Question about GE GSS20IEM Side by Side Refrigerator

2 Answers

Freezer works but fridge remains warm.

Does the unit refrigerate the fridge section from the cold produced from the freezer? It seems so.  This model has a little hinged door between the freezer and fridge wall very near the top and back. It opens and closes on a cycle. It seems obvious that this door's function is what controls the fridge side temperature. However, after removing the plastic casing (exists only on the fridge side) to get a good look, when the door/flap is open you can clearly see from the fridge to the freezer. What I don't see is any fan mechanism that would aid in blowing the cold from the freezer to the fridge. It seems the compressor and fan are working fine at the back of the fridge. The freezer wouldn't work otherwise, right? How does the cold get to the fridge side? Until yesterday it kept everything as cold as I liked. Please help. Thank you

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  • 20 more comments 
  • Shiloh2rtn Oct 27, 2007

    Mike, thanks for the reply, the model number is G SS201EMD.  I did as you asked and turned of the freezer interior light. The fan can still be clearly heard. It still stays cold in the freeezer. There was "some" frost build up at the very back, but only a very light film. I would say just a little more than next to nothing. I have put a thermomiter in the fridge and get about 60 degrees.  So what's next?  Thanks much, Chris/Shiloh

  • Shiloh2rtn Oct 27, 2007

    Hi Mike, 



    While I didn't check for air flow (from freezer to fridge) with the light out on the fridge side, I did check for air flow with freezer door shut and fridge open. It seems that NO air comes though at all. Interestingly enough, this fridge has a feature that near the bottom there is a little hole that can be opened or closed. It is suppose to be to add a little more cold air next to the meat drawer where the hole (next to the meat drawer) is situated. Cold air does "pour" out of that hole. At this moment the compressor has shut off so no air is flowing at this moment to check as you asked with the light button pressed off. Also from the last post I moved the thermometer from the fridge to the freezer. It went down to 25 degrees. So I am getting plenty of cold for that side. Thus, if you think it is a defrost problem and, I guess, this affects the air flow, should I shut the fridge down all together for an hour and see if that clears everything up?



    Thanks again

  • Shiloh2rtn Oct 27, 2007

    Hi Mike,



    You may want to read my first post. I had mentioned that there is a flap like door that cycles from open to close. I have since noticed that when the compressor shuts off and/or the air stops blowing (from freezer side) the door closes. I watched it go from open to close. Not only can I put a straw through it I can see through it by by sticking my head in the fridge. A flash light shines right through to the other side. I thought I was going to find a fan in the area but not so. Sorry if I hadn't made this clear. The bottom line as strange as this seems is that when the freezer is on and the little door opens air does not blow through though as it probably should. In fact the top fridge shelf (next to this opening) was keeping milk and such exceedingly cold. So perhaps whatever freezer fan that generates the air flow is failing to push air out of it to the fridge side. If there is anything more I can tell you, please ask.

  • Shiloh2rtn Oct 27, 2007

    I suppose I need to find out exactly where the air in the freezer originates. as for a duct, I'm not sure. One thing is certain. This damper door (2" X 3" appx) from the freezer side looks only like a cut out. There is nothing connected to it or, is seems, shouldn't be as the ice maker is right next to it and there is no room for anything between the ice maker and the damper door cut out. The flap opens and closes from the fridge side. I will say this. I did turn off the fridge a while back. There seems to be more frost up against the back of the freezer wall. This area is below the ice maker. I'm wondering if I should go ahead and turn it back on or wait till the frost goes away. Anyway, somewhere in this area is where the cold air blows. I've got like 30 lbs of albacore blocking my view. I'm gonna remove it all and see if I can find where the air actually originates. If I find it's not blowing hard I suppose that will be a clue. I will look for a duct there.

