Fridge Iced Up; Replaced Timer; Now What?

The refrigerator is a Whirlpool Gold about 4 years old, with freezer below and regular section above. It iced up in the freezer section and the other section quit cooling. Whirlpool serviceman came and checked components and said it was the heater timer which cycles every 8 hours, but he didn't have one. I asked him how hard it would be for me to put it in so that we could save another $150 service charge and he showed me how easy it was. So we ordered the part, made in Mexico (cost about $60), and it came a week later. In the meantime we got the fridge working so the non-freezer section stayed around 40. I had turned it off to allow the coils and fins to thaw.
This morning, as the temp rose to 50 in the regular cooling section because the freezer was iced up again, I replaced the timer -- an easy job but you must have nimble fingers to get the screws back in.
Question: How long before the fridge gets back to normal? It's iced up now and so how long will it take for the heater to start removing the ice from the coils. I turned the timer's red knob until I heard it click before installing it, so I'm guessing that THAT means the heating cycle started as soon as I plugged the fridge back up. Should I have waited with the fridge unplugged until the ice melted, or will the poor little thing stabilize itself and start doing its duty as a frostfree refrigerator, with both compartments at their proper temperature? It's been two hours, and the fridge is running, but I don't see the temperature dropping in the non-freezer section. It's still on 50.
Thanks in advance and you have some good and very helpful reading in this newsgroup. I'm sure there is some helpful soul here who can advise what to do.
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snipped-for-privacy@bellsouth.net wrote:

Is the fan working? The one circulating cold air inside the box. Or intermittent timer? Since you got a replacement, I'd just replace it and make sure the fan is working OK. Tony
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Tony Hwang wrote:

I hate to think of it, but I wonder if the heater could be bad? I might add that while I doubt of the tech would have missed it, a low Freon charge can mimic some of what you are seeing.
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Thanks for the replies. To answer both of you the fan is running and the Whirlpool serviceman checked the heater and said that from his test equipment it functions properly. His test equipment showed that the timer is defective, so that is what I replaced. If the compressor is weak, or low on freon, I'll have him come back.
I tore into the old timer -- it is an el cheapo motor-driven electric clock with contact points which obviously switch the heater on.
I'll give it a while to see what it does. Cooling compartment temperature was 40 yesterday, 50 today, and still 50, 5 hours after I plugged in the new timer.
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snipped-for-privacy@bellsouth.net wrote:

That should be a good test. It is not hard to do a test on them.

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snipped-for-privacy@bellsouth.net wrote:

One thing to consider is when the timer was not working, there may be too much ice build up due to lack of defrosting. May take a while to settle down or once I had to manually remove ice to put the box back into normal operation. Good luck, Tony
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Might be a bad heater, or termination thermostat.
Low freon typically doesn't ice over, for refrig. sometimes central AC, but not usually refrig.
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Stormin Mormon wrote:

You are probably right. I did have it happen once. Lucky I was within the last month on the warrantee on the system. That was maybe 25 years ago. :-)

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snipped-for-privacy@bellsouth.net wrote:

Hi,
Model#? http://www.applianceaid.com/model.html Some model# helps.

Clear ice like an ice cube or white frost like snow?

I -have- to raise my rates ;)

Did you defrost the refrigerator? If no, possible days. If yes, 4-6 hours.
Something that may help... http://www.applianceaid.com/defrost_cycle.html
jeff. Appliance Repair Aid http://www.applianceaid.com /
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wrote:

This is Turtle.
With that kind of money for refrigerator service calls , I need to rething about going back to refrigerators. These 20 ton Roof top units don't seem good now with this kind of money for a refrigerator call.
TURTLE

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You're telling me! I don't do any where near that!
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If your fridge has a circulating fan in the freezer section, check to be sure it is clean and working efficienctly.

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this is Turtle.
Here is where this job went Hay Wire. You should clear all the ice off the coil before tring out a new defrost heater or timer. Now only about 50% of refrigerators will be able to burn the extra ice off the coil in normal use because of the thickiness of it.
TURTLE
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The refrigerator is a Whirlpool Gold about 4 years old, with freezer below and regular section above. It iced up in the freezer section and the other section quit cooling. CY: Air flow blocked with ice.
Whirlpool serviceman came and checked components and said it was the heater timer which cycles every 8 hours, but he didn't have one. I asked him how hard it would be for me to put it in so that we could save another $150 service charge CY: Wow, hundred and a half for a house call? I've got to raise my rates.
and he showed me how easy it was. So we ordered the part, made in Mexico (cost about $60), and it came a week later. CY: Sixty? That's more than I get.
In the meantime we got the fridge working so the non-freezer section stayed around 40. I had turned it off to allow the coils and fins to thaw. CY: Hope over night, wtih a fan blowing into the freezer section. They can really get thick with ice. I'm guessing you didn't get it all.
This morning, as the temp rose to 50 in the regular cooling section because the freezer was iced up again, I replaced the timer -- an easy job but you must have nimble fingers to get the screws back in.
Question: How long before the fridge gets back to normal? It's iced up now and so how long will it take for the heater to start removing the ice from the coils. CY: The heater only runs 25 or so minutes every cycle, so it isn't likely to get caught up with a solid block of ice. You'll have to leave it open (and unplugged, and a fan blowing into the freezer) probably over night.
I turned the timer's red knob until I heard it click before installing it, so I'm guessing that THAT means the heating cycle started as soon as I plugged the fridge back up. CY: There are a couple different clicks.
Should I have waited with the fridge unplugged until the ice melted, CY: Yes.
or will the poor little thing stabilize itself and start doing its duty as a frostfree refrigerator, with both compartments at their proper temperature? CY: Probably not.
It's been two hours, and the fridge is running, but I don't see the temperature dropping in the non-freezer section. It's still on 50.
Thanks in advance and you have some good and very helpful reading in this newsgroup. I'm sure there is some helpful soul here who can advise what to do. CY: total, thorough defrost of the freezer.
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Thanks to Stormin Mormon for the definitive answer. This morning after running the fan and melting the ice off the coils, the temperature is about 36 deg. F in the cooling section.
Thanks to Tony, Joseph, Appliance Repair Aid, Don H, and Turtle. We would have been in a pickle if we hadn't gotten all this great advice.
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What is your mailing adress, for the bill? $48.50 online consultation.
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i agree that you must let the ice totally melt and drain for it to start working again, the defrost cycle isnt long enough to melt a block of ice..also,you may want to blow out the drain line with some mild compressed air. if its got coils underneath be sure to clean them off too. lucas
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