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Barry G.
Barry G., Home Appliance Technician
Category: Appliance
Satisfied Customers: 6822
Experience:  27 years in home appliance repair. EPA refrigerant transition and recovery certification type I & II.
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My refrigerator only runs strong and cold for a few days despite

Customer Question

My refrigerator only runs strong and cold for a few days despite replacing the internal fans (moves air from freezer to fridge), and recharging the freon. Is there anyway to evaluate the freon flow, and assess whether there is stoppage or leakage?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Appliance
Expert:  Barry G. replied 4 years ago.
Hello my name is XXXXX XXXXX I will be assisting you. I believe we can get close.

First look in the freezer (even though it may be warm) at the rear inside wall, can you find a frosty spot anywhere?

Check to see that the freezer fan is blowing steady air out of the vent in the freezer, is it?

If the freezer fan is operating and you found no frost on the rear inside wall of the freezer go around behind the unit and remove the lower panel. Touch the compressor on the top. Is the compressor hot, warm or cold and is it vibrating? And have you heard a buzz or click from back there?

Is the fan back there working as well?


Customer: replied 4 years ago.
I just turned it back on - how long should I wait to re-assess?
As for the a few days ago, the fans (both) work, and no frost on back wall. The compressor is vibrating, not sure of temp (will check), and have not heard a click, but there is a slight humming (been there since i bought it new).
Expert:  Barry G. replied 4 years ago.
Give it 2 hours to get the freezer cold if its going to, then make the checks, of course there will be no frost. Your compressor may be cutting out even though there are no clicks so be sure to check that it is vibrating lightly because some GE compressors operate so quietly you cannot hear them over the fan. And be sure you can hold your hand on the top. Its not too hot to do that.

Save this page to your favorites. I have to run out but I will return before then. If you have a volt meter or test light it might be a good idea to have it located.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
There is frost on the metal hose connected to the compressor. Freezer and fridge are cold, but not for long. What would be causing this, and is there any way to fix it?
Expert:  Barry G. replied 4 years ago.
That frost is that appearing to originate at the compressor and be thicker near that or at the bottom outside of freezer and thinning as it comes to the compressor?

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
thickest closest to compressor - originating from compressor
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
i also hear a high pitched noise from the back of the fridge- its constant - almost sounds like a dog whistle. - the metal hose (with frost) appears to once have had a foam insulator that seems to be keeping most of the hose frost-free. Apparently, there are two parts of the hose that are frosted - the second leading up and into the freezer.
Expert:  Barry G. replied 4 years ago.
That is a broken valve in the compressor. There is a scenario where there would be an overcharge of coolant and that would cause the very same thing but the ice would be the thickest at the bottom of the freezer and then thinning on the way to the compressor. The reason it would appear this way is because being overcharged the coolant coming out of the freezer to the compressor would be colder than it should be so that would cause the icing to begin at the freezer and work its way toward the compressor.

A broke valve will cause the same thing but the icing goes in reverse. What is happening the compressor has pistons and reed valves and these work very similar to a car engine. The freon is a gas at the beginning then is compressed to a liquid by a piston. The valves open and close at the proper time to direct the coolant flow. If the coolant flows properly it is squeezed tightly and flows as a liquid under high pressure in a smaller tube and then into an even tiny tube. Once it reaches the freezer that tiny tube sprays that liquid into a much larger one where it instantly becomes a gas because of the lower pressure and that is what creates the cold. If a valve is broken or cracked most of the freon will go the correct direction but some of it is leaking backward into a larger area of the compressor and just like it would in the freezer the coolant becomes a gas again because of the larger area creating cold. Thats causing the icing at the compressor. Its probably icing so badly the compressor valves internally stop working altogether. I am surprised the guy who recharged it did not notice that. You will need to call that guy back and get him to replace the compressor. That is the only repair there is.


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