into the evaporator coils inside the freezer that comes on. This heater is behind the rear panel inside the freezer where the evaporator coils are located. It melts the frost that has accumulated over the course of time. After about thirty minutes the machine comes out of defrost and goes back to normal operation.
Now the air can continue to pass through the coils and keep the freezer frozen and the refrigerator cool the defrost cycle is made up of 4 functioning parts the defrost timer, the defrost heater, the defrost thermostat and the fan .I will go through what each of these do
The Defrost timer Some refrigerators have a defrost timer. This type located on the inside upper ceiling of your frigerator works like a clock. Every eight hours or so the machine hits the defrost spot and that's when defrost occurs Some refrigerators have an Adaptive Defrost Control. This is what makes a refrigerator energy efficient. It varys the length of time it takes the machine to go into defrost. Some models dont have a defrost timer and instead use a control board that works just like the timer it is usually located in the rear of the machine under a metal panel.
Defrost Thermostat
This is the component that controls how long the heater stays on when the machine is in defrost mode. Say the defrost cycle is thirty minutes, the heater may only be on for ten of those thirty minutes on the timer controls. On Adaptive Defrost Controls, when the heater shuts off, shortly after the machine exits defrost mode. Basically if the heater only stays on for ten minutes, the whole defrost cycle will only be about 12 or 13 minutes long.
Basically when the heater comes on, it starts to melt the frost on the evaporator. Once all the ice and frost is gone, the temperature behind the panel will start to rise. Once the temperature behind the panel rises to a certain temperature, the thermostat will break the current of electricity going to the heater. Bam, it shuts off and prevents your freezer from becoming a sauna, or an oven. I'm sure you get the drift. The heater is on the bottom of the evaporator coils and the defrost thermostat sits on top of the evaporator coils. A continuity test can be done ona the defrost heater and when there are only the two wires and there is no connection point to do the test i always like to keep two sewing needles that i use for this test. Simply thread each needle through the half of the wire not all the way though to the other side and you can use them to perform your test to assure that there is continuity in the thermostat if there is not then replace the thermostat
Defrost Heater
Some defrost heaters are a coil of wire in a glass tube under the evaporator coils,older ones are just a curved piece of metal that wraps under the condensor. Works like a light bulb basically. The other style looks like the bake element in your stove. They both get red hot either way and melt the frost.A continuity test can also be performed to assure that the heater is functioning properly as well. Simply go to each side of the heater and do your continuity test
The Fan
Some dont consider this to be part of the defrost cycle but if the fan is not working then the air is trapped inside the freezer and sometimes can cause the same ice up situation which is why I say to always look at the fan first
you can also do an ohms test between terminal 1 and 3 on your defrost timer which will tell if the motor section of the timer is good then you can check between terminals 1 and 4 to by doing a continiuity test which is to the compressor and tells the compressor how long to run if you turn the timer till you hear the click it goes into position to and you can do a continuity test on the heater between terminals 1 and 2 and then you can do a continuty test on these two terminals as well And here is a guide to how your freezer defrosts and some ways to test each piece to assure that they are working in proper order
please remember to rank how this opinion has helped and if you have any further questions message me back Thanks Rick

Feb 11, 2011 | Kenmore 55609 / 55602 / 55604 / 55606 Side...

1 Answer

Coils in freezer - freezes up and the refrigerator gets warm.. replaced the defrost timer and the coils are still freezing up.

the timer tell it when to defrost but the defrost terminator and heaters must be working . ( you probley need the heater. and if so replace the terminator also .. mm

Jul 03, 2010 | Refrigerators

2 Answers

My GE fridge is not defrosting the coils in the back. What's up?

if u have frost build up in the freezer it will affect the temperature
and it needs to defrost
problems could be
defrost timer.
heater s.
unit problems (unlikely) if even frost coating.

Jun 16, 2009 | GE (PSS26MSRSS) Side by Side Refrigerator

1 Answer

Freezer will not auto defrost , coils icebound

The problem is in the defrost timer , heaters or the defrost terminator ,most of the cases is in the timer you can turn it until the compresor off and if the coil is frozen the heaters will came on if this happend the timer is bad but if the freezer coil is frozen and after you turn the timer to the point that the compresor goes off and the heaters won't kick on it means that the heaters are bad or the defrost terminator fail .YOU can check the heaters for continuity and replace the one thats open or you can buy the deefrost kit which came with the heaters and the deefrost terminator.

Apr 18, 2009 | Hotpoint 21.7 cu. ft. Side-by-Side...

1 Answer


sounds like a bad timer in the defrost cycle.  Call a tech repairman

Mar 21, 2009 | Samsung RS2630SH Side by Side Refrigerator

1 Answer

Refrigerator warm, freezer cold

Totally Unreasonable if you don't mind me saying so. The person who told you that story was thinking of an absorption unit more than likely.

Your proble is related to the defrost system of your refrigerator. There is a timer that automatically starts the defrost. It energizes the heaters that defrost the cooling coil. After the coil reaches a preset temperature a defrost terminator turns the heater off for the remaining time on the timer cycle. You could have a bad timer (stalled) which would not start the defrost. Locate the timer and turn the clutch head screw clockwise very SLOWLY until you hear one audible click. The defrost should take place and will be indicated by water in the drain pan under the refrigerator. If after 25 minutes it does not restart in the cooling mode turn the screw once again to the second click and replace the timer.

If the refrigerator restarts after 18-22 minutes and defrost does not take place your problem is in the heater circuit. Open heater or thermostat (termination switch)

Jul 16, 2008 | Kenmore 73502 / 73504 / 73509 Bottom...

1 Answer

Kenmore sideby side fridge

You have a defrost system problem. Defrost is controlled by a timer which energizes the heater circuit. The heater circuit has a radiant or cal rod type heater which melts the frost from the coil. When the coil reaches a temperature where all ice would be gone a termination switch opens and shuts of the heater. The timer will continue to run until defrost time expires (18-22 minutes).

If you can locate the timer there is a clutch head screw to advance the timer to the defrost position. Turn the screw clockwise SLOWLY until you hear one audible click. The heaters should come on and defrost take place. If the unit restarts after the 18-22 minute period the timer is good, if it does not restart advance the screw to a second audible click and it will restart.
If you had to turn the timer the to second click to get it started cooling replace the timer.

If the unit restarted after the 18-22 minutes and defrost did not happen your problem is in the heater circuit. This would be an open heater or bad defrost terminator switch. To access the heater and defrost terminator the back panel in the freezer section must be removed. With an Ohm meter you can check the heater to see if it is good.

Jul 01, 2008 | Kenmore 55612 / 55614 / 5561 / 655619 Side...

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