View Full Version : Frost Free Freezer Freezing with Frost

Scott Shepherd
09-24-2008, 8:14 PM
Say that 5 times real fast :)

Older Frigedaire refridge and all of the sudden the freezer is growing frost inside it at a fairly rapid pace. Can't seem to figure out what's going wrong. The seal on the door on the upper and lower doors seems in tact and sealing.

Any ideas?

Stan Terrell
09-24-2008, 8:18 PM
defrost timer or limit switch defective.

Ken Fitzgerald
09-24-2008, 8:22 PM

Our old Kenmore had an in the freezer icemaker. You opened the freezer door and pulled a rectangular bucket out with the ice in it. The motor that drove the ice tray which dropped cubes into the bucket...the motor was also the electro-mechanical timer for the defrost cycle and heaters. When the motor went gunny.....it quit defrosting. When I replaced the bad motor, it started defrosting again.

I don't know if yours has the same arrangement or not.

Scott Shepherd
09-24-2008, 8:38 PM
Thanks Stan and Ken. Ken, same thing here. Ice maker with pull out ice tray.

Where would one go to find the defrost timer on the unit?

The ice maker seems to still be working as normal. Not sure if that means anything, but I thought I would add that in case it did matter.

Mitchell Andrus
09-24-2008, 8:52 PM
Timer or heater. Check on-line for the service manual. Either is a $50.00 to $100.00 part and simple to replace.

Ken Fitzgerald
09-24-2008, 10:38 PM
The icemaker motor on my Kenmore was the timer. It turned a series of gears. One of them activated the switch that turned on the defrost heaters.

As stated, you could have a defective switch or heater element. Is the icer maker working and dumping ice into the bucket? If so, then I'd check the switch and the heater element. These could be check with the power disconnected and using a simple ohm meter function on a multi-meter.

The schematic for my entire refrigerator and freezer was located behind the light of the top shelf in the refrigerator section.

Tom Godley
09-25-2008, 10:45 AM
Not sure if this is your main unit or not -- but the old units are real energy hogs.

The payback on 20+ year old units is quite quick.

Prashun Patel
09-25-2008, 11:00 AM
Is yr frost localized? Even if yr motor's working, it's possible to develop local frost if a seal fails. Try the dollar bill test: The seal should hold a a dollar bill with a gentle tug.

Also, if yr fridge has a water/ice dispenser, check the seal on that.

Wright Woodall
09-25-2008, 12:20 PM
My freezer had the same thing happen, and it was the automatic defrost/heater/timer that went bad. Sorry not more specific, but I paid a guy to fix it, so I'm not sure what the weak link was. If you want to fix it yourself, I have had good luck finding schematics for appliances @ repairclinic.com (http://www.repairclinic.com) and parts at a-1appliance.com (http://www.a-1appliance.com/). Good luck.

Pat Germain
09-25-2008, 12:38 PM
Interesting. I have a GE refer in my garage which has not been working well of late. I couldn't see any frost inside, but thought maybe there was frost somewhere out of view. I emptied the refer, unplugged it and let it sit overnight. Sure enough, there was a deluge of water below the refer the next day. The defrost tray was full and had overflowed. Obviously, there was a lot of frost in there somewhere.

This refer has an ice maker, but I don't use it since it's in the garage. Might it be that I have to use the ice maker for proper defrosting? Would I have to connect a water source and actually make ice?

Tom Godley
09-25-2008, 2:49 PM
The older units all used a timer to start the defrost cycle -- they would defrost regardless of need. Many also had heaters around the door.

Modern units (energy star) have sensors for the defrost and use the refrigerate line to warm the door line.

Also the some defrost heaters do not work as well in a cold garage

Eddie Watkins
09-25-2008, 6:59 PM
We had one frosting up. Turned out LOML had set something in fromt of a vent that allowed air to circulate and keep the frost out. She moved the item and it started defrosting, again.

Al Willits
09-26-2008, 10:39 AM
Model would help, there are several defrosting methods and hard to tell with out model.

Like said, two basic ones were a defrost timer in the icemaker and the more common little seperate timer, usually in the fresh food section under the cover for the controls or under the unit, try pulling the kick panel off the front and look under, usually about 2 or three inches in size and will have a turnable screw on it, if so, try turning it till it clicks, if it starts defrosting, replace it, its called a defrost timer.
If its the icemaker style they do make by pass units for it, but prob not worth the effort or replacing the icemaker is the usual cure.


Pat Germain
09-26-2008, 2:32 PM
My refer does have a brass screw up near the temperature settings and behind a plastic cover. I'll take a look at and see if it could be the defrost timer.