GE Refrigerator, Mod. # TBX21AA

Old 07-10-08, 12:54 PM
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GE Refrigerator, Mod. # TBX21AA

My GE refrigerator is acting funny. I noticed it was not working. Then I noticed that it tripped the breaker. When I turned the breaker on, it would trip again. So I cut the ground of the plug and pluged it in. The light was on but the compressor was not kicking in. As I am sitting and scratching my head, all of the sudden I hear it running, and it's been running ever since(2 hours). I don't want to do anything that it would stop running, including changing the plug. Any input is appreciated before I have to call a serviceman.
Thank you,
Old 07-10-08, 01:37 PM
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Obviously I think you might already guess that nobody would be condoning cutting off the ground prong and leaving it that way. I would not be touching that refrigerator if I were you.

!WhatEVER you do, do not touch the metal of the refrigerator and the sink or stove at the same time. And everyone needs to be aware of the risks you created here!

If you have a voltmeter, with the unit unplugged, you need to check to see if you have continuity between the hot prong in the plug wire (the small one) and the compressor housing, and also between the hot prong of the cord and any metal of the refrigerator, and also between the neutral prong on the cord and the compressor, and also the neutral prong on the plug and any metal on the refrigerator. While testing, As stated, the unit needs to be unpluged, and also the refrigerator door needs to be closed, and the thermostat needs to be set to a run number setting that would cause a a call for cooling.

Then, in case you did NOT get any reading at this time, you could test for a short in the defrost cycle by rotating the defrost timer ever so slowly while someone else watched the meter to see if you hit a spot where you suddenly got a reading. If you do, then you know the short is in the defrost circuitry/element.

With all these tests, you should not get any reading at all. An analog meter is best, as you can actually see what is happening better. The needle should not move at all. No voltmeter test current should pass to ground. It should only ever pass between hot and neutral; not hot to ground , nor from neutral to ground. The only reason the ground prong should ever pass current is if there is a short (and then you need to find it and fix it! - not leave off the prong).


Do you know if your refrigerator circuit is designated for just the refrigerator with nothing else on the circuit? IF something else where on the circuit, you could have an oveload issue or a combination of a near overload and for some reaosn, higher amp draw than should be, coming from the refrigerator.

But regardless, you need to make those tests I suggested. You could also do the tests with a working appliance light bulb in the refrigerator, and conduct the tests already mentioned with the refrigerator door closed and reduplicate then with the door open (to complete the light circuit). As stated earlier, you should get no continuity reading, with any of these tests.

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