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.
Maybe somewhere in the garage. Please tell me what you believe the problem is and what is required to fix it.
UNPLUG THE REFRIGERATORYou 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=1000064If 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.
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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?
No thats normally what will happen. Once the air starts circulating the refrigeratror will cut off and on like it always did.
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.
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?
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