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I have a GE. the freezer works but has frost build up on the back (inside). the refridgerator section is warm

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In this post we will talk about one of the most common problems with your kitchen refrigerator – the freezer looks fine but the refrigerator part is warm.

Before we go further let me explain the basic performance of the refrigerator.

Your refrigerator could be made by Whirlpool, GE, Frigidaire or Maytag – it does not matter.

The cooling coil (aka evaporator coil) is located in the freezer behind the back panel.

The evaporator fan is distributing the cold air through the cooling coil into the freezer and, through the damper control, into the refrigerator, causing the refrigerator to cool down as well.

If anything goes wrong with the cooling coil in the freezer, wrong temperature in the refrigerator is more visible and gets your attention first due to a very big temperature difference in the freezer (normally -5°F to 6°F) and refrigerator (36°F to 40°F).

So the problem as it looks to you is: the freezer is fine but the refrigerator is warm.

Well, the cause of this problem could be very different and now we will go over the first one – a faulty defrost system.

As the evaporator coil cools down, the frost builds up on the coil.
If it does not defrost periodically then the excess frost will block the air flow though the cooling coil, affecting proper distribution of the cold air and causing an increase in the temperature (the fresh food compartment first).

The classic defrost system (we are not talking now about refrigerators operated by electronic devices) consists of three parts: the defrost timer which calls for defrost on certain time intervals, the defrost heater which should melt the frost and the defrost thermostat which senses the cooling coil temperature and operates with the electric current to the defrost heater.

The first and most important sign of a faulty defrost system is a frost build up on the back panel in the freezer.

How to find out which part of the defrost system is bad?

Based on my own experience, I would recommend the following procedure:

1). Locate the name plate with the model number of the refrigerator.

2). Type the model number in the search box, click the “search” button and you will be directed to the break down diagrams.

3). Using the break down diagrams, locate the defrost timer.

4). Using a flat screwdriver, slowly turn the shaft in the middle of the defrost timer clock wise until it clicks to switch from the cooling cycle to the defrost cycle.

5). Wait about 10 to 15 minutes, open the freezer door and see if you can hear a sizzling noise. If you can, then the problem is the defrost timer which has to be replaced.

If there is no such noise, go to the next step…


6). Remove the back panel in the freezer, unplug at least one wire on the defrost heater (you can locate it using the break down diagram) and check continuity across the defrost heater wires.

If it’s open, the defrost heater is bad and has to be replaced.

If it has some resistance, then the problem is the defrost thermostat.

You can check the defrost thermostat continuity only if it’s frozen because if it’s warm, it should be normally open.
Thanks for contacting Fixya

Posted on Jun 21, 2009


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Posted on Jan 02, 2017


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I want to defrost my GE chest freezer but i do not know where the drain is

Since you did not include a model number this is my best guesses: (Page 1 w/pic)

and (page 7 no pictures)

For Complete Defrosting

Turn the temperature control to the

OFF position and unplug the freezer.

Remove all food and place it in

corrugated boxes, insulated bags,

picnic coolers, etc. Use towels and

newspapers for insulation as needed.

With the door/lid open, use pans of

hot water to speed loosening of frost.

Remove large pieces before they melt.

Chest models have a defrost water drain

at the front.

NOTE: Water may drip from the back flange of

the lid cover during defrosting. This is normal.

Ice builds up in the lid insulation when the lid is

open for adding or removing food, and melts

during the defrosting operation.

Sponge excess water from the bottom

of the freezer as it collects to prevent


After defrosting, clean the inside of the

freezer (see Care and Cleaning).

Replace the drain plug inside the

cabinet and the cap on the defrost

drain. Fold over and dry the gasket

on the hinge side of the lid.

Plug in the freezer. Return the

temperature control to its previous

position and return food to the freezer.

Hopefully with this information you can find the drain. If not go to and click on service and support to download your manual. (Model number required)
or contact them here:


Thanks for choosing FIXYA,

Jul 24, 2011 | General Electric Microwave Ovens

1 Answer

FRIDGE button is set on 3, red light flashes, air system works but it is not cool for at least 1 hour, Freezer set on 4 S and works.

