Question about GE Refrigerators

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The GE freezer is 18 degrees, the refrigerator (side by side) is 59 degrees. It is 22 years old and the Defrost scycle in the freezer is no longer working. Any ideas?

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All frost-free refrigerator-freezers with exception for the ones with solid-state control have a thing in the system called a Defrost Timer. The thing is a little clock of sorts that tracks accumulated running time. Every 8 hours of run time the thing cycles through a defrost cycle. The defrost cycle is necessitated by the humidity that forms ice crystals on the freezing coils, if the frost is not eradicated it can build up to the point where no air flows over the coils to chill the inside of the box. (it may keep the freezer cold but no air goes to the fridge part. If completely solid neither cools) Most timers are located on the front of the machine, behind that removable grille under the door. But yours may be in the refrigerator part behind a plastic cover. The timer has a round hollow shaft through it, and can be turned with a screwdriver. If the compressor is running, give the shaft a slow twist until a click is heard. The compressor will stop. Give the fridge an hour to defrost the coils, and check it to see if it took off running. If an hour has passed and the fridge hasn't restarted, advance the timer again to start. Sometimes the nudge will make the timer run for a while. If this is the case, the unit will chill, and buy you some time to get it fixed. If the timer does not run, you can repeat the process daily until you get a replacement timer. If we're on the mark here, the pan underneath may not hold all the water, and a small flood will result. If the coils are frozen over and it's not the timer, there may be a failure of the thermodisk or the heater coils in the evaporator.That repair is more involved.

Posted on Jul 12, 2009

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Your problem could stem from an issue with the defrost timer, the compressor or its attachments (e.g.: relay, capacitor, etc.), or the freezer/evaporator fan motor. Contact an appliance service company.

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How to check everything
http://www.acmehowto.com/howto/appliance/refrigerator/refrigerator.php
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check defrost heater, defrost thermostat. If the heater and thermostat are ok it’ll be the control board.




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I believe your defrost heater inside the back of the freezer compartment rear panel has burned out. Unplug remove the panel and get a look at the defrost heater. If burned out it will be easy to spot because yours has a glass tube around the heating element inside. Let me know what you find, Thanks, Sea Breeze

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Sounds like a defrost problem. Check to see if there is any frost buildup in the back wall of the freezer. If so, it is not defrosting as it should.
  • possible causes:
  1. bad defrost timer
  2. bad defrost heater (in freezer)
  3. bad thermo switch in freezer
If you don’t know what these are then unplug the machine and let the ice melt in the freezer overnight with the door open. Then try it the next day, if is cooling fine then you need to have a service person replace one of the above items.

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