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3pronghook

Freezer frosted - fridge not cooling

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have a side by side, auto defrost. freezer is cold, fridge side is not. cleaned the grill underneath, now noticed frost formed inside back wall of freezer. assume it is auto defrost failure. located defrost timer and turned manually until fridge stopped running, not hearing the defroster working. is this something worth fixing or not? got enough info off internet to look at couple things. dont have ohm meter

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What kind of frig is it? It's got either a bad defrost t-stat or heater. Either way, it's worth fixing. If it's GE, probably a heater, most others will be the defrost t-stat.

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Try unplugging it for a few hours(If you have the option). Sometimes the system needs to reset, sort to speak. Plus it sounds like the fridge was too close to the wall.

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I'd go with the heating element for the defroster. Happened to our side by side. The lower one went out. Got it replaced, and it still works at least five years later. Our's is an RCA, about 12-15 years old.

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It's probably got a bad defrost t-stat if it's frigidaire. Part is probably only $20-30, just depends on what they charge for labor. Could take up to an hour to defrost it if it's real bad. I would hope it wouldn't cost more $100 for diagnostic and labor, but everyone is different. If you want to fix it yourself, I could walk you through it, it's pretty easy.

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We took a hair dryer to ours to get rid of the frost. That's what the repair guy recommended, anyway. We would work at it a little bit, then let it melt some on its own - repeating until we had it done.

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Turned out it wasnt a major problem. Wasnt home when repairman was here, but wife said he replaced a fuse? that was inside the freezer. Maybe it was the defrost t-stat. accessed it by taking off a panel from inside the freezer. thanks for the replies.

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Quote:
It's probably got a bad defrost t-stat if it's frigidaire. Part is probably only $20-30, just depends on what they charge for labor. Could take up to an hour to defrost it if it's real bad. I would hope it wouldn't cost more $100 for diagnostic and labor, but everyone is different. If you want to fix it yourself, I could walk you through it, it's pretty easy.

Funny, ours just started doing the same thing. It's a Kenmore not a side by side, fridge is warm but freezer is cold. I looked for frost and there is some on the back of the freezer but not a lot - could this be the same thing? If not any other ideas would be welcome, new fridge isn't exactly in the budget right now. Thanks!!

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Yep. Pull the back panel off in the freezer and it will be full of frost. The defrost t-stat has 2 wires that go to it. It's a little piece, about the size of a quarter and 1-2 inches thick. It will be clamped onto one of the pipes towards the top. any other question's, let me know.

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P8260085.jpg

You were dead on, after emptying fridge and pulling the panel there was a bunch of frost around the important looking stuff. Below is a picture, I do see a round sensor looking thing to the right of all the wires but it has 3 wires and it's not clamped to a pipe. Is this what I'm looking for?

Also, in doing some other research online I found a number of sites that said it could be one of three things, the defrost thermostat, the defrost timer, and the defrost heater. Is there any way of knowing for sure that it's one of the three? Just want to make sure I buy the right part the first time, thanks in advance for all your help, it's much appreciated!

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What a coincidence, I just fixed that exact same ref. earlier today. It's probably the timer or t-stat, those heaters rarely go bad. T-stat is towards bottom left corner of fan shroud, looks white wire and red/gray wire to it (that green wire doesn't do anything). Timer is down by controls. When looking at bottom of controls, there will be a little hole with a phillips screw on each side of it. Timer is in there.

Turn ref. back on and let get cold for a while. Then use a screwdriver and manually turn the timer until the ref. shuts off. It is now in defrost cycle. If heater comes on (will hear or see frost melting off coil by it) then it's probably the timer. If heater doesn't come on, then it should be t-stat.

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Awesome, thanks a ton - been battling the "we need a new fridge" conversation for the past half hour grin

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Well I have to say thanks again for all the help. Completely thawed everything out and let the fridge run over night and this morning manually tripped the timer. Within 5 minutes the overnight accumulation of frost had been melted so I concluded it was the timer. Called Sears and got the last one in stock, installed it over lunch today and just did a test run, let the frost build up a little, manually turned the timer to almost time to trip and in 15 minutes it came on all by itself.

Pretty painless and at $30 it was way cheaper than a service call, only complaint was that they have since replaced the part with a different part number that sounds like it replaced 3 previous versions including the one we had. The instructions were a little vauge to figure out how to configure the wiring depending on your model.

Thanks again, really appreciate the help!

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