Introduction: How to Replace Fridge Defrost Timer

Replacing the fridge defrost timer is an quick and easy fix. However, prior to doing the actual repair, it's important to disconnect the fridge from the power source to avoid an unpleasant shock.

Step 1: Tools Required

  • 1/4 Inch Nut Driver
  • Philips screwdriver
  • Flathead screwdriver
  • Putty Knife
  • (2) 1 1/4-inch slot head screws

Step 2:

The fridge defrost timer is located on the right side of the control housing. To make the necessary repairs, you will need to access the components within the housing. Using the 1/4-inch nut driver, remove the two quarter-inch hex head screws located at the rear of the control housing. The hex screws should have two large washers attached to them, so be careful to keep them together when setting the screws aside.

Step 3:

Next, remove the two control knobs and set in an easy-to-find place. To access the inside of the control panel, we'll need to take off the remaining two hex head screws which are located behind the escutcheon or face plate. The escutcheon is secured to the control housing by tabs. Slip the putty knife behind the escutcheon and gently pull forward, all the while being mindful of the tabs. You don't want to break them.

Step 4:

After you have detached the escutcheon, support the control housing with one hand while removing the remaining two quarter-inch hex head screws with the nut driver. Like the others, these screws have washers attached, but they are much smaller. Set them aside. Carefully lower the control housing while avoiding pinching the capillary tube that controls the coldness of the fridge or breaking the damper control, both of which runs along the sides of the housing.

Step 5:

The frost timer for the fridge is located on the right side of the control housing. It's secured in place with two tilt screws. Remove them using the Philips screwdriver and then disconnect the four-pin plug attached to the defrost timer. Make special note of the colors of the wires. You'll need to compare them to the manual that comes with the timer kit to ensure you have the right part for the make and model of the refrigerator you're repairing.

Step 6:

Locate the timer mode wire and terminal, and then force the wire over the speed terminal. Afterwards, connect the new fridge defrost timer to the plug. Press firmly to ensure a snug fit. If your previous timer used Philips screws, you'll need to replace them with the 1 1/4-inch slot head screws. If necessary, enlarge the holes a little to accommodate the size of the screws.

Step 7:

Line up the holes in the new timer with the ones in the control housing and insert the screws. Once inserted, put hex nuts on the ends and then tighten the screws with the flathead screwdriver. There is no need to use a socket. Holding the nuts with your fingers as you tighten the screws should be good enough.

Step 8:

To finish up the repair, realign the control housing and screw in the two quarter-inch hex head nuts with small washers to secure it in place. Replace the escutcheon, starting with the bottom and then the top. Put the knobs back in, and then screw in the last two quarter-inch head screws with large washers. Your repairs are complete. Learn how to troubleshoot problems with your refrigerator's defrost timer at PartSelect.