  • Shiloh2rtn Oct 27, 2007

    Mike,



    I have since turned the fridge back on. Probably 30 minutes ago. I have found a large fan concealed in the back. It is now now no longer coming on. My wife tells me of an odor that she smelled yesterday morning. Perhaps something burned out. It was in the evening when I first discovered the drop in temp. Question. If the fan fails to blow will that cause a freeze up in the system. Another observation. Without going into detail I have found earlier that things toward or in the freezer door were defrosted while stuff in the middle or back was still frozen. Also before I shut the unit off I did see some air movment near the back but now I got nothing.  I'm starting to think something burned out and over 24 hour period the whole thing started freezing up near the back. I'm bummed. I got 30lbs of fresh  vac sealed albacore I just caught (first time ever deepsea fishing) I think I'm gonna lose it. Not my day.

  • Shiloh2rtn Oct 27, 2007

    Well, i just checked  the fride. The fan is running! This is good. Perhaps after having left the fridge off for so long it just took awhile to prepare to run. Now, about this fan -- it sucks inwards! So I still don't know where it blows out. I'm going to look now before all my fish defrost completely. I am also confused as all get out about that past smell. I thought is was some plastic that had melted to the freezer light. Sorry Mike, I'm trying to give you all possible clues. But I did want you to know the fan is working now. This post at exactly 3:55 pm

  • Shiloh2rtn Oct 27, 2007

    I will check, but to be more accurate it was put in probably 3 weeks ago now that I think about it, so there has not been a problem till now.

  • Shiloh2rtn Oct 27, 2007

    No, I don't have a voltage meter. I have since discovered that the fan seems to be operational. It makes the sound I am accustomed to. Also when I said it sucks air actually it seems it does both. That is if I take a tissue it wants to draw it to the vent fins on the left but does blow on the right. But not as much as I would think it needs to to get air to the fridge. I checked again. The damper door has reopened now that the freezer fan is running but still the air just doesn't push through. Everything seems to be working fine except airflow. This fan by the way is located below the entire icemaker assembly. If it is somehow a defrost problem, do you think having had the unit off for two hours is sufficient time to defrost it manually?

  • Shiloh2rtn Oct 27, 2007

    Mike, just got your last post, let me read it again slowly, It seems I was making  additional posts ahead of you.

  • Shiloh2rtn Oct 27, 2007

    Okay Mike,



    I'm not sure how but I will attempt to move the back and inspect the coils. I have discovered a 2nd damper like door near the bottom. I got my head in there to see if there was a fan there think/hoping that perhaps it sucked air out which would naturally bring air from freezer in from the top damper door. No fan that I can see but I can see just a piece (i think) of the copper coils. It was not froze over but I had only turned the fridge back on appx 40 minutes back. It does not connect directly to the freezer area as the damper door as it is set back or actually the back wall protrudes out more near the bottom. In any event, this hole can't be seen from inside the freezer unless the back wall can be removed. I gotta take a break as I'm losing my mind and I don't know how long you are able to respond. But I'm going to eat then see about removing the back inside wall.  From the very back of the unit I only see the refrigerant container, another fan and some wires. There was no coils/glass tube of any kind there. I say this only to be certain when you say inspect the coils you mean directly behind the back wall from inside the freezer compartment.

  • Shiloh2rtn Oct 28, 2007

    I took the back off. It looks like the Arctic in there. Pretty bad. This clearly is a problem. I'm going to put the hair dryer to it. And I guess I can safely assume that something is broke related to this feeze up. I might need a little coaching on finding this glass that may be black. I'll be back in a few after defrosting some of this ice so I can see what's in there.

  • Shiloh2rtn Oct 28, 2007

    Okay Mike,



    I have defrosted, found, and removed this glass tube at the bottom of the defrosted coils. It definately looks broke. It is very hazy and dark greenish inside with both ends partially black.  It was connected to two pretty heavy gage wire one blue and one pink.  The glass vile has a part number G7102. I assume this is a part number. Only thing else is that it says Pat. No 6140623. So what next? Is this an easy part to aquire? It is 6:22 my time. Things might start closing up but I am starting to feel better having the little culprit in my hands.

