How To Replace the Defrost Heater
The defrost heater is located at the back
of the freezer. It may be necessary to remove obstructions
such as the contents of the freezer, freezer shelves, icemaker
and the rear inside panel of the freezer.
Please read our safety
information before attempting any testing or repairs.
Before replacing the defrost heater,
unplug the refrigerator to avoid an electrical shock hazard.
The rear panel may be held in place by retainer
clips or screws. Remove the screws or depress the retainer
clips with a small screwdriver. If you must remove the shelf,
first determine if any screws must be removed. Next, carefully
inspect the seams use a putty knife to carefully split them.
The plastic is easily damaged and it is best to warm it first
with a warm wet towel. After separating the seams, lift and
pull the shelf out of the freezer.
There are three primary types of defrost
heater elements; exposed metal rod, metal rod covered with
aluminum tape or a wire coil inside a glass tube. All three
elements are tested in the same way.
The heater is connected by two wires. The
wires are connected with slip on connectors. Firmly pull the
connectors off of the terminals (do not pull on the wire).
You may need to use a pair of needle-nose pliers to remove
the connectors. Inspect the connectors and the terminals for
corrosion. If the connectors are corroded they should be replaced.
Depending upon the type of defrost heater,
it is held in place with clips or some other method. Remove
the old heater. If your heater has a glass tube, do not touch
the replacement with your bare fingers. Skin oil from your
fingers will cause the heater to burn hot, resulting in damage
to the heater and/or your freezer. If you do touch it, clean
with a clean cloth or paper towel and rubbing alcohol.
Install the new defrost heater, reconnect
the wires, replace any access panel you may have removed and
plug in the refrigerator.