Question about GE GSS25SGMBS Side by Side Refrigerator

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GE side by side. Top shelf in fridge warm. bottom drawers frozen. Freezer working fine. Seems to be blowing a lot of cold air out the vents by the floor. Top shelf in fridge is 55 degrees. Diffuser stays open until freezer temp raises due to door being open.

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  • chaserofthes Dec 29, 2010

    Turns out with a little disassembly that the top half of the coils were a solid chunk of ice. This leads me to believe the defroster thermostat is shot? All temp controls were set to the middle, 5.

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  • Master
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Hi, I'm Mark.
Check the position of the two controls at the top of the unit inside the fresh food compartment. SET BOTH controls to the 12 o'clock position. Wait about a hour, then check temperatures. Then wait another hour and check temperatures again. Record the values on a piece of paper. When you do check fridge temperatures, do so quickly as the compartments become warm just a few seconds after the doors are opened. Please let me know what happens to the fresh food readings.
Thanks, Best Regards,
Mark

Posted on Dec 29, 2010

  • 1 more comment 
  • chaserofthes Dec 29, 2010

    Temp controls(freezer, freshness drawer) have both been set at the medium 5. I've tried colder settings on both and both the drawers and the freezer got colder, but the top shelf of the fridge remained around 50 degrees. I got curious and started disassembling the fridge, and found the top half of the coils a solid block of ice. Since this model has an automatic defrost, this leads me to think the defrost thermostat is shot. How close am I?

  • Mark Freedman
    Mark Freedman Dec 29, 2010

    If there was a SOLID chunk of frost, then the defrost system is not functioning properly. It can be one of 3 three things. The defrost thermostat as you noted. It's mounted on the coils near the top. It can be failed heater coils. (that model should have 3 of them wired in series). Or it can be the defrost timer. I don't know how old your fridge is, but most of the older ones had the timer mounted in the base behind the grill in the center. There is a metal bracket holding it in place.
    Here is the diagnostic sequence you can follow. That is if the unit has the a defrost timer in the base. It may also be located at the top of the fresh food compartment. Your are looking for a place to put a flat blade screwdriver into and rotate clockwise. If you find it, turn it very slowly until it clicks. At that point the compressor will turn off. See if the heating elements (quartz) illuminate. If they do, the timer needs to be replaced. If they don't come on
    The problem is not the timer (usually). Also the timer should resume operation of the compressor after about a half hour. If the problem is the timer, then you can hang the front panel covering the coils and run the defrost system until the frost melts away.
    You can visually inspect the heating elements to see if any of them have a burned spot where the wires are broken. If this is the case. you can replace them.
    The next thing is the defrost thermostat. If the coils are good from your visual inspection the culpret will then be the defrost thermostat. THAT has to be tested electrically at operating temperatures. So it must be frozen when it is tested. IF the elements are fine, the last thing is the defrost thermostat. Now this advise is given for most of the refrigerators made in the last 40 years, but not all of them. Your may have a very modern fridge which uses computerized components to replace the electrical parts used previously. Without knowing the model number, I'm blind on this issue. IF you know how to use a multimeter. Such as what is sold by Radio Shace for probably less then $20.00 or obtainable from Harbor Freight for about 6 dollars or less. Then that is the preferrable way to check electrical continuity in the various parts of a fridge. I hope this helps. Best Regards,
    Mark
    Now if the frost is melted away, i.e. you removed it. to test the defrost thermostat, it must be done at operating temperatures inside the coil enclosure. They are similar to light bulbs so if there

    The next thing is the heating elements.

  • Mark Freedman
    Mark Freedman Dec 29, 2010

    I posted a comment below to you and it labeled what as said as "guest" . After I say best regards, Mark, Skip the rest of it.
    Best Again,
    Mark

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