Replacing the Defrost Heater in Your Side By Side Refrigerator

If the freezer section of your side by side refrigerator is building up with frost, it means that your defrost is no longer functioning. While this can be caused by a number of issues with the defrost or the evaporator, one of the causes could be that the defrost heater coil is malfunctioning. If you have determined this to be the cause, it can be easy to replace.

Installation instructions can vary by model. The following instructions are based on the design of an average refrigerator.

Start by turning off the power to your refrigerator. If you already have a significant amount of frost build up, you will need to let your freezer thaw out. However, even if there isn’t a large frost buildup, you will still want the freezer section to be dry beforehand.

Start this repair by removing the shelving brackets in the freezer section. In doing so, you will now have access to the screws on the back panel that allow it to be removed. Once the back panel is off, it will reveal the evaporator.

The defrost heating coil is not immediately visible as it is inserted under the evaporator. Using your user manual, locate the wires for the defrost heater. Depressing the locking tab, disconnect these wires. Now move to the bottom of the evaporator and unhook the defrost coil. Once done, you will be able to gently wiggle the defrost coil out from inside the evaporator by pulling downwards.

The new defrost coil will be inserted the same way the old one was removed. Slide it in from the bottom upwards. Be sure it is fit snug in the bottom hangers, which means it will be easier to attach the wires at the top.

Once the wires are reattached, you can reassemble your freezer and the defrost issue should be fixed. If it does not run as intended, then it means something else is wrong and you may need professional help finding the issue.