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ED5FVGXWS07 Whirlpool Refrigerator - Is this a normal frost pattern? Do I need a defrost thermostat? (or something else..)


Premium Member
Jun 13, 2020
Model Number
6-10 years
My Whirlpool ED5FVGXWS07 refrigerator is 8 years old. I notice the problem on Wednesday (6/10). The drinks in the refrigerator were noticeably warmer than normal. My refrigerator and freezer don't digitally tell me the temperature, so I have no idea what "normal" was. I always kept the unit on 4 for the refrigerator and never messed with the settings over the past 5 years that I've owned the house. I had a metal thermometer in the freezer which read -0 F. I put a digital outdoor thermometer in the refrigerator and it read 48 F and over the course of the next two hours it climbed to 55 F. I brought the perishables to a neighbor's house and took a hair dryer to my freezer coils, which had more of a frost pattern than the photo I am showing now. I turned the refrigerator from "4" to "5" (the max temp setting) and over the course of three days, it finally seemed to settle down to an air temperature of 38/40 F. I also tested a glass of water with a temperature probe to compare to the air temperature. They are similar, unless I am going in and out of the refrigerator. In general the refrigerator seems "back to normal" BUT, I notice that I haven't seen or heard any water in the defrost pan. There was no water yesterday and no water yet today. I used to hear the unit drain after a defrost cycle. It sometimes sounded like a race horse peeing it was that noticeable. I turned on the ice maker to make ice because I used to notice that the defrost output seemed greater after making ice. Since Wednesday the defrost output is nonexistent (there was a dribble on Friday, and I mean a dribble vs a very wet tray with a good .25 inch of water. I did hear the refrigerator shut off yesterday (once) and today (once) but there was no water output from either event. I'm not stationed by the refrigerator, so it could be stopping more often and I'm just not catching it. My question is, do you think this frost pattern is normal and should I be seeing daily defrost water in the pan? I was thinking that I might need to buy one of these WPW10225581 : Whirlpool Refrigerator Defrost Thermostat The evaporator fan is running fine inside the freezer unit. The condenser fan is also running when the condenser is running. I did notice that the condenser itself it very hot to the touch. I have a temperature gun and it reads 150 at the top half of the condenser and around 140 on the lower half of the unit. Does this sound normal? If it isn't the defrost thermostat it could be the heating element itself. Or the unit could be entering the great beyond. Any ideas?

Thanks for your input on this!


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In classic fashion, I go downstairs and the refrigerator is quiet and is in a defrost mode. There is a mild stream of water coming out of the tube into the drain pan. Clearly something is working. My original question still holds. Does this all seem normal?

Thanks everyone!
Unplug the refrigerator fo a minimum of one minute. While the refrigerator is unplugged, turn the cold control to the Off position. After one minute restore power to the refrigerator. Within 3-8 seconds the control will turn on the defrost heater for 21 minutes or until the bimetal opens.

The evaporator cover needs to be installed or the machine will not cool properly.
Thanks Rick! I did put the evaporator cover back on after I took the photos.

Do I have to turn the cold control to off for both the refrigerator and the freezer or just one of them?

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