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Replace defrost timer about a week ago hoping that was the problem, but of course the coils are froze up again. I just ohm'd out the heater and it read apprx. 22 ohms. which to me would indicate good.... so last step is the defrost thermostat. Right??? where is it and how can i check it with my meter?/

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  • Kitchen Ranges Master
  • 2,122 Answers

If it's a glass heater,look at it,if it's black or greenish looking inside the glass even though it reads out it doesn't mean it's good,change out the heater if it looks discolored in the glass part,if it's not glass just a calrod heater it's good and most likely it's the thermostat,also it's a good idea seeing you're already in there to change out the defrost thermostat and you can unplug the machine,find the thermostat located on top of the evap coil,it has two wires going to it,it's a round piece hooked on one of the lines connected to the coil,remember where it is,you have to put the new one in the same place,cut the two wires and bypass the thermostat by connecting the two wires you just cut,all it is is a switch,one wire has ppower going to the t-stat,when it gets cold enough the electricity goes through it and out the other wire so nothing will happen if you do this,if you have an electrical wire nut or tape put it on so it doesn't touch metal,plug it back in,turn the timer to put it into defrost,if the heater comes on then you know the thermostat was bad,you can leave the heater on to help you melt out the ice and melt out all the ice again with a hair dryer,then disconnect the t-stat wires until you get a new t-stat,the fridge will run for 7 to 10 days before the coil freezes up again so replace the part that's bad before this happens.hope this helps.

Posted on May 19, 2011

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Ge uses a glass heater and it is common for the heater to go out replace the heater and it should cure your trouble

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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(disconnect the two wires plugged into it and twist them together) 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.

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My kenmore refrigerator is not cooling but the freezer above the unit is working properly. the model number is 970-411194 , serial number 4A65202991. this problem first occurred 2 weeks ago and on the...


Hello,
Do you see frost built up on back wall of freezer if so it is not defrosting and this is what needs to be checked, remove back wall of freezer and check these;
Defrost heater-- it usually is at bottom of the evap. coil, to check it remove wires to it ,use a meter set to the lowest ohms setting and check for somewhere between 10-50 ohms if that is what yours is its good if meter reads OL replace defrost heater

Defrost thermostat-- if clips to the top of the evap. coil and is metallic,round , about the diameter of a quarter with a plastic side with 2 wires coming from it(do not confuse it w.thermister),remove wires and check for ZERO ohms WHEN TESTING IT MUST BE COLD so check it when frost is built up,IF meter reading is OL (WHEN COLD) its the problem

Defrost timer or defrost control if has digital display to show tempature
check timer(it could be anywhere except in freezer) by turning till you hear a click,the defrost heater should come on within 5 minutes if the heater does come on the timer is the problem and needs to be replaced,if the heater does not come on the above mentions parts (heater/t-stat) will be the problem.
defrost control is hard for unskilled lay persons to check SO IF heater and defrost t-stat are good replace control

Hope this helps,

Gene

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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(disconnect the two wires plugged into it and twist them together) 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.

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