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Barry G.
Barry G., Home Appliance Technician
Category: Appliance
Satisfied Customers: 6126
Experience:  27 years in home appliance repair. EPA refrigerant transition and recovery certification type I & II.
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GE TBX18DLS refrigerator/freezer arent cold enough. I vacuumed

Customer Question

GE TBX18DLS refrigerator/freezer aren't cold enough. I vacuumed coils,fan is running,gaskets are original but look fine. Temperature control doesn't seem to help when increased. This is a "garage" fridge but has been working great for 8 years.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Appliance
Expert:  Barry G. replied 1 year ago.
Hello my name is XXXXX XXXXX you for choosing our service.

On the back wall in the freezer is that area of frost fairly large? Not just one small spot?

Thanks,
Barry
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Yes, fairly large with white frost. There was ice over the small "vents" toward the bottom of the freezer compartment. I cleared these and let the thing stay unplugged for a day. Then started the fridge @ suggested temp setting. It's been 3 days and although I increased temp dials it's still not cold in the fridge or freezing well.

Expert:  Barry G. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX the fan was running, is the freezer fan operating as well?

Barry
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Yes, both fans are running and cool air is blowing in freezer & fridge. Before I plugged in the unit I did soak up water under the crisper drawers.

Expert:  Barry G. replied 1 year ago.
It should be cooling, have you heard a buzz or a click from the rear of the refrigerator?

I am sorry for the delay, I am just thinking of what I could be missing. There is no frost on that freezer rear wall now is there? Even the thinnest coat?

Barry
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Yes, there is frost on the back freezer wall. This morning there was a very little bit of moisture between doors so I moved the switch to moisture instead of energy saver!

Expert:  Barry G. replied 1 year ago.
Good, that is good. Give me a minute to find an image and I will explain how to check the defrost.

Barry
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

"COOL"-thanks!

Expert:  Barry G. replied 1 year ago.
You are welcome. Unplug the refrigerator from the wall outlet.

In the freezer remove everything until you get to the back wall. If there is an ice maker take it out. Loosen the 2 screws over the top of that and sometimes there is one under the bottom. Lift if off the 2 top screws, follow the cord back to the back wall and unplug it. Remove the 2 top screws.

Remove any screws you find in the back wall including the one arrowed blue. Remove the cover if you do not have an ice maker and unlock that connector arrowed green then push that through the hole.

Sometimes there are locking clips where the red arrows are, unlock those and take out the rear freezer wall.

Behind those parts is the evaporator coil that defrosts about every 10 hours. Let me know when you get that far, you will need another image I do not have ready yet. Leave the frost there. I need to know how much frost is there.

Barry
CLICK TO ENLARGE
graphic
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Ok. Thank you.

Expert:  Barry G. replied 1 year ago.
You are welcome. No rush, take your time.

Barry
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Sorry it's taking so long. There is a tin of ice-especially on the right side. I can't get the back completely off yet. Does it just pull back and then lift up? It seems stuck or maybe just frozen.

Expert:  Barry G. replied 1 year ago.
There are two clip holders at the top where the vent is one on each side, you can get those loose with a flat tip screw driver.

Do not be sorry, I am here all day long. I don't mind. Let me know if you can't find them. I think I have a picture somewhere.

Barry
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

I will check for them. Thank you.

Expert:  Barry G. replied 1 year ago.

Your welcome. Arrowed blue below.

 

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

The top is loose- I can pull it down a bit to see all the ice behind it. The bottom is still attached. Are there some other clips or how is the bottom detach-there are no screws. I can slide a putty knife between the freezer floor and the back of the freezer-the knife goes in about 1/8 inch to what must be the bottom of the back. I can only see one slot on the left side, won't release with a screwdriver.

Expert:  Barry G. replied 1 year ago.
It must be hanging on something back there or there may be a green ground wire holding it on the back side, that will slide off. That is all I can think of.

