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Barry G.
Barry G., Home Appliance Technician
Category: Appliance
Satisfied Customers: 6065
Experience:  27 years in home appliance repair. EPA refrigerant transition and recovery certification type I & II.
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I have a GE GTS221CMBRWW Top Freezer/Bottom Fridge. The freezer

Customer Question

I have a GE GTS221CMBRWW Top Freezer/Bottom Fridge. The freezer is nice and cold. However, the bottom refrigerator is not as cold ~60 F. Milk was warm this morning. What is the problem and How do I fix?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Appliance
Expert:  Barry G. replied 4 years ago.
Chat Conversation Started
Teamcold :

Hello, My name is XXXXX XXXXX are you?

Customer:

My name isXXXXX thanks. How are you?

Teamcold :

Hi Roman, Look on your freezer back wall, see if there is a coating of frost on it please

Teamcold :

I am good

Customer:

I am not quite sure. The refrigerator is next door and I have no acces to it now.

Teamcold :

Ah I see, ok first let me put this drawing up for reference and then I will continue.

Teamcold :

Full Size Image

Teamcold :

That is a drawing of the freezer section. The most common problem and first clue is frost on the back wall. It will not be self defrosting. So this is what you need to do.

Teamcold :

You will need to remove everything that you can and get the back wall off then defrost the coils. If you use a hair dryer be careful as the plastic parts inside melt at a very low temperature.

Teamcold :

Do you have a volt/ohm meter?

Customer:

Yes

Teamcold :

good

Teamcold :

What you will need to do after you get it defrosted close it up and let it get cold for about 30 minutes. Then switch your meter to ohms and test 2 parts. Disconnect number 618 and put a lead at each end. If you get a reading it is good.

Teamcold :

I need to check the parts list for the second test,,just a minute please

Teamcold :

In the drawing it is number 620

Teamcold :

This is the defrost thermostat and it must be frosty cold for the test

Teamcold :

I can see that its not very clear on the drawing but you will see it clipped onto the coils

Teamcold :

Disconnect that and if it tests good then you will need to get back with me. A reading through a frosty cold defrost thermostat means it is good.

Teamcold :

In the meantime the fridge will get cold and operate for about 2 weeks.

Customer:

What happens after 2 weeks?

Teamcold :

It will frost over again. I am pretty sure you will find one of those 2 parts bad.

Teamcold :

There are three, the other is the mainboard

Customer:

The other thing noticed. The compressor will shut off when the temperature setting is turned off for either the frige or freezer independently.

Teamcold :

The fridge is supposed to get its cold air from the freezer, what is happening is the freezer is cold enough at the present time. So it will try to switch off until it warms a bit. This was designed to save energy.

Teamcold :

How long before you get over there? About?

Customer:

Unfortunately this is an rental and no tenants are home. Could be a while.

Teamcold :

Ok I have to go to work in about 2 hours so lets do this,,,,

Teamcold :

I will switch it over to question and answer that way you can come back

Teamcold :

Do not press accept yet

Teamcold :

That way if you find that it is not frosted up we can continue

Teamcold :

That is the most common cause though.

Teamcold :

Want to go over the 2nd?

Customer:

The board was already replaced 5 year ago and quite expensive.

Teamcold :

Yes they are expensive, I really will be surprised if you come back and tell me there is not any frost. You described the symtoms exact. That first part I asked you to test is the heater. It is a glass tube and they usually go after a few years.

Customer:

So the cooloing of the fridge come down fronm the freezer? I thought the temperature settings in the fridge were independent from one another? Isn't there a thermocouple or is everthing controlled by this expensive board?

Teamcold :

Yes all the cooling comes from the freezer and yes there is a thermistor in the fridge that senses the fridge temperature. There is also one in the freezer. It is number 605 in the drawing. I will get the other drawing so you can see the second. These almost never fail. That would be the last check I would make. Just a second.

Teamcold :

Full Size Image

Teamcold :

Number 635 in that drawing

Teamcold :

There is also a damper that opens and closes allowing air down from the freezer and you will find it to be near number 623, these ocassionally get stuck.

Teamcold :

I would start with the freezer wall, go to the damper and check that then the check for the thermistors is as follows.

Teamcold :

Get a glass of ice water and let it sit for a minute or so

Teamcold :

Drop the thermistor in it and it should read between 7k and 10k ohms

Customer:

Tenant home. She checked the inside freezer back wall and she scraped some frost with her finger nail. There is some frost.

Teamcold :

Thats not bad,,,not great but not bad

Teamcold :

You can get them going pretty quickly

Teamcold :

Check the heater first

Teamcold :

Also sometimes when a defrost thermostat goes bad you can see it, but not always

Customer:

Heater is 618 and defrost thermostat 620?

Teamcold :

yes that is correct

Customer:

So all these are accessed from within/inside the freezer?

Teamcold :

Yes the heater is mounted to the bottom of the coils and the thermostat is usually clipped on the top.

Customer:

What now?

Teamcold :

I am going to switch to question and answer so you can come back. Then you can let me know so you may click accept then or we can continue if you need it.

