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Appliance Guru
Appliance Guru, Owner and Technician
Category: Appliance
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Experience:  Over 15 yrs. experience with 10,000+ in home repairs.
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Hi, I have a nearly 8 yr old GE side by side, model number

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Hi, I have a nearly 8 yr old GE side by side, model number GSS22WGPJCC. The refrigerator AND freezer are not cooling enough. I just replaced the motor to the condenser because it was squeaking and driving me nuts, thinking that was the problem. No. The refrigerator temp appears to be 42 degrees, maybe lowering a degree or two since replacing the motor. And yes, there is frost on the back of the freezer section. Over the past couple of weeks, I thought I smelled a burning smell near the refrigerator but couldn't quite locate it and thought it was my imagination. Don't have a multimeter right now. Researching GE tonite: apparently a poor performer AND it's nearing end of life expectancy. I'm going to move and leave the appliances and hate to buy new just to leave it. Thanks for any info you can provide! - xxxxxx

Thanks for using this service.

You need to remove the back panel inside the freezer and check the evaporator coil. If it is all completely frosted up, then you are having a defrost issue. The heater is likely burned out, very common on that model. You can check that with your meter for continuity. Now if you only see frost on the top section and the bottom is bare non-frosted aluminum then you have a sealed system problem and the unit is low on gas. This would be a goner then. Checking the evaporator coil will tell you everything. This is an example of a leak in the sealed system. All I ask is that you rate my assistance thank you!


Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I'm having trouble getting the back panel off. there's a ground wire at the top and can't see bottom screws on panel tho i tried scraping ice off. appears to have a lot of ice throughout.


Meant to tell you that compressor feels warm to touch but can't discern it going ever, just the fans(?)


Q: Where are the heaters located? Are they horizontal? i read last night that they look nasty and not bright and shiney if they're toast.


And: if i use a hair dryer to get rid of the existing frost, will this buy me a little time so that i can order the parts?


Do you recommend replacing the defrost thermostat as well?


Thank you!

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Relist: Incomplete answer.
It's late... maybe expert is off-line. i had a few follow-up questions. The answer provided had more insight (is there frost in the upper part of the freezer panel or throughout; that was more definitive than I had found while researching last night. It's not that i'm unhappy, just want more info:

will using a hairdryer to melt frost give me a bit of time with a quasi-working unit while i order parts?

and, where are the defrost heaters located? and,

should i order a defrost thermostat as well?


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

Good Morning, what you need to replace is the defrost heater. Defrost Heater Assembly WR51X10101 Main Product View You asked where this is located and its located behind that panel inside the freezer, the ground wire just pulls off so thats easy, as fa as not being able to see the bottom screws you will need to take the hair dryer and defrost the panel so you can get to them and remove the panel. now the heater is screwed on at the bottom of the coils, once you get the panel out use the hair dryer to completely defrost all the ice . the heater has been redesigned because of failure. its part number 230 on this diagram. this refrigerator is not really a bad refrigerator and if theres a lot of frost that means the sealed system is really good, I would replace the heater and that should take care of your issue. heres a link to order the part. I hope this answers the rest of your questions, thanks and best wishes, Bryan

Bryan, Home Appliance Technician
Category: Appliance
Satisfied Customers: 12157
Experience: 15 yrs. experience as a certified appliance technician.
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I am the tech that first answered your was very late and I went offline. There are a few screws to get the panel off. If frost is built up over the screws you need to melt it off to see them. You will need to flex the panel to get it out. I would get the panel off and check the evaporator while it is running to make sure you do not have a sealed system issue first before ordering anything. The heater is located on the very bottom of the evaporator, two phillip screws hold it in. You can remove it and check it with a meter. The defrost thermostat could be bad, but is not very common to give you issue on that unit. I am sorry for the delay.
Appliance Guru, Owner and Technician
Category: Appliance
Satisfied Customers: 15153
Experience: Over 15 yrs. experience with 10,000+ in home repairs.
Appliance Guru and 4 other Appliance Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thanks for replying. i didn't realize it was so late when i asked the question (refrigerators don't care what time it is) so i appreciate you answering again this a.m.