How to Trigger the Defrost Cycle on a Jenn-Air Fridge

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The automatic defrost cycle in all Jenn-Air refrigerators has virtually eliminated the need to defrost your refrigerator and freezer. Jenn-Air’s automatic defrost cycle runs once every six hours, triggering the defrost heater to melt frost on the appliance's cooling coil before turning off for the refrigerator to revert to cooling mode. This should keep your freezer free of frost, but if you experience frost accumulation, there are a few easy steps that you can take to clear up the problem.

  • Remove all food from the refrigerator and freezer. If possible, store it in a secondary refrigerator or a cooler to keep it cool until the refrigerator is back on and sufficiently cool to prevent spoilage.

  • Access the control panel. The location of the control panel varies between models, but it is usually behind the top grill of the refrigerator or on the front of the water and ice dispenser. To turn the refrigerator off, press the on/off button and hold it for three seconds. The control panel's display will light up. This indicates that the refrigerator is off.

  • Unplug the refrigerator to disconnect the power source. Open both doors to allow air to circulate while any frost accumulation melts. Once it has melted, use a towel to absorb excess liquid. Use a mild cleaner to wipe out the interior of the refrigerator and freezer.

  • Plug it back in and turn the refrigerator and freezer back on by pressing the on/off button on the control panel. The LED light will turn off, indicating that the refrigerator is back in cooling mode. Wait until the refrigerator has cooled to put food back into the refrigerator and freezer. Optimal temperatures should be between 33 and 45 degrees Fahrenheit in the refrigerator, and minus 5 to 5 degrees Fahrenheit in the freezer.

Tips & Warnings

  • According to the Whirlpool service manual, the defrost cycle on an adaptive defrost control can be forced on by opening and closing the refrigerator door light rapidly four times, allowing 1/2 second between each switch.
  • Make sure all doors are sealing properly. The automatic defrost cycle should be effective enough to keep you refrigerator and freezer frost-free. A common cause of frost accumulation is the build up of moisture that can be caused by an improper door seal.
  • According to the Jenn-Air user manual, you should clean your refrigerator and freezer once a month to prevent odor buildup. Odors can alter the flavor of ice cubes or food being stored in the refrigerator. To clean it, you will need to take all the food out, turn the refrigerator off and unplug it from the wall. Wipe out your Jenn-Air refrigerator with a mild detergent. Hand wash any drawers or removable parts.
  • Use a coil brush or a dust pan and broom to brush over the refrigerator's condenser coils monthly. Getting rid of dust on the coils helps keep your Jenn-Air refrigerator working efficiently.
  • Jenn-Air customer service representatives do not recommend manually triggering your refrigerator's defrost cycle.

References

  • Photo Credit Ryan McVay/Photodisc/Getty Images
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