Question about GE GSS22JFMWW Side by Side Refrigerator

3 Answers

GE side by side, circa 1996, can't find model...refer not cooling.....freezer good

Hello, this is a 12 year old GE side by side. Got it for 300 bucks from a friend back in 1996.....has worked great......the refer side does not cool properly. Freezer side works great.

I have pulled things apart....looked at coils in the back of the freezer compartment....they look good. Mild frost build up on the lower section, but it quickly melted off.

What I think is the drain plug in the bottom was stopped up with ice. It is melting away.

I also discovered the passages between the freezer compartment and the refer compartment. There is the larger of the two at the top with the little flapper assembly that is adjusted by the freezer temperature control lever which is located at the top of the refer compartment. It functions fine.

There are also two passages between the refer and the freezer compartments at the bottom. One small round opening which is adjusted by the meat compartment was partially clogged with ice...(can't say how the ice got there since there is not an immediate water source)

There is also a passage at the back of the bottom which also had ice. It is now clear.

Upon further inspection, and the advice of a friend, I discovered that the bottom of the gasket on the refer side is torn slightly in a few places and does not fully contact the surface to which it closes. There are two separate places where there is not full contact from the outside.

I'm thinking that my problem is a combo of the old gasket and the ice in the passages between the refer and freezer compartments........does this sound correct to you?

If the gasket is bad will I feel the cool air coming out the bottom?

I am the "honey, fix this" guy around here. Pretty, electrical, carpentry, some AC.....but I have not ever worked on a refrigerator.

If it sounds like the gasket do you have any tips/suggestions?

Thank you very much for any and all help.
Craig Clark
Houston, Texas

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  • 2 more comments 
  • mudman866 Aug 12, 2008

    I appreciate the links to possible solutions. The problem is lack of cooling on the refrigerator compartment.......the freezer side works great.....I think it may be the gasket....based on my more indepth description of the problem does this sound reasonable? Do you have any tips on how to replace the gasket on the food compartment side...not the freezer side.

    Please read my description of the has all the details in it.
    Thank you,
    Craig Clark

  • mudman866 Aug 12, 2008

    I appreciate the advice.........I will be replacing the gasket today. If that doesn't cure all of the problem we will be purchasing a new unit. I just didn't want to rush out and buy a new model before I had time to research what is available from a cost, effieciency and reliatility perspective.
    Thank you again,
    Craig Clark

  • mudman866 Aug 12, 2008

    I'm feeling **** ugly ignorant right about now, but I did locate the model number/serial tag which is on the inside cieling of the refrigerator compartment........the model is a TFX26KDRA WW.............the serial number is MZ296384..............does this model have any particular quirks when it comes to the gasket replacement?

    Also, while the gasket is relatively cheap (about sixty bucks) it still costs money and I'm wondering if I should just take the money, keep my time, and buy a new unit.....whaddya think?

    Thank You again,
    Craig Clark

  • mudman866 Aug 12, 2008

    Wonderful advice.....thankyou!!


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Refrigerator door gaskets are sold at any hardware store. They have an adhesive backing, remove your old and replace with the new, that easy. This will increase the cooling considerably, but you may want to keep in mind the age of this unit. It's possible that the compressor may need servicing.

Posted on Aug 12, 2008

  • Ryan Rogers
    Ryan Rogers Aug 12, 2008

    You may not need to purchase a new unit (unless you just want to). If this is a nice unit, and the gasket doesn't fix the problem, then all it may need is a compressor charge. Charging the compressor is a fraction of the cost for a new unit. Just something to keep in mind.


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GE side by side, circa 1996, can't find - small_4_1.jpg For a detailed Refrigerator illustration, click below.

redarrow.gif Side by Side
redarrow.gif Freezer on Top
Freezer on Bottom
redarrow.gif Under counter
Warning!To avoid personal injury or even death, always disconnect yourappliance from its power source--that is, unplug it or break theconnection at the circuit breaker or fuse box--before you do anytroubleshooting or repair work on your appliance. Also, because somecomponents may have sharp edges, use caution while working on yourappliance.

It's stopped completely
It's not cool
Cooling is poor
It's noisy
It leaks
The freezer compartment is icing up
The food in the refrigerator freezes
There's water dripping inside the refrigerator
The refrigerator never cycles off
The ice maker has a problem
There's an ice- or water-dispensing problem

Posted on Aug 11, 2008

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  • yes, your discoveries in the machine like ice blocking the vents contributed to the problem.
  •  I would also clean the coils under the machine as they will cause a problem with the temps. 
  • the door seal can be temporarily glued with 100% silicone in order to test to see if it was the main problem. the door seal would cause condensation around the bottom drawers and possibly freezing the airflow vents. 

there is a trick to changing the door seal. when you buy it is folded up and wrinkled. 
  • if it is a sunny day you can unfold the door seal and lay it out on the hood of a car and the heat from the sun will soften up the material and the wrinkles will go away. if it is cold outside or raining then use a hair dryer to heat the door seal as you have it laid out in its rectangular shape.
  • once you have the door seal relaxed and ready to put on then take the door off the refrigerator (never try to put the door seal on while the door is still hanging).
  • lay the door on a large flat surface like a table or floor
  • the door seal should either be held in by a groove or secured by 1/4" hex screws
  • loosen all the screws (don't take them out)
  • take off the old gasket
  • fit the new gasket around the door just the way you want it.
  • then while the door is still laying flat tighten the screws starting with the center screws on each side of the door.
  • then put the door back on and your done.
if you already checked this and think it is a different problem then let me know, i will help you figure it out. 

Posted on Aug 11, 2008

  • 1 more comment 
  • Mike Durland
    Mike Durland Aug 11, 2008

    when you glue the door seal, put a piece of wax paper over the freshly glued door seal and close the door. this will mold the door seal as it dries to fit the refrigerator.

  • Mike Durland
    Mike Durland Aug 12, 2008

    the door seal is not a "peel and stick" from some hardware store like 'Pyrhyc' said, these are LIES, as you will see. dont waste your time going to a hardware store. door seals have to the right size for your refrigerator. you can buy them from an appliance parts store or sears or online. shop around because they can be expensive.

  • Mike Durland
    Mike Durland Aug 12, 2008

    • the procedure to change the door seal is the same as what I have stated.

    • it is a standard door seal replacement.

    • you can patch the leak with 100% silicone sealant (found at walmart or lowes) just to see if the door seal is the main problem before spending $60+ on a new door seal.


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