No Defrost - Top of freezer thawing

ApplianceGeneral Electric Refrigerator


Level of DifficultyEasy

Time to do repair15 - 30 mins

Age of Appliance1 - 4 years

Tools Nutdriver
Screw drivers

Allen From Schenectady, NY

Jun 05, 2008

2 out of 3 people found this instruction helpful

By the time this failure (failed defroster heating element) is evident (top of freezer starts thawing), the entire freezer coil is encased in a block of ice & frost is visble on the back freezer panel.
Empty the freezer & unplug (or turn circuit breaker off) then remove all racks and the light bulb then remove the two lower drawer guides using a phillips srewdriver (2 scrwes each). Use a 1/4" nutdriver to remove the two panel screws on either side of the light bulb socket and pull the panel out, unclip the green grounging wire and set panel aside. this exposes the freezer evaporator coil which is probably encased in ice. If so, use a heat gun or hair dryer to melt the ice away. This takes a half hour of heat application and a bowl or other catchpan should be placed under the coil to remove some of the resulting melting runoff so the evap. pan under the fridg/freezer unit won't be overwhelmed with the excess water.
Replacing the defrost heater & bracket assembly itself is just a matter of removing two phillips screws on either side of the bracket assembly, pulling the bracket free and then uncliping the two electrical terminals. Clip in the new unit to the eletrical terminals & replace the screws, reinstall the rear panel (don't forget to reconnect the ground wire), install the drawer backets, light bulb, shelves and drawer & reapply power. Replacing the bracket itself w/o the defrost proceedure takes about 15 minutes.

Note: If this symptom occurs and is diagnosed (the heater tube will be black and electrically read as "open" using an ohmmeter) and you cannot get the heater assembly & bracket assembly immediately, you can use the heat gun (hairdryer) manual defrost proceedure noted above to get the the unit running while you await the parts arrival. I used the manual defrost procedure and there was just some moderate frost on the coils after five days when I was able to install the replacement part.

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Diagrams and Parts List for this repair

Part PhotoPart DescriptionPriceAvailability

Defrost Heater and Bracket Assembly (Now subbed to Defrost Heater Harness Kit)

Part Number: PS1993872

In Stock