  • Shiloh2rtn Oct 28, 2007

    Here you can see a picture of the part I removed http://www.partselect.com/xq/aspx/Invent...



    Does Sear or Bestbuy carry parts like this or do I need to find an appliance store? I'm getting close, huh? The link above says they sell it at $27.50. Is this a reasonable price. Of course even at $50 I would still buy it as a new fridge is a whole lot more.

  • Shiloh2rtn Oct 28, 2007

    No Mike, I want to take your recommendation. I thought that was the whole assembly. When I typed in the part number you gave I found another site that show the identical picture. If I need more than this then absolutely I will do it. I certainly don't want another problem. But when I said I had it in my hands I meant not just the glass tube but the connectors it is attached to as well as a metal shielding of some sort. What I'm not sure about is this silver switch you just mentioned. May I ask --  do I need more than everything connected between the blue and pink wires? This is what I think you were saying needs replaced. But if I am missing something else please let me know. But as I said the part number you gave seems to be the same thing I found. If so, excellent. You have helped greatly.

  • Shiloh2rtn Oct 28, 2007

    I can't find the button switch but the part number contains the whole assembly so I think I'm good. I also notice I did say I had the glass vile in my hands. Sorry my bad. Didn't mean to mislead. I had the whole assembly removed the whole time. I hope your steaks were good and that the rest of your weekend goes well for you. I'm a little more bald on this end but I suppose it will grow back. I want to thank you for such timely responses and that you were willing to stick with me to the end. If any of this post can be seen I hope at least this post will so that people will know that really work to help those of us who don't know appliances. So thanks again. And have a good nite.



    Chris

  • Shiloh2rtn Nov 01, 2007

    Hi MIke,

    I installed the new heater assembly today. But I'm a little worried. Before I installed it, I needed to defrost (with a shop vac -- works 10 times faster!!) several times. But I noticed that it just kept running without ever cycling off. The freezer would get to 0 degrees. Very cold. The fridge side near 32 degrees. Started working like a charm. I turned down the dial so it wouldn't get so cold hoping that might trigger a faster defrost cycle. So I thought I would wait till I got the part and see if it made a difference. Unfortunately, it just wants to keep running. I don't know if it is something else and the heater element going out was a coincidence. Good news I got the right part and it's installed but the bad news is the fridge doesn't seem to go through its cycle. Only twice I know it did stop the cooling phase. 1st time was same day I first started our chat dialogue. And oddly I did catch it once yesterday. But out side of that it seems it never cycles down. Mabey something else is wrong. It seems to frost pretty fast under its current condition. What do you think Mike?  I wrote this about 11:30 PM your time. I will have a long day of work tommorrow so if you are able to respond I wont see it till evening west coast time. Hey, Mike  thanks for checking back to see my progress. Really appriciate it. I hope you have a fix.  Till next time. Chris

  • Shiloh2rtn Nov 02, 2007

    If the thermometer is working right the freezer goes well below zero degrees. In fact it goes past zero celcius to where it can't physically drop anymore because it's at the very bottom of the glass. Nevertheless, the fridge hasn't froze anything. I only just now 9:30 my time got the back wall up. It seems it may have went through a defrost cycle since yesterday as I noticed that the coils were looking frosted in a uniform way (unlike before I installed the new heater element) and also the little basin and drain tube at the bottom had some solid ice build up. You could tell it was melted water that didn't find its way down the hole and had refrozen in a flat manner. Those two things seem to be good signs. I'll see how it runs now that it's back together. I did fail to install on part. I don't remember where I took it off at. There is like a 2" gap at the bottom of the back wall and you can see the basin. The piece fits there width wise but it has clips that don't seem to clip anywhere. It got to late as my day was long so I'm gonna have to leave it till Friday. I check for air flow into the fridge side and it is still blowing but maybe not has fast as when the back wall was off. Strange. Anyway, I hope to give you the final word Fri, or Sat. to let you know if its back to normal. I also need to know how I can add to your rating. I'd like to help bump it up if I can. Thanks again

  • Shiloh2rtn Nov 03, 2007

    Mike, I had time to monitor the fridge. All looks good. I even caught it in defrost mode. That extra part I mentioned goes to the very bottom of the back wall. Anyhow it allowed me to see the glow from the heat element. Also I wasnt't trying to say that the water wasn't draining but that I could tell that a small amount of water produced from the previous defrost had pooled and just didn't make it down the hole and subsequently re-froze. So my second fridge can stay at the office and my fish are still safe. So thanks one last time! Consider it solved.

