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Appliance Repair Blog

WR51X10101 – How To Wire and Install New Style Double Heater

Posted on July 15, 2011

GE’s WR51X10101 Defrost heater has been used for many years on many models of refrigerators.  GE used to use a single glass tube heater, and in 2007 they redesigned the defrost heater to a dual tube design that fits in the same location.  The new design spreads the wattage of the heater out over two glass tubes instead of one to reduce the number of heater failures.

*Before working on your refrigerator, make sure to unplug it.

What you’ll notice first on the new heater is that there is a yellow jumper wire on the left hand side.  Do not remove this jumper, hooking up the heater to only one of the heater tubes will cause it to burn out as soon as the refrigerator goes through a defrost cycle.  What you will need to do is remove the wire that used to go to the left side of the old heater (usually the blue wire) and run it over to the right side of the refrigerator. Both the blue and pink wire will be hooked up on the right side of the new heater.  See the above picture for reference.  In some cases, if the blue wire is not long enough to reach to the other side, it will need to be extended.  Included with the new heater is an extension wire and crimp connector to extend the wire.  The new heater should fit in the same place that the old heater went, it can be a tight fit but it will work.

If you need to purchase a defrost heater for your GE or Hotpoint refrigerator, see the link below.  If you have any questions, please post them in the comments below.

GE Defrost Heater Assembly – WR51X10101

11 Thoughts on "WR51X10101 – How To Wire and Install New Style Double Heater"

  1. Allen Posted on November 22, 2014

    Hi, my GE fridge’s defrost heater burned out (frost on the back of freezer, the old heater failed the ohm meter continuity test). I had the single tube design, the blue wire on the left is not long enough to reach the connector on the right side of the replacement double tube design WR51X10101. I’m wondering, instead of going through splicing wires and that trouble, because the pink wire on the right of the evaporator is actually long enough to reach the connector on the left side of the heater, could I just simply unplug and move the yellow jumper to the right side of the heater, then I can connector both the blue & pink wires on the left side.

    • Ryan Posted on November 24, 2014

      Yes, it should work just fine to install the part that way.

  2. Allen Posted on November 24, 2014

    Thanks so much, Ryan!

  3. Mike Posted on December 8, 2014

    The only problem is the dual heater element is about 3 inches shorter than the original which means screw holes will match up

    • Ryan Posted on December 30, 2014

      It sounds like you probably got the wrong defrost heater if it is too short. You will want to make sure you have the correct defrost heater by looking up the part with your refrigerators model number.

  4. Richard Posted on April 20, 2015

    On my fridge the pink wire is on the left and blue on the right. I am pretty sure the pink wire is long enough to move to the right side.

    Does it matter how they are connected to the new double defrost heater like which color connector should be in the front or back? I am guessing it doesn’t matter.

    • Ryan Posted on April 24, 2015

      They can be connected either way, it does not matter which wire connects to which terminal on the defrost heater.

  5. Ben E Saucer Posted on April 15, 2021

    I am working on a GE side-by-side fridge. The unit has an upper and lower heating element. Should I replace whichever one is bad, or does this kit replace both of them? Or do I need a different kit?
    Model is TFX20JRBKWW

  6. Jennifer Bruce Posted on April 21, 2021

    I replaced my ge defrost heater with a new one today. The first defrost cycle came on and the heater was smoking just a bit. More of a strong smell than smoke. Is this normal since the heat er is new?

    • Ryan Posted on April 21, 2021

      That sounds normal.

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