ApplianceGeneral Electric Refrigerator
Level of DifficultyEasy
Time to do repair1- 2 hours
Age of Appliance5 - 10 years
1st symptom, water dispenser not working.
2nd symptom, carrots freezing in fridge lower drawer.
3rd symptom, 3 days later, freezer getting warmer and warmer, fan always running, back of inside wall of freezer building up with ice.
Originally changed water valve for dispenser thinking it was the only problem.
After noticing the freezer getting warmer and doing some reading, I decided the best guesstimate would be the defrost thermostat or heater behind the inside freezer wall. Defrosting all that ice to get behind the wall is the time consuming part of this job. Not wishing to defrost and troubleshoot to determine which component failed, they are cheap enough to just buy both the heater and t-stat and replace both and be done with it. It turned out to be the heater, an element encased in glass, the glass turns black on the ends when it is toasted. This is a very easy fix. If you do not have crimpers for the butt connectors for the 2 wires for the t-stat, you can use a wire nut to twist them together and seal it with silicone/rtv. The heater just plugs in on both ends. Remember it is glass and very delicate, take your time. Start to finish this could be a 3 hour job, but most of that time is melting the ice, cleaning up and putting everything back in the freezer.