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Repair and disassembly guides for food cooling appliances including refrigerators, freezers and fridge-freezers.

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GE Profile Suddenly Only Cooling Freezer to 28 and Refrigerator to 48

My GE Profile Refrigerator is suddenly only cooling on the Freezer side to 28 and on the Refrigerator side to 48. I turned it off overnight, and vacuumed the coils underneath the unit. The compressor gets hot, but not too hot to touch. I do not hear any clicking noise from the compressor. The fan in the back bottom seems to be working OK. I hear some type of air flow/fan blowing on the inside of the freezer. I have not touched any of the controls for years, except a few days ago I turned down the temp on the freezer side (I have since put it back all the way to coldest) — so not sure if I could have broken the thermostat or something similar when I changed the temperature. Any help would be very much appreciated. Enjoy the 4th and stay safe!

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Hi @lklk ,

What is the model number of the refrigerator?

Are there any oily residues below the compressor on on the condenser coils (the ones near the compressor)? If there are some, this may indicate a refrigerant leak.

Is the compressor running continually trying to cool the freezer/refrigerator down or does it stop occasionally?

Since you turned it off overnight, how much water if any was under the fridge indicating that any ice covering the evaporator unit may have melted and drained into the evaporator pan under the fridge near the compressor?

How long has the fridge been on since you cleaned it? It can take up to 24 hours for the freezer to get to the correct operating temperature from ambient temperature.

All these questions are simply designed to find out what may have happened and what is happening now.

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Model Number is: TPX24PRDA.

I do not see any oily residue below the compressor. The condenser coils are difficult to see near the compressor -- I only took the grey cardboard piece off the back, I haven't taken any of the metal plates off.

I think the compressor is running continually to try to cool, but I need to check that. I just turned the refrigerator back on. How do I know if the compressor is running -- can you feel the slight vibration from touching the side of it? If it was turning off, what is the cycle time/how long before it should take a break?

I do not see any water underneath, but again, it is very difficult to see in there from the back, and I do not see any water from looking from the front.

I cleaned it last night around midnight. And then turned it off, and then ran it for 1.5 hours this morning. It got to the same temperature it was at last night when I noticed the problem, and then did not get any colder.

Thanks for the questions, and for your assistance. I really appreciate it,

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1 Answer

Most Helpful Answer

Hi @lklk ,

When it is running you should be able to feel the vibrations and maybe even hear the hum of the compressor motor.

The compressor will run until the set temps in both compartments have been reached. It should only stop once those temps are reached and then most probably start up again soon after as usually there is only a small allowance for a rise in temp from the set temp to maintain it as close as possible to the set temp. This of course can also depend on how often and for how long the doors are opened during normal activity.

The only other time it should stop is when it starts an auto defrost cycle. Auto defrost occurs once every 8-12 hours (depends on manufacturer) and the compressor and evaporator fan are turned off and the temp in the freezer is allowed to rise to 32 F to melt any ice build up on the evaporator unit which then drains to the evap pan under the fridge. The process is sped up by turning on the defrost heater as you don't want the food to even begin to start to thaw. When the freezer temp reaches 32F the defrost thermostat signals the control board to turn off the heater and to restart the compressor and evap fan again to drive the temps back down to the set temps.The whole process usually takes 15-25 minutes and is repeated every 8-12 hours.

If it stops and the set temp is not reached allow time for it to be the defrost cycle just in case. If the set temp is still not reached but the compressor stops and then restarts again shortly after it may be a faulty thermostat or sensor.

If it continues to run and you never get to the set temp it may be a problem with the sealed system i.e. a lack of refrigerant perhaps. The high/low pressures in the sealed system would need to be tested to determine what and where the problem is.

As I said the questions were to narrow down what may be happening.

Oily residues - oil mixed in with the refrigerant to lubricate the compressor so if there is a leak in the sealed system the refrigerant would escape to the atmosphere unnoticed but the oil would show.

Water overflow below fridge - if the defrost was not working ice builds up and can eventually ice up the evap fan, stopping it from dragging air across the freezing cold evap unit and blowing into the freezer and refrigerator cooling them down. By turning it off overnight most of the ice should have melted and if there was a lot it would have overflowed the evap pan and onto the floor unless the drain was blocked of course.

Another thought. Try using a thermometer to measure the temps as it may be that the display is giving incorrect readings. Most probably not but it helps to eliminate the possibility ;-)

Hopefully a start.

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I have a thermometer in there -- that is how I got the termperatures.

After I turned it back on, it keeps running and does not get down below 48 refrig/28 freezer.

I have seen on other posts -- suggestions of:

1) Faculty evaporator fan motor -- I think I hear mine

2) Faulty condensor fan motor -- mine is spinning

3) Start relay?

4) Temperature control Thermostat?

5) Start capacitor?

6) Thermistor?

7) Temperature control board?

8) Compressor?

9) Main Control board?

10) Relay capacitor?

Do you think, based on what I described, that my problem could be one of these 10 things? If so, which ones are most likely my issue?

If, as you say, I may have a problem with the sealed system, or lack of refrigerant -- is this something that can be fixed? Or, at that point, would I need an entirely new refrigerator?

Thanks.

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Also, I cleaned the coils as best I could with a long stick and then a vacuum, since I did not have the wire brush -- but I got a lot of dust buildup out of there. Do you think using the proper brush on the coils would fix the refrigerator -- or unlikely, given I have already cleaned it a lot?

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Hi @lklk ,

You can see andtest if the evap fan is workingby removing the panel inside the back of the freezer compartment to expose the evap unit and fan (see freezer section diagram).

With a door open manually operate the door switch in the door hamb. This will turn off the light and start the evap fan again. The fan will stop when a door is open and start again when closed but the switch controls it via the control board.

Dust on the condenser coils only prevent the escape of the heat absorbed by the refrigerant as it passes through the evap unit. This makes the refrigeration process less efficient and means that it takes longer to get to the set temps.basically the evap unit is a heat exchanger it disperses cold and absorbs heat. The condenser just radiates the heat to "condense" the gas back to a liquid to start the process allover again the to cool the refrigerant back.

If the compressor runs continually without the temps getting down and the evap fan is operating then it is a problem in the sealed system.

Depending on your location you may need a licenced refrigerator repairer to look at it due to the environmental regulations regarding the handling of refrigerant gases. Besides they also have to gear to test the pressures in the system which will tell them where and what the problem may be.

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Thanks. Very helpful. I will look to see if the evaporator fan is working. If there is a sealed system issue, is it worth trying to repair that, or better to get a new refrigerator at that point? Thanks.

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@lklk

I think that things are always worth trying to repair unless it is not economically viable.

Age of refrigerator is one especially if it is a compressor problem. the other may be if it is a leak in the piping in an area that can't be accessed anyway.

Can always ask a reputable, professional repair service for an estimate. Might be something simple as well ;-)

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