Major Appliances/GE Refrigerator


I have a 1960's vintage GE refrigerator with a roll out bottom freezer compartment Model TCF16DABW. It appears that the frost free heater is not functioning. Eventually the coils at the back of the freezer compartment become coated with ice. When this occurs it appears that it blocks the airflow to the refrigerator compartment and that compartment does not cool, even though the freezer is cold.
Defrosting the freezer is a temporary fix until it freezes up again. I understand that one possible cause could be the defrost timer which is located in the back upper left of the freezer compartment. Turning the timer adjustment screw clockwise with a screw driver in stages eventually results in the fan shutting off and the heater attempting to cycle (current draw dims the refrigerator light) but the compressor continues to run.
Does this suggest a bad timer or a bad heater or some other potential problem and what tests can be run to determine this? (Note: I am comfortable using a multimeter). Thanks in advance.

Wow....good job....  Your defrost control is shorted and needs replaced.  Part number is WR9X164 for the defrost control but unfortunately it has been discontinued for quite some time.  It has been a while since I worked on one with that control in it but it can be rewired to adapt to a more modern defrost control if I were there to see it and trace the wiring.  Bottom line is a defrost control is either in defrost or cooling.  You seem capable to accomplish this...  I wish I could have been more we get older, the older units simply get replaced by new information in the mind....    Good Luck, Eric

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Eric Campion


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