Troubleshooting Why Your Freezer Isn’t Defrosting

Jerry's Appliance
June 24, 2019
Refrigerator Repair

If you are of a certain age, you may remember a time when your freezer didn’t have a defrost function. If you just left it be for long enough, you would have a freezer full of a thick layer of frost. However, most modern refrigerators come with built-in automatic defrost. This means it eliminates the need for all the scraping and thawing by just doing it automatically.

Yet, that automatic defrost feature can malfunction, and as it is made up of several parts, if one fails, you may be back to the days of scraping frost. If your defrost is no longer functioning, here is what could have gone wrong.

The Defrost Thermostat

Unlike the many other thermostats that help your refrigerator function properly, the defrost thermometer’s sole job is to monitor the temperature of the evaporator coils. When it reaches a certain temperature, the defrost heater will activate. However, if the thermometer is not functioning properly the entire cycle will not activate. This part can be tested for continuity.

The Defrost Timer

The defrost timer is responsible for advancing the defrost cycle. If it malfunctions, it could stop it from going to the next step in the cycle or stop it from activating completely. You can test for faults in the timer by manually activating the defrost cycle. If it does not start or it does start but does not finish within 30 minutes, it is likely a faulty timer.

The Heater Assembly

Crucial to the defrosting process, the heater will activate several times per day to melt the frost away. As one would expect, if it is malfunctioning, the entire defrost cycle is completely non-functional. This part can be tested via a multimeter. Typically, if the cycle seems to turn on, but nothing happens, the heater is at fault.

The Defrost Control Board

Like other parts, if the control board is faulty, the cycle will never activate. However, it is more likely that the heater or thermometer failed. As the defrost control board is kind of an involved repair, those two parts should be checked first.

If you have checked all these issues and still need help, contact us today to see what the skilled technicians at Jerry’s Appliance Repair can do to help.


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