Freezer/Refrigerator not generating enough cold/cooling

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  #1  
Old 07-07-05, 01:31 PM
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Unhappy Freezer/Refrigerator not generating enough cold/cooling

My 2-year old GE freezer/refrigerator doesn't generate enough cooling in both freezer and food section. It happened gradually in a week.

Temperature is set to coldest, lights are working, doors are sealed properly, and there's no visual sign of damage. I can feel cool air is blowing in the freezer, but not cold enough to freeze water. Fridge is warm like in room temperature. There's some frost in the freezer.

Can anybody analyse what the problem is? Thank you in advance.

-ted
 
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  #2  
Old 07-07-05, 02:34 PM
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Think you may need to take a look at the coils in the freezer. Meaning --take off the panel. First make sure the fan at the bottom of the ref is working properly. You said the one in the freezer is working. May not be working ok though. Is the compressor running constantly or does it start and stop.

As usual make sure the condensor coils are clean under the frige.How crusty are they. Clean them anyway, it can't hurt. Unplug it before you poke around in there

Come back with a make and model #. and put the settings in the middle.
 
  #3  
Old 07-07-05, 02:47 PM
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Sounds like the defrost cycle is not working. If you can locate the defrost timer, a small black box with a slot in the middle to accomodate a flat head screwdriver, you can troubleshoot it yourself.
 
  #4  
Old 07-07-05, 03:45 PM
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2 yrs old. May or may not have a defrost timer. you may be looking for something that isn't there. Make and model# would be helpful imo.
 
  #5  
Old 07-08-05, 06:26 AM
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Good point !
 
  #6  
Old 07-08-05, 07:36 AM
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Arrow

It's a GE 19.8 Cu. Ft. Capacity Side-By-Side Refrigerator, Model# GSS20IBPCC. No water/ice dispenser. The compresssor is running constantly. In fact, it's running almost non-stop.

The only temperature setting is 9 (coldest) for both freezer and fridge.

Is the panel at the back or on the bottom inside? How do I check the fan? I don't feel much air flow from the bottom front of the ref when it's running. Could that be a problem?

Thank you very much, joneq!

Originally Posted by joneq
Think you may need to take a look at the coils in the freezer. Meaning --take off the panel. First make sure the fan at the bottom of the ref is working properly. You said the one in the freezer is working. May not be working ok though. Is the compressor running constantly or does it start and stop.

As usual make sure the condensor coils are clean under the frige.How crusty are they. Clean them anyway, it can't hurt. Unplug it before you poke around in there

Come back with a make and model #. and put the settings in the middle.
 
  #7  
Old 07-08-05, 08:02 AM
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There should be some airflow at the bottom there is a fan there to cool the condenser. You need to look at the coils in the freezer behind where the air is coming out. Take the panel off. They may have ice on them or they may have no or not much frost on them. Is there any water in the tray at the bottom of the ref where the water from defrosting goes.I think you need to expose the evaporator first to see what's going on.

Do you have any food in the ref or freezer or is it empty?

In case it isn't the compressor I would un plug the ref. are the temps remaining the same or is it getting warmer? Exactly what kind of temps are we talking about? cool, cold but not cold enough, warm??????
 

Last edited by joneq; 07-08-05 at 08:54 AM.
  #8  
Old 07-08-05, 12:43 PM
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The temperature is getting warmer slowly. Right now, in the freezer, it's just above the frozen degree. In the ref, it's a little cooler than room temperature. But milk went bad in a day or two.

There is water in the freezer, and it's from the icecream and frozen food. I still have food in freezer and ref. They are half full.

Where is evaporator? Do I need to take out/off any parts in the freezer compartment or just work on the back of the ref? I've never repaired or tried to repair a fridge before. But I guess I can figure out your instruction.

Thanks very much for your help!

Ted


Originally Posted by joneq
There should be some airflow at the bottom there is a fan there to cool the condenser. You need to look at the coils in the freezer behind where the air is coming out. Take the panel off. They may have ice on them or they may have no or not much frost on them. Is there any water in the tray at the bottom of the ref where the water from defrosting goes.I think you need to expose the evaporator first to see what's going on.

Do you have any food in the ref or freezer or is it empty?

In case it isn't the compressor I would un plug the ref. are the temps remaining the same or is it getting warmer? Exactly what kind of temps are we talking about? cool, cold but not cold enough, warm??????
 
