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

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Why are my fridge and freezer not cooling?

Earlier today I noticed that a bottle of juice I put in the fridge last night wasn't cold. The temperature control for the freezer said -10 (should be 0) and the fridge said 57 (should be 37). I've tried to reset the controls, to no avail. I unplugged it, vacuumed off the back (although there wasn't much to vacuum) and plugged it in again. It's only getting warmer. Any ideas? I don't remember exactly when I bought the fridge, but I believe it's less than 10 years old.

UPDATE: The fridge is 7 years old. Also, the freezer is now at 2 and the fridge is at 63. So the temp of the freezer is moving in the right direction, but the fridge is definitely not.

I sure hope AB Cellars sees this. He was amazing when I posted about my clothes dryer.

ANOTHER UPDATE: The GE Technician just arrived. It's the freezer sensor (aka thermistor). I'm getting 50% off parts and labor, so my total cost is $146.77 (including the service call).

Thanks everyone for your help! Mayer... you nailed it. The evaporator coils were covered in ice.

Answered! View the answer I have this problem too

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PLEASE I NEED HELP i bought this refrigerator, stainless steel cafe double door with the freezer at the bottom, the freezer works well but the refrigerator does not its blowing hot air, i don't have a warranty cause i bought it ised, and the stupid people took all the labels off the fridge, and i don't even know the model number so GE won't even come look at it, i have done some research just to find the make an model of my fridge, so now i have that so can you please give me a sense of direction what could be wrong. Thank You hope to hear from someone soon.

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After finding this site for the first time sounds like the GE Profile refrigerator is a DUD! All the refridgerators that ar having problems are the GEProfile! Doesn't say much for GE!!!!

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my GE profile side by side Fridge is approx 6 yrs old. lately the freezer temp. is going from 0 to 5= for no reason; also the fridge goes to 47 degrees, both issues transpire for no apparent reason??? Also the ice maker has stopped making ice??? Any solutions for both problems??

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I have a GE Profile for 20 yrs ZERO problems. I also keep a very clean house and vaccume the back and underneath every 6 months. My Grandmother taught me. Keep it breathing so it doesn't struggle and you wont have problems. She seems right! Never an issue. I LOVE my GE Profile Best Refrigerator Ever. My food stays awesome...

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We got rid of our 6 year old GE Profile fridge. No more GE for me. Never.

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Chosen Solution

Poor cooling is often the result of a heavy frost build-up on the evaporator coils or a condenser that is clogged with dust, lint, and dirt.

Evaporator coils

Poor cooling is often the result of a heavy frost build-up on the evaporator coils. You can't see these coils without removing a panel on the inside of your freezer. A sure sign that there is a build-up is the presence of any frost or ice build-up on the inside walls, floor, or ceiling of the freezer. Such a frost build-up usually indicates a problem in the self-defrosting system or damaged door gaskets.

The refrigerator is supposed to self-defrost approximately four times in every 24 hour period. If one of the components in the self-defrosting system fails, the refrigerator continues to try to cool. Eventually, though, so much frost builds up on the evaporator coils that the circulating fan can't draw air over the coils. There may still be a small amount of cooling because the coils are icy, but with no air flow over the coils, cooling in the refrigerator compartment is quite limited.

Here's an inexpensive, though inconvenient, way to determine if the problem is with the self-defrosting system. Remove all of the perishable food from the refrigerator and freezer, turn the thermostat in the refrigerator to Off, and leave the doors open for 24 to 48 hours. (Be sure to have several towels ready in case the melting frost and ice causes the drip pan to overflow). This allows the refrigerator to defrost "manually." When the frost and ice build-up has completely melted away, turn the thermostat back to a normal setting. If the refrigerator then cools properly, it indicates a problem with one of three components in the self-defrosting system:

The defrost timer

The defrost thermostat (also called the bi-metal switch)

If it still does not cool properly, there may be a problem with the refrigerant level or the compressor. You may need to consult with a qualified appliance repair technician to further diagnose the problem

Condenser

Self-defrosting refrigerators all have a set of coils and a cooling fan, usually under the refrigerator, that need to be cleaned regularly. If these coils get coated with dust, dirt or lint, the refrigerator may not cool properly. The coils may appear to be a thin, black, wide radiator-like device behind the lower kick-panel. To clean them, disconnect the refrigerator from the power source, use a refrigerator condenser brush and your vacuum cleaner to clean the coils of any lint, pet hair, etc. You may not be able to get to all of the condenser from the front, it may be necessary to clean the remainder of the condenser from the rear of the refrigerator.

