Replacing Timer-Defrost Device On Frigidaire Freezer

By Todd Fratzel on Electrical, Maintanence

picture of timer-defrost switch on Frigidaire freezerThe other day our Frigidaire Freezer stopped working. My wife discovered the problem when she noticed a small puddle on the floor in front of the stand-up freezer in our mudroom. First I checked to make sure the power was on and I also checked to make sure the thermostat was set correctly. No matter what I did I could not get the freezer to start up. Needless to say I was not happy about the idea of our freezer kicking the bucket and having to buy a new one.

Luckily for me my father-in-law used to repair appliances for several years for a part-time job. I called him up and asked him if there was anything I could do or if it was a hopeless cause. He chuckled as he usually does when I call about appliance repairs and said it was probably the timer-defrost device.

Frost free freezers use a timer that turns off the coolant and turns on a heater on a regular basis in order to keep the freezer frost free. If the timer gets stuck in the heat cycle then the freezer will continue to defrost and not return to the cooling stage. The timer-defrost device has a small motor that turns and switches the freezer between the cooling stage and the heating stage. If the motor stops working properly it will keep one of the switches in the on position and either prevent cooling or heating.

The easiest way to find out whether your timer-defrost switch has gone bad is to locate it and turn the advancing screw clockwise until you hear a click. If the timer switch was stuck in the defrost cycle the compressor should now come on which would signal the cooling stage. When I turned the advancing screw the freezer started working again!! Very cool stuff!

Now that I know it’s the timer-defrost switch I located a new one online. Most all appliances have part and wiring diagrams that you can use to find a part number. Once I figured out the part number I ordered a new timer-defrost switch. Once I get it I’ll write another post on replacing the switch.

For my freezer the timer-defrost switch was located in the back of the freezer. The easiest way to locate it is to look up a parts diagram online. Once you find the timer-defrost you should see a plastic type screw that you can turn.

So next time your freezer just stops working try locating the timer-defrost switch and testing that before you call an expensive repair man!

About the author

Todd Fratzel

I'm full time builder for a large construction company in New Hampshire. I run their design-build division that specializes in custom homes, commercial design-build projects and sub-divisions. I'm also a licensed civil and structural engineer with extensive experience in civil and structural design and home construction. My hope is that I can share my experience in the home construction, home improvement and home renovation profession with other builders and home owners. I'm also the Editor-in-Chief and Founder of Tool Box Buzz. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions, suggestions or you'd like to inquire about advertising on this site.

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