What To Do When Your Whirlpool Fridge Is Not Defrosting

What To Do When Your Whirlpool Fridge Is Not Defrosting
Table of Contents

Strengthen your expertise in fridge repair with helpful articles such as

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1. Check the Defrost Timer

When your Whirlpool fridge struggles to defrost properly, check the defrost timer first. It’s a crucial component that regulates the defrosting cycle.

  • The defrost timer is typically located behind the kick plate or inside the control panel.
  • You can manually advance it with a screwdriver to diagnose potential issues.
  • If the fridge doesn’t enter a normal cooling cycle after manually advancing the timer, there might be an automatic operation problem.

Always disconnect power before replacing any parts to avoid electrical hazards. Consult professionals if unsure about handling electrical components or for further troubleshooting.

Key Points

  • The defrost timer controls switching between cooling and defrost mode.
  • Manual advancement helps identify automatic operation issues.
  • Consult professionals for part replacement or further troubleshooting.

2. Inspect the Defrost Heater

When your Whirlpool fridge isn’t defrosting properly, check the defrost heater. It’s crucial for melting ice on the evaporator coils. Here’s what to do:

  • Unplug the fridge and access the evaporator coil compartment in the freezer.
  • Look for visible damage like cracks or burns on the heater’s surface.
  • Test continuity with a multimeter; if there’s none, replace the heater.

If unsure, seek professional help for Whirlpool appliances. Regular maintenance like coil cleaning and proper air circulation helps prevent defrosting issues. 

3. Examine the Defrost Thermostat

One crucial component to examine when troubleshooting a Whirlpool fridge that is not defrosting is the defrost thermostat. Here’s how to do it:

Importance of Defrost Thermostat

  • The defrost thermostat, also known as the bi-metal thermostat, regulates the temperature within the freezer compartment.
  • It controls the activation of the defrost heater, crucial for the defrost cycle.

Examination Process

  • Unplug the fridge and locate the thermostat in the freezer section.
  • Remove any obstructions and visually inspect for damage or corrosion.
  • Test for continuity using a multimeter set to ohms.

Testing for Failure

  • Lack of continuity at freezing temperatures (~0°F) indicates a faulty thermostat.
  • Replacement should be done by experienced individuals or professionals.

Replacement Procedure

  • Disconnect wiring harnesses and remove mounting screws or clips.
  • Install the new thermostat following manufacturer specifications.

Assessing the defrost thermostat’s functionality is crucial for proper fridge defrosting. It ensures the activation of the defrost heater, preventing frost buildup and maintaining cooling performance. Seek professional assistance if encountering difficulties during examination or replacement to avoid further damage to the appliance.

4. Verify the Defrost Control Board

When a Whirlpool fridge fails to defrost properly, the defrost control board is often to blame. This component regulates the defrost cycle, and if it malfunctions, it can lead to ice buildup or inadequate cooling.

  • Locate the control board behind a panel at the back or bottom of the fridge.
  • Visually inspect for damage or burnt components.
  • If issues are found, unplug the fridge before attempting replacement.

To replace the control board, you may need screwdrivers and pliers. Refer to the user manual for guidance.

5. Clean the Condenser Coils

To maintain optimal performance and prevent defrosting issues with your Whirlpool fridge, regular cleaning of the condenser coils is crucial. These coils dissipate heat to keep the refrigerator cool, but they can get clogged with dirt and debris over time, affecting efficiency.

  • Clean condenser coils at least twice a year.
  • Unplug the fridge before cleaning to ensure safety.
  • Use a vacuum cleaner with a brush attachment or a soft-bristle brush.
  • Avoid using sharp objects that could damage the coils.

Remember, while cleaning the coils can solve minor issues, more complex problems may require professional assistance. If defrosting problems persist after cleaning, consider further troubleshooting or consult a Whirlpool technician

6. Ensure Proper Air Circulation

Proper air circulation is vital for your Whirlpool fridge’s defrosting system. Follow these steps to ensure efficient operation:

  • Check and clear any blockages in the vents between freezer and refrigerator compartments.
  • Ensure vents near evaporator coils are free of dust or debris.
  • Inspect door seals for damage and replace if necessary.