Barry
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

ok, I'll let some more ice melt and carry on! Thanks--there is lots of ice!

Expert:  Barry G. replied 1 year ago.
Good that is not all that bad. It was the no ice situation I was worried about.

Barry
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Finally got the back off! The entire bottom coil is covered in ice as well as the right top coil.

Expert:  Barry G. replied 1 year ago.
What about the middle part of the coils were those white as well?

Barry
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Looks like 2 horizontal rows of coils. Bottom completely covered, top has ice on right side only-also ice above the top coil to some wires. The 'middle' is covered with ice on the bottom but not so much on the top.

Expert:  Barry G. replied 1 year ago.
Good, Close the freezer and open the fridge. Remove the knobs and the panel behind that arrowed green.

Then locate behind that arrowed red the dime size hole with a screw on each side of it. Stop there and make sure all the wiring is safe and not touching metal. Inside the freezer as well.

Plug in and when the refrigerator is on turn the part inside that dime size hole slowly clockwise until the refrigerator shuts off.

Wait 5 minutes then check near the bottom of those coils, can you see that a heater is on there?

Barry

graphic
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

This panel cover has plastic cap with small round gray "button". Looks like the top of a "sex" screw that will only advance and cannot be easily removed---is that it? I couldn't see anything under the panel cover.

Expert:  Barry G. replied 1 year ago.
Let me find a picture of the part. Just a minute and I will have it up here.

Barry
Expert:  Barry G. replied 1 year ago.
I am sorry for the delay Jaci, I was looking for the best picture I could find. The part will be behind a metal plate and the part you are turning clockwise is arrowed below.

Barry
graphic
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

hey,yes, that's it! Ok, here goes.

Expert:  Barry G. replied 1 year ago.
Okay, soon I will need to run out for 30 minutes but I will return. Good luck!

Barry
Expert:  Barry G. replied 1 year ago.
I just got the call, making the run in 25 minutes but please be careful and take your time. I will be no longer than 30 minutes.

Barry
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

If the heater is working will it be obvious? It's still very full of ice. Should I use a blow dryer or just wait?

Expert:  Barry G. replied 1 year ago.
How long has the refrigerator been kicked off?

Barry
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

the fridge has been "off" about 40 minutes but now the fans are running. I really don't know if the heater is working or not. The ice is dripping but there is still lots.

Expert:  Barry G. replied 1 year ago.
We know the timer is working, the refrigerator came back on. So yes go ahead and melt the frost, turn off the fridge before you start defrosting and let me look and see which heater you have.

Barry
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

ok!

Expert:  Barry G. replied 1 year ago.
I don't suppose you have an ohm meter do you?

Barry
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

I have a cheap multimeter. Again, you'd have to talk me thru it!

Expert:  Barry G. replied 1 year ago.
LOL for a minute I thought you typed talked to me through it. Sorry, that cracked me up!

Attached to the bottom of the coils up very tight is a heater. The wires for that heater run down each side of the coils. Unplug the refrigerator and unplug the wires from the heater. They pull off.

Turn your meter on and set it to any ohm setting. Look at the meter with the probes apart, then touch them together and you will see a change. That is all you are looking for, No special numbers just a change.

Put one lead to each end of the heater where the wires were connected, do you see the meter change?

Barry
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Heading back to the garage now--all the ice isn't melted.

Expert:  Barry G. replied 1 year ago.
Take your time you will probably need to finish melting before you can see

Barry
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

I see 2 wires wrapped in a "foil" that go to 1 spade type connector. The "blade" is attached to what I'm guessing is the heater? This is all on the left side of the back wall under the coils. Is this right? I touched both leads to the "Blade" and the meter jumped to the far right.

Expert:  Barry G. replied 1 year ago.
Your doing the test right but not the right area. The heater is pictured below.

Barry
graphic
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

ok, so the other "blade" is most likely under ice on the right side. Famous last words--I'll be back!

