Looks like you have accidentally pushed the defrost button and are probably dealing with some water mess. Indeed, defrosting is a tedious task and if not done properly, leads to a ton of mess. Defrosting in refrigerators is crucial as it maintains optimum cooling efficiency as well as keeps your foods and other items fresh.
Luckily, you are in the right place, we’ve mentioned the importance of defrosting and how to stop it if you’ve pushed the button.
So without further ado, let’s get into defrosting and it’s working.
What is Defrosting?
Defrosting or Thawing is the process of removing the ice formed in your refrigerators—particularly in your freezer. The process is removing the ice manually that is formed in your freezer compartment of the refrigerator. Since the doors are opened and closed multiple times, airs are getting introduced to the fridge and thus more water vapours.
Manually defrosting is a tedious task but it is vital to do it frequently, this way it maintains the efficiency of your refrigerator, in terms of cooling. The build-up ice is not recommended to keep for a prolonged period as it not only takes up space but also causes freezer burns.
Not only that, hygienically speaking, the ice is not great for the food or the items that are preserved in the freezer. It is advisable to defrost whenever the ice in your fridge becomes ½ or ¼ inch thick.
When the defrosting process is happening make sure that the chiller tray or the tray that is below the freezer compartment is present and not removed. Additionally, ensure that the tray is empty, as the ice that is melted will drop in the form of water.
Which takes us to another step that is the proper location of the tray, generally just below the tray lies a vent that leads the water drops outside, so make sure that your tray is properly aligned to that vent.
Nowadays, there are different models that are offering frost-free models or auto-defrost that saves you the trouble of manually defrosting it, so if you are about to purchase a new fridge or refrigerator do keep that in mind.
How does Defrosting Works?
The defrost process has a sort of mechanism that heats the cooling element otherwise known as the evaporator coil for a short period. This way it melts all the formed frost. This results in water draining from the back of the refrigerator.
So in simple terms, the basic job of defrost timer is to transition between the fan mode and the defrost mode. This means that during normal times the timer keeps switching the objective of circulating the air and ensuring that the freezer does not get too cold.
Thus, the timer will use its power and energy to activate the defrost mode for some minutes and then switch to fan mode for some hours. Now the exact time depends on the model and brand of the fridge or refrigerator you are owning.
So the defrost timer basically works like a clock, that hits the defrost spot every six to eight hours (again this depends on the model and the brand you are owning) to start the defrosting process.
The defrosting process works with a heater that is below the evaporator coils. They provide the necessary heat to melt the ice that is formed. However, the heater consumes energy, so when your fridge is in defrost mode then it is possible that it will consume a bit more energy.
Mostly the components of the defrost system include a timer which you know about. This timer switches on the defrost mode for every XYZ hours, depending on the model and brand you are possessing.
Another component of defrosting is ADC or also known as Adaptive Defrost Control. This component is not available in all refrigerators but some have it. As we all know that, when the defrosting process is going on, the heater kinda consumes more energy.
But with this component, instead of working as a timer that starts the defrost mode after six to eight hours and consumes your energy, it varies. So, for instance, it can start defrosting after 10 hours, maybe 12 hours or even 24 hours, depending upon how long the compressor is running and how many times you’ve opened the door of the refrigerator.
So this component is great as your refrigerator will not go into defrost mode every eight hours or whatever hours your refrigerators have on the timer. Thus you are saving more energy, so cheers to that!
This component regulates the amount of time the heaters will stay on when your fridge or refrigerator is in defrost mode. Let’s assume that your defrost timer is on for 20 minutes and the heater is on for only 5 to 10 minutes, so the remaining minutes use redundant energy right?
However, on the adaptive defrost control refrigerators, the heater will stop shortly before the fridge exits the defrosting process. So coming back to our example, the heater will stop just before the defrosting ends, which is if the heater shuts-off at 10 minutes then the defrost cycle will end near 15 minutes give or take a few.
This is achieved with the help of a thermostat that detects the temperature of the evaporator. The thermostat shuts-down the electricity when all the ice of the freezer is melted. This happens because once the ice is melted the temperature of the panel increases and when it reaches to a certain level, the thermostat detects it and breaks the electricity supply to the heater.
Why is Defrosting Important?
Defrosting frequently is crucial indirect cool refrigerators as it keeps the cooling efficiency of the refrigerator intact. Now, what happens when the ice has formed, it seriously affects the cooling of your refrigerators especially at the bottom parts where you store the vegetables and stuff.
So it becomes imperative to defrost the fridge regularly. Moreover, from a hygiene point of view keeping the fresh ice formation in the product is definitely beneficial. In addition to this, too much ice spoils the item and food by causing freeze burns.
All in all, if you don’t own an auto-defrost refrigerator, it is advisable to keep frequently defrosting.
How to Stop the Defrosting Process?
Now, if you’ve accidentally pushed the defrosting button or your child was playing with it, all you have to do is to wait. Generally, it should normally come out within an hour or half and all you really need is PATIENCE.
You can also manually do it but you’ll have to carefully do it. If you do end up doing it manually, you will need a flathead screwdriver and find the timer. Once you’ve located the timer, place the screwdriver in the small gap below the timer and slowly turn the timer anticlockwise till you hear one tick.
This would most probably rest the timer and should come back within 15 to 30 minutes. Just cross-check that your fan has stopped which indicates that the defrost button has been reset. Don’t worry the fan won’t stay off for a long time, it will start shortly after the button comes back.
With that being said, doing manually is still a bit risky as you may end up damaging the button and you will have to get it replaced. So if you are unable to do it, then make sure to contact a professional to get the job done.
Defrosting is important, so keep sure to schedule it and do it frequently to maintain the cooling efficiency of your fridge or refrigerator as well as keep your foods fresh. That said if you have accidentally tapped the defrost button then just wait for a while, it will eventually come out.
In case, if it isn’t coming out then make sure to contact a technician before taking the matters in your own hands. As in the worst case, you might accidentally damage the button or part and will have to spend some extra money to get it repaired. Thus, it is better to be on a safer side.