My Kenmore Refrigerator iced up on me on the fresh food side one week the next week it warmed up and wouldn't keep food cold. Is this a defrost problem? Can I tell without a continuity check if the Defrost Heater Assembly is bad just by looking at it? The glass tube is not transparent anymore and very dark in appearence.
Answer Hello Chris,
This definitely sounds like a defrost issue. If there were a frost build-up on the back wall of the freezer, it is a defrost issue. The defrost heater is the most common cause of this issue in this model. I never replace just the heater assembly unless the heater harness assembly isn't available for the model I'm servicing. The heater harness assembly for this one is WR51X10031. The heater harness assembly replaces the heating element, the defrost thermostat, and the wiring harness. This eliminates the possibility of a repeat failure inside the freezer compartment. The only other part of the defrost circuit is the defrost timer WR9X489, which is behind the light lens in the fresh food section.
Be aware that the unit will have to be defrosted manually, with a hair dryer, heat gun, by turning it off and leaving the doors open, hot water, or some other similar method to clear the ice. You see, the defrost circuit can only melt away the amount of frost that will normally build up between defrost cycles. If you leave the frost in there, it will turn to solid ice instead of melting away.
I have been having puddles of water under the refrigerator. This has just started recently. There is not a tray to catch any water from its' defrosting.
There has to be a defrost drain pan under the unit or it would have leaked from the time it was first installed. Normally, when a unit begins leaking the defrost drain inside the unit has frozen up and the water has no place to go except in the floor of the unit and it will leak out of the unit into the floor. Without the model number, all I can do is speculate on the general causes of the complaint. If you want, you can re-post with a model number and we can go into detail on the units' operation and exactly where to check for problems.
Can I find instructions online to put in a new defrost part on this refrigerator?
Answer Hello Terri. To install the heater kit WR51X10031, you will need to disconnect the power and remove the back wall from inside the freezer. Then melt all the ice off the coils and remove the screws securing the element in the freezer to the evaporator and then remove the heater coil and the defrost thermostat from the unit. Install the new heater kit in reverse order.