Refer to your user manual for troubleshooting guidance tailored to your appliance model. Consider professional assistance for complex issues like defective components affecting airflow.

7. Monitor the Freezer Temperature

Monitoring freezer temperature is crucial for troubleshooting defrosting issues in your Whirlpool fridge. Fluctuations in temperature can indicate various problems like malfunctioning control boards or timers. Use a reliable thermometer designed for refrigerators and place it centrally in the freezer.

Ideally, the freezer should maintain a consistent temperature between 0°F and 10°F (-18°C to -12°C). Significant fluctuations or consistent deviations from this range suggest cooling system issues. Frost buildup inside the fridge can hinder airflow and cooling mechanisms. 

Check for frost behind panels or shelves and ensure no obstructions block airflow. Regular monitoring helps identify irregularities for effective troubleshooting. Consult the user manual for guidance, and seek professional assistance if DIY methods prove insufficient or if uncertainty arises during troubleshooting.

  • Monitor freezer temperature with a reliable thermometer.
  • Deviations from the recommended temperature range may indicate cooling system issues.
  • Check for frost buildup and ensure proper airflow to the freezer.

8. Check for Frost Buildup

When troubleshooting a Whirlpool fridge not defrosting properly, checking for frost buildup is crucial. Excessive frost can hinder cooling performance by impeding airflow within the refrigerator compartments. Here’s how to tackle the issue:

  • Inspect Evaporator Coils: Check for thick layers of frost or ice on the coils, indicating a defrosting problem.
  • Check Defrost Heater and Thermostat: Malfunctions in these components can lead to frost buildup.
  • Disconnect Power: Ensure safety by disconnecting power before any maintenance tasks.
  • Test Defrost Heater: Use a multimeter to check for continuity; replace if faulty.
  • Examine Defrost Thermostat: Test for continuity and proper temperature range; replace if necessary.

By inspecting and testing these components, you can identify and address malfunctions causing frost accumulation, ensuring efficient refrigerator performance. Always refer to your user manual for model-specific guidance and consider professional assistance if needed.

9. Inspect the Door Seals

When troubleshooting a Whirlpool fridge that isn’t defrosting, inspecting the door seals is crucial. Over time, seals can wear out or become loose, allowing warm air to enter and causing ice buildup on coils.

  • Visually inspect seals for wear, tears, or gaps.
  • Feel for any loose or uneven areas along the edges.
  • Replace damaged seals with genuine Whirlpool parts.

Regularly clean and maintain door seals to prevent future issues. Use mild soapy solution to wipe them down and remove debris.

10. Test the Evaporator Fan Motor

When troubleshooting a Whirlpool fridge that’s not defrosting, start by checking the evaporator fan motor. This component ensures proper air circulation for temperature distribution. Follow these steps:

  • Power Off: Disconnect power to the fridge for safety.
  • Locate Motor: Find the evaporator fan motor, usually behind a panel in the freezer or fridge.
  • Inspect: Look for damage like worn blades or loose connections.
  • Test Continuity: Use a multimeter to check electrical continuity.
  • Spin Test: Spin the blades by hand to check for smooth rotation.
  • Professional Assistance: Seek help if unsure about repairs.

The evaporator fan motor is critical for maintaining fridge temperature. By following these steps, you can diagnose and fix issues efficiently.

11. Examine the Electronic Control Board

The electronic control board is essential for your Whirlpool fridge’s defrosting system. When facing defrosting issues, start by checking this component thoroughly.

  • Locate the control board behind the rear access panel or inside the control housing.
  • Ensure safety by unplugging the fridge before troubleshooting.
  • Visually inspect the board for damage or burn marks, and check for loose wires.
  • Use a multimeter to measure electrical continuity and voltage outputs if needed.
  • Contact professional assistance if you lack expertise or necessary tools for troubleshooting.

Proper examination of the electronic control board is crucial for addressing defrosting problems in your Whirlpool appliance. By inspecting for damage and loose connections, you can troubleshoot effectively. However, professional intervention may be necessary for complex issues.

