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Barry G.
Barry G., Home Appliance Technician
Category: Appliance
Satisfied Customers: 6358
Experience:  27 years in home appliance repair. EPA refrigerant transition and recovery certification type I & II.
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The freezer is running constantly and blowing cold air, but

Customer Question

The freezer is running constantly and blowing cold air, but not cold enough to keep things frozen. What is the likely cause?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Appliance
Expert:  Barry G. replied 1 year ago.
Hello my name is XXXXX XXXXX you for choosing our service.

Look in the freezer at the lower rear wall, can you find even the smallest amount of frost on that wall?

Feel of the strip between the doors, is that area very hot?

Thanks,
Barry
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

I am a landlord, I do not have access to the refrigerator at this time. When I examined it, the back wall was covered with a thick layer of frost. The tenant told me that that buildup occurred after the freezer stopped holding the temperature. She also stated that the refrigerator still seems to work fine.

Expert:  Barry G. replied 1 year ago.
I understand and I know what the problem is, do you have an ohm meter to work with?

Thanks,
Barry
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Maybe somewhere in the garage. Please tell me what you believe the problem is and what is required to fix it.

Expert:  Barry G. replied 1 year ago.
If you find my answer satisfactory please login if you are not already logged in and leave a rating.

The most common cause is the coils in the freezer not defrosting in this model of GE refrigerator. This will cause the air to not be circulated from the cold coils in the freezer over to the fresh food side. There is a defrost heater at the bottom of the freezer coils arrowed pink in the picture below. That is a glass tube with a coil in it that gets hot about every 8 hours to defrost the freezer coils. That breaks inside and does not come on then the coils clog with frost.
graphic


UNPLUG THE REFRIGERATOR
You can remove the lower rear wall of the freezer and defrost the coils behind that wall. That will get the air circulating for about 10 days the refrigerator will cool. That will give you some time to get it repaired.

Remove that part arrowed pink, be sure to remember that is a glass tube in that aluminum frame so be careful. Once you have it out disconnect the wires, set your meter to any ohm setting and put one lead to each end of that part where the wires connected. If the meter changes that heater is good. If the meter does not change that heater is bad. I have it linked below.

www.repairclinic.com/PartDetail/Defrost-Heater-Assembly/WR51X10101/1399613?replacedManufacturerPartNumber= WR51X10053?RCAID=1000064

If the heater measures good and the coils are clogged with frost replace the thermistor. The thermistor is attached to the top of the coils. Its a splice in part. Get 2 wire nuts and splice it right there at the coils. Once you are done with the splice fill the wire nuts with NON conductive rtv sealant and that will take care of it. The thermistor is pictured and linked below.

www.repairclinic.com/PartDetail/Thermistor/WR55X10025/914093?RCAID=1000064

 

And you can stay in touch if you have questions. Its not a problem at all. My normal hours are 8 to 8 eastern time, I happened to be here later tonight.

 

Thanks,

Barry

 

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Barry G., Home Appliance Technician
Category: Appliance
Satisfied Customers: 6358
Experience: 27 years in home appliance repair. EPA refrigerant transition and recovery certification type I & II.
Barry G. and 3 other Appliance Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Barry,


 


I defrosted the coils (they were completely clogged with frost), removed the defrost heater and tested it - it was bad. The next day the fridge made ice. I ordered a new part from the link you sent me and was about to replace it, but the tennant informed me that the refrigerator runs continuously. Based on my understanding of what I have done and what the problem was, that should not happen.


 


Do I have some other problem on top of the burnt out heater, say a bad thermistor?

Expert:  Barry G. replied 1 year ago.

No thats normally what will happen. Once the air starts circulating the refrigeratror will cut off and on like it always did.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

It's been running constantly for 5 days, it is not cutting off. I thought defrosting the coils restored air circulation and the refrigerator should resume proper operation.

Expert:  Barry G. replied 1 year ago.
Wow, is it getting cold? Or too cold?

Barry
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

The tennant seems to think everything works fine. I cannot say for sure whether the fridge compressor really never stops working. I will see the unit tonight. How would I determine if it is too cold?

Expert:  Barry G. replied 1 year ago.

The best place to look is in the fresh food drawers for frozen food. If its overcooling that will tell you also if its over cooling you are right. A sensor is the problem. If its running all the time and NOT freezing food in those drawers there is a real problem with the refrigerator. That is about the best indicator, that and in the freezer if there is ice cream, that will be soft and often is the first thing noticed. Water will still be frozen but ice cream will be a little soft.

 

It would be highly unusual for a GE fridge to do that. There are 2 sensors in the fresh food section.

Barry

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Barry G.
Barry G.
Appliance Technician
6358 Satisfied Customers
27 years in home appliance repair. EPA refrigerant transition and recovery certification type I & II.