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Amana Refrigerators are manufactured by Whirlpool Corp group, in Amana Iowa.

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Why is my Amana fridge/freezer not defrosting properly?

  • My Amana fridge/freezer isn't defrosting properly freezer builds up ice. I open the doors , unplug it and turn both controls off. I used a hair dryer last time and it works fine for a few weeks until it builds up and fan quits working. I called a repair man he socked me about 100$ he just used a steamer took panel off back of freezer and defrosted it of course that didn't work and not calling him back any suggestions?
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I have a 1976, Harvest Gold,  Amana Side-by Side Refrigerator Freezer…….YES, it’s 44 years old. We use it as our secondary refrigerator in the garage. Several months ago the freezer quit “auto defrosting”, which also caused the refrigerator portion not to keep things cool. I shut down the unit, let the freezer defrost, turned it back on and it was good to go, for a couple of months. Now, it’s doing it again. Is there someone out there who can repair these vintage appliances? It has become a “part of the family”, and, I would like to try to get it repaired rather than buy a new one. Please advise.  Thanks so much!!!!

Sandy Conklin


Hi @sandy.conklin

What is the model number of the refrigerator?


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Hi @coils ,

What is the model number of the fridge?

Things that could be wrong depending on model, not in any order:

Defrost heater open circuit. _ not operating during the defrost cycle to help melt the ice formed on the evaporator unit (located in freezer compartment), allowing ice to build up. During defrost cycle the compressor and evaporator fan is stopped (occurs every 6 -12 hours depending on manufacturer) and the temperature in the freezer is allowed to rise to nearly 32 F (0 C) to melt the ice formed. The heater is switched on to speed up the process as you don’t want the food to even begin to thaw. The defrost cycle lasts about 20-30 minutes

Drain tube blocked - this tube leads from the freezer compartment to the evaporator pan below the fridge and drains the meltwater from the defrosting evaporator unit during the defrost cycle. If the drain is blocked water can’t drain and ice builds up.

Defrost thermostat faulty - this controls the temperature during the defrost cycle by operating when the temperature reaches 32 F (0C) and signalling to the control board to start the compressor and evaporator fan again to cool down the fridge. The reason for this is to not damage the evaporator unit by allowing it to get too warm.

Control board faulty, this controls the defrost cycle (and all the other cycles as well obviously).

If you search online for Amana (insert full model number) parts you will find suppliers - example only insert model number in search box who have parts diagrams showing where the relevant parts are and also sometimes offer “suggestions” as to what parts are the most likely reason for the symptoms being exhibited by the refrigerator.

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mine was doing the same…the freezer worked but the fridge wasn’t cold and ice build up. just had a repair man and he thawed off the ice and said i needed a new main board…part is on order

confusing because now it is working perfect but guess ice will build up again if it isn’t told what to do???

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