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Tyler Z.
Tyler Z., Appliance Doc
Category: Appliance
Satisfied Customers: 81245
Experience:  9+ years being an appliance technician with factory training.
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Tyler, if the refrigerator is not cooling but the freezer is

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Tyler, if the refrigerator is not cooling but the freezer is cooling properly any thoughts on the GE GSL25JFPA BS? I assume they share the same compressor. No buildup between them...
Hello, and thank you for using this service. I'll be helping you with your problem today.

It's not likely that the refrigerator selector would be bad, in fact I've never seen it happen. But what you do what to do is pull everything out of the freezer and remove the lower back panel inside the freezer to see if there is frost build up blocking the air flow between the refrigerator and freezer. I'm not sure if this is what you meant when you said there is "no buildup" but if there is frost packed on the silver coils, thaw it out with a hair dryer and then it sounds like your defrost isn't kicking in and you may have a bad defrost heater.

Now if there is no frost build up, shut the refrigerator door and peel back the door seal to make sure the light isn't sticking on inside the refrigerator and if so then your door switch isn't activating. If the light is off when the door is shut, then I would remove then damper assembly in the upper back left corner of the refrigerator and see if it's opening to allow air into the refrigerator from the freezer. If the vent is staying closed, then replace the damper assembly because it sounds like it has failed.

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Customer: replied 3 years ago.

My brother-in-laws..., he checked the back panel and yes, the coils are frozen up. He will defrost it and I told him to monitor to see if it happens again. If so then I would expect the defroster heater is out as you indicate. Thanks for the information as I was unaware of where to look on the side by side.

OK so let me explain this issue a bit further. You'll need to either unplug the unit for 24 hours or remove everything of the freezer and remove the lower back panel inside the freezer to defrost it with a hair dryer. Once all the frost is thawed out, the unit will start working again. To make sure the problem doesn't come back, you'll want to replace the defrost heater. GE's defrost heaters fail often because they are nothing more than a long glass light bulb. Order and replace the defrost heater at the bottom of all the frost and you should be good to go. Below is a link to the defrost heater you'll want to order and replace.


Now I did want to point out that there are a few other possibilities like the defrost control board or the defrost sensor, but these rarely fail on this model and there is no way to test the heater for certain to know if it's good or not. The reason is because that the heater is glass and can get water inside of it when it fails so it will show good continuity even when it's bad sometimes. That's why the best course of action is to replace the heater since it's by far the most common problem. Also, if you happen to remove the back panel and the coils aren't packed with frost, then that would mean the fan above the coils is likely not running which will generate the same symptoms. You'll need to order and replace the evaporator fan motor if this is the case.

If you really wanted to test the the sensor, look for the white plastic bullet at the top of the silver evaporator coils with 2 small wires going to it. You'd need to cut the wires going to the sensor and then put the sensor in ice water for 5 minutes. The resistance should be right around 16.3 kΩ. If not then the sensor would need to be replaced. I don't advise doing this test because you must cut the wires just to test it so I'd reserve this option in case the problem persists after you replace the heater.

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