Expert:  Barry G. replied 1 year ago.
Okay yes it will be at the other side.

Barry
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Hey! Yes, when I touch a lead to each end of the heater "blade" the meter moves to the right.

Expert:  Barry G. replied 1 year ago.
Great then I know which part is bad. Let me locate it and type the answer for you.

Barry
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Awesome!

Expert:  Barry G. replied 1 year ago.

Be sure to finish defrosting the refrigerator and put it all back together before turning it on. especially the freezer rear wall. That directs air to the lower part as well.

The part that is bad I have in the image below. You have to locate it usually near the top of the freezer coils.

When you get it unplug the refrigerator and cut the wires to that part because I believe this will splice in. There will not be connectors so cut them close to the old bad part. Strip the wires about the same as the part you will recieve. Twist a wire from the refrigerator to your new part clockwise. Twist a wire nut which you will recieve onto the wires you twisted clockwise until it has stopped turning. Then tape it with some electrical tape.

Repeat for the other 2 wires. It does not matter which wire goes to which wire as long as you get 1 wire at a time from the freezer to a different wire on the new part. When you are done clip your new thermostat in about the same area as the old one, there is no need to be exact just near.

Tape all of the excess wires in a neat loop out of the way the best you can and your done. I have linked your thermostat below.

https://www.appliancezone.com/ShowProduct.aspx?ID=9914&r=br549

After you finish melting all of the ice today I expect your refrigerator will cool normally for 14 days. Longer if the doors are not opened much. You should have your new part long before then. It costs $6.39 plus shipping. I would say you done a very good job up til now and I expect you will when you get it however if you get stuck give me a should just save a link to this page.

If you found my answer satisfactory please login if you are not already logged in and please leave an ok or better rating. If you have any questions use the reply to expert link.

Thanks,
Barry
CLICK TO ENLARGE
graphic

Expert:  Barry G. replied 1 year ago.
Jaci wait until you get the new part to cut the wires.

Barry
Barry G., Home Appliance Technician
Category: Appliance
Satisfied Customers: 6126
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.

Hi Barry. I replaced the defrost thermostat last Thursday afternoon. I started the fridge @ the suggested settings. Nothing has improved. There is some water under the crisper drawers but the fridge isn't very cold. The freezer isn't freezing hotdogs! I have white frost on the inside back wall of the freezer. I just took the freezer back off again and there is frost on the middle to right side of the upper & lower coils. I put a turkey baster of hot water in the drain trough and it drained to the pan at the bottom back of fridge. Help!

Expert:  Barry G. replied 1 year ago.
Jaci did you defrost the coils in the freezer? Also were they clogged with frost?

Barry
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Hi-I just took off the back & it is slowly defrosting on it's own. I wasn't sure if you would be there! I can use a hairdryer again.

Expert:  Barry G. replied 1 year ago.
I was out doing calls, I did just get in. Yes you can use a hair dryer.

Barry
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

I have a question. my old thermostat had a small clip attached to the bottom--it fit on the coil. The new thermostat did not have a clip--the tech where I bought the part said to use zip ties, which I did. How much of the bottom of the thermostat needs to be in contact with the coil?

Expert:  Barry G. replied 1 year ago.
Not much really it just needs to be at the top and touching the coils to defrost. Some do not have a clip and a zip tie is okay.

Barry
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

ok, I attached it in the same location. Now what?!

Expert:  Barry G. replied 1 year ago.
Just defrost it, were the coils clogged with frost?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Yes and top to bottom on the right side of them. I used the hairdryer and have water below the crisper drawers but the majority of the water came to the back of the fridge at the bottom overflowing the pan.

Expert:  Barry G. replied 1 year ago.
That is a lot of frost, that should get it going for you.

Barry
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Barry, did you mean did I defrost the coils before I put in the new thermostat? I did, last Thursday and nothing improved. So, do the same thing again now and start it with the initial settings?

