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Ice buildup behind freezer wall

Our 12 year old Whirlpool fridge developed this problem Friday, and a partial diagnosis is our defrost heater is bad (no continuity) causing ice to build up on the coils behind the freezer's back wall and block airflow. I can obtain this part myself for around 100 bucks at a brick and mortar, or wait a couple days for online delivery for 60 bucks, but if this is not the ONLY cause of this problem, I would rather just get a new fridge.

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The defrost timer and the defrost thermostat may also be involved with that circuit. Without knowing the exact model of your fridge, we are limited as to what advice we can give. That being said, nobody can guarantee 100% that your only issue is the defrost heater. All you can do is replace the known defective part/parts, and see if it performs to specifications.

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Joel Anderson will be eternally grateful.
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