Question about GE GTH18KBR Top Freezer Refrigerator

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GE Fridge/Freezer Having to turn temp up just to keep it cold

I am not sure that I will be able to get help on this. Our fridge is a GE. Model number VL15JZHR7-7, and is probably over 20 years old. Recently, we've noticed that both the fridge and freezer are stopping working. If we turn the temp knobs down to make it colder, everything then works again for a day or so. But we are running out of 'colder' space on the knobs now, and pretty soon wont be able to turn the fridge or freezer any colder to get it to kick in. Assuming that its something other than age, is there something that we can look at in the unit itself and try to fix it? Thanks in advance for any advice/help The Johnsons

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  • Brenda Johnson Dec 31, 2006

    Would just unplugging the whole fridge help with this and just let it sit for a day or two to make sure that everything has defrosted? Due to not having any manuals or anything for this fridge, I am not sure I would find these parts to defrost them.
    Thank you for your help, it is very appreciated!! :)
    Brenda

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That's a typical sign of the defrost cycle not working and ice is building up on the coils. That prevents proper air flow of cold air around the compartments. As ice builds up you get less air flow and things warm up soooo you turn up the cold which causes more ice to build up and even less air flow soooo you turn up the cold. See where I'm going with this? You'll have to check your defrost timer, defrost t-stat and even the heat element. Look in your owners manual or online for diagrams of where the parts are located on your older unit, then go from there.

Posted on Dec 30, 2006

  • Marc Wilson
    Marc Wilson Dec 31, 2006

    It's not that you have to defrost the parts, that's what they're called. "defrost timer", "defrost t-stat" and "heat element". Defrosting the whole fridge for a few days actually will clear the ice blockage if that's it but it will return in a couple weeks if the "defrost cycle" isn't doing its thing. A fridge typically goes into some form of "defrost cycle" to keep it "frost free". As an example, every 12 hours the compressor turns off and the evap. fan turns off then a heat element turns on to melt the light coating of ice on the "cooling coils". Once about 1/2 hour goes by the heating turns off and the cooling turns back on again. This repeats over and over to keep the ice from building up too much. If that cycle is broken, the ice will build and build till the whole coil is a block of ice. Then the air can't flow around it to provide cold air for the whole unit. It acts basically like putting a large block of ice in the freezer and keeping the doors closed... without a fan to move the cold air only the very lower portion of the freezer is cold, the rest is warm.

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From your comment. It's not that you have to defrost the parts, that's what they're called. "defrost timer", "defrost t-stat" and "heat element". Defrosting the whole fridge for a few days actually will clear the ice blockage if that's it but it will return in a couple weeks if the "defrost cycle" isn't doing its thing. A fridge typically goes into some form of "defrost cycle" to keep it "frost free". As an example, every 12 hours the compressor turns off and the evap. fan turns off then a heat element turns on to melt the light coating of ice on the "cooling coils". Once about 1/2 hour goes by the heating turns off and the cooling turns back on again. This repeats over and over to keep the ice from building up too much. If that cycle is broken, the ice will build and build till the whole coil is a block of ice. Then the air can't flow around it to provide cold air for the whole unit. It acts basically like putting a large block of ice in the freezer and keeping the doors closed... without a fan to move the cold air only the very lower portion of the freezer is cold, the rest is warm.

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