Start out with the easy stuff first...make sure the lights go out when you close the door(s), make sure the doors are closing properly and the gaskets are closing fully and not torn. Check to make sure the evaporator fan in the freezer is working, this fan blows the cold air around. If the fan is not working, possible bad fan motor - check for power to the fan motor and also check the fan switches around the door openings, ( if your fridge has these switches, not all do ). A common problem cropping up in the last several years has been the air damper not opening up and allowing the cold air from the freezer to be blown into the fresh food section ( mostly on SxS refrigerators ). For many years the air damper was manually operated and now we have motorized controlled or temperature controlled or thermistor and electronic boards controlling air dampers, and if this device sticks closed the FF section will normally warm up. An example picture of "one" style and an air damper ( called a diffuser by Whirlpool ). Next would be to check the condenser tubing, a good place to start is to make sure the condenser coils are not built up with dust!! Make sure the condenser fan motor is also working properly. Check for any "clicking on and off" noises from the compressor, is the compressor running.
The most common fridge "not cooling" problem is a frost free failure. Remove the access panel in the freezer section to expose the evaporator coils. If the coils in the freezer section get plugged up with frost, this frost will block the evaporator fan motor from blowing the cold air around. The fan blade can also hit this frost and either become noisy or stop altogether. Locating the defrost timer can be tricky....they are often hidden behind the back bottom corners of the fridge at the bottom, in the last few years the timers have been located in the ceiling of the fresh food section, and some behind the cold control cover. Once you locate the defrost timer, slowly turn the screw like wheel in the middle of the defrost timer with a straight screwdriver until the fridge shuts off. You are now in defrost. If the defrost heater(s) comes on now, replace the defrost timer and defrost thermostat. If the heater(s) does not come on, you can ohm test the defrost heater for continuity or volt test for 120 volts to the heater(s). If you have no power to the defrost heater(s) you can also bypass the defrost thermostat to see if the defrost heater will come on, join the 2 wires together to bypass the defrost thermostat. If the heater now comes on, replace the defrost timer and defrost thermostat. If the heater itself is bad, defrost the fridge with a hair dryer, replace the defrost heater* and defrost thermostat. If the defrost timer seems "hot" to the touch or is noisy ( like a ticking or screeching noise )...replace it. Then make sure all the vents are clear and not being blocked by food cartons. One new safety device added to refrigerators in the last few years has been a in-line fuse added to both sides of the defrost heater. If one of these fuses let's go, you must replace the whole defrost heater, as it comes as an assembly. If the defrost heater does not work, you should check for one of these fuses being open. Check it with a volt meter or ohm meter.
New link from Appliance Repair Aid on how the wiring circuit works for a frost free fridge, the link is here.
On a frost free refrigerator, the cooling coils should be in the freezer section. On a SxS style refrigerator the coils will be behind a cover on the back wall. On a freezer on top style the coils could be behind the back wall or under the freezer floor. Removing the cover and exposing the evaporator coils could be a valuable tool. Seeing what the cooling coils looks like may help split your not cooling problem. Totally covered coils with white snow is a frost free problem. and the rest are bare is an indication of a system problem
If you find this helpful, a vote with the thumbs up would be appreciated for the free advice

Jul 13, 2011 | Microwave Ovens

1 Answer

Freezer works but frig not cooling

if you were to reach your hand towards the rear inside the fridge area can you feel cold air blowing into the refrigerator side if not this could either be due to the fan inside the freezer area not working or there is a small door that is controled by a thermostat inside the ceiling of your refrigerator this thermostat when it reaches a tempreture that is to warm it opens a small door in the rear that connects to the freezer allowing cold air to come into the refrigerator side when the refrigerator becomes cold enough the thermostat then shuts the door. You could also have a defrost issue inside the freezer area in which u would need to remove the rear panel in the rear of the freezer in order to assure you did not have this issue. If you remove the rear panel and you see any ice build up on the evaporator coil (note this is also where the fan that blows the cold air into your refrigerator is located)you would have a defrost issue. If you remove that rear panel and find any ice build up message me back and il instruct how to fix but first check to assure you have air blowing into the refrigerator side. If you dont then you have to diagnose which is causing the issue either the fan which you could hear if you listened inside of the freezer area or the door itself is not opening due to a malfunction with the thermostat if you have any further questions message me back and please also remember when our chat has fully conlcuded to rank how this opinion has helped it allows me to continue helping others in similar situations Thanks

