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Justin, Appliance Technician
Category: Appliance
Satisfied Customers: 829
Experience:  Owner of Shaffer's Appliance Service
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GE side by side refrigerator freezer is not freezing or cooling

Resolved Question:

GE side by side refrigerator freezer is not freezing or cooling properly. A wall of ice was flowing down the back of the freezer (unplugged refrigerator to defrost), but freezer is not freezing and refrigerator is not cooling properly. After defrosting and plugging refrigerator back in, refrigerator drawers began fogging up and appeared somewhat cool. Red light is on for filter to be changed. What may be the cause of refrigerator not working?
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Appliance
Expert:  Justin replied 6 years ago.

Hello and thank you for the opportunity to help you.


Your defrost heater has most likely failed. This sits under the evaporator in the freezer behind the lower rear panel. It should read around 27 ohms resistance. The new part is a double coil heater instead of a single coil heater. Instructions are included. This is a VERY common part to fail. Part number WR51X10101. You'll see a blue and a pink wire attached to it.


If defrost does not occur, frost accumulates and suffocates proper air flow throughout your entire refrigerator. The filter reset light just refers to your water filter needing replaced.


If this has helped, please choose the accept button. This is how I am paid for my time and advice. Positive feedback and bonuses are greatly appreciated.

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Greetings Justin,
Am I able to replace the part ( double coil heater) ? How do I measure the OHMs resistance?
Expert:  Justin replied 6 years ago.
Yes, you can replace it. Instructions are included. Basically, you just have to move a wire from the left to the right side. The part looks a bit different but it's correct. GE revised this part for high failure rate. To measure ohms, you need a multi-meter. As I said, this is most likely your issue. Very common.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Thanks. I will order the part and give it a try. Is the part only available through GE?
Expert:  replied 6 years ago.
No, you can order it from any appliance parts vendor. is one and you can try as well. You can always pull the heater out and have a friend or neighbor verify the heater is open before you order it. If you defrost your freezer well, it'll work for a week or two and you can have the heater out. There are other things which can cause a unit to not defrost, so I'd recommend having the resistance checked. If you have a local appliance shop in your area, they'd probably check it for free. If you find the part checks ok, get back to me and we'll go to the next step, but that's most likely your issue.

Edited by Justin on 7/1/2010 at 3:09 AM EST
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