Excessive rime ice buildup in Kenmore refrigerator

I have an older Kenmore refrigerator, model 106 8630583.

The freezer unit has a lot of rime ice / condensate on the back wall, and is a bit warm. Foods will freeze, but seems to take longer than expected.

The refrigerator compartment seems fine — very cold.

It appears to be a classic defrost system failure — but I am not sure how to fix. I am very handy — is this something that I can tackle, or should I call in repair?

Thank you–


2 answers

  1. Thank you for your question. This can be a do-it-yourself project. The defrost system consists of a heater, defrost timer and defrost thermost. The trick to repairing the problem is to first locate the defrost timer. The timer is usually located behind the console where the thermostat is located in the refrigerator section. It will have a small dial in the middle that can be turned with a screwdriver or a coin. When the refrigerator is running turn the defrost timer **** till it clicks and the unit shuts off. The refrigerator is now in defrost. Open the freezer and listen for a sizzle and pop from the frost melting as the heater comes on. If you hear nothing then likely the problem is the defost heater or defrost thermostat. I would suggest replacing both at the same time. If you hear a sizzle and pop then the heater is working. After about 20-30 minutes the refrigerator should advance out of defrost and start running again. If it doesn't then the defrost timer is likely the problem. You can manually turn the timer out of defrost to get it to run again. I hope this helps.

  2. Hi dkris9709! Welcome to MySears! I'm glad you stopped by with your question today. One of the Appliance Experts can offer their opinion on the next step for your fridge repair. Check back soon for their reply!