KitchenAid Refrigerator Stuck In Defrost Mode (Explained)

By - Hs Saini

Updated -

KitchenAid refrigerators are well known for their sturdiness and dependability. They have excellent characteristics that make them conducive for home use.

However, they have the constant problem of not defrosting themselves.

Your KitchenAid refrigerator is most likely stuck in defrost mode due to a fault with the refrigerator defrost timer. This also occurs due to a faulty thermostat, dirty condenser coils, and damper malfunction. When this happens, the refrigerator’s defrost cycle is altered. 

Reasons For Frost Build Up

KitchenAid Refrigerator Stuck In Defrost Mode

Frost build-up in your refrigerator is primarily due to leaving it open for an extended period. This is caused due to extreme humidity getting into the freezer and refrigerator.

The interaction between warm air from the surroundings and cold air in the fridge is the leading cause of a refrigerator frosting up.

  • A faulty thermostat will cause this malfunction in your refrigerator. The cold control thermostat is in charge of the cooling process and switches the compressor on and off. If it develops a problem, then your fridge will have issues defrosting.
  • Damper malfunction is another likely reason. This is because it’s responsible for regulating cool air getting into the refrigerator. Therefore, if it gets a fault, an extreme amount of air may flow into your fridge compartment leading to a steady decrease in temperature.
  • If your coils are dirty or covered in dust, the refrigerator works harder to maintain the ideal temperature. But, on the other hand, it will cause your refrigerator to cool excessively. To avoid this, you ought to clean the coils regularly. 
  • The thermostat also guides the temperature cycle in the fridge. Setting your thermostat too high will also cause an increase in temperature, and it may go off. The compressor will also go off, causing the freezer to warm up.

How To Defrost Your KitchenAid Refrigerator?

Having your refrigerator stuck in defrost mode can be very bothersome. It is essential to solve this before it leads to different problems.

There are required courses of action that you’ll be able to sort out without much stress when followed.

To force defrost your KitchenAid refrigerator, you’ll have to keep it open for the freezer to cool. To begin defrosting, you transfer frozen items from your freezer to your refrigerator.

Ensure that the things are not in contact with each other and are not placed wrongly. For example, it is more appropriate to place your meat on top of your vegetables.

This is because it is easier for your vegetables to freeze.

In cases where your defrost timer is not in working condition, it is still manageable. Therefore you’ll have to defrost your KitchenAid refrigerator regularly manually

How To Manually Defrost Kitchenaid Refrigerator?

The manual method for KitchenAid refrigerator defrost follows the following steps;

  • First of all, you turn your power switch off.
  • Next, you open the door and bring the shelves out. Then you take out your refrigerant and compressor coils. Finally, ensure you disconnect any other electrical cord.
  • After removing your ice cube tray from the freezer, always remember to put it into a bowl of warm water.
  • Also, take all food items out of the refrigerator and dispose of those that have decayed.
  • Keep the door open and clean the interior of your fridge carefully.
  • Note that when defrosting your refrigerator, the doors must be kept open. In this way, you prevent the build-up of condensation.
  • When you’re done thoroughly cleaning it, close the door tightly and turn it on. Ensure that your thermostat isn’t set wrongly.

How To Force Defrost KitchenAid Refrigerator?

It is also easy to force defrost the KitchenAid refrigerator in situations where it proves hard to set off the defrost cycle.

The following steps can do this.

  • Hold open your fridge door and press the door alarm button and hold it.
  • Press the button that regulates the refrigerator section temperature.
  • Then let go of the alarm button, and a code Fd will emerge in 3 seconds on the left display.
  • Then press the temperature regulation button for the refrigerator again. SH will appear on the right display.
  • Press the regulation button that reduces the temperature for the third time. As soon as you notice the Fd and SH blinking, your refrigerator will begin to thaw.

Please note that the manner of force defrosting varies in some cases. For example, in the case of the French doors, the KitchenAid refrigerator to force defrost is different.

You open the doors first, then hold down the doors’ switches. Confirm that the display has gone blank.

You then press the temperature regulation button thrice in just ten seconds.  Next, you release the door switches, and it goes into defrost mode.

KitchenAid Defrost Heater 

We cannot also overlook that there may be a fault with the defrost heater. Therefore, changing your heater is another efficient way of dealing with such a fault.

These steps can do this:

  • Take out the uppermost panel and close the door. Then switch it off.
  • Disconnect your wires, then remove the evaporator coil and expose it.
  • Disconnect the power cord and remove your old heater from the base of the refrigerator.
  • Install the new heater and re-plug the wires to it.
  • Connect your power cord and then switch on the fridge.

How To Drain Your KitchenAid Refrigerator?

  • First of all, you switch off the power.
  • Scrub off the water at the bottom of your fridge and press it into a bucket.
  • Find the position of the drain line and empty the water.
  • For the proper cleanup of the drain, you can make use of a pipe cleaner. With the use of a solution of baking powder and hot water, it’ll get better cleaned.

KitchenAid Defrost Control Board

The defrost control board monitors your sensors. In the process, it checks the ice and then triggers the defrost mode. It is supposed to be in good working condition at all times.

You’re advised to get a  defrost board replacement. This will enable the effective running of your refrigerator.

Furthermore, your refrigerator may develop dispenser problems, this occurs due to the water supply tube getting frozen.

It is a common problem due to fluctuating temperatures. It can be fixed as well by;

  • Fixing or replacing the dispenser tube.
  • Tidy up the water lines.
  • Check if the water filter is clogged, and then get a new one.
  • Monitor the water pressure and defrost your water line.
  • Observe if you have a faulty door or pressure switch.
  • The dispenser functions due to the control board and is likely to malfunction if the control board is faulty. So it is necessary to change the control board to aid better dispenser conditions.
  • For the water inlet valve to function correctly, it needs at least a minimum water pressure of 20psi. The low water pressure in your house can be due to defective plumbing. Therefore, it is essential to check that these two things enable efficient water dispensing.

KitchenAid Defrost Cycle

The defrost cycle is the period and time taken for your refrigerator to defrost thoroughly.

Approximately every 20 to 30 minutes, the fridge defrosts automatically because the thermostat is fixed to the evaporator coils.

During the KitchenAid defrost cycle, there will be no noise. It usually occurs once or twice daily.

On the other hand, the freezer compartment has to be manually defrosted. 

You can also set your timer to defrost at specific intervals. Likewise, the defrost cycle will be triggered when the evaporator temperature goes beyond a certain degree.

Your KitchenAid refrigerator should be located within the temperature range of 55°F to 110°F. This is to ensure that your refrigerator serves you for a long time.

When placed in places of unsuitable temperature, it is bound to develop faults quickly.


It is essential to check your KitchenAid refrigerator regularly and ensure it is in good shape. Having it stuck in defrost mode does not mean it is in fatal danger.

However, you must ensure to avoid such occasions. Ensure that you also involve the services of a technician whenever it gets too much for you to handle.

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