How to Put a GE Side-by-Side Refrigerator in Manual Defrost Mode


GE side-by-side refrigerator and freezer units may need to be defrosted if a large buildup of frost occurs in the freezer compartment. Defrosting the freezer will help eliminate unwanted odors, dirt and grime, and residue from food that has built up within the freezer compartment. Most manual defrost freezers should be defrosted about once a year. Defrosting should also be done if more than about a quarter inch of frost has built up on the sides, bottom or top of the interior freezer compartment.


  • Set the temperature control to "Off."

  • Unplug the power cord.

  • Remove all the contents from the refrigerator and freezer. Place frozen or perishable food in coolers or insulated bags.

  • Remove the drain plug, if equipped on your model. Place the end of the drain hose in an empty pan. The drain hose is located behind the grille.

  • Open the doors of both compartments.

  • Place pans of hot water int he areas that contain a large amount of frost to hasten the melting process.

  • Take out any large pieces of frost that can be removed before they melt.

Tips & Warnings

  • After the freezer is done defrosting, clean the interior of the freezer with a solution of baking soda and warm water. Rinse it off and dry it thoroughly.
  • After plugging the unit back in, wait until the temperature is back to normal before replacing perishable or frozen food items.

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