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My freezer is cold enough, but the refrigerator is not. There is some frost in the freezer. How can I tell if it is the temperature control for the fridge, or if it's the defrost thermostat or timer?

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Hi. may i know the brand and model of your refrigerator?

Posted on Aug 02, 2010

  • 1 more comment 
  • jacobs45msu Aug 02, 2010

    Electrolux GLRT83TES4

  • jacobs45msu Aug 02, 2010

    The unit is at a rental property. A month or 2 ago they complained the freezer had frosted over. I found that the door wasn't completely sealed. I believe that was the issue. However, there is frost again, but not very much.

  • jacobs45msu Aug 02, 2010

    Is this enough information to help?

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Have a ge model # GTH21KBXAWW. The freezer works fine. The bottom half does not keep cold.


Freezer is cold but refrigerator is warm
  1. Evaporator coils are frosted over
If your issue is that the freezer is cold but the refrigerator is not as cold as it should be, the first step is to check the defrost system for problems. A key indicator in determining if perhaps you have a refrigeration defrost problem is visible frost on the evaporator coils. If your unit has frost you will need to check your defrost heater assembly, the defrost control, and the evaporator fan motor for a malfunction. Replace any erroneous parts as necessary.
  1. Damper
If your issue is that the freezer is cold but the refrigerator is not as cold as it should be, the damper door could be broken or jammed. The damper is a door that opens and closes to allow cool air to flow from the freezer into the refrigerator unit, and if it fails to operate correctly, not enough cold air will enter the refrigerator to keep it cold. The damper can be replaced if it is no longer operating properly.
  1. Thermistor
If your issue is that the freezer is cold but the refrigerator is not as cold as it should be, the thermistor connected to the control board might be defective. The thermistor is a sensor that examines the temperature inside the unit. If the part is defective, the refrigerator could not cool properly.
  1. Temperature control board
If your issue is that the freezer is cold but the refrigerator is not as cold as it should be, the temperature control board could be at fault. The temperature control board distributes voltage to the fan motors and compressor to keep them functioning. This board is very often misdiagnosed as the culpable cause and it is recommended to proceed with the troubleshooting process of elimination prior to replacing this part.
  1. Defrost thermostat
Another issue that can cause your freezer to be cold while the refrigerator is not as cold as it should be is the defrost thermostat. In order for the defrost heater to activate to melt away any excessive frosting on the evaporator coils, the defrost thermostat must sense that the temperature is cold enough to activate the defrost heater. Without this continuous cycle, the frost will excessively build up on the coils and prevent proper air flow inside the unit. The defrost thermostat can be checked for continuity with an ohm meter; if it's not present, the thermostat will need to be replaced.
  1. Main control board
A possible cause for a freezer that's cold but refrigerator that's not as cold as it should be is the main control board. The main control board acts as a "brain" for the unit, controlling the defrost cycle, compressor, and run time. However, it is an uncommon cause for this issue. This board is very often misdiagnosed as the culpable cause and it is recommended to proceed with the troubleshooting process of elimination prior to replacing this part.

Feb 25, 2015 | GE Refrigerators

1 Answer

Bottom freezer door causing ice buildup


If the refrigerator is not defrosting the defrost heater assembly might be burned out. Several times a day the defrost heater assembly turns on for a few minutes to melt away any frost that may have accumulated on the freezer or refrigerator evaporator coils. If it fails, frost will build up on the coils and eventually no air will be able to travel through the coils to provide cooling. The defrost heater can be checked for continuity. If it doesn't have continuity it should be replaced.
Next chance is the defrost thermostat might be defective. This signals that the coils are cold enough. If the coils are cold enough the defrost heater will turn on. If the thermostat is defective it may not be able to sense the temperature of the coils and then won't turn on the defrost heater and create the same problem you mentioned. It can be tested for continuity when it reaches the low temperature of its operating range.
You may also have a bad main control board that tells everything to work when it is supposed to such as telling the defrost heaters to activate or interpret the thermostat message that it is time to defrost.

Good luck!

Jun 12, 2014 | GE Profile Bottom-Freezer Refrigerator...

