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Repair and disassembly guides for food cooling appliances including refrigerators, freezers and fridge-freezers.

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GE Adora Refrigerator evaporator coil frosting over

I have a GE model DFE29JSDASS that is 5.5 years old. Recently, we noticed the temperature display read 69 degrees, so we knew we had a problem. I pulled out all the drawers and shelves and exposed the evaporator coil and fan. The first thing I noticed was the fan was not running. After unplugging the fan and plugging it back in, it immediately turned on and has been running since. Overnight, that alone dropped the temperature back down around 35.

However, now I noticed that the evaporator coil is covered with a substantial amount of frost - looks more like snow. I defrosted it once with a hair dryer and it was back in a couple of hours. So it seems there may be more of an issue that just the fan. Not sure what steps to take next. Any direction would be greatly appreciated.


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You may have a problem with either the defrost heater or the defrost thermostat.

Most fridges go into the auto defrost cycle about once every 8 - 12 hours (depending on maker).

When this occurs the compressor and the evaporator fan are turned off for about 20-30 minutes

This allows the temp in the freezer to rise to just above 32 deg F (0 deg C) which allows to frost to melt and drain away.

The process is sped up by turning on the defrost heater.

After a suitable time delay (defrost thermostat) the compressor and evap fan are turned back on to drive the freezer temp back down to 0 deg F (-18 deg C).

I suggest that you disconnect and test the defrost heater for continuity using an Ohmmeter to see if it is OK (do this with the power disconnected from the fridge.

If it’s OK look at the defrost thermostat.

Here’s a link to the relevant freezer parts section showing the location and cost of the parts.

Hopefully this is of some help.

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Thanks for your response! However, I don't think the fresh food compartment has a defrost heater, and everything in the freezer compartment is working normally. I'm going to replace the thermistor in the fresh food compartment and see if that helps.



Since you were talking about the evaporator coil and fan, I thought that were were talking about the one which is located in the freezer section, I supplied a link to the freezer section, in my answer above which shows the defrost heater (part #461).

There is also a defrost heater, associated with an evaporator in the fresh food section as well (part #761) Scroll down the "sections" in the link to Section 7 Fresh food compartment


Yes, that looks like the right part. The fresh food compartment has been holding at a pretty consistent 35-39 degrees since the fan began working again. However, the evaporator coil in the fresh food compartment still seems to have above average frost. I will add a photo to my post so you can see what I'm describing. Does this seem abnormal?




As stated, disconnect the defrost heater and use an Ohmmeter to check that is is OK and has continuity,

If it tests OK then the problem may be the defrost thermostat for the fresh food section.


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