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Refrigerator Not Defrosting

The 6 most common part(s) or condition(s) which contribute to the symptom Refrigerator not defrosting are listed below. Check or test each item and watch any available videos. If you are still unable to solve the problem you may need to do additional research and troubleshooting. Remember, with our 365 Days. Period.® return policy you can return any part for any reason. So, go ahead and buy it to try it. No other parts retailer offers this unconditional return policy.


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For the symptom you selected, these are the most common parts or causes, ordered by the likelihood of fixing the symptom.

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Defrost Control Board

If the refrigerator is not defrosting, the defrost control board might be defective. The defrost control board monitors several conditions and determines how often to run the defrost cycle. If the board fails, the refrigerator will not go into the defrost cycle. Eventually, ice will build up on the evaporator coil and then the refrigerator and or freezer will not stay cold enough. This will depend on where the evaporator is located. It's prudent to check the defrost heater and defrost thermostat for continuity before replacing the defrost control board.

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Defrost Timer

If the refrigerator is not defrosting, the defrost timer might be defective. Several times a day the defrost timer is supposed to turn on the defrost heater to melt away any frost that may have accumulated on the freezer evaporator coils. If the timer is defective it won't advance and won't turn on the heater.

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Defrost Heater Assembly

If the refrigerator is not defrosting the defrost heater assembly might be burned out. Several times a day the defrost heater assembly turns on for a few minutes to melt away any frost that may have accumulated on the freezer or refrigerator evaporator coils. If the defrost heater assembly has burned out, the frost will build up on the coils and eventually no air will be able to travel through the coils to provide cooling. The defrost heater can be checked for continuity. If it doesn't have continuity it should be replaced.

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Defrost Thermostat

If the refrigerator is not defrosting, the defrost thermostat might be defective. Several times a day the defrost heater turns on for a few minutes to melt away any frost that may have accumulated on the freezer or refrigerator evaporator coils. In order for this to work, the defrost thermostat has to sense that the coils are cold enough. If the coils are cold enough the defrost heater will turn on. If the thermostat is defective it may not be able to sense the temperature of the coils and then won't turn on the defrost heater. If the defrost heater doesn't turn on, the frost will build up on the coils and eventually no air will be able to travel through the coils to provide cooling . The defrost thermostat can be checked for continuity. It should have continuity when it reaches the low temperature of its operating range.

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Defrost Sensor with Fuse

If the refrigerator is not defrosting the defrost sensor with fuse might be defective, or the fuse might have blown. The fuse is there to back up the defrost sensor, if the sensor fails and doesn't shut off the defrost heater the fuse will blow when the evaporator reaches the set temperature. If the fuse blows this part will have to be replaced, the fuse is not resettable.

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Main Control Board

If the refrigerator is not defrosting, the main control board might be defective. A few times a day the control board is supposed to turn off the cooling system and turn on the defrost heater to melt away any frost that may have accumulated on the freezer evaporator coils. If the control board is defective it could cause the system to never cycle into defrost.

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