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Ask Tom Goellner Your Own Question
Tom Goellner
Tom Goellner, Home Appliance Technician
Category: Appliance
Satisfied Customers: 1637
Experience:  32 yrs. experience servicing major appliances and HVAC equipment.
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Hi I have a GE side by side model# XXXXX S/N SA232457 ...

Customer Question

Hi I have a GE side by side model# XXXXX S/N SA232457 that is operating inside fine, but the bottom front of the fridge is getting hot to the touch. The metal space between the two doors is also getting very hot as well as the outer left side (looking at the fridge). It seems as if the fridge is constantly on and started not cycling off since yesterday.

Any ideas?
Submitted: 9 years ago.
Category: Appliance
Expert:  Tom Goellner replied 9 years ago.


There is a refrigerant line that runs through the area you're referring to . It's called a condenser loop and it's there to prevent moisture from forming. It starts at the condenser and returns to the condenser. It is normally warm. It's hot because of excessive run times- - so something's wrong. Here's what to check - remove the back plate of fridge and make sure the fan back there is running, also clean the round condenser of dust which is right there by the fan. Next - look and feel at the back wall of freezer , it should be very cold but NO frost on this wall. If there is frost remove the back wall and replace the defrost heater and completely defrost the evaporator ( the cooling coil ) Feel free to get back if you need help

Tom Goellner and other Appliance Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 9 years ago.
Tom, thanks for the quick reply - when I looked underneath last night I saw "dust blowing" so I know something is venting but usually the floor in front of the fridge is warm - but has not been the case since this problem cropped up. Could this just be a dust issue? That would be far too easy.

Also if I really pay attention I can hear a bit of gurgling coming from the fridge, I suspect that's the refridgerant circulating?

I'm at work now, I will check this out when I get home.
Expert:  Tom Goellner replied 9 years ago.
Gurgling noise - yeah refrigerant circulating . It could be that the condenser is so dirty that it is running too much . Certainly start with the easiest first but check others as I mentioned previously.
Customer: replied 9 years ago.
Thanks I'll do so and check back with you later tonight (2 kids under 2 are running the show when i get home), right now I have an external fan blowing air to try to minimize heat.
Expert:  Tom Goellner replied 9 years ago.

Good enough Smile

Customer: replied 9 years ago.

Is the back panel the entire back or just the bottom half? I know there are water lines/filters hanging off the back and wondering if they will need to be disconnected before monkeying around on this particular fridge.

Customer: replied 9 years ago.

Got home earlier and I have to say -that was one vent entirely covered with dust - the compressor slats were so covered also it was remarkable.

I am happy to say that after vacuuming and cleaning out the entire area - the fridge is working normally again.

Thanks so much for your help.
Expert:  Tom Goellner replied 9 years ago.
GREAT !Smile