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GE Side-By-Side Refrigerator Stops Cooling

My 5-year-old GE Side-By-Side Frig just stopped cooling. I recently noticed this happening and so I unplugged it, opened the doors and let it stand for about 6 hours, then plugged it back in and it started working. It worked fine 1 week. Then it stopped cooling again. I repeated that process and it stopped once again after working for only 2 days.

Please note that the filter cartridge is at least 3 years old, and I intend to replace it, but I do not think that is the problem. Also, it seems like the motor is running constantly, and does get hot, but the fan is working. Also, there is no dust or dirt on the condenser. I checked it and wiped off the light dust.

I'm not much of a maintenance person, and would really appreciate any help. Thank you so much. Eddie

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  • eddthomas May 27, 2008

    Please note that the model # of my side-by-side GE Frig is GSH22KGMDBB.

  • eddthomas May 28, 2008

    Thanks Ginko and Cool Guy. I have unplugged the frig and will wait 24 hours before I plug it back in, versus waiting only about 6 hours last time when it cooled for about a week afterwards.It's been about 12 hours so far and I have sponged up about a quart of water under the frig. I'll let you know how things work out. Thanks again. Eddie



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Probably the compressor is going. Check if the evaporator fan is working. leave the fridge to defrost 24 hours and check if problem persist

Posted on May 27, 2008

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HI,

If the refrigerator isn't cool, you need to answer some questions, then see if the compressor is running.

First, answer these questions:

  • Is the refrigerator completely dead? If so, see “It's stopped completely.”


  • Is the thermostat knob turned to the proper setting? If not, reset it.


Next, see if the compressor motor is running

The compressor is a football-sized case with no apparent moving parts. It's on the outside of the refrigerator at the back near the bottom. If it is humming or making a continuous noise and your refrigerator is still not cooling, there may be a more serious problem with one or more of several different components, we recommend contacting a qualified appliance repair technician for further help.

If the compressor is not running but you do have power to the refrigerator, there may be a problem with one or more of these:

  • The compressor


  • The Thermostat


  • The overload, relay, or capacitor


  • The defrost timer


  • The condenser fan motor


Cooling is poor For an overall understanding of how refrigerators should work, read about refrigerators in the How Things Work section of our website. A refrigerator or freezer that is cooling, but cooling poorly, may have a problem in one of several areas:

Evaporator coils
Condenser
Poor cooling is often the result of a heavy frost build-up on the evaporator coils or a condenser that is clogged with dust, lint, and dirt.

Evaporator coils Poor cooling is often the result of a heavy frost build-up on the evaporator coils. You can't see these coils without removing a panel on the inside of your freezer. A sure sign that there is a build-up is the presence of any frost or ice build-up on the inside walls, floor, or ceiling of the freezer. Such a frost build-up usually indicates a problem in the self-defrosting system or damaged door gaskets.

The refrigerator is supposed to self-defrost approximately four times in every 24 hour period. If one of the components in the self-defrosting system fails, the refrigerator continues to try to cool. Eventually, though, so much frost builds up on the evaporator coils that the circulating fan can't draw air over the coils. There may still be a small amount of cooling because the coils are icy, but with no air flow over the coils, cooling in the refrigerator compartment is quite limited.

Here's an inexpensive, though inconvenient, way to determine if the problem is with the self-defrosting system. Remove all of the perishable food from the refrigerator and freezer, turn the thermostat in the refrigerator to Off, and leave the doors open for 24 to 48 hours. (Be sure to have several towels ready in case the melting frost and ice causes the drip pan to overflow). This allows the refrigerator to defrost "manually." When the frost and ice build-up has completely melted away, turn the thermostat back to a normal setting. If the refrigerator then cools properly, it indicates a problem with one of three components in the self-defrosting system:

  • The defrost timer


  • The defrost thermostat (also called the bi-metal switch)


  • The defrost heater


If it still does not cool properly, there may be a problem with the refrigerant level or the compressor. You may need to consult with a qualified appliance repair technician to further diagnose the problem

Condenser Self-defrosting refrigerators all have a set of coils and a cooling fan, usually under the refrigerator, that need to be cleaned regularly. If these coils get coated with dust, dirt or lint, the refrigerator may not cool properly. The coils may appear to be a thin, black, wide radiator-like device behind the lower kick-panel. To clean them, disconnect the refrigerator from the power source, use a refrigerator condenser brush (see the Appliance Accessories section) and your vacuum cleaner to clean the coils of any lint, pet hair, etc. You may not be able to get to all of the condenser from the front, it may be necessary to clean the remainder of the condenser from the rear of the refrigerator.
Goodluck..

Posted on May 27, 2008

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