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Defrost Thermostat Specifications
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Replacing your General Electric Refrigerator Defrost Thermostat
What Causes Frost Buildup in Your Fridge?
Test If Your Electrical Part is Failing - Multimeter Tool
2. Removed the four 1/4'' screws and removed the back panel.
3. Defrosted all of the ice off the coils and heater.
4. I replaced the defrost thermostat and heater by following the directions that came with them. The directions are very clear and easy to follow. I had a single element heater, and the replacement was a double element, the directions even explained how to rearrange the wires to make it work. The whole job only really consisted of cutting two wires that are color coded on the thermostat and resplicing the new ones in. I used scotch locks and electrical tape for the splices. The element had connectors on it so I just removed two screws, unplugged two wires and plugged them on the new one.
The greatest thing about this repair was that I troubleshot the problem using the PartSelect website, ordered the parts and they arrived at my house in less than 24 hours.
The repair was easy: Unplug the power. A Nut Driver removed the four screws holding on the panel in the back of the freezer. A screw driver removes the one screw holding the lamp cover in place. Remove the light bulbs, pull off the panel and right above the freezer coils you'll see both parts -- plain as day. (If your coils are clogged with ice, you will probably need de-ice first.) Cut the wires to both parts as close to the parts as you can to leave as much wire exposed as possible. Strip the ends of all four wires about 1/2 inch and also on the new parts. Match up the wires in the fridge to the wires on the parts and twist the ends together (Note: both wires on the Sensor are white so they match up either way, but the two wire on the thermostat will need to match up orange to orange and pink to pink.) I used silicone filled wire nuts, which you can buy at any hardware store or use your own wing nuts and fill them with silicone or shoe goo which works just as well ... anything to keep the moisture out and prevent the wires ends from corroding. Tuck the wires up and replace the panel, light bulbs and light cover That's it. Very easy. By far the hardest part was wedging my wide body into the narrow freezer compartment. Some one-handed work added a little extra time to the project.
In my case the freezer fan didn't kick in for about twenty minutes after I plugged it back in, but I assume that it either begins in the defrost mode or it takes that long for it to reset itself ... either way the repair worked great.
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.
dried the freezer compartment removed back panel and asst parts. removed screws from evaporator assy and replaced def therm. soldered leads/wing nuts. removed cover from sensor temp and again connected leads. working fine.
attached to line just above where heater is attached.
You will find that is quicker to cut thermostat wire, then splice together with wire nut. reassemble in reverse order. To check ice door, you must remove inner door panel, mine had to selenoid rusted and locked up. Removed , cleaned, reinstalledm worked ok. Hope this helps someone. Thank you partselect from your good service!
Guy from New Palestine, IN
Difficulty Level:Really Easy
Total Repair Time:30 - 60 mins
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!
Manufacturer Part Number: WR50X10068
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