1 Answer

Fridge is cold, freezer is not


Please look into the freezer for frost build-up on the rear wall. If you are having a defrost problem it may limit the freezer temperature and still be cold enough for the fresh food section to remain at safe temperatures but not for long before freezer and fresh food section warms because frost blocks airflow and the evaporator is unable to keep everything cold because of frost build-up. I don't have your model number so I will list the parts that may need to be replaced. The defrost control=> 12002754 Frost Kit, defrost thermostat and 67002493 Defrost Heater Assembly
8_23_2012_11_19_19_am.jpg


67003426 Defrost Thermostat
8_23_2012_11_24_51_am.jpg

For testing of the defrost thermosat and defrost heater refer to the same page as the parts, If these parts are good the the 12002754 Frost Kit, could be defective. The 12002754 Frost Kit,
can be found in the control panel inside the fresh food compartment. Let me know if you have questions and also if you are not having a defrost problem, Thanks Sea Breeze
Locate your model number


8_23_2012_11_34_15_am.jpg

Aug 22, 2012 | Kenmore 24.8 cu. ft. TRIO Bottom Freezer...

1 Answer

Bought a brand new LG bottom freezer fridge a couple of months ago. I like the refridgerator part to be cold, so we keep the fridge temp on 6 (1-7 are temp choices. 7 being the coldest). We had the freezer...


If designed as most combination units, one of the two controls influences the temperature directly, the other only determines how much of the generated cold air is allowed to enter the other compartment. The typical arrangement is that setting the freezer temperature determines how often often the compressor runs; the other diverts a portion of the cold air into the refrigerator side.
Using the common thermometer for cold temperatures (~$5 US), adjust the freezer temperature for 0 to -5 degrees F (the often recommended temp.), then the other control for the desired refrigerator temperature, suggested as 35-45 F. This is the most common practice.
If you cannot balance them the way you want, reverse the procedure, setting for refrigerator temp., then freezer.

Dec 13, 2010 | LG LBN22515 Bottom Freezer Refrigerator

1 Answer

Freezer & fridge not cold enough, frost in freezer


Refrigerator or freezer is not cold enough
* Check the temperature setting
* Assure that there is enough room for air flow in the refrigerator or freezer
* Check for air flow restrictions in vents
* Test the temperature control
* Clean the condensor coils
* Check the door seals
* Test the door switch
* Test defrost heater
* Test defrost timer
* Test evaporator fan
* Check for a clogged drain tube
* Check for refrigerant leak

Mar 31, 2010 | Whirlpool 21.0 Cu. Ft. Frost-Free...

2 Answers

Fridge works freezer isnt getting cold enough to freeze


check to see if you have frost on the back panel of the freezer if so then defrost the unit and if your able to find the failure of the defrst heater or defrst thermostat,or the defrost thmer more than likely its the mother board since its a general electric frig but if you manually defrost until a repair tect can come then it will run normal until it frost up again but before you call the tech out make sure you have the frost on the back panel otherwise he'll make several trip trying to solve the problem with the frig unless its the defrst heater

Sep 08, 2009 | Amana Refrigerators

1 Answer

Freezer wrk OK but temperature in the bottom fridge not cold


If you have a frost build up on the interior back wall of the freezer, you have a defrost issue. This would include a bad defrost control, bad heater or terminator.
If there is not a frost build up then you may have a bad evaporator fan motor.

Apr 28, 2009 | Frigidaire FRT17G4B Top Freezer...

1 Answer

My freezer dosen't work but the fridge seems to be O.K.or at least cold enough (Model BX2255W Manufacturing# P1196708WW) Ive vacumed underneath and adjusted both the freezer and refer controls. The fans...


Normally it is the temperature of the refrigerator that shows the first sign of a problem because the refrigerator is cooled by air from the freezer. Check the back wall of the freezer for signs of frost. If there is frost on the back wall you have a defrost system problem.

Jun 29, 2008 | Amana Refrigerators

1 Answer

My refigerator and freezer are not cooling enough


Is the fan in the freezer running?? Is there frost on back panel of freezer??

Oct 03, 2007 | Kenmore 50522 / 50524 Side by Side...

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