1017716-1-S-GE-WR50X10068        -Defrost Thermostat
1017716-1-S-GE-WR50X10068        -Defrost Thermostat 1017716-2-S-GE-WR50X10068        -Defrost Thermostat http://www.partselect.com/Schematics/GE/00120714i03.gif

Defrost Thermostat

PartSelect Number PS1017716

This part acts as a safety device against over heating in case of mechanical failure.

This part works with the following brands: GE, Hotpoint & Kenmore.

This part fixes the following symptoms:

  • Fridge too warm.
  • Freezer section too warm.
  • Freezer not defrosting.
  • Freezer too cold.
  • Frost buildup.
  • Too warm.
  • Fridge too cold.
  • Fridge runs too long.
  • Fridge and Freezer are too warm.
  • Ice maker not making ice.
  • Not dispensing water.
  • Will Not Start.
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Fast Shipping Get this part fast. Average delivery time via regular ground: 1.8 days.

Videos For installing this part.

Installation Instructions Provided by PartSelect customers like you.

Average Repair Rating: 3.4 / 5.0, 87 reviews What's this?

49 of 67 people found this instruction helpful

Parts Used:
Level of Difficulty: Easy
Time to do repair: 30 - 60 mins
Tools: Nutdriver
Customer: Terrence from Escalon, CA

Ice maker failure due to chunks of ice building up in tray

My problem began with having to replace the auger due to damage (broken blade). Unknown at that time the unit was having a defrost cycle issue. Once auger was repaired, then the motor to auger failed. Once repaired the GE unit then began shutting down without warning. Mother board replaced. All was fine for two weeks then noticed odd performance by ice-maker (chunks of Ice again)and frozen package containers showing signs of dampness and then refreezing. Read through the Parts Select web site to see what other users may have had gone wrong with their GE's and what the parts overview section may reveal for me. Found that the defrost thermo and temp-sensor controlled defrost functions. The parts were cheap, $20.00 for the pair so I replaced them both since they are both located next to one another in the freezer compartment. The repair video furnished on the P/S web was great and very accurate. The entire job only took about an hour. The repair video indicated using wire-nuts and electircal tape Instead, I chose to solder the wires and use shrink-tubing to provide the moisture barrier. PartSelect folks are great not only for their parts pricing but also for the informative videos. The GE works better than ever

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45 of 59 people found this instruction helpful

Parts Used:
Level of Difficulty: Easy
Time to do repair: 30 - 60 mins
Tools: Nutdriver, Pliers, Wrench (Adjustable)
Customer: Michael from American Fork, UT

Freezer compartment would freeze sold so the fridge would go warm.

Emptied the fridge and freezer. Unplugged it and in so do doing defrosted the freezer coils. Replace the listed parts, for they were right there easy to get at and replace. Between the three of them we had an 80% chance of getting what was wrong. The freezer and the refridgerator are both working just fine. No more warm milk.

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42 of 50 people found this instruction helpful

Parts Used:
Level of Difficulty: Easy
Time to do repair: 1- 2 hours
Tools: Nutdriver, Screw drivers
Customer: Erik from Chardon, OH

Fridge and freezer would no longer cool (coils iced over)

First I posted the symptoms on appliance repair forum. Within a very short amount of time, an expert responded with suggestions (that ended up being right on!) and links to How-to articles, diagrams, and the correct parts catalog. They diagnosed it as a failed defrost heater or a bad defrost thermostat that caused the heater to go bad.

I removed all the food from the freezer, removed the shelving and ice maker tray, then removed the back panel (nut driver). The coils were severely iced over. I let the coils defrost (didn't take long in the summer heat). The water from the melted ice completely saturated about two full size bath towels. DO NOT let the coils drain into the normal drain hole. Then I removed the defrost heater (2 screws) and the glass element was dark and cloudy like a burnt-out light bulb.

I placed my order on Parts Select with normal priority shipping. The defrost thermostat was listed as in-stock and the defrost heater was listed as "on order". Both parts arrived 4 days later. The thermostat was a genuine GE part and the heater was a universal aftermarket. My original was a single element heater and the replacement was dual element. The wiring was slightly different, but they included instructions on how to wire up the dual element. The heater wires had to be re-routed and extended (wire cutting, stripping, and crimping are required). The extra length of wire and the wire crimp connector were included with the replacement heater. I also (per the instructions) sealed the crimp connector with RTV sealant. After completing the wiring, I re-attached the heater using the 2 factory screws. Then I had to cut the thermostat wires and splice in using wire nuts (not included) and RTV to seal the connection (not included).

