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GE side by side frosting over

Shelleyr90

Premium Member
Joined
Feb 7, 2013
Messages
3
Location
Texas
Model Number
GSS22JERF
Brand
GE
Age
6-10 years
I have a GE side by side. Last week I noticed the back of the freezer was frosted over. I removed the back panel and discovered the coils were frosted and iced over. I called a repair company and they said the defrost heater needed to be replaced. I found it online for a lot cheaper than they wanted to charge and replaced it myself two nights ago after unplugging the unit and letting it manually defrost (left the door open all night). The original was a single element heater and the new one is a dual element. I noticed this morning that it wasn't very cold. I unplugged the unit and waited a few minutes and plugged it back in and it came on. When I got home tonight it is working. It's very cold. There is a little bit of frost on the coils. I have it set at 7 and the refridgerator side at 8. Both are cold. Should the coils be frosted over? I am worried that there may be another problem. I know nothing about freezer or refridges. I'm a single mom of two daughters. I can't afford to have someone come fix it. THey wanted to charge me $260 for the defrost heater. I bought it and installed it myself. It cost $14.99!
 
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Jake

Appliance Tech - Admin
Staff member
Joined
Aug 24, 2004
Messages
125,800
Location
McMullen Valley, Arizona
I called a repair company and they said the defrost heater needed to be replaced.
They just said that? Did they even ohm test it with a multimeter to confirm it was bad?

THey wanted to charge me $260 for the defrost heater.
Was that just for the defrost heater or did that include installing it for you?

I bought it and installed it myself. It cost $14.99!
$14.99 raises a red flag, the retail price is about $30.00 Hopefully you didn't buy it on ebay or amazon, read my 2nd post here:
Don't Buy Anything From thekitchensource on EBAY!!!


Here's the defrost heater for your model: Defrost Heater Assembly WR51X10101 Order now for same day shipping. 365 day return policy. RepairClinic.com That link has a video on how to test it.

The coils should just have a thin layer of frost on them, thats it.

Jake
 

rickgburton

Appliance Tech - Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Jul 11, 2006
Messages
44,797
Location
Murray, Utah 84107, United States
Holy Smokes! $260 for just the heater or for the entire job? I'd say that was a bit high. Make sure you put the evaporator cover back on. The evaporator coils should have an even coat of very light frost, no snow or ice. Here's a picture of a normal evaporator frost pattern:
13 Normal Frost Pattern.jpg13 Side X Side Normal Frost Patters.jpg
 

Jake

Appliance Tech - Admin
Staff member
Joined
Aug 24, 2004
Messages
125,800
Location
McMullen Valley, Arizona
Aint that the truth.:)

Jake
 

Shelleyr90

Premium Member
Joined
Feb 7, 2013
Messages
3
Location
Texas
Thanks guys for replying! Jake - the repair guy just flipped on and off the light switch in the freezer manually a few times and came to that conclusion. That's when I asked them to get their meter out and start checking things individually. He gruffed a bit but the first thing he checked was the defrost heater. It was toast. It was visually cracked and burned out. As I suspected it was the defrost heater. The $260 was for the part and labor. That link to the part you put up is the exact same thing I bought from Amazon. It is an genuine GE part (at least that's what it said on the box). It is working just fine. Both elements are glowing when it kicks on. I was just a little alarmed that after I had defrosted the coils (meaning there was no evidence of snow, frost, ice build up) and after I replaced the defrost heater when I checked it last night there was some frost. Hopefully I did this right - I took a picture last night of the coils. Take a look.


Also what should the correct setting be for the freezer? I have a dial for the freezer and the fridge.
 

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shawn111

Appliance Tech
Joined
Dec 16, 2010
Messages
158
Location
VA
One suggestion I can give is on the way you ran the wire under the element. You may want to change that. Instead of running the wire under the heater take that blue wire and run it on the other side right beside the red wire. Its too late now but doing it this way will allow you make the repair without splicing the wire on most models. Some models will have to be spliced no matter what but you could have avoided this on your model I believe.

<O:p</O:pAs far as the repair goes you need to just put the cover back on the evaporator and let it go. If the repair didn’t work it will be a while before you will know, just trust that it is fixed and if it does it again then regroup and go from there.

As far as the repair cost this company was charging quite a bit for this repair. Typically I get around $130-$140 for this repair. I think anything under $200 would be reasonable.

<O:p</O:pThe $15 for the heater is below dealer cost so I would have to wonder if it is a return part or something. If it works you got a great deal.
 
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Shelleyr90

Premium Member
Joined
Feb 7, 2013
Messages
3
Location
Texas
One suggestion I can give is on the way you ran the wire under the element. You may want to change that. Instead of running the wire under the heater take that blue wire and run it on the other side right beside the red wire. Its too late now but doing it this way will allow you make the repair without splicing the wire on most models. Some models will have to be spliced no matter what but you could have avoided this on your model I believe.

<O:p</O:pAs far as the repair goes you need to just put the cover back on the evaporator and let it go. If the repair didn’t work it will be a while before you will know, just trust that it is fixed and if it does it again then regroup and go from there.

As far as the repair cost this company was charging quite a bit for this repair. Typically I get around $130-$140 for this repair. I think anything under $200 would be reasonable.

<O:p</O:pThe $15 for the heater is below dealer cost so I would have to wonder if it is a return part or something. If it works you got a great deal.

Well, I had to splice the blue wire because I tried to re-route it to the other side but it just wasn't long enough. But now that it is spliced I will go ahead and re-route to run along the side of the pink wire. The $15 heater I got looked brand new. And I did see it work. Thanks!
 

Jake

Appliance Tech - Admin
Staff member
Joined
Aug 24, 2004
Messages
125,800
Location
McMullen Valley, Arizona
Thanks Rick and Shawn for helping.:)

When I worked at WARDS and SEARS the cost to do this job would be around $150-$160 if I recall. So like Rick and Shawn said thats way too high for the price the tech. quoted. And his gruffing at having to use a meter to test the heater shows me that hes either lazy/incompetent/trying to gouge you for the repair.

Its odd he just assumed the heater was bad by doing this: just flipped on and off the light switch in the freezer manually a few times and came to that conclusion

Because you also have a defrost thermistor and motherboard in that defrost circuit that could be bad as well.

Remember only on our site can you shop with confidence as all parts ordered through our site come with a 365 day warranty/full refund even if it was installed and didn't fix it.:)

I know everyone is trying to save money on repair cost, but by installing parts yourself your already saving about 70%-80% of the repair cost a tech. would charge, thats why I always advise people to buy parts through our links and banners at least, so you can get the 365 day warranty/full refund even if it was installed and didn't fix it policy.:)

We run a free forum here, and yes we get a small commission for every part you buy through our links and banners, that commission goes to our server hosting cost, which is not cheap by any means, as we run on a dedicated server so our website is always fast and not slow/sluggish.:)

Jake
 
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