Introduction: Repairing Your Fridge

About: Amateur Radio guy with a 37 foot sailboat on Lake Erie.

My side by side fridge is cold (sub 0* F) on the freezer side but hot 60*F on the refrigerated side. Not good for your food. Not good for you either if you eat the food.

This means that the refrigerant is OK. It takes a licensed pro to fix the refrigerant or compressor.

This involved testing live circuits with 117 VAC on them. Use caution as you don't want shocked.

Step 1: Check the Defrost Timer

I put a dot of white out on the part that turns and the body of the fridge. After a couple of hours I noticed that the wheel had turned. This is one of the pieces that defrost the coils. Mine turned as it should so is eliminated as the problem.

Step 2: Unload the Freezer

I put everything in a cooler and a couple of blue ice blocks in fridge side to keep it cool. Remove the shelves an take off the panel in the back

Step 3: Testing

Live wires!! Voltages in the range of 117/123 VAC.

Be careful! If you have a pacemaker or other condition that a shock will kill you hire someone else!!!!

I had defrosted the coils by hand with a hair dryer a couple days ago to keep the fridge going. You will see the coils as a block of frost.

I had voltage at the feed wires. I had continuity at the element so I knew it was good.

There was no continuity at the defrost thermostat. Bad news this.

I found my model number and ordered my part next day from Amazon. Sears Parts Direct didn't have it in stock locally.

Step 4: Swap Out the Bad Part

Simple enough with both pieces at hand. It was simple enough as the part is color coded and the wires had a male and a female end.

I then rotated the timer till I heard it click. I waited 3 minute for the defrost heater to kick on. No joy!!


The defrost thermostat was room temperature. I rotated the defrost timer until the compressor kicked on. I let it run for a few minutes till the defrost thermostat had frost on it.

Success!! I was shocked at how hot the heater gets. It is essentially the same as the one in an electric oven.

Step 5: Reassembly!

Put the cover back in place.

Put the shelves back in place

Take the food out of the cooler and put them back in the freezer.

Hope I saved you some money.