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Thanks for your very detailed answer, Mayer. I'll let you know what happens.

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Mayer's answer is spot on here. Given the era of the refrig, your best way to determine the root of the problem is to put it in diagnostic mode. How to do that can be found in the service manual or perhaps calling the manufacturer customer service, Whirlpool at one time put it in the owners manual. Most likely cause here is related to air flow. as you have 2F in the freezer. You could have a blocked air port, bad evaporator fan, bad door switch, temperature sensor or controller board.

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Cellers - you've been missed, Hope that sciatica isn't eating your a** to badly ;-)

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Cellers, Gabapentin got my sciatic nerve issues under control.

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Kathy, there is a circulator fan blowing from the freezer into most fridge compartments. Do and did you used to hear/feel this little fan blowing when you open the door? Sounds like the fan has locked up and needs replacement. You have good cooling if the freezer is 2F. The fridge compartment temp control just opens and closes a shutter this fan blows through to cool the unfrozen stuff.....

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90%+ of modern, frost free, residential refrigerators turn off the evaporator fan when the refrigerator door is opened. You will need to hold the door switch closed to check for air flow there.

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Our refrigerator quit running overnight. All our food in the freezer has defrosted i.e. porkchops, frozen veggies, pizzas, pot pies, can these be refrozen?

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Absolutely, and you WON'T DIE; and don't let anyone tell you any different

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how you guys are doing. Today i had my fridge check and i kinda had an idea of what the problem was. I went on youtube and google it to find some kind of idea of what the problem was but none of them weren't. In one occasion someone on youtube mention that it could be a relay malfuntioning; and guess what it turned out to be the relay capasitor that operates the compressor. I am glad i didnt buy a new fridge. I did pay the technician for checking that out thou but it wasn't much. so if your fridge isn't cooling check your compressor relay

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Hallow my cooling it not work but the freezing it still block. Plss can someone can fix it and how much

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We had the same problem and numerous engineers who havent a clue how to rectify and had we found out to our cost these can be complicated appliances to work on and Ge doesnt operate in the uk and all their service calls are contracted out to various service companies who in turn subcontract the work out to other companies in the hope they can fix your appliance. In the end we got lucky when an engineer from a company agsrefrigeration who service the london and surrey area came out to look at a colleague of mine at work he passed his number on to us and it has been a couple of years now and we have had no further problems.

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Oh. @oldturkey03 this user keeps mentioning ags refrigeration company. Fridge and Freezer not cooling

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@captainsnowball so why did you mark it? Don't make me have to use my magic to unmark those.....:-)

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my last comment.

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hey i just saw you comment. I would suggest that you get check firts before anything else. it might be something simple instead of spending lots of money on buying a new one. like i said, my had a problem where it wasn't cooling and thought of getting a new one but didnt' and only spent $75 for getting it fix.

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I have an old GE Eterna Series. It started having problems cooling after working great for about 7 years (of course after the warranty expired). Once I took apart the freezer to melt off the frost and ice that had built up, the refrigerator would start getting cold again. It didn't take that long for me to fix. It would last for several weeks or a few months before I'd need to do it all over again. Now, it's down to every few weeks. I've finally decided that I'll get a new LG fridge. GE may have some good products, but refrigerators certainly aren't included! All other brands that I've seen have lasted a lot longer than mine has!

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https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4145/50125...

A 1934 GE "Monitor Top" I inherited from my grandmother's kitchen sits in the garage, full of beer for "emergencies". I remember she had it serviced when I was around 10. That would have been 1956. I think GE USED to make great fridges before the EPA bureaucrats put a stop to it. If you have one, be informed that turning the thermostat above 2 will turn the beer into ice. Been there, done that.

Not only is it probably illegal to be in possession of this device full of either outlawed freon or ammonia, but they'll come take me away to get their hands on it to destroy it....

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Nope, nothing to do with "EPA bureaucrats." They just make crappy appliances. My microwave, fridge, and dishwasher all started failing in years 5-6. Screw GE.

