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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2011

    Default Determining if freezer defrost heater is bad

    I have a GE GSL25JFPBS side by side where the defrost coils keep freezing up. I changed the defrost thermostat. I checked continuity on the old one and it was continuous below freezing and at room temperature, so I wonder if the circuit stayed closed long enough to burn something out.

    Replacing the defrost thermostat alone did not fix the problem. I'm looking at the defrost heater now, which I can see has some carbon buildup in it.

    I saw a Youtube video that said check the resistance and make sure it has less than 50 ohms. When I check the resistance, I get about 20 ohms. When I test it for continuity, my multimeter doesn't beep. How do I know if it needs to be replaced?

    If it's not the defrost thermostat or defrost heater, what should I check next?
    Last edited by ed3120; 01-16-2014 at 01:09 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2010

    Default Re: Determining if freezer defrost heater is bad

    It could be the defrost element.

    How old is the fridge?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2012

    Default Re: Determining if freezer defrost heater is bad

    I had a similar experience over a year ago. I took a hair dryer and thoroughly melted the ice, and then checked the fit of the doors. Turns out it was two things: cleaning and lubricating the seals - and reminding my wife to make sure the doors were shut all the way before she walked away.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Pacific Northwet

    Default Re: Determining if freezer defrost heater is bad

    Can't help you with the whole problem, but if the resistance is 20 ohms, your meter may not beep on the continuity setting. Usually, continuity testing requires a very low resistance, like a couple of ohms or less.
    The "Senior Member" designation under my name doesn't mean I know a lot, it just means I talk a lot.I've been a DIYer since I was 12 (thanks, Dad!). I have read several books on various home improvement topics. I do not have any current code books I can refer to. I was an apprentice plumber for two years.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2008

    Default Re: Determining if freezer defrost heater is bad

    Speaking in generalities here, but....

    My appliance repairman expert tells me that today's appliances are junk and not to expect them to last, especially the cheaper models. They're not like they used to be no matter who makes them. Defrost timer failures are common and his 'fix' is to tap on them with a hammer which will free up sticky parts and contacts. This will usually get you working for a year or two, and if it doesn't then it's time to replace parts. The defrost element is essentially a high-resistance wire so any continuity check should work, but also check for shorts and that power is reaching it when the timer calls for it. Of course the cheap solution is to defrost it the old-fashioned way when it needs it. I still remember my Granny heating pots of water on the stove for this with her ancient GE fridge


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