How to Check the Defrost Timer on a Side by Side Kenmore


A Kenmore refrigerator’s defrost timer ensures that any moisture that comes into contact with the unit’s evaporator coil, which runs at below zero temperatures, doesn’t freeze. The timer turns the compressor on and off, ensuring that the correct amount of warm air reaches the evaporator coil and prevents it from freezing. It is possible to check on your Kenmore side by side’s defrost timer to ensure its not broken before hiring a professional.

Things You'll Need

  • Screwdriver or blunt object
  • Ohmmeter
  • Unplug the Kenmore refrigerator to ensure no electrical shocks occur during the diagnostic process.

  • Locate the defrost timer on your Kenmore refrigerator. For the majority of models, the unit is found on the freezer side behind under the plate that covers the light. The plate is either held in place by screws, which must be loosened with the correct screwdriver, or by metal or plastic clips. Depress the clips with a blunt object, such as a butter knife, before pulling off the panel.

  • Locate the timer and timer motor wire, which will be marked on the defrost timer. Disconnect both of these wires from the defrost timer. Turn an ohmmeter to the lowest scale setting and clip either of the probes to the timer nub.

  • Turn on the ohmmeter and wait at least 10 seconds. If no resistance is read, and the meter doesn’t move off zero, the defrost timer is working correctly. If the ohmmeter’s dial begins to jump, the defrost timer is defective and requires replacement.

Tips & Warnings

  • Look for the letter “C” or number “3” when checking your defrost timer. This is another common marking to denote where to test the box with the ohmmeter.

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