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Defrost Timer

You can test the defrost timer for continuity. Set the multimeter as instructed above. Place
one of the multimeter's probes on the common terminal. It should be labeled 3 or C.

If none of the terminals are labeled, you can locate the common terminal by determining
which terminal coincides with the white wire in the connector plug. With one multimeter probe
touching the common terminal, touch the other lead to the other three remaining terminals, one
at a time. Testing the first pair should produce a reading of zero, or near zero, indicating

The second pair may also result in a reading of zero or near zero. Testing the third pair of
terminals should produce a reading of infinity.

Locate the defrost timer advancing screw *(timer switch) and turn it in a clockwise motion until
it clicks. Depending on the timer (there are many styles), you can usually put a flat edge
screwdriver in the slot to turn it (see top left of photo circled in red). Use the multimeter to
test the terminals again in the same manner as described above.
In this test, one of the pairs of terminals should produce a reading of continuity. At least one
pair, but maybe two, should produce a reading of infinity.

Please note that a pair of terminals that demonstrated continuity in the first test should
now demonstrate infinity. Also, a pair of terminals that demonstrated infinity in the first test
should now demonstrate continuity. If not, and the defrost heater and defrost thermostat
test out okay, replace the timer.

Refrigerator Condenser Fan Motor Troubleshooting

The refrigerator condenser fan plays an essential role in the refrigeration cycle, but not all
refrigerators have one. Refrigerators that have their condenser coil mounted on the back of
the cabinet do not have one. Refrigerators that have their condenser coils mounted in the
compressor compartment use fans to force air through the coil to help transfer the heat of
compression to the environment. Troubleshooting is simple but requires a digital multimeter.

Refrigerator Not Cooling Properly

The condenser fan is vital to the operation of a hermetically sealed refrigerator that has its
condenser mounted inside the compressor compartment. The condenser converts the highly
compressed refrigerant from a gaseous state into a liquid sate. The fan forces environmental
air through the condenser, aiding the transfer of the heat of compression from the coil to the
ambient air. An inoperative fan not only causes the cabinet temperature to rise but causes the
compressor to overheat, which leads to its premature failure and a costly repair.

How the Fan Works

Of all the electrical components that make up a refrigerator systems, the condenser fan motor
circuit is the easiest to troubleshoot. The fan is designed to operate anytime the compressor is
operating and is controlled by the same set of contacts on the temperature control switch. If
the compressor runs but the fan does not, the chances are good that you will need to replace
the fan's motor. Nevertheless, you could be dealing with a bad electrical connection, so do not
rush out and buy a new motor until you double-check it and its related wiring with a DMM
(digital multimeter).

Check the Motor

Unplug the refrigerator from its wall receptacle. Then, before you reach for your DMM, try
turning the fan blade by hand. In many cases the motor's bearing becomes gummed up with dirt,
and the motor is unable to start and run. If the motor is bound up tight or the shaft is hard to
turn, you may be able to salvage the motor by spraying the shaft with penetrating oil. If the fan
turns freely, you need to check its windings for continuity.

Checking Motor Windings

Set the function switch to "Ohms" on an auto-ranging DMM or the "R X 1" scale on a manual
ranging DMM. Insert the test probes in the connector on the fan motor leads. First, check
between the black and white wires; if the meter's LCD displays an “O.L.,” the motor's winding
has become open and you need to replace the motor. For a good motor, the LCD will display some
nominally low reading between 10.00 and 30.00 ohms. If the motor passes this first test, check
between each of those wires and the green wire; you are now looking for an “O.L.” if the motor
is good. Any other reading indicates that the motor has shorted out to ground and needs to be

Check Wiring Continuity

If the motor seems OK, check for a broken wire. With your DMM still set to "Ohms," take a
continuity reading between the ends of each wire connected to the motor. Check the wiring
schematic affixed to the back of the refrigerator or to the inside of the compressor
compartment to locate the test points.

How to Test the Evaporator Fan

The evaporator fan circulates air over the refrigeration coils. The coils absorb heat and the chilled air is then
circulated. If the fan does not operate, the freezer will not cool properly. The fan motor may have failed, but
check first that something is not simply blocking the fan blade.

Before testing the fan, unplug the freezer to avoid an electrical shock hazard.

The evaporator fan is located at the back of the freezer. It may be necessary to remove obstructions such as the
contents of the freezer, freezer shelves, ice maker and the rear inside panel of the freezer in order to access the

The rear panel may be held in place by retainer clips or screws. Remove the screws or
depress the retainer clips with a small screwdriver.
Remove any screws that secure the fan or fan housing so that you can access the fan's wiring. Typically two
screws secure the mounting bracket in place (labeled "A" below). It may be easier to remove the entire rear
panel if the mounting brackets screws are inaccessible.

The fan is connected by two or three wires. Label the wire placement on the fan before disconnecting the wires.
The wires are connected to the fan with slip-on connectors. Firmly pull the connector off (do not pull on the
wire) of the fan's terminal. You may need to use a pair of needle-nose pliers to remove the connectors. Inspect
the connectors and the terminals replaced.

Spin the fan blade, it should move smoothly and freely. If the movement is not smooth, the
motor should be replaced.

Test the fan for continuity using a multitester. Set the multitester to the ohms setting X1. Place a probe on each
terminal. The multitester should display a reading of zero ohms. If the fan does not pass this test, it should be