Defrost KitchenAid Refrigerator (Follow The Correct Way)

By - Hs Saini

Updated -

Defrosting your KitchenAid refrigerator is necessary to keep the appliance working efficiently. It is a way of maintaining the fridge and keeping the energy bills low.

Defrosting also helps to reduce ice accumulation and bad odors resulting from it. It would be best to defrost your fridge regularly to keep it functioning efficiently.

You can defrost a KitchenAid refrigerator forcefully and manually, depending on your preferred method. In addition, the fridge is equipped with a defrost system to make it easier to run the defrost cycle.

How to Force Defrost KitchenAid Refrigerator?

Here is a procedure on how to forcefully defrost.

  • Open the refrigerator door, press and hold down the door alarm button
  • Press and hold down the temperature reduction button for the refrigerator.
  • Release the door alarm button. The Fd code would appear on the left display board after 3 seconds.
  • Press the temperature reduction button again. Again, an SH code would appear on the right display board.
  • Press the temperature reduction button, and the Fd and SH codes will start blinking as an indicator that the fridge is now in a forced defrost mode.

However, you can also defrost a KitchenAid refrigerator manually. Although the manual method takes more time than the forceful method, it is also safer and more accessible.

The forceful method can be dangerous and messy, but it is better to use if you do not want all the ice in the items stored in the fridge to melt away when you are done.

Here is a step-by-step guide on how to defrost a KitchenAid refrigerator manually.

  • You need to first turn off the refrigerator. Make sure to flip the power switch off to turn off the fridge
  • Remove the shelves from inside the refrigerator. Remove the food items and empty the fridge.
  • Leave the refrigerator door open for 24 hours to melt ice.
  • Mop up the water residue left from defrosting the refrigerator. Make sure to mop every area around the fridge properly to prevent electrical shock when you turn on the fridge.
  • Close the refrigerator door tightly and turn on the fridge.
  • Set the desired temperature for the refrigerator.

Other easier and faster guidelines to defrost your KitchenAid refrigerator manually if you cannot afford to wait for 24 hours are,

  • Turn off the refrigerator 
  • Empty the refrigerator’s contents, and remove the shelves and food items.
  • Add hot water to frozen areas or place hot water in a container inside the fridge to defrost them. The heat from the hot water would circulate and defrost the ice faster. Leave it for five minutes, then use a spatula to scrape the ice carefully. Be careful when carrying out this process because any mistake can chip in and damage the refrigerator forever.
  • You can also use a hairdryer to melt larger chunks of ice, then scoop them into a bucket with a spatula.
  • Place a fan in front of the fridge to speed up the defrosting process and evaporate the water residue.

How Long Does it Take to Defrost a KitchenAid Refrigerator?

Manually defrosting a refrigerator lasts three to 24 hours, depending on the method used. Forced defrosting should last for about 20 to 30 minutes, while manual defrosting last 24 hours.

KitchenAid refrigerators come with built-in defrost timers that regulate the amount of frost in the fridge. You can turn the dial on the defrost timer clockwise to activate the defrost and frost mode. 

The refrigerator’s defrost timer is located behind the utility panel on the control panel or behind the fridge. You can find the utility panel on the top or bottom of the appliance.

The timer turns on at time intervals to stop frost from building up in the fridge.

KitchenAid Refrigerator Defrost Drain Location

The Kitchenaid refrigerator drain tube and the drain hole are located inside the fridge’s bottom back. A screwed plastic panel may cover the drain, but you can remove it with a screwdriver.

The defrosted water from your refrigerator drips through the drain tube into the drain pan located at the bottom, where the water evaporates because of the warm air under the fridge.

When the defrost drain is clogged, it may not defrost properly. In addition, it may stick debris or food items down the drain pipe.

Remove all the items from the fridge and clear the blockage with a plumber’s snake.

KitchenAid Refrigerator Defrost Problem

When you notice that the cooling coils inside your fridge are covered with ice, your refrigerator has developed a defrost problem.

The ice is not supposed to accumulate because the defrost system is expected to defrost any ice or frost. 

To access the cooling coils, you need to remove the items, shelves, and panels inside the fridge.

If your cooling coils are working perfectly, another part of the refrigerator has developed faults hindering the defrost system.

Additionally, the fan or motor of your fridge may be faulty and may make it difficult to circulate the heat inside the unit.

The heat from the fan is useful in defrosting the refrigerator. You will need to replace the fan if it is damaged or broken.

Some refrigerator parts could develop faults that can affect the defrost system and hinder the fridge from defrosting.

You may need to replace these appliance parts if they are faulty or damaged. Here are some problems that may affect the defrost system.

#1. Defrost Control Board

The defrost control board controls the defrost cycle; it regulates the frequency of the defrost cycle.

To detect if the defrost control board is faulty, you need to test the defrost heater and thermostat to know if they are working perfectly.

If the heater and thermostat are working, the control board is the one with the fault.

To test the defrost control board, you need to follow some procedures:

  1. First, power off the refrigerator. 
  2. Disconnect the defrost thermostat on the control board and connect a jumper to the thermostat terminals.
  3. Connect another jumper between the test terminals on the defrost control board to accelerate the defrost cycle.
  4. Turn on the refrigerator and set the thermostat to heating. 

If the defrost control board works and the unit completes multiple defrost cycles, then it is not the cause of the defrost problem.

However, if the defrost cycle does not work after putting it in test mode, you need to get a new replacement for your defrost control board.

#2. A Defrost Sensor with Fuse

This component controls the temperature of the evaporator. It has a backup fuse activated if this sensor fails. Also, if it cannot turn off the defrost heater, the fuse will blow to turn the heater off. 

The defrost system will refuse to work if the fuse is blown. You would need to replace the defrost sensor if the fuse blows.

Test the defrost sensor and fuse for continuity with a multimeter; if there is no continuity, you would need to replace it.

#3. The Defrost Timer

The Kitchenaid refrigerator’s defrost timer turns on the refrigerator defrost heater at scheduled times to defrost the ice accumulated on the cooling coils.

A defective refrigerator defrosts timer may not power the defrost heater, hindering the defrost cycle.

You would know the defrost timer is faulty when the defrost timer does not power the defrost heater within 30 minutes after switching the dial into defrost mode.

You would need to replace your refrigerator’s defrost timer.

#4. Defrost Heater Assembly

The defrost heater assembly is turned on to defrost the ice accumulated on the cooling coils.

The defrost system would not work, and there would be ice buildup on the cooling coils if the defrost heater assembly became faulty.

To check if the defrost heater is faulty, test it with a multimeter for continuity. You would need to replace the defrost heater if it has no continuity.

#5. Defrost Thermostat

During a defrost cycle, the refrigerator’s defrost thermostat contacts close to letting power flow to the defrost heater when the coil temperature drops below the set range.

If the defrost thermostat is faulty, the contacts will not close, and the defrost heater won’t be powered to melt ice off the coils.

Use a multimeter to test the defrost thermostat for continuity, and you would have to replace it if no continuity is detected.

#6. Main Control Board

The main control board is the leading power supplier for each refrigerator component. A defective control board will not send power to the defrost system.

You will need to test other defrost system components for defects before concluding that the main control board is the problem.

If the main control board is defective, you may want to consider replacing it.

If you are not sure about the location of these components, you can skip the user guide that comes with the device.

Instead, it is recommended to consult a professional to find the source of the defect and replace it appropriately.


While defrosting the KitchenAid refrigerator can help reduce the amount of ice accumulated in the fridge, it is important to defrost the refrigerator to prevent unpleasant odors from entering the fridge.

You need to consult a professional to help fix problems with your defrost system.

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