12. Reset the Fridge

When troubleshooting a Whirlpool fridge not defrosting properly, start with a simple reset. Unplug the power cord for about five minutes to dissipate residual electricity and inspect for damage. Consult the user manual for specific defrosting instructions and troubleshooting tips. Plug the fridge back in and observe for improvements. If issues persist, further troubleshooting or professional assistance may be needed.

  • Reset the fridge by unplugging it for 5 minutes.
  • Check the power cord for damage.
  • Consult the user manual for defrosting guidance and troubleshooting tips.
  • Plug the fridge back in and observe for improvements.
  • Persistent issues may require further troubleshooting or professional help.

13. Consult the User Manual

When encountering defrosting issues in your Whirlpool fridge, start by consulting the user manual. It’s an invaluable resource containing specific information for your model and serving as a troubleshooting guide.

  • The manual outlines common problems and step-by-step solutions.
  • Look for the section on refrigerator defrosting troubleshooting.
  • Gain insights into causes and solutions for defrosting issues.

Familiarize yourself with the guidance provided to understand how your fridge operates and solve problems effectively. FAQs in the manual address common concerns and offer tailored solutions for your Whirlpool model. Consulting the manual can save time and help resolve issues efficiently.

14. Call for Professional Whirlpool Appliance Assistance

When dealing with persistent defrosting issues in your Whirlpool fridge, it’s time to call in professional help. Certified Whirlpool appliance technicians are equipped with the expertise to tackle complex malfunctions efficiently. Providing detailed information about your fridge model and symptoms ensures a targeted diagnosis. Here’s why professional assistance is crucial:

  • Contact professional help when troubleshooting efforts fail or technical expertise is lacking.
  • Technicians possess specialized tools for diagnosing Whirlpool fridge issues effectively.
  • Professional intervention safeguards warranties and comes with service guarantees for peace of mind.

Relying on professionals ensures optimal functionality, prolongs the fridge’s lifespan, and prevents further damage. Trust experts to handle complexities like defrost thermostat failures or electronic control board examinations for effective solutions.

Get A Pro is ready to serve your Whirlpool fridge repair in southern Ontario, Canada. Cities including Toronto, Newmarket, Markham, Vaughan, Oshawa, and nearby regions!

For same-day Whirlpool fridge repair service, contact us at our toll-free number 1-800-498-4490 or fill out our contact form on our website and our team will get back to you during business hours!


After carefully troubleshooting the various potential causes for your Whirlpool fridge not defrosting, it is time to draw some key takeaways. One of the first areas to inspect was the defrost timer, as this component is responsible for initiating the defrost cycle.

Remember that regular maintenance tasks like condenser coil cleaning and ensuring proper air circulation are essential in preventing future troubles. Should these troubleshooting steps not yield satisfactory results or if you lack confidence in performing complex repairs yourself, don’t hesitate to seek professional Whirlpool appliance assistance.

By addressing these matters promptly and implementing preventative measures moving forward, you can keep your Whirlpool fridge operating optimally and maintain peace of mind in your kitchen. 


What are common reasons for a Whirlpool fridge not defrosting properly?

Common reasons for a Whirlpool fridge not defrosting properly include issues with the defrost timer, defrost heater, thermistor, defrost control board, evaporator fan, and damper control.

Can I troubleshoot and resolve issues with the defrost timer or heater on my own?

Yes, you can troubleshoot and resolve issues with the defrost timer or heater on your own. Check for visible damage, test their functionality, and replace components if necessary. Refer to the user manual for guidance.

Are there DIY solutions for problems related to the thermistor or defrost control board causing defrosting issues?

Yes, there are DIY solutions for problems related to the thermistor or defrost control board causing defrosting issues. Check for malfunctions, test the components, and replace them if needed. Follow the user manual or online resources for instructions.

How do I address issues with the evaporator fan or damper control not functioning properly?

To address issues with the evaporator fan or damper control, check for proper operation, listen for unusual sounds, and replace components if necessary. Ensure that airflow is not obstructed and that the fan is functioning correctly.

When is it advisable to consult with a professional for Whirlpool refrigerator defrosting problems?

Consult with an expert for Whirlpool refrigerator defrosting problems if DIY solutions are unsuccessful or if there are complex issues with components like the defrost control board or if you are uncomfortable performing the repairs yourself. Professional technicians can accurately diagnose and fix the problem.

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