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Auto Defrost Related Questions

Auto defrost is a mechanism which heats the evaporator coil (cooling elements) for a brief period to allow any frost buildup to melt. The excess water is drained through a collecting duct behind the unit. This function is managed by an electronic timer which operates a defrost heater for 15 to 30 minutes for every six to twelve hours of the compressor operating. This is the feature which lends the description of frost free refrigerators or frost less refrigerators. Listed below are a few common questions answered by the Experts on auto defrost.

What can be the problem if an auto defrost function does not work? However there is ice in the auto defrost grill, the ice maker has frost but does not fill with water.

The issues described above can occur due to a couple of things however the ice maker cannot make ice if the defrost system is failing. To check, empty the freezer and open out the screws at the lower back panel. This is to enable the frost to thaw and you can accelerate the process by using a hair dryer. You should find the defrost thermostat and a defrost heater inside, in which you need to check for continuity using a meter. If both are fine the display control board near the control knobs, inside the refrigerator need to be replaced. It is probably not defrosting as it should be. If the reading of the defrost thermostat or the heater is open, the defrost component needs to be replaced since it does not have continuity.

Although my Frigidaire refrigerator has the auto defrost function, in the last two instances, the freezer has defrosted but the cooling has not continued. What can I do?

With such a problem the possible components which could be faulty are the defrost timer, the evaporator fan or the compressor. In this case, it is most likely a faulty compressor as it could be jammed and unable to restart. To check, the next time this issue occurs, open the freezer and check for the sound of a fan running. If you hear the fan, the compressor is defective. If you hear no fan noise, pull the refrigerator a little in front to see if the compressor is working. If it is, you probably have a faulty evaporator fan and if the compressor is not working you have a faulty defrost timer.

If I am facing an auto defrost problem on my Frigidaire refrigerator and it is due to a faulty timer, how difficult and expensive is the repair?

If you hear no noise at all from the refrigerator and the only visible and evident thing which is functioning are the lights, it is a defective defrost timer or the cold control thermostat. It usually costs $150 to replace either of these parts. Open the refrigerator and knock the control box with the palm of your hand a couple of times. If this action activates it, it indicates you need a new thermostat. If there is no change, you will need a defrost timer. Both components are fairly easy to replace and can be managed by you without having to hire a technician.

Why is the auto defrost not working on my refrigerator?

Generally the cause for the auto defrost to stop working would be due to the defrost thermostat or “bi-metal”. To check it you will need to remove the lower back panel of the freezer. There is usually a round device clipped at the top. When the surrounding temperature is below 32 degrees the resistance on this device should be less than 1 OHM. On many occasions this device can get stuck in an open position preventing defrost heating. Another possibility though less likely is a faulty defrost timer or heater.

The water from the auto defrost is not draining into the drain tube instead it is dripping into the refrigerator compartment. This leads to ice buildup in the freezer compartment. What can I do?

First empty the contents of the freezer and leave the unit unplugged for 24 hours to allow it to thaw or remove the back panel and try using a hair dryer to thaw the ice buildup. Look for the drain hole and pour hot water down the drain line. You could also blow compressed air into the drain tube to prevent the problem from recurring.

Auto defrosters are a small component of a freezer or refrigerator but play a vital role in keeping the unit frost free and functioning optimally. Frost buildup can lead to many issues with refrigerators and freezers causing a lot of food wastage as well. Auto defrost problems that may occur sometimes can be fixed by a layman with an idea of the mechanics behind it. As long as you have the help and guidance from Experts you will be able to accomplish simple replacements and repairs by yourself at a reasonable cost.
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