    To Cerfer39 -- sounds like you think I was giving Mike a hard time as if I'm holding out on calling it fixed. Think what you want. Easy fix?- In retrosect I suppose so. But I never disassembled one in my life. My expertise lies elsewhere. And I seriously doubt a service call would have cost me $1000 to change a small part. So your opinion mean little.

  • Anonymous Mar 18, 2014

    compressor works but temperature freezer and fridge remains high

  • Anonymous Mar 22, 2014

    westpoint fridge freezer was bought in the early 1980's

  • Anonymous Mar 28, 2014

    The fridge side is not cold, freezer is working good.

  • Anonymous Mar 29, 2014

    In the dark, I noticed the white fridge seal glowing. I discovered that when the fridge door-closed light is pressed in, the light is continuing to shine, though at about half-strength, and flickering slightly. The casing round the light is warm, so is obviously causing more power to be used to keep the fridge cold.

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2 Answers

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  • 709 Answers

HI Chris and Mike,
This was a wild trip through a simple repair. Chris, Mike was right all along. When you replaced the heater, that fixed your problem. I have the same fridge and it has been running for 8 months no problem sinceI replaced my Defrost heater. Give Chris a Solved vote man. he wrote a ton of stuff and saved you nearly $1000.

Posted on Nov 03, 2007

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  • 290 Answers

The same fan that circulates air in the freezer also blows air in to the fridge. If you open the freezer door and hold the door switch closed you should hear the fan running. If not you have a failed motor or motor control. Look at the back wall of the freezer section and see if there is a heavy frost build up. If so. you have a defrost system problem. Please post back with what you find and with the complete model number and I will try to walk you through the steps of checking everything.
Thanks/Mike

Posted on Oct 27, 2007

  • 20 more comments 
  • Michael  Lindley
    Michael Lindley Oct 27, 2007

    If you still have the cover off of the damder that lets air into the fridge, make suer it is open and hold your hand over it while you hold the door switch closed and see if you feel any air blowing through it. If not you probably do have a problem with frost clogging the coils. The lions share of the air will blow back into the freezer so if it isn't getting enough the fridge side will suffer first.

    If this is the case, you can remove the back cover of the inside of the freezer and manually defrost it to get everything back to working while I track down a diagram for your fridge.

    Thanks/Mike

  • Michael  Lindley
    Michael Lindley Oct 27, 2007

    Shutting it down for an hour at this point will not help. What we want to know is if the damper door is open. You should be able to stick a straw through to the freezer side when it is open. If it is not opening we may have a sensor failure, a damper failure, or a motherboard failure. If it is open when the fridge is calling for cooling, then we probably have a defrost problem.

  • Michael  Lindley
    Michael Lindley Oct 27, 2007

    I have the service manual on pdf. If you will give me an email address I will send it to you and you can go through the troubleshooting steps from it and I will guide you if you run into trouble. Some of the checks can get technical and it will be easier if you can see the steps instead of me relaying them to you. Believe me, the manual is well worth the money you spent for expert help.

    Thanks/Mike

  • Michael  Lindley
    Michael Lindley Oct 27, 2007

    Yes, I see your comment. You are correct that either the fan is not blowing enough or it is not getting enough air. If you get into the top of the freezer section you will see that there is a duct that diverts some of the air to the fridge damper but it must be blowing hard enough to satisfy the freezer or very little air will get to the fridge.

