Level of DifficultyA Bit Difficult
Time to do repair15 - 30 mins
Age of Appliance5 - 10 years
WARNING: REPLACING THIS PART REQUIRES CUTTING AND SPLICING ELECTRICAL WIRES. RISK OF ELECTRICAL SHOCK OR FIRE. DO NOT ATTEMPT THIS REPAIR IF YOU ARE NOT EXPERIENCED WITH ELECTRICAL WIRING.
The bi-metal strip is clipped onto the evaporator coils and is designed to regulate the defrost coil temperature. If it is not functioning properly you may notice ice buildup preventing air flow (and preventing proper refrigeration), or more rarely the freezer side may get too warm during the defrost cycle.
* Replacement bi-metal strip
* Wire cutters
* Wire strippers
* Wire nuts
* Electrical tape
* 10MM socket
1: UNPLUG THE FRIDGE! If there is ice buildup, wait until the ice has melted. A box fan blowing at the ice will help melt it more quickly.
2: Remove the panel covering the evaporator coils. It's located inside the fridge, on the freezer side.
3: Un-clip the bi-metal strip from the evaporator coils.
4: Unplug the wires from the evaporator fan, defrost coil and bi-metal strip, then disconnect the main connector that is plugged into the rear wall.
5: Clip both wires to the old ( bad ) bi-metal strip. Cut close to the casing of the bi-metal strip so there are long wires to splice onto.
6: Strip 1/4 to 1/2 inches of insulation off of the ends of the wires ( depending on the size of the wire-nuts you use). Twist the bare wires slightly to prevent fraying.
7: Do the same for the ends of the wires on the (new) bi-metal strip.
8: Take the ends of the wires belonging to the (new) bi-metal strip and the wires coming from the main plug. Take the like-colored wires, and twist the bare metal ends together.
9: Twist on wire nuts, for both sets of wires. Make sure they are snug, with no bare wire showing.
10: Tape over the wire nuts with electrical tape. Tape over the wires nuts in a spiral fashion, completely covering the nut and both wires that are now spliced together. This will prevent accidental shorting.
11: Plug the main plug back into the rear wall of the fridge. Also re-connect the connectors to the evaporator fan and defrost coil. Make sure the clips on the connectors are snug to ensure a good connection.
12: Clip the new bi-metal strip onto the coils, in the same spot as before. ( Usually just after the small incoming copper tubing that connects to the coils, known as the expansion valve. That is usually the coldest spot on the coils during operation).
13: Replace the panel that covers the coils.
14: Plug the fridge back in... Now you fridge should defrost correctly. If it does not, your defrost coil could be burned out, or the control board could be faulty.