Orange hot rod in Freezer


Refrigerator & Freezer Repair

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I have an upright GE, side-by-side refrigerator/freezer that seems to be working fine. The light in the freezer section burned

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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 12-11-2010, 08:05 PM
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Default Orange hot rod in Freezer
Model Number: TFT20JR or TFX20NW?   Brand: GE   Age: 5 - 10 years   

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I have an upright GE, side-by-side refrigerator/freezer that seems to be working fine. The light in the freezer section burned out some time ago and I hadn't got around to replacing it. Tonight, when I went to place some items from the store in the freezer, I noticed and orange glow coming from behind a panel near the bottom of the dark, freezer section. I pulled out the bottom bin, reached under and got my fingers singed - I had no idea the orange glow was coming from something hot! Alarmed, I unplugged the unit, took out the food, shelves and back panel. The tubing and wiring all looked fine (to a novice). The horizontal rod that had been so hot was shielded on the top and both sides by metal. There were copper fittings on either end with a white wire attached to the left side and a red wire attached to the right side. A second rod with shielding and wires was about a foot above the first, between the upper and lower sections of coolant tubing. Are these units part of the defrost unit? Is it normal for them to get so hot? I put a new light in and replaced the panels, shelves and food and plugged it in. All seems to be OK, but I am nervous about a fire. Should I be? I realized I
never would have noticed the glow if the light had been working.

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  #2 (permalink)  
Old 12-12-2010, 05:11 AM
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denman is a splendid one to behold

I would not worry too much about it.

What you saw is the defrost heater doing it's job.

The way it works is that every couple days the unit does a defrost cycle that is about 30 minutes long. The compressor and fans are shut off and the heater is turned on. There is a thermostat clipped to the evaporator coils. It opens just above freezing. So when the ice is melted off the coils the thermostat shuts power off to the heater. The timer then continues till the 30 minutes are up then it turns the compressor and fans back on.

Since everything is working OK in the freezer I would say that the defrost is also working correctly.
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