Refrigerator

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.

Answer this question 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.

by cherish

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22 Answers

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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.

by Kathy Hirsh

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.

by ABCellars

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

by mayer

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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.

by ABCellars

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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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hi my fridge is not making cold but the compressor is so hot it burns your hand if you feel it

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my refrigerator is about 8-11 years old. It's a defrost, recently i noticed when it stops, sometimes i have to unplug it for a while and then plug it in again so it would start. Just two days ago i noticed it is still running but not freezing and below is not cooling. what do i do.

by Affia James

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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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I was wondering if I could get your opinion. I have a 10 year old Kenmore, which I bought for $399. Yesterday, the fridge and freezer stopped cooling at all. Is it worth having it fix or just buy a new one?

Thank you very much in advance.

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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 a GE Profile Refrigerator model SPPSS26SHRSS. 2 days ago the ice and water dispenser stopped working. But the freezer continued to make ice. About one hour ago, open the freezer door to get a piece of ice and notice the ice was 1/2 melted. Check the temperature for the freezer it said 35 and the refrigerator was at 57. Emptied out everything from both side. Temperature only increase by 3 degrees. Can you advise what we should try doing or what parts may need to be replaced.

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My refrigerator just started getting hot on door panels an isnt cooling properly what could be the problem

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My refrigerator just started getting hot on door panels an isnt cooling properly. Its at least 12yrs old .what could be the problem

by gsc16

Mine is doing the same thing. It's trying to defrost. I've got to buy a shop vac and try to clean the coils. I'll update you if this works.

by mayer

My refrigerator just started getting hot on side panels an isnt cooling properly. Its at least 12yrs old .what could be the problem

by deependar

I'm going to try replacing the deform timer on mine. I'll let you know my results.

by mayer

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Hey, need some help on my fridge. I have an old fridge that is a side by side Frigidaire. I noticed the other day when I open both the fridge and freezer that it wasn't cold anymore. So now its hot in both the fridge and freezer, I already clean and vacuum the back part of dust. Does anyone might know what the problem is? I have not vacuum the bottom front behind the kick panel, but I looked in that area and didn't see any dust down there. Also, the freezer when working properly never had all that ice build up on the inside. Need help please Chris

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have a 14 month old GE Profile Model # PFSF2MIYGWW that Sears wont fix as I don't have extended warranty so no service . The fridge just stopped cooling and is blowing warm air

Tried unplugging for an hour and still warm air is generated, is there a flaw with these GE fridges? or what else can I do ?

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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....

by larryw4csc

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I think your fridge need a temperature controller and I know a manufacturer of temperature controller very good,it's from china ,jiangsu jingchuang .but I bought it from the website:www.elitechstore.com

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my fridge is not getting cold Notice the freezer not cooling before fridge quite what could be wrong

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I just replaced the started relay in my refrigerator but nothing happend why

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I am having the same issue with my fridge where it wont get any cooler. The knob that turns the fridge down works and so does every other cosmetic function, however it still wont get cooler. I wonder if the coils need replaced.

http://www.infinityappliance.net/refrige...

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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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my refrigerator, is working, but the freezer and the fridge is not cooling, i have checked the powersupply and the thermostat switch, what can i do for that?

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Hi all - power is going to the fridge, but it is not running at all. Neither the fridge nor the freezer are cooling - any thoughts?

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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.

by Kathy Hirsh

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cannot find control button

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cannot locate my control button

by dollie

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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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Kathy Hirsh will be eternally grateful.

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