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Barry G.
Barry G., Home Appliance Technician
Category: Appliance
Satisfied Customers: 6823
Experience:  27 years in home appliance repair. EPA refrigerant transition and recovery certification type I & II.
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My refrigerator is not cooling. The lights are on in both sides

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My refrigerator is not cooling. The lights are on in both sides and on the door. However, the back wall of the freezer has icce build-up.
Hello my name is XXXXX XXXXX you for choosing our service.

Just to be sure I understand correctly, the lights inside the refrigerator and freezer will not go out if you press the door light switch off?

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

The freezer is not freezing. The lights are on. The compressor comes on and there is some cooling and freezing for a couple days then it stops freezing and the cooling on the refrigerator side is not adequate. If the power cord is removed from the socket (disconnected) and then pluged back in after an hour, the lights come on but it takes about a day for the compressor to come back in. It will freeze for a couple days then the problem recurs.

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The most common cause is the coils in the freezer not defrosting in this model of GE refrigerator. This will cause ice buildup at the lower rear inside wall of the freezer and the air to not be circulated from the cold coils in the freezer over to the fresh food side, also if left long enough the freezer will also stop cooling. 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.
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, get an ohm meter and set it 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.

If the heater measures good the thermistor is bad. Replace the thermistor. The problem has to be one or the other causing the problem.


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.


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