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Frost Free Refrigerator Problems

What is a frost free refrigerator?

A frost free refrigerator contains three main components, namely: a timer, a heating coil and a temperature sensor. Once every six hours on an average the timer will turn on the heating coil which melts any ice buildup within the freezer. Once the ice has melted, the temperature sensor will ensure the temperature is maintained at 32 degrees Fahrenheit or 0 degrees Celsius. This gives the frost free environment within the unit thereby lending the name “frost free” to refrigerators. Absence of this feature can lead to ice accumulation within the freezer. Listed below are a few common questions answered by the Experts on frost free refrigerator problems.

What could cause a GE frost free refrigerator with the freezer on top to drain water into the refrigerator? Also, there is ice buildup in the freezer, how could someone prevent this from happening again?

This problem seems to be arising due to a blocked defrost drain. Remove the contents of the freezer and open the panel at the back or bottom of the freezer. There could be ice collected in the drain pan below the evaporator. Melt the ice using a hair dryer and you will see a hole in the pan which leads to the drain tube. Pour warm water into this and wait for some time. Clean out any excess water and repeat this process several times. Once this is done, find a flexible curtain or electrical wire and insert it into the hole until it reaches the water drain to clear out any algae or food particles which can get trapped here. Do not pour bleach in the drain.

To address the ice buildup issue, remove about 8 inches of the insulation from an electrical wire. Bend the copper wire to form a hook shape, hang this wire on the heater ensuring the other end is inside the drain hole. Soldering the wire is not necessary. The heater is located under the evaporator and just above the drain. Since copper is one of the best conductors of heat, each time the heater operates, the heat will get conducted through the copper wire and melt any ice blocking the drain.

A Magic Chef frost free refrigerator which is over 20 years old is emitting a unpleasant odor from the freezer. What could be the problem and can it be repaired?

Due to the age and use of the frost free refrigerator, it is most likely a case of the defrost system becoming defective. It will be quite difficult to eliminate the odor and this can prove to be an expensive repair as well. Now would probably be the right time to replace your unit with a more energy efficient model.

What could be the problem and cost of repair on a GE frost free refrigerator when the temperature is set lower than 7 and there is a puddle of water on the floor?

This is likely a problem with the self defrost feature of the refrigerator. A faulty defrost timer or adaptive defrost control are normally the culprits in such a scenario. The other parts which could also contribute to this problem are the defrost heater and the defrost heater thermostat. To verify this problem, remove the back panel inside the freezer section. If there is ice on the evaporator coils it can be confirmed the problem lies with the defrost circuitry. Check the parts for open circuits using a volt or OHM meter. Based on testing, this repair can range from $50 to $150.

What could cause a GE frost free refrigerator to only reach 30 degrees freezer temperature and 40 degrees in the fresh food section?

If the refrigerator is fine but the freezer is not cooling sufficiently, this is an indicator of a sealed system problem (Freon or compressor issue) or the condenser fan is not cooling the compressor efficiently. To check this, pull the unit forward and remove the lower back panel. Ensure the fan is running. If it is not, then replace it or remove any obstruction which could be blocking it. If it is confirmed you are facing one of these issues, this is not a repair which can be handled at home as you require a certified professional to work on a sealed system. This is a repair where the cost could range from $350 to $600 based on which part of the sealed system is defective.

It is important to equip yourself with basic information to handle issues that may crop up with your frost free refrigerator. Clearing out the drain pipe or any blockages can help your frost free refrigerator run more efficiently and avoid the need for engaging the services of a technician for simple issues which can be handled by you. Experts can help you arrive at the component at fault through frost free refrigerator troubleshooting and help you obtain and replace the defective part. Therefore the insights and information from Experts will be helpful and useful to tackle your frost free refrigerator problems immediately and effectively.
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