How to Replace the Defrost Heater in Your GE Refrigerator

February 10, 2020
Refrigerator Repair

Your GE refrigerator model GSS25SGMBS is equipped with a FrostGuard defrost system, meaning the appliance only defrosts as needed. The system takes into account usage factors, such as, how often the refrigerator and freezer door is opened and for how long the compressor ran since the last defrost cycle. If you start to notice a frost build up in your freezer section or the freezer and refrigerator compartments are unreasonably cold, a failing defrost heater is likely causing the issue. Luckily, replacing the heater is a straightforward repair that you can do yourself with some guidance.

Safety Comes First

  • Before you start replacing the defrost heater, unplug the appliance from the wall or turn it off at your home’s circuit breaker.
  • Wearing goggles and work gloves during the repair are essential to your safety.
  • If you reach a point where you no longer feel comfortable fixing your refrigerator, please stop what you are doing and contact an experienced appliance repair technician.

How to Replace the Defrost Heater in Your GE Refrigerator

  1. Open your freezer door and take out all the shelving units blocking the rear wall panel.
  2. Carefully pull off the freezer light shield which is located near the top of the back wall, and then unscrew the light bulb found underneath it.
  3. Unthread the two screws securing the rear wall panel to the back of the freezer. Before pulling the rear panel out of your appliance, tilt it forward to reveal the ground wire clip that is connected to the panel. Detach the clip, and remove the panel.
  4. Locate the defrost heater near the bottom of the freezer and unthread the screws holding it in place. Next, disconnect the two wires attached to each end of the heater. Take the faulty defrost heater out of the freezer compartment
  5. Now it’s time to install the new defrost heater. Start by connecting the two wires to the sides of the heater. Once the wires are attached, place the defrost heater in its correct positioning against the freezer’s back wall, and then secure the part with the screws you removed earlier.
  6. With the new defrost heater in place, you can put your freezer compartment back together by reinserting the rear panel and reconnecting the ground wire clip. Once you’ve replaced the rear panel screws, reinstall the freezer light bulb and the light shield.
  7. To finish off your repair, insert the freezer shelves and plug your appliance back in.

If the defrost system in your refrigerator continues to malfunction after you’ve replaced the defrost heater, please contact us and we’ll be happy to inspect and repair your appliance.


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