GE refrigerator not cooling but freezer is ok

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Old 08-03-14, 06:47 PM
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GE refrigerator not cooling but freezer is ok

Me and my brother have been trying to fix this issue for awhile now. The defrost isnt working because we saw an accumulated ice on the evaporator preventing cold air to be circulated down the refrigerator side.

First we tried replacing the DEFROST THERMOSTAT. Based on what I read, the defrost thermostat is suppose to have continuity when tested with multimeter when it is submerged in cold water with ice. We took off the old defrost thermostat, submerged it for a few min and no continuity. We bought a new one and before I wired it up, I tested if theres continuity while submerged in cold water with ice and surprisingly I got none. I hooked it up anyway. 3 Weeks later the refrigerator side got warm again.

Next, we checked the DEFROST CONTROL in case there was no problem with the defrost thermostat. We dont know exactly how to test it but I was able to manually set the defrost control to defrost mode using a screwdriver turning it counter clockwise. Result, even after manually forcing the refrigerator to defrost mode, the ice covered evaporator DID NOT melt during the duration of the defrost cycle. Also, Ive observed the evaporator fan cycling off by itself without tampering the defrost control board so Im assuming the defrost control is working fine.

My other hunch would be the DEFROST HEATER but we havent removed and tested it yet nor do we know how.

Im posting here so that we can finally put the guess work to rest and prevent buying a part replacement that is not necessary. Was the new defrost thermostat a dud? Is it the defrost heater? and how do we test it?
 
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Old 08-03-14, 09:41 PM
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Welcome to the forums.

The defrost thermostats go bad as often as the heater element. You didn't leave me a model number so I can't give you exact location or parts info but it's easy to check a defrost heater.

Unplug the fridge. The heating element is a silver colored 1/4" round metal tube. It's usually on the bottom of the evaporator coil and is connected by a wire on each end. Check the element for continuity with an ohmmeter.
 
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Old 08-05-14, 12:07 PM
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What about the defrost thermostat? I didnt get continuity reading after testing it. Is it faulty too?
 
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Old 08-05-14, 08:57 PM
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One test is you put the defrost thermostat in a glass of ice water for it to show closed.
Most thermostats open at 70f.

However, with some defrost thermostats.... a glass of ice water is not cold enough. You'd have to check the thermostat right after unplugging the fridge with the unit clipped to the refrigerant line. You could also place the thermostat in a working freezer, pull it out and check it. You will actually hear the thing click when it gets to 70f.

What I normally do is check the defrost heater. If it shows continuity I'll just change the thermostat. They are under a lot of stress with the rapid temperature changes they are exposed to and are prone to failure.
 
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