Question about GE GSS20IEP Side by Side Refrigerator

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We were given a "broken" GE TFX22CR side by side. The previous owners said it just stopped cooling enough. They said the freezer was the temperature the refrigerator should be. So, we took it with the expectation that we'd have to fix it. I let it sit unplugged in the garage for about 5 months. I finally got around to looking at it about 2 1/2 weeks ago. I plugged it in, cranked the thermostat all the way up, and put a thermometer inside it to check the temp. After a few hours of being plugged in the temp in the frig was 33 degrees. In the freezer it was below the lower level of my thermometer (which stops at 14 degrees). So, I turned the thermostat to the normal recommended settings. A few hours later the temp seemed very reasonable (something like frig/36 and freezer/20). I let it run for a few days and checked it again and the temp was the same. I thought, "Great I just got a free working frig!" I put it in place and put my food in it. After running for about two weeks we noticed that the temp in the frig wasn't as cold as it had been. The milk was bad. So, I took all the food out and put it in the old frig which is now in the garage. I put the thermometer back in and the frig measures about 65 degrees. I never checked the temp of the freezer but we now put our water in there to keep it cool. It hasn't frozen yet (but gets pretty cold). So, I took off the bottom back panel. The Condenser fan is spinning freely. There is some dusk build up in there but nothing abnormal. The "tank" on the right side (which I'm assuming is the compressor) is warm to the touch but not hot. The evaporator fan at the top back of the frezer is spinning freely. I've been told (not by anyone who I trust to know or who have looked at it) that it must be a freon leak and I need to get the freon recharged. I don't know if I can buy that because it worked great for two weeks. If it was low on freon wouldn't it have just not worked when I plugged it in the first time. I've also been told that some parts can get frozen and stop working. That would make sense given the fact that I let it thaw out for a few months before trying it. That doesn't give me anything concrete to try though. I would just call a repair man but I like in a small (remote) town and the closest one is over an hour away. So, what do I do?

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  • epvance May 08, 2010

    So, what would happen if there was too much freon? Would the coils freeze up? I don't seen any frozen coils. So, why did it work for two weeks if it was an issue with freon. Wouldn't it have just not worked?



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With the refrigerator running (for at least a day) open up the freezer and remove the back panel. if the evaporator coils are not freezing all the way from top to bottom then you probably have a bad compressor. the evaporator coil in this case will just be partially freezing.

chunk the refrigerator and don't waste your time trying to fix it if this is the case. there were compressor problems on some of these refrigerators built in the early 90's

on the other hand - if the coils are freezing good all the way from top to bottom the you may just have a defrost problem. you won't be able to tell until you take the back off the inside of the freezer.

Posted on May 25, 2010

  • mreid542
    mreid542 Jul 09, 2010

    Side note: Refrigerators don't "use up" their freon, if they need freon there must be a leak somewhere and until you have found and repaired the leak, you have not solved your problem. Newer refrigerators rarely have leaks. Be careful about telling someone you need freon. They may give you what you want but don't need leaving you with a big repair bill and a refrigerator that still doesn't work.

    On the other hand an automobile may through the years leak some of its freon out. this is fairly common.


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Whomever told you that you need freon and things freeze up is absolutely correct! What happens if your condenser has too little or too much freon (water in freon) you will have freeze ups and the condenser will no longer work properly eventually causing damage to you condenser and motor. This problem you are having here what sounds like to me is that you have too much freon, and everything works properly unit the water starts to freeze in your freon. Its great to tell you is that your fridge works 100% properly like it should, BUT it cant without the proper supply. you are still going to need to see a certified AC specialist you know and have your freon drained and reset and pressurized. It may still be a damn good fridge for an hour drive there and back!

Posted on May 08, 2010

  • Alex May 08, 2010

    Too much freon will freeze things, too little will not cool either, too little will condense causing water to collect eventually having too much freon but with water. After this has happened you fridge will work properly until that water freezes up and stops freon flow and it will and will eventually damage your fridge. This is exactly what you are experiencing here my friend. Remember the concerns with overcharging or having too much fluids (freon) aren't pressures as much as fear of
    liquid getting back to the compressor in the vapor line-this takes out
    the valves in the compressor, for as we all know-you can't compress a
    liquid! I have to leave for work i wont be able to assist you until i get back. I hope i have helped as much as i could. You are probably going to need a tech come to your home and either remove refrigerant or add... im thinking most likely remove



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