Jun 24, 2011 | Microwave Ovens

1 Answer

Fridge section is warm freezer is cold fan not working can hear the motor from thr fan but fan is definately not spinning. BCH KGN33V00GB

Hello Tonytonz953,

I understand that you are needing to change the fan on your refridgerator. The fan is loacted in the freezer section and has an outlet that blows in to the fridge compartment. You can order the fan at the following link this is the cheapest on that I could find and the cost is 75.85 pounds.

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May 11, 2011 | Microwave Ovens

1 Answer

My refrigerator will not get cold the freezer gets cold it also has frost on the back panel in the freezer

You have a problem with the defrost circuit of your refrigerator. The frost is building up on the evaporator coils in the freezer preventing air circulation from the refrigerator to be cooled off by the coils. It is made up of three parts, the defrost timer/control module, defrost heater, and thermostat.

The way it works is that normally the compressor has power for 8- 24 hours, then the timer/module cuts power off and sends power to the defrost heater for about 45 minutes. The heater is attached to the coil and warms up the coil to melt the ice. When the coil reaches about 40 deg F, the thermostat which is in series with the heater, opens up cutting off power to the heater. This prevents the freezer from getting too hot. After the 45 minutes are up, the timer/module switches the power back to the compressor again to restart the cooling cycle.

I don't know what make and model fridge you have since you did not supply it. But if you have an older model it is controlled by a timer, often it fails to advance to the defrost mode causing it to stay in cool mode. Often the problem is that the defrost heater burns out so it can't melt the frost on the coils.

If you take the panel off the back of the freezer you will find the evap coil. You can use a hair dryer to melt the ice. The heater will be attached to the coil. If you have a meter you can check whether it is burned out. Replacement parts can be found at your local appliance repair outlet or online at

Mar 23, 2011 | Microwave Ovens

1 Answer

The fridge section of my Candy CPCA270FFK frost free fridge freezer is cool but not cold whilst the freezer section is warm. The appliance is silent, the compressor is very hot to touch and the control...


Feb 05, 2011 | Microwave Ovens

1 Answer

Ice and frost on coils inside freezer

Possible that the auto defrost timer is faulty and is not working to the scheduled timing causing the frost to build up and block the coils in the freezer.
You will need to check this timer at the rear bottom of the fridge , check if thee timer clicks on or else replace,
Make sure that the thermostat is also working and shut the compressor when the thermostat is set low.

Sep 27, 2010 | Microwave Ovens

1 Answer

My fridge is not very cold but the freezer it fine

Check the back wall or floor of the freezer section for frost. Check the freezer( evaporator) fan to see if it is running. Check the condenser coils( under the unit ) for blockage from dust. Check the condenser fan (under the unit) to see if it is running.

If you have frost in the freezer there is a problem with the defrost system and the freezer will start to warm eventually as well as the fresh food section. If that is the problem you can check the defrost terminator, defrost heater/s, and the defrost timer or adaptive defrost control If used on your unit or the main control board if so equipped. These things usually require dismantling the freezer and other areas of the refrigerator to be checked.

You could defrost the freezer by disconnecting the power to the refrigerator and letting it sit for at least 24 hours with BOTH DOORS WIDE OPEN to allow the frost to melt completely but it will build up again in 1-2 weeks and start the warming up again.

Aug 04, 2010 | Microwave Ovens

1 Answer

The compressor does not work well and the bottom part emits heat

open door to the freezer and look in the back of the freezer and see if there is ice or frost building up,if so you have a defrost could be a bad timer or bad defrost heater or bad thermal nead a continueaty meater to check them out or call for a service call.

Nov 15, 2009 | Microwave Ovens

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