Expert:  Barry G. replied 1 year ago.
Yes that is correct. If you defrost it should be fine.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Ok, here goes and thank you again!

Expert:  Barry G. replied 1 year ago.
You are welcome Jaci, good luck.

Barry
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Hello Barry! It's been several days now and basically nothing has changed, my original question is still the same. The fridge is not cold enough, the freezer has some frost on the lower right half of the back wall and still won't freeze hotdogs.

Expert:  Bryan replied 1 year ago.

Hello, Thank you for using this service, I will be helping you with your problem today

Good afternoon, Barry has opted out, my name is Bryan and I hope to help you today. Can you remove the panel inside the freezer where defrost is and tell me are only the bottom section of the coils frosted? The rest are not?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.


Hello Bryan, thanks for helping me. I've been gone several days and the unit does seem colder in the fridge-I have it set @ "7". The freezer is set @ "D" and the hotdogs are not frozen but 1 lb. tube of hamburger is frozen?? There is white frost on the back wall of the freezer section, the lower half and covering the vents, and mostly on the back right side. Does the little fan in the freezer only come on during 'defrost'? It's not running right now. I can take the freezer back off again but the past 3 times there was lots of frost on the bottom coil and from the bottom to top on the right side. Honestly this is as cold as it's been but there is frost on the back freezer wall. Any help would be appreciated and thanks to Barry too-you guys are a patient bunch!!


 


 

Expert:  Bryan replied 1 year ago.
Okay so your saying when you had the cover off in the freezer all the coils weren't frosted just some ? (the fan doesn't run during defrost)
Customer: replied 1 year ago.


The coils were mostly coverered on the top & bottom right side--the left side wasn't. The frost continued up the right side only between the coils and the freezer wall from top to bottom. I can take off the back and see what it's doing today but I can see frost on the 'back' of the freezer compartment.

Expert:  Bryan replied 1 year ago.
Okay thats not really a good sign unfortunately.if all the coils aren't lightly covered in frost it mean the system is low on freon and that means a leak, be it slow but a leak. This would need to be checked by an HVAC tech , first for a leak and then to fix it and recharge the system. Sorry for the bad news, you can go ahead and pull the panel again but if its the same then its low.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.


Ok, thank you Bryan. I may go ahead and pull the panel again and bug you later!

Expert:  Bryan replied 1 year ago.
LOL okay. I'm a bugable person.My wife bugs me all day ! talk later .

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Customer: replied 1 year ago.


Good! I took off the panel and the entire bottom row of coils are covered with frost. There is not any frost on the top row of coils. There is frost on the right side top to bottom but only around whatever that "tube" is and not all the way to the freezer side wall. Does this mean anything?!

Expert:  Bryan replied 1 year ago.
okay so would you say its less than half of the coils frosted ?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.


Yes, but it's the entire bottom half frosted.

Expert:  Bryan replied 1 year ago.
Unfortunately I have to inform you that theres a leak. its low on freon. the compressor is running and struggling to frost all the coils but theres not enough freon the fill all the coils so the lower ones get over frosted. but none reaches the top coils, I wish I had better news sorry. this can be expensive and since this is a garage fridge you may want to consider just replacing it. to seal a leak if its in the copper is around $200.00 if the evaporator is leaking it would need to be replaced because its to thin to solder. probably looking at $400.00 then.
Expert:  Bryan replied 1 year ago.
I was wondering is you received my reply ? I see this question is still open and not accepted, Is there something more I can help you with ? If so please ask. If you are all set please rate me 3 or above so I will get credit for helping you, Thanks and best wishes, Bryan
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Thank you Bryan. Your service was excellent and most appreciated. I rated your service to finish this question but it keeps wanting to charge me again.

Expert:  Bryan replied 1 year ago.
I did put in for a refund for you however being the 4th of July it may not go through until tomorrow. have a great 4th ! thanks. Bryan

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