  • Michael  Lindley
    Michael Lindley Oct 27, 2007

    Remove the back wall of the freezer. I expect you will see the coils are choked with frost. If this is the case, we will need to find out it is a heater problem or motherboard problem. Also, You won't get as much air into the fridge side if the ice bucket cover is off. It helps divert air to the fridge damper.

  • Michael  Lindley
    Michael Lindley Oct 27, 2007

    If you have recently loaded it up, make sure nothing is covering the air intake at the bottom rear of the freezer like a plastic bag.

  • Michael  Lindley
    Michael Lindley Oct 27, 2007

    Yes, if the fan fails the evaporator core will freeze up. If you have a volt/ohm meter you can check the voltage to the fan. You should have 13 volts DC between the red and white wires.

  • Michael  Lindley
    Michael Lindley Oct 27, 2007

    Ok. Maybe I have caught up on the comments.

    When you first turn the fridge on it goes through a check sequense and if the defrost thermostat is cold enough it will put the freezer into defrost. This is why the fan did not come on for awhile. This should answer some questions if I am understanding everything correctly.

    Go ahead and remove the rear cover and see if there is frost on the coil. If so then you probably have a failed defrost heater. You should be able to defrost it manually with a hairdryer and it will be ok for about a week until it frosts up again. You will need to check the heater with an ohm meter to be sure, but a rule of thumb is if it looks black inside the glass tube, it is burned out. The heater, wires and defrost bimetal switch all come as an assembly. It could account for the smell a few days ago also because it takes a few days for the coils to clog up after it fails.

  • Michael  Lindley
    Michael Lindley Oct 28, 2007

    Yes. the back wall I mean is the inside wall of the freezer.

    The hole you see at the bottom of the fridge is the return duct for air coming out of the fridge back into the freezer section to be cooled again.

    Take a breath and a break. I think we may have been over complicating the situation. From what you are telling me I am sure it is just an old fashioned defrost heater failure. Even though you won't have the part to fix it with, you should be able to get it back working and save your albacore until you get the part.

    Post back with what you find when you get the coils exposed. I will be off and on the computer for a while yet. It is 7:07 pm  here and I am just about to grill some steaks. I will stick with you til we find an answer.

    Mike

  • Michael  Lindley
    Michael Lindley Oct 28, 2007

    You will have to turn the unit off. When you get the frost off you will see what I am talking about. You are looking at about 30-45 minutes to defrost it with a hair dryer if it is like what I usually run into.

  • Michael  Lindley
    Michael Lindley Oct 28, 2007

    The part number for the defrost assembly is WR51X10053. You will have to get it from an appliance parts dealer. Go ahead and remove the wires and the little silver switch attached to them. It all connects together at one connector just above the coil. Just follow the wires up. If you can't get the part tonight you can go ahead and put the freezer back together and it will go back to working as long as you have it defrosted.

  • Michael  Lindley
    Michael Lindley Oct 28, 2007

    You will have to get the complete coil defrosted for it to start back cooling properly whether you get the part or not.

  • Michael  Lindley
    Michael Lindley Oct 28, 2007

    Yes, that is the defrost heater. I always replace the complete assembely because the defrost switch is prone to failure as well and most stores that stock the part only stock the assebely. But if that is the quikest way to get it back going, do what you have to do.

  • Michael  Lindley
    Michael Lindley Oct 28, 2007

    That part number is everything you should need. You should have a small silver button like object at the top of the harness. That is what I am talking about.

  • Michael  Lindley
    Michael Lindley Oct 28, 2007

    You too, Chris.

    If you need anymore help just post back to this thread and I will reply as soon as I can.

    Thanks/Mike

  • Michael  Lindley
    Michael Lindley Oct 28, 2007

    Chris

    I have a message saying you have asked for more help. What kind of problem are you having?

    Thanks/Mike

  • Michael  Lindley
    Michael Lindley Oct 28, 2007

    Chris

    I went and pulled a defrost heater off my truck I have had about 3 months and opened it up. They have changed what they are sending. You probably won't get the wires with the heater, just the heater and the defrost switch. It is same price as they used to charge for the whole thing. Guess they are saving some money. Just don't want you to freak out when you get it thinking it is wrong.

