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Defrost Thermostat Troubleshooting


In this article…

Experience troubles with kitchen appliances? Does your refrigerator not defrost or cool? The fridge freezer is cold, but the fridge is warm? Hear strange sounds and guess the defrost thermostat is out of order? You’ve done everything, but it still doesn’t maintain the correct temperature? Is your milk spoiling quickly in the fridge?

Defrost Thermostat Troubleshooting

Did you know that 90% of problems are caused by broken defrost thermostats? No need to buy a new refrigerator ASAP.
We are always happy to share our experience and solve any of your problems: because appliance repair is what we do every day with strict attention and care.
Here are some important features and advice from our specialists that will help you to save time, money and effort.

How to Understand that Defrost Thermostat is NOT OK?

Get to know some valuable basics if you have problems with your fridge. Remember, you can always contact our specialists and ask for assistance and professional help. FIX Appliances CA technicians specialize in refrigerator appliance repair, providing expert services and working daily to make each client happy and satisfied.

First Signs
If you open your fridge and see frozen salad or warm milk, these are the primary signs that something is wrong with the refrigerator system. The reasons might be random: from malfunctioning the whole system to the problems with particular details. Of course, it is necessary to perform a specific inspection in order to find the exact reason.
Besides that, the problem can be closely connected with the refrigerator’s model. Some fridges have longer exploitation terms than others, while some appliances have particular problems with specific elements and details.

However, the most troubles of fridge functioning are connected to a small element called a thermostat. If it is broken, your fridge will not be cold enough.

What is a Defrost Thermostat?

Defrost Thermostat Troubleshooting

The defrost termination thermostat is a small electrical switch actuated by temperature. It heats the cooling element for a short time and melts the frost formed on it. It is controlled by the timer. If you want to perform a personal manual check, you will need at least these tools:

  • Screwdriver
  • Flashlight
  • Multimeter
  • Wire Cutting Plier
  • New Thermostat (Manufacturer Part)


Visual Check
Before ordering a new refrigerator and throwing the old one away, follow these easy steps of personal self-inspection. Of course, be sure that it is possible to have full access to the appliances, and you can safely perform all actions without damaging anything or anyone. Otherwise, call our same-day appliance repair service, and our specialists will help you.

Step 1
Make a thorough inspection of all food inside your fridge, going from upper to bottom shelves. Is it severely damaged? In your personal view, do you see the following temperature fluctuations:

  • the temperature gets too high
  • the temperature gets too low
  • temperature is unstable, fluctuating too much in general.

If you notice that most food is damaged in some way, make the following notices:

  • What type of damage do you see?
  • In what part of the fridge does food seem to be damaged more/less?
  • In what way is the food damaged?
  • What time approximately was your fridge out of order?
  • Do you hear strange sounds while opening/closing the fridge?

After performing these actions, you can pass to the second step. Carefully write down all your notices, as they also might be useful if you contact the specialist and start describing the actual performance of your fridge.

Step 2
Check the thermostat dial. It might be knocked while using the refrigerator. As a rule, the optimal temperature for food storage is between 30 and 40′ F (-1 and 4 C).

Keeping this information in mind, inspect the dial and fix it on 37′ F ( 3 C). After that, put a meat thermometer and check it after an hour.

Step 3
If the dial is set correctly but the temperature is wrong, you need to reach the thermostat by unscrewing the fridge’s cover. Be careful while unplugging the appliance and use the correct tools. You will need to have a new thermostat to replace the broken one.

What Causes Problems?

If you want to prolong the term of use of your fridge, you should know what might cause such dramatic problems with the cooling system. Here we will need to go deeper into some engineering terminology, but don’t get scared, as it is really useful and easy to understand.

Incorrect defrost timer
First, pay attention to the defrost system, controlling the cooling and defrost operations. This system is made up of two main elements:

  • defrost timer
  • defrost heater

Check if these elements work correctly. The Defrost Timer switches the fridge between different modes per pre-installed time. If the timer is broken, the refrigerator will not cool efficiently. So, you need to replace the timer or fix the broken one. According to the appliance model, you can turn to your service company or contact appliance repair.

Problems with Defrost Heater

Another reason might be connected with some defects in a defrost heater. Defrost heater melts all the frost maintaining the right temperature and air circulation. It turns on several times per day to melt the frost. In case of some malfunctioning, it might switch on/off in the wrong way leaving the frost. Here it would be best if you acted in the same way, replacing or fixing this detail.

Broken or Defective Thermostat

If the fridge doesn’t properly defrost, the thermostat might be broken or be in bad condition. The thermostat is closely connected with the cooling system, providing information about the temperature and sending corresponding signals regulating the timer and heater.

What to Remember While Replacing Thermostat?

If the visual check showed you that you need to replace the thermostat, keep in mind these things. Write down the model number, serial number, and model code of your fridge. It is important to buy the exact model designed for your refrigerator because it might be incomparable and won’t work correctly.

Also, keep an eye on the new thermostat after replacing it during the first 24 hours. If you see that the thermostat seems to work wrong, like staying cold or getting too hot, or simply it doesn’t regulate the temperature correctly, contact the service center immediately and unplug your refrigerator until service engineers reach your home. Don’t try to fix the thermostat if it has been already installed in the wrong way, as it might be dangerous.

Don’t keep the refrigerator working with the thermostat installed manually if it seems to show any signals of malfunctioning!

How to Prolong Time of Defrost Thermostat?
Here are some easy TIPs, that will help you to prolong the time of your fridge (and of its defrost thermostat in particular):

  • study the basic manuals for your fridge carefully and follow the instructions
  • maintain the right temperature
  • clean up the fridge as it is suggested

How FIX Appliances CA professionals work


As soon as you contact our repair services, our professional will examine, inspect, and reveal the reason for your appliance malfunctioning. We will provide the most efficient way to repair it. The list of brands we work with is impressive as a certified licensed repair company. You can find more information about our professional team here.

Ready to book an expert appliance repair team? Check out our special discount coupons, and have your appliances repaired fast, efficiently and for the best price.
Do You Experience Any Problems with Your Fridge?

Our repair experts will analyze your situation, provide diagnostics, and fix your fridge. Remember, FIX Appliances CA company works for the well-being of you and your family 24 hours/day, 365/year. Toll-free at 888-242-0777. We provide flexible and urgent help as soon as you need it. Same-day appliance repair services are available as well.



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