How to replace the defrost heater in a top-freezer refrigerator
This DIY repair guide gives step-by-step instructions for replacing a defrost heater in a top-freezer refrigerator. The defrost heater melts frost from the freezer's evaporator fins. If the heater fails, frost builds up on the evaporator, resulting in warm freezer temperatures. If your defrost heater is defective, replace the heater with a manufacturer-approved refrigerator part.
This basic repair procedure works for Kenmore, Frigidaire, Whirlpool, KitchenAid, Maytag, Amana, GE, Samsung, LG, Gibson, Crosley and Haier top-freezer refrigerators.
Replacing a refrigerator defrost heater video.
Shut off the power
Unplug the power cord from the wall outlet.
Remove the freezer shelf
Remove the spacer in the freezer shelf.
Push the shelf to the left to release the right side of the shelf from the holes.
Pull the shelf out of the freezer.
PHOTO: Remove the freezer shelf spacer.
PHOTO: Remove the shelf.
Remove the evaporator cover
Remove the mounting screws from the evaporator cover.
Pull the top of the evaporator cover down and unplug the evaporator fan wire harness.
Push the evaporator cover to the left side of the freezer and disconnect the green ground wire and the ice maker wire harness from the evaporator cover.
Pull the evaporator cover out of the freezer.
PHOTO: Remove the evaporator cover screws.
PHOTO: Pull down the top of the cover.
PHOTO: Unplug the evaporator fan wire harness.
PHOTO: Push the evaporator cover to the side.
PHOTO: Disconnect the green wire.
PHOTO: Disconnect the ice maker wire harness.
Remove the defrost heater
Unplug the defrost heater wires.
Unbuckle the two aluminum straps at the bottom of the evaporator.
Pull the evaporator coil outward just enough to slide the defrost heater down and out.
Pull the defrost heater out.
PHOTO: Unplug the defrost heater wire harness.
PHOTO: Unbuckle the defrost heater straps.
PHOTO: Remove the defrost heater.
Install the new defrost heater
Slide the new defrost heater back up under the evaporator.
Reinstall the two aluminum straps and push the evaporator back in position.
Connect the defrost heater wires.
PHOTO: Reinstall the heater straps.
PHOTO: Plug in the defrost heater wire.
Reinstall the evaporator cover
Position the evaporator cover in the freezer compartment and reconnect the ice maker wire harness and ground wire.
Push the evaporator cover to the center of the freezer compartment and reconnect the evaporator fan wire harness.
Position the evaporator cover over the evaporator and reinstall the mounting screws.
PHOTO: Reattach the ice maker wire harness.
PHOTO: Reattach the green wire.
PHOTO: Reconnect the evaporator fan wire harness.
PHOTO: Push the evaporator cover into place.
PHOTO: Reinstall the evaporator cover screws.
Reinstall the freezer shelf
Push the shelf into the mounting holes on the left side of the freezer compartment wall.
Slide the shelf to the right and reinstall the shelf spacer.
PHOTO: Reinstall the freezer shelf.
PHOTO: Reinstall the shelf spacer.
Restore electrical power
Plug in the refrigerator or turn on the house circuit breaker to restore power.
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