  #9  
Old 07-08-05, 01:30 PM
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Something in this link my help you.

http://forum.doityourself.com/showthread.php?t=212796
 
  #10  
Old 07-08-05, 01:36 PM
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the evaporator is probably on the back wall of the freezer. You have to get at it from the inside of the freezer.Should be some screws there.Maybe at the top behind those slots. Like I said before make sure the condenser coils[looks like your are a cylinder shape] under the frige are clean. and that the fan is runnig under the ref. Is the compressor still running constantly.is the fan in the freezer still running. what temp air is it blowing. still cool.

your ref is controlled by a control board. there is not much that you can fix on it so get the evaporator cover off and tell us what you see.
 

Last edited by joneq; 07-08-05 at 02:09 PM.
  #11  
Old 07-08-05, 02:32 PM
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Yes, the compressor and fan are still constantly running and the air is still cool (not cold though).

From the thread http://forum.doityourself.com/showthread.php?t=212796 GWIZ provided, the problem looks very much alike. But my fridge has FrostGuard™ Technology. I don't know what it means. But like joneq said, there could be no defrost timer at all.

I will open it up tonite and let you know what I find out.
 
  #12  
Old 07-08-05, 02:36 PM
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your ref is run by a control panel on the back behind the metal plate. Leave it alone
 
  #13  
Old 07-08-05, 08:18 PM
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What you could try doing is turning your refridgerator/freezer off for like a day or two. There could be some blockage that maybe causing problems keeping your food cool. I had a refridgerator/freezer have that issue before. Also, how hot is it outside where you are? This can have a factor in how cool your food gets as well. Otherwise, may need to hire a repairman. You should have warrenty on that unit as well I would think.
 
  #14  
Old 07-09-05, 09:09 AM
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I took off the panel in the freezer that is covered by a layer of frost. I saw metal coils covered by frost and ice all over the place. I couldn't take it off or do anything. The ref was completely dead by the time I took off the panel. Then I left the door open for 30 minutes, and let it melt. Finally, it started cooling. This time, the cooling was pretty strong. So I left the panel off and let it run overnight. This morning, the frost continued building up, but at least the cooling is still strong. Food became frozen.

I guess it's defrost problem. Is there anything I can do by myself? I've called GE service center and the earlist time they can do is 4 days later. The warranty covers 5 years, so I think I should be fine. But I'm afraid it will stop working again before they fix it. Any suggestions?
 
  #15  
Old 07-09-05, 10:52 AM
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I couldn't find condenser coils under the ref. There's nothing underneath.
 
  #16  
Old 07-09-05, 05:08 PM
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GE Refrigerator

Definently a defrost problem. My guess would be the electronic defrost timer.
I hate these new style timers. They can't take a power surge or lightning storm. Here's what I would do untill the service man gets there. Turn the fridge off & take the back freezer panel off to expose the coils again. Get out your hairdryer & melt all the ice off the coils. Turn fridge back on & set your controls back to the normal settings. Should buy you enough time till the service man gets there. One more thing. I hate to be the bearer of bad news but the warranty is for 5 years on the compressor & sealed system. 1 year on everything. I'm pretty sure defrost parts won't be covered. Just don't want you to be surprised when you get the bill. Dave
 
  #17  
Old 07-09-05, 09:37 PM
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I checked out the warranty statement. It says within 5 years, the warranty covers any part of the sealed refrigerating system (the compressor, condenser, evaporator, and all connecting tubing). Does that mean defrost system is not covered?
 
  #18  
Old 07-09-05, 10:53 PM
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That's my interpretation. defroster is not covered. you can call them.

Take a mirror and look at the Heater, I think yours is located just below the coils.
If yours is the glass tube type. its like an 8" long 500 watt light bulb, look at the coil inside the tube you may see a break.
Or if it looks badly discolored it may be bad.
 
  #19  
Old 07-10-05, 07:26 AM
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Yes, it's the heater that is broken. I took it out and found the coil is broken. Where can I buy a new one? I'm at Reston, VA (DC metro area). After I put on the new heater, how can I test it and make sure that's the only problem? Many thanks!
 

Last edited by ted_he; 07-10-05 at 07:54 AM.
  #20  
Old 07-10-05, 01:17 PM
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GE ref.