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I have had GE products in my house for over 40 years. I gave our first range and refrigerator to my nephew after we had it for 25 plus years with no trouble. We bought the GE Profile refrigerator, range, and dish washer in 2000 when we remodeled our kitchen. We have had no trouble until we came back from our Son's house, after Thanksgiving, to find everything thawed out in the freezer and a warm refrigerator. A GE trained service technician found the freezer drain tube frozen, not allowing subsequent defrosting melt to drain and froze the circulating fan solid. At first, I was told that because there was no access to this tube, if it kept clogging up, we would have to buy a new unit. A January 6, 2015 bulletin said hooking up the spare drain tube heater and changing the defrost timer would correct this problem. We're back to square one, with the fan freezing up in 12 days after it was "fixed". The technician said he has never seen a Profile unit built like mine! GE's answer... buy a new one. It can't be fixed.

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I have got a Hotpoint fridge freezer and I have been shopping today and just noticed that my meat is not freezing and my fridge stuff is not cold I don't know what to do or what temperature it's meant to be someone help plz

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The tech I called out has been in the business for over 20 years. He says modern GE stuff is garbage.

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Here are my thoughts: use the diagnostic ideas presented here (and all over the interwebs) and figure it out.

Not to be nasty, but the internet is what it is. If you want individual attention, you need to hire someone. If you *get* individual attention, show your gratitude and pay it forward. It was a true gift.

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Hey Jan... slow your roll. As I see it, ifixit Answers is a safe place to ask all types of questions.

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I am on this site trying to figure out what is wrong with my refrigerator and freezer suddenly not working. The repair man won't be here until Monday and today is Saturday. Like your response back to Jan. We are trying to save a few bucks and maybe not have to pay someone to fix the problem. Or perhaps get a bit more educated about our appliance. This is a great site! Unfortunately, after trying to trouble shoot, I have to pay someone to look at it.

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Look at the condenser coils, located at the bottom of the refrigerator (behind the kick plate) or, in some cases, at the back. These coils disperse heat from inside the refrigerator out into the room with the aid of a fan. If the coils are dirty, the refrigerator won’t operate efficiently.

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It might also be the defrost heater coils too

I had a GE Profile 30 with a similar problem. "Luckily" I could see some of the frost (or rime ice) building up on the back, which signaled to me that the defrost had gone (if it was the seal that had gone, I would have expected the ice to build up in the front).

In my case it was actually the defrost heater or "tube" that had failed.

To determine if the is the thermostat or heater that has failed you can do an electrical continuity test with an Multimeter/Ohm-meter. If the connection between the two sides of the heater is open, then the heater has failed.

In the case of this GE unit the heater assembly comes with a new defrost thermostat. It is easier to repair this assembly than the thermostat itself. And, a generic version of the assembly costs about the same as the "official" GE thermostat (which makes it almost an obvious decision). Indeed, I am grateful to the local appliance parts shop for rightly suggesting that I check the defrost tube before committing to changing the defrost thermostat.

The good news is that it is all fixed now -- thanks in part to helpful forums like this!

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Simple Repairs-

If you're lucky, the temperature setting in your freezer was raised accidentally and the repair is obvious. There are a few other things to check when your freezer runs but fails to cool. Pull the freezer out and look for dust, debris or ice that might be smothering the coils. As chest-style freezers use internal coils, this applies to upright models or refrigerator/freezer combinations. A hair dryer quickly melts ice and a vacuum or soft cloth makes quick work of dust. With the freezer unplugged, locate the motor underneath the freezer and clean it. Defrost the freezer if it's clogged with ice. If you notice water pooling on the floor when the freezer is running but not freezing, check the drain tube in the freezer's floor or underneath the vegetable drawers in the refrigerator compartment. Insert a turkey baster of bleach water into the tube to clean it, or run a length of smaller tubing through it to push out the clog. Also, check for adequate clearance around your freezer and ensure it doesn't sit in a sunny, hot and humid location or in an unheated area.

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if Your refrigerator is 5-10 years old and cooling is not coming in the refrigerator please change 3 things, (i) timer (ii) heater (iii) and fan simultaneously instead of wasting time.

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my refrigerator/freezer has stopped working and the fan is not rotating but the light inside the fridge is working. i thought it could be the thermostat but not sure, can someone tell me what is likely to be the problem please.

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Kathy Hirsh will be eternally grateful.
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