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Jason, Home Appliance Tech
Category: Appliance
Satisfied Customers: 798
Experience:  15yrs experience
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Hi Barry, I have a Kenmore fridge that the freezer has totally

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Hi Barry,

I have a Kenmore fridge that the freezer has totally iced up the coils and was warmer than it should be. I'm guessing the heating element has gone bad?


Thank you for using Just Answer. I will be glad to assist you in your answer. Think about safety when doing repairs, electric, water, gas, ect.


You could be correct. Make sure the coil is cold, and check the continuity of the heater at the bottom of the coil and the round battery looking thermostat at the top of the coil with a volt meter. You will have to remove the inside rear panel of the freezer to get to the cooling coil that I am referring to, the one you defrosted. If either one does not have continuity, then that part will be faulty. The thermostat has to be frozen to register. If both check good, then the defrost control is faulty, this is located under the control panel at the top of the fridge section. Just remove the couple screws holding it up, drop down the control panel, and there it is. Part #'s are as follows....defrost thermostat #4387503 , defrost control #(NNN) NNN-NNNN, heater #2315530 , you can get the parts at, or your local appliance parts vendor. If this information has assisted you, please give me a good to great rating. If not, please respond back for further information....Thank you

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I'm going to go purchase a multimeter now... can you give me a few more details/instructions on how to go about testing the thermostat and heater? Should the freezer be on? or completely unplugged?

You will want to unplug the fridge when test with the meter. You will use the continuity setting, the meter will beep with you touch the test leads together. Test heater unplugged, and thermostat the same. Again, the thermostat has to be frozen on the coil, in order to have continuity. If not cold, then it will test bad, when it may not be. If both test good, then replace the control. That is all there is to it. So, leave the unit running right until you get ready to test, then unplug the fridge for testing. Thanks again.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thanks Jason... heading to pickup a meter now


Also, where would the Defrost Control #2304099 be? I don't see that in the freezer.


The defrost control is the little control board under the control panel at the top of the fridge section. where you set the controls. Just remove the screws, and drop down the control panel , the little control board is right there. But you will not need to worry with that unless the other two part check good...Thanks again
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

OK... so, if I'm doing this right, both the thermostat and the defrost element test fine. By the way, the thermostat was wired directly to this large plug on the back wall so I just traced the wires by color and applied the tester to the pins on the plug. See photo:


The pink wire was the only one connected to it's pin, the brown wire shared with another brown wire that went to the defrost element plug (which was disconnected from the element). I got an audible beep from the tester confirming it was good.


So, since both of those tested fine, do I test the control board, or assume it's that and order a new one? Is it OK to run the fridge until I get the part?

If both test ok, that tells you the control is faulty. You will need to order the part for the defrost control and replace, then you should be good to go.....great job. Thanks again
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Customer: replied 3 years ago.

But is it ok to run the fridge until I get the part in?

Yes, you will have to defrost the cooling coil again when the part comes in, the same way you did before. After you install the new part and have a clear coil again, all should be ok from there on. You can respond back to this question, even after the rating, if you need further assistance when the part comes in. Thanks again