Expert:  Barry G. replied 4 years ago.
Chat Conversation Ended

If you are still working with your Expert on this question, you can post additional replies and receive additional information on this page.  If you received a satisfactory answer in Chat, you can accept the chat conversation above.
Expert:  Barry G. replied 4 years ago.
Your thread is here. Let me know.

Thanks.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Roman here, I tested the heat element and there is conductance. I tested the defrost thermostat after freezing it for 30 minutes and there is conductance. I then tested the defrost thermost at room tempertaure and there was still conductance.

 

What now?

Expert:  Barry G. replied 4 years ago.
Hello Roman

You did not tell me if the coils were frosted or not? I am sorry I missed you I was at work. I will keep the computer on and try to catch you when you reply.

Thanks,
Barry
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

The defrost thermostat was removed and placed in my freezer for 30 minutes and the conductance was tested with ohm meter and there was a reading. To confirm, defrost thermostat was then placed into ice/water in freezer and tested again after 20 minutes ice bath treatment. There was a reading with the ohm meter. Just for curiousity, the defrost thermostat was allowed to warm to room temperature and tested again and there was a reading on the ohm meter. This morning, after overnight warmup, there was still a reading with the ohm meter.

 

What now?

Expert:  Barry G. replied 4 years ago.
Its bad, were the coils frosted over? I am asking because there is one other related part in order to know if it is involved or not I need to know.

Thanks

Edited by Teamcold on 6/23/2010 at 4:25 PM EST
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
The coils were iced over. We had to defrost for a few hours.
Expert:  Barry G. replied 4 years ago.
Hello Roman,

I am here and I want to get this answer to you before I head out to work. Give me about 5 minutes to get the information together for you..

Thanks,
Barry
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
OK
Expert:  Barry G. replied 4 years ago.
There are 3 parts involved in the defrost of your unit. The heater which is good, the defrost thermostat which is bad but not broke in such a way as to not let electricity pass through it so even though it is bad it would allow the heater to work. Its job is to sense heat and then break the circuit once it is warm enough inside to have all the frost melted. I would replace it for safety reasons. Part number WR50X10068.
The third part is the main board and its part number is XXXXX It is not sending the signal to the heater to defrost.

Thanks,
Barry
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Any way to know if the main board is bad?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Are you sure of these part numbers?
Expert:  Barry G. replied 4 years ago.
No there is not a test, you test 2 of the 3 parts involved and eliminate those.

Before I go to work I wanted to send you a picture of the defrost thermostat just to be sure you tested the right part. A very similar one is pictured below. Yes those numbers are from our GE parts supplier.

graphic
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Yes, I tested this part. I was given Part# XXXXX as the replacement?
Expert:  Barry G. replied 4 years ago.
Let me double check.
Expert:  Barry G. replied 4 years ago.
No sir the replacement part number from GE is correct. WR50X10068

The board is WR55X10942 those are the correct replacement parts.

I'll check back tonight. If you accept be sure to leave the thread open.

Thanks,
Barry
Expert:  Barry G. replied 4 years ago.
Just to let everyone know, I have training today. I will be out from 9:45 am to midnight eastern time. I cannot miss it as it only comes around once a year. I will check in as soon as I get back in.

Thanks,
Barry
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Barry,

 

As it turns out, you were absolutely correct. The local appliance store was not very useful. The part number given by the local store for the defrost thermostat was incorrect. Therefore, from GE parts on-line I wasted money in recieving and sending it back. You are correct in the two parts that needed replacing--both the defrost thermostat and board were bad. The refrgerator/freezer now works like new. Thanks very much for your help and expert advice.

Expert:  Barry G. replied 4 years ago.
You are most welcome Roman. I was glad to be of service.

You and your family take care and thank you for using Just Answer.

Please click accept.

Thanks,
Barry.
Barry G., Home Appliance Technician
Category: Appliance
Satisfied Customers: 6065
Experience: 27 years in home appliance repair. EPA refrigerant transition and recovery certification type I & II.
Barry G. and 5 other Appliance Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Barry,

 

The replacement of the main circut board and the defrost thermostat were NOT necessary.

 

As it turned out the only defective part was the thermocouple attached to the cooling coils.

 

After I had replaced your suggested parts, the problem still persisted. The coils continue to frost / freeze over. I had discovered there was one critical part that was the defective part. This was the thermocouple attached to the freezer coils. I had replaced this and the defrosting was resumed and automatic.

 

Regards,

 

Roman

Expert:  Barry G. replied 3 years ago.
Hello Roman, its nice to hear from you. That part you replaced is the very least common part on your unit to break. I am really shocked to hear that and I also am very sorry to have mislead you, it was never my intention to do that. I care a lot about my customers,,,,,I have a family with kids and a wife plus inlaws....it matters to me.
I am sorry I promise I never meant to mislead you.

Barry
Expert:  Barry G. replied 3 years ago.
Hello Roman, its nice to hear from you. That part you replaced is the very least common part on your unit to break. I am really shocked to hear that and I also am very sorry to have mislead you, it was never my intention to do that. I care a lot about my customers,,,,,I have a family with kids and a wife plus inlaws....it matters to me.
I am sorry I promise I never meant to mislead you.

Barry

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