The heater part you need is WR51x10053. If no GE dealers in your area you can order it through Sears website or local store. APWagner has a website for parts too. I would'nt worry about testing it after you install a new heater.
That's the problem for sure. Could'nt tell if there is more than one heater on your fridge. If there is, you might as well replace both while you have it all apart. Dave
 
  #21  
Old 07-10-05, 01:31 PM
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You heater is controlled by sensors and a computer type board.
Best not to bypass the sensors to get the heater to light up for a TEST.

Just change the heater.

Look in your phone book for appliance parts.

Just one site on the net, you will need to confirm your part number.
I never ordered any parts from them, don't know who they are.
http://www.repairclinic.com/0080.asp


That Link in my Post # 9, that person is in (Sterling VA) (dcmetro)
maybe you can send them a private message asking where they got the heater look at post # 9 on the link states (VA).
 
  #22  
Old 07-12-05, 08:09 AM
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I've bought the GE defrost heater from a local appliance parts store for $25 something, cheaper than GE online parts and I don't have to wait for the shipment. I will install it (very easy) and see if it solves the problem.
 
  #23  
Old 07-12-05, 02:16 PM
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Just replied to your PM as well. I bought the parts by calling " Home Depot Parts Ordering" Phone number. Got it from my local HD store. Installation of Defrost heater was very easy. Let me know if you have any Qs.
 
  #24  
Old 07-13-05, 07:44 AM
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I installed it last night and let it run overnight. Since I had melted the frost, it was pretty clean. But after running for two days without defrost heater, frost has built up already. Right now, lower coils are covered completed by frost, but upper coils are not quite covered.

The heater was not turned on immediately after I installed it, nor have I seen any changes on the frost yet. Do I need to wait for more time to see the effect or is there anything else I can try?

BTW, I've rescheduled the GE technician appoitment to next week. Hopefully I can fix it by myself by then.
 
  #25  
Old 07-13-05, 08:04 AM
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so the upper coils have not frosted up since yesterday???? Are you running this with the back panel off? If you look in the book like I told you there may be a way of putting it in defrost mode like flipping the light switch 6 times in 5 seconds or something. Did you replace the thermostat with the heater, if not did you test it?
 
  #26  
Old 07-13-05, 07:53 PM
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Frost on coil is normal. In fact that is exactly why the defrost heater is needed,, to defrost the coil. Pay attention to how thick the frost is each day. You should notice it is about the same, which would mean the defrost cycle is now working.
 
  #27  
Old 07-13-05, 10:19 PM
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I maybe wrong.

" But my fridge has FrostGuard™ Technology. "

Well its appears that your refrigerator counts the amount of times you open the door and maybe how long its open, then it computes the defrost cycle. FrostGuard™ Technology. (I think)

As Jonq stated in post # 25 there may be a trick to manually cycle the heater. try his suggestion.
The light switch maybe connected to the board and counts the amount of door openings.

In the defrost mode the compressor will turn off first then the heater comes on, you may see the heater light thru any slotted vents in that back cover.

As Jonq stated # 25
The last thing you can replace is the heater thermostat, if the freezer compartment gets to hot it will remove power from the heater.

I would wait for a week first.
If you don't install that cover the refrigerator compartment may not get cold and the fridge may not stop running.
 
  #28  
Old 07-14-05, 10:35 AM
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Two days ago, before I installed the new heater, I saw frost was built up unevenly over the coils. It was thicker at the bottom and thinner at the top. I kept back panel on.

Yesterday, I saw frost was evenly coated over the coils and it was very thin. Does that mean the heater works?

I will check it daily to see if it works constantly.
 
  #29  
Old 07-14-05, 10:59 AM
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Everything sounds like it is working right. I would check it one more time right before I cancelled the GE repairman. If it was looking good[no exessive frost or ice] make the phone call. Good job.
 
  #30  
Old 07-14-05, 11:04 AM
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I would manually recycle the heater and then check if the heater comes on. You shall see the red light coming from the heater. That way u know the switch is working correctly along with the heater..

Originally Posted by joneq
Everything sounds like it is working right. I would check it one more time right before I cancelled the GE repairman. If it was looking good[no exessive frost or ice] make the phone call. Good job.
 
  #31  
Old 07-14-05, 11:23 AM
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do we know how to manually put it in defrost?
 
  #32  
Old 07-21-05, 12:31 PM
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The refrigerator has been running fine for about a week, and no excessive frost has been built up. It looks like the problem has been solved and I've cancelled the GE service appointment. Thanks everyone for your great help!
 
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