Just waiting to hear from you, so I know what to do next.
Thanks Daniel. I will give that a go. Before I begin, any idea how much a defrost heater costs to replace - if it's anywhere near the cost of a new fridge, I might go down that road since my fridge is 10 years old.
One end of the defrost heater leads in to a white plastic junction unit with wires leading to the fan and elsewhere. I've unplugged the two halves of the junction unit, and then turned on the fridge and freezer. It hasn't tripped, but apart from the lights, nothing has started working. So I assume that the junction unit needs to be plugged in for the fridge to work, and I assume that it's the defrost heater that's broken. Am I correct, or is something else broken since nothing works at the moment?
Thanks Daniel. Is it definitely the defrost heater, and not the thermostat or timer. I don't want to order the wrong new part?
Thanks so much Daniel. So I went back downstairs last night and the fridge was working (with the white plastic join unit still unplugged). It's still working this morning, both sections are cold, but I haven't been aware of any noise shutting off - which I assume it should do when it gets to temperature. Am I ok to use the fridge like this, and not replace the defrost heater - I don't mind manually defrosting every so often. Or is there a problem using the fridge like this - e.g. non-stop electricity usage, or burning out other parts.
Update - it does seem to shut off now too, so it seems to be working normally, but I assume I'll have to manually defrost. The freezer section used to leak everyday, so I guess that was the defrost heater not working, and me not defrosting it, and us filling it too much. So if we don't fill it so much, defrost it often, then will it be ok to carry on using it? This should be the last time I bother you - you've been most helpful thank you.
Thanks Daniel - I've been very impressed and will rate you accordingly. Yes the fan is still working, so I guess you assume right. I'll tape up the ends - just with electrical insulating tape?, and defrost regularly. I might call out a repair person soon though - fortnightly defrosting sounds implausible.
Thanks again for your help.