How to Manually Initiate the Defrost Cycle in a GE Arctica Side-by-Side Refrigerator

Lots of times, when you’re troubleshooting a defrost failure problem in a refrigerator, you want to fire up the defrost circuit and see what it’s doing (or not doing) and catch it in the act. This is easy to do on the older refrigerators with the good ol’ mechanical defrost timers but less than obvious on these newer boxes where the defrosting is controlled by an electronic control board. The new GE refrigerators use a muthahboard to control defrost. It’s essentially a highly failure-prone single-board computer designed to crap out at the first whiff of trouble. More on that here and here.

The procedure in this scroll of Appliantology will let you fire up the defrost circuit from the control panel for most models; may vary slightly for other models due to differences in the touchpanel layout. You can also do it the hardcore way– right at the muthaboard.

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