Then I re-attached the back panel using the factory screws and attached the grounding clamp. I installed the shelves and ice maker tray and started the unit. It has been running fine for two weeks now.

The overall repair experience was fantastic. This fridge is only 3 years old and has broken twice in the last year costing me over $500 in food (total for both failures). I also bought a chest freezer last year when the fridge failed the first time. That minimized my frozen food loss this year. The failure last summer was the controller board. I paid the GE technician to come out and fix that because I did not know about this website. I am an engineer and I much prefer the DIY approach, especially when they make it so easy on this website to diagnose and get the right parts.

My only complaints (and they are so minor that complaint might be too harsh of a word) are:
The repair was easy, but would have been significantly easier if they had supplied a direct replacement single element heater.
I wish they would have included the RTV sealant in the repair kit. I happened to have it, but I have to imagine that not everybody will and they won't know that they need it until they read the instructions.
The replacement dual element heater was slightly wider and thus a slightly tighter fit than the original equipment.
Lastly (and this really is no big deal). I got my "Order Shipped" e-mail 6 days after the parts had arrived.

Overall 2 thumbs up!

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39 of 48 people found this instruction helpful

Parts Used:
Level of Difficulty: A Bit Difficult
Time to do repair: 1- 2 hours
Customer: Gene from The Woodlands, TX

Not cooling, water in refrigerator

For several years, had problem with water accumulating in the bottom of the refrigerator...took out the "custom cool" drawer and assigned my kids the responsibility to dry it out daily after supper (about a fourth of cup of water daily)...the water was condensing and dripping down the left side of the refrigerator... NOT coming from the refregerator evaporator drip pan area. Then the refrigerator and freeezer had erratic cooling...paid 4 grand for this GE stainless steel on the front/sides frig about 5 years ago... then my wife said she wanted a new refrigerator...what the heck...went on to numerous websites and finally decided to do my own "overall"...had nothing to lose except the price of the parts. A helpful web site is the GE technician site at...www.manualinstruction.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/ge-sidebyside.pdf. I ordered the four thermisters, a new freezer defroster (the old one was probably OK...the freezer coils were not "iced Up"), and a new defroster thermonmeter. While I was at it, I ordered a new refrigerator evaporator drip pan that was rusting a bit. As per other instructions in this website, just spliced in the new thermisters,used wire twist caps and eletrical tape to seal them. The GE site is a bit more elaborate on the "correct" way to do this. The refrigerator evaporator coil is a bit tricky...see the above ge site...but I just cut the rubber thermister holder down the middle and then tracked the thermister through the holder and stuck it in the block and taped the holder back together...(removed the block first ) and then zip-lined the block back to the coil like it was originally. It was about 3 hours to do everything...and guess what...temp in the freezer is -5...temp in the frig is 36...and NO MORE WATER IN THE BOTTOM OF THE REFRIGERATOR, NO MORE WATER DRIPPING DOWN THE LEFT SIDE OF THE REFRIGERATOR...what will my kids do...I feel like the refrigerator guru now. Wish I had done this several years ago. The parts I ordered came in 3 days. I'm lovin my refrigerator now and my wife is lovin me. It's really easier than I thought it would be...the GE tech website has some "diagnostic" info to isolate different problems... but I just decided to replace "everything" since the parts were not that expensive and it was going to be a "do or die" on getting a new refrigerator.

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39 of 49 people found this instruction helpful

Parts Used:
Level of Difficulty: Really Easy
Time to do repair: 1- 2 hours
Tools: Screw drivers, Socket set
Customer: james from san diego, CA

Little or no cooling in refrigerator, compressor on 24hrs.

First, removed shelves and items in freezer.
Then, removed back panel using socket set and philips screwdriver which exposed iced over coils, then defrosted coils using hair dryer set on hot-high. This was the most time consuming part of repair-30 minutes. removed heater and bra's 2 screws and pulled electrical leads from both ends. Reconnected the two leads to new heater and bra, then reattached using 2 screws back onto coil frame. Cut thermostats 2 lead wires-one pink the other orange, reconnected leads from new thermostat with wire nuts, applied silicone to protect connections, then reattached onto coil frame. reattached back panel using socket set and philips screwdriver to re-attach bolts and philips screws, then cleaned any remaining water from the defrosting with dry towel. Attached freezer shelves, items and plugged in refrigerator freezer. Appliance works like it's brand new again.

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