Whirlpool Refrigerator That Doesn’t Defrost

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If you know for sure that the defrost heater is the reason your Whirlpool WRX735SDBM00 is not defrosting in a timely manner or even at all, then follow along as we dig into the back of the freezer and replace that part.

This repair will probably take you up to two hours to complete.

So you don’t turn into a National Lampoon Christmas Vacation, Aunt Bethany crispy critter, please unplug from the wall socket or its power source the refrigerator you intend to repair.

How to Access the Defrost Heater

The defrost heater is located behind the evaporator coils which are installed behind the rear access panel located in the freezer behind the freezer racks and bin.

Removing the freezer drawer

1.) The first thing you want to do (after you have ensured the refrigerator is unplugged from its power source) is open the freezer door. Now lift out the freezer bin. You may need to manipulate and shake it a bit, but it will lift out.

On each of the drawer rail assemblies, locate and depress the retaining tabs with the tip of a flathead screwdriver, and remove the freezer drawer.

Removing the upper freezer rack

2.) Use a ¼ inch nut driver to remove the screws holding the left and right side rack support rails. Now, with your flathead screwdriver depress the retaining tabs to release the left and right gear support brackets. Lift the rails up and slide the rack out from the freezer compartment.

Removing the rear access panel

3.) Remove the screws that secure the rear interior access panel.

4.) You will notice that there are two covers. One is a sensor cover and the other is a fan cover.

5.) Depress the one tab on the sensor cover. Remove the cover and release the sensor.

6.) Depress two tabs on the fan cover, remove it and set aside.

7.) Remove the access panel.

Removing the old defrost heater

8.) Remove the mounting screws that hold the evaporator assembly to the rear panel.

9.) Carefully pull the evaporator away from the rear panel, mindful to avoid damaging the refrigeration lines.

10.) Locate and disconnect the defrost heater wire connectors.

11.) Remove two wire retaining clips and remove the grommets and wires from the evaporator bracket.

12.) Use pliers to unhook two retaining wires that are attached to the lower coil on the evaporator assembly.

This should release the old defrost heater so you can pull it away from the panel.

How to Install the New Defrost Heater

1.) Carefully manipulate the new defrost heater behind the evaporator.

2.) In order to keep the new defrost heater from dangling loosely behind the evaporator, reattach the retaining wires located at the bottom of the evaporator.

3.) Insert the wires through the holes in the bracket.

4.) Replace the grommets in the bracket.

5.) Reconnect the defrost heater wire to the appropriate connections on either side of the evaporator.

6.) Snap the wire retaining clips in place.

7.) Reposition the evaporator assembly and replace the mounting screws. Tighten with a ¼ inch nut driver.

Finishing the Repair!

You’re almost to the end of this project. The following should take you 5 minutes to complete.

1.) Now that defrost heater and the evaporator are securely attached, realign the rear panel, and ensure the sensor wire reaches through the panel. Replace the panel screws and tighten.

2.) Snap the fan cover in place.

3.) Reattach the sensor to its cover and snap the cover back in place.

4.) Realign the upper freezer rack on its support rails.

5.) Push the support rails down and snaps the gear brackets in place.

6.) Slide the rack into the freezer cabin.

7.) Don’t forget to replace the screws that secure the support rails in place!

8.) Slide the side rails of the drawer assembly into their support rails and push the drawer forward to lock it in place.

9.) Snap both slides in place for the final application for securing the drawer assembly.

10.) Replace the lower freezer bin. You may need to shake and manipulate it in place.

This completes the repair. Isn’t it a bit surprising that such a small part can be the reason why your freezer wasn’t defrosting? Feel free to give us a call at (602) 273–1888 with any questions you may have regarding this or any other appliance repair you might be struggling with. 

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