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Mike, Home Appliance Technician
Category: Appliance
Satisfied Customers: 17629
Experience:  I have been repairing appliances for 25 years, I run my own appliance repair business.
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I have a refrigerator in my garage which gets ice build up

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I have a refrigerator in my garage which gets ice build up in the freezer when the garage gets hot and humid in the summer, at which point it quits running, both the top fridge and the bottom freezer. Usually if I defrost the freezer and plug it back in it starts cooling again. This time however when I plugged it back in it started running for a few minutes then completely quit. I checked to be sure none of my circuit breakers in the house had been activated, but no, the electrical panel is intact. Any ideas what might be the problem and how to fix it? The garage is still pretty warm, I am guessing about 70 degrees.
Hello my name isXXXXX will be assisting you with this problem today. Thanks for trusting JA to help you with this appliance question.

Do the lights go on when you open the door?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.


Ok thanks for that Sara,

Can you pull the unit out from the wall, remove the lower panel in the rear. Once the panel is off you will see the compressor, feel the compressor, need to know if it feels hot or room temp, also need to know if the fan beside the compressor is running.


Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I don't have a tool to remove the fasteners. They are octagonal in shape and all I have are Phillips head or flat screw drivers. But as far as I can tell the unit is room temperature and the compressor fan is not running

Ok thanks Sara thats what I needed to know, Can you give me a minute to look up the model number and I can tell you where the problem is :)
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thank you. By the way, sometimes this problem happens in the winter too, when the garage is freezing cold. Is it just not a good idea to have a fridge in the garage? I have a stand up freezer that seems to work out there just fine.

No the unit is fine in the garage, the problem you have been having is the defrost timer has been failing over time and now it has failed during the part of the timer where it should be defrosting the system, This is why everything has shut down. To fix this problem and the problem with ice build up you will need to replace the defrost timer, This is located behind the grill under the doors.

Below is a link where you can purchase the defrost timer, they can have it delivered in a couple of days, It's just a matter of a couple of screws and swapping the wire harness from old to new timer.

Click here to order the new timer

I would like to earn your highest rating Sara, if you are not totally satisfied with my answer please hit the continue button.

If I have answered your questions to your satisfaction please feel free to come back at any time after rating me "Excellent service" for additional questions you may have at no further charge :)

Sometimes I will have to give bad news, Please try to find it in yourself to rate me for the service not the bad news.



Customer: replied 4 years ago.

O.K. I ordered the part. When it arrives if I have trouble figuring out how to install it, how do I find you again to ask a question?

After rating me bookmark this page or look for one if the emails you have been sent and click on the link, you will come back to me for any additional questions at no further charge :)
Mike and other Appliance Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thanks, Mike,


I got the part and installed it. So far the fridge is functioning fine. We will see if ice builds up in a few weeks. Hopefully not! Thanks again.



Great, Thanks for the update