    Mike

  • Michael  Lindley
    Michael Lindley Oct 31, 2007

    Chris,

    Still haven't heard from you. You get fridge back going yet?

    Mike

  • Michael  Lindley
    Michael Lindley Nov 01, 2007

    The freezer should normaly be around zero. -5 to +5 is considered normal operation for the freezer at mid setting of the control. The fridge should be around 35 to 40 when you first open it up in the morning with the control at mid setting. It will defrost at different intervals depending on what the motherboard senses, usually every 8-12 hours. If you have been having to manually defrost it, the system has been having to work longer to get the temp back down so it has been running longer. Check the temps when you first get up or when you come in from work and the doors haven't been opened for a while. If you are not freezing things in the fridge side then it is shutting off properly. 

    The defrost system does not control the temprature or running time of the cooling system, this is done by the thermistors and mother board.

    Post back and let me know what you find.

    Mike

  • Michael  Lindley
    Michael Lindley Nov 01, 2007

    Also, there will always be frost on the coils when it is running. This is normal. The defrost system keeps it from building up so that it causes a problem. You will have to have all the covers, panels and shelves back in place for the machine to work properly.

    Mike

  • Michael  Lindley
    Michael Lindley Nov 02, 2007

    Chris

    The temps I stated are farenhieght not celsius.

    There should not be ice frozen over the drain hole in the basin. If there is, you need to clean the drain. Get the ice melted out of the basin and pour hot water into the drain until you can push a piece of wire or plastic tubing down through the hose. If you can't get it to drain from inside, get behind the fridge and remove the lower cover. You will see th drain hose coming from the cabinet to the drain pan. You can usually clean it by squeezing it slightly and pulling down, like milking a cow. Get it to where water flows through it freely.

    The piece you have left may be the cover that goes over the light bulb.

    My rating will go up after you have rated my solution solved.

    Let me know how it goes.

    Mike

  • Michael  Lindley
    Michael Lindley Nov 03, 2007

    Chris

    Glad to be of help. Thanks for the rating. I am just glad it wasn't something more serious and you saved the fish.

    Good luck

    Mike

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1 Answer

I have a GE GSS25WGMD BB Fridge. I have already replaced the Defrost Heater and Freezer Thermostat. The lower sections of the fridge and freezer are very cold. The ice maker will not produce ice and the...


First, when the refrigerator is running, open the freezer door and hold in the light switch so the freezer light goes out. You should be able to hear the freezer (evaporator) fan running. If it is running, then you most likely have a problem with the air damper. It is a motorized door in the very upper left side, back corner, of the fresh foods section. The door needs to be open for air to flow into the refrigerator section. If you place your hand near the vent holes at the upper refrigerator section and the freezer fan is running, FF section warm, you should feel cold air entering. If not, the damper door may have broken. It is not real easy to get at to replace, but that is where your problem may be. Be sure to check the freezer fan first, as a non-working icemaker may point in that direction.

Jun 09, 2009 | GE GSH22JFR Side by Side Refrigerator

1 Answer

Freezer too cold frosty, and refrigerator section too warm


Sounds like a defrost problem if the evaporator is frozen over. If it's just Ice blocking air transfer on a top freezer model, then it's a blocked defrost drain.

Sep 10, 2017 | KitchenAid Superba Architect KSCS25INSS...

2 Answers

FRIDGE NOT WORKING


Most side by side and other models of refrigerator freezer combinations are of one basic design. The freezer section does the cooling for both compartments. The refrigerator section gets it cold air from the freezer compartment. Therefore check for frost on the back wall of the freezer compartment. If frost is present there you have a defrost problem and it is cutting off the air that cools the refrigerator section.

I think this problem may already be resolved in some manor because of the date of post. Posts should expire after an unreasonable time period.

Mar 19, 2008 | Smeg FA561X Side by Side Refrigerator

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