Question about Refrigerators

5 Answers

GE refrigerator, model: GPS22KBP 21.7 cu.ft. The unit has been struggling to keep the fridge cold while the freezer stays at or below zero. Defrosted the freezer, put all frozen food back and waited overnight. Now the freezer is at -0 and the fridge struggles to get below 50. Found the timer screw and turned it until the compressor turned off, waited 40 minutes and the until turned back on. don't suspect the timer ? FYI, the unit is in the garage in ILL

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  • Eli Sidwell
    Eli Sidwell May 26, 2011

    The unit is 6 - 7 years old and I don't think it has computer. Why, all controls are dials, not encoders or buttons and there are no LED or LCD readouts. The unit was installed by the contractor that built the home. Like I stated it has a mechanical timer, I would not expect to see that if it was controlled by a computer.



    I have some pics, but they are too big for this upload util. I will shrink today and send later on.



    Thanks



  • Eli Sidwell
    Eli Sidwell May 26, 2011

    Thats what I am looking for, where is that damper ?







    Please see attached pics

  • Eli Sidwell
    Eli Sidwell May 27, 2011

    Can you tell me approx where this flap is ?




  • Eli Sidwell
    Eli Sidwell May 27, 2011

    Yes, that is that all the stuff attached to the roof of the fridge compartment looks like. 218 looks like some type of harness, but I don't see a thermister for the fridge (is there one ?)

    5 days now after a total defrost, the temp in the fridge has made it down to 40, but that may be because the temp in the freezer is down to -7. This fridge looks really simple, just a blower in the freezer and a damper to control how much of that air is let into fridge compartment.

    What should I be looking for, does frost build up in front of the damper ?
    My original issue was a lot of frost in the freezer, is that still the underlying problem ?

  • Eli Sidwell
    Eli Sidwell Jun 03, 2011

    The diagram that you pointed me too was correct. I didn't believe this unit had a CPU.

    I removed the back panel and defrosted the coil that was totally frozen over !

    Now, all the ice has melted, do I have to remove the coil to test the element ?

    I turned the screw head on the defrost timer until I heard the until shut down, Now even after the until has been sitting for an hour, shouldn't I be able to hear the unit turn it back on ?

    Thanks

  • Eli Sidwell
    Eli Sidwell Jun 03, 2011

    I was a little fast on the diagnosis for the timer, just went and checked it and the unit was back up and running.

    I will let the unit run for an hour and then check it again. I will again set the unit for defrost mode and see if the element gets hot.

    Let me know if I should be doing anything else ?

  • Eli Sidwell
    Eli Sidwell Jun 04, 2011

    The diagram shows 3 thermostats clipped to the coil, Items on diagram: 605, 620, 627. Which one should I be checking ?


  • Eli Sidwell
    Eli Sidwell Jun 04, 2011

    It has been a week since I have worked on this unit, so I think it might be overlooked as abandon.

    Can someone take a look at it ?

    Thanks

  • Eli Sidwell
    Eli Sidwell Jun 04, 2011

    Rick, if you look at my comments I posted a pic of the sticker from the freezer and the model does show up on Sears site:http://www.searspartsdirect.com/partsdir...

    I have already had the cover off the evaporator and defrosted the coil, but schematic from sears shows 3 thermostats. You can see this in my last pic.

    Which one of the 3 should I be testing ?
    How do get the coil positioned so that I can test and/or replace the heater element ?

    Thanks


  • Eli Sidwell
    Eli Sidwell Jun 04, 2011

    There is a Thermostat wire that comes up from the fridge compartment and wraps around the bottom of the 2 coils of the evaporator. Can I just bend that back out of the way ?



    from the video, is it necessary to test for voltage on the second pole when the timer is in defrost mode ?



    You stated the element is glass, is that internal ? I see a copper casing ?

  • Eli Sidwell
    Eli Sidwell Jun 04, 2011

    Yes, in my comments I stated that it was frozen over. I will attempt to try and test the thermos some time this weekend. Will you be available for comment ?

    Thanks

  • Eli Sidwell
    Eli Sidwell Jun 25, 2011

    I have the freezer defosted again, this time I went as far as to remove the heating element and test it and it did show continuity. What did not look right was one of the thermostats. I have some pics that show the back of the thermostat poped out. Not sure how to post them here.

  • Eli Sidwell
    Eli Sidwell Jun 29, 2011

    WoodChuck, I am trying to find an Accept button to give you credit, but I don't see a button.
    Thanks for the follow up.

    Sid.

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5 Answers

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  • Master
  • 1,998 Answers

The unit is having a defrost issue which the problem stems from either the defrost thermostat, the defrost heater, the defrost timer, or the fan that is located above the evaporator coil. You would have to remove the rear panel on the inside of the freezer in order to properly diagnose which is causing your issue. After you remove the rear panel on the rear wall of the freezer you will see the evaporator coil and located on one of the copper lines coming off the evaporator coil is a small round disc like object with two wires going to it this is known as the defrost thermostat and can be tested by doing a continuity test on the defrost thermostat to assure that it is working properly. Located on the lower end of the evaporator coil is the defrost heater this piece can also be tested for continuity to assure that the piece is working properly. Lastly you would test the defrost timer in the unit and here is a video on how to test the defrost timer http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tPpLl2d0094 if the defrost timer had a fault this test would show that it was not working properly. Also assure that the fan located above the evaporator coil is working as well if the fan is not working then the air would remain trapped in the freezer area and you would not have any cold air blowing into the refrigerator. Also check the model number that you listed I was looking for a schematic to show you each piece but that model number does not come out on the look up sites at all. If you have any further questions message me back and please remember when our chat has fully concluded to rank how this opinion has helped it allows me to continue helping others in similar situations in the future. I await if you have any further questions and thanks again for using Fixya
Rick

Posted on Jun 04, 2011

  • 3 more comments 
  • Rick Ead
    Rick Ead Jun 04, 2011

    627 is the defrost thermostat that you would be testing and you would remove the heater element by dropping it downward and taking it out of the machine 620 is also showing as a defrost thermostat as well so test that one as well 605 is a tempreture sensor and 618 is the defrost heater dont usually see to many units with two defrost thermostats in the unit though note your heater is a glass heater sometimes they can still be good when trying to get a continuity reading off them and it would show no continuity so make sure you test the heater on this and visually inspect it as well for any cracks in the element. you have to remove the clips noted as 619 in order to drop the heater downward and remove it out of the unit if you have any further questions message me back I await your reply thanks again Rick

  • Rick Ead
    Rick Ead Jun 04, 2011

    when your removed the rear panel on the inside of the freezer did you see any ice build up on the evaporator coil if you did this is definetly a defrost issue its all a matter of eliminating which one is at fault I await your reply thanks again Rick

  • Rick Ead
    Rick Ead Jun 04, 2011

    yes if you are unable to reach me on here I am on the road repairing during the weekend but I will answer any questions that you may have when I return from the work day. Thanks again Rick

  • Rick Ead
    Rick Ead Jun 04, 2011

    and sorry we arent able to see what you or others have posted beside your original post until after we have answered your original question Thanks again Rick

  • Rick Ead
    Rick Ead Jun 27, 2011

    Do you mean the top section of the thermostat is poped out? If as in the plastic top of the thermostat itself if that were the case then this would definetly be a part that you would need to replace if you have any further questions message me back Thanks Rick

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  • Expert
  • 345 Answers

The answer to this question lies in the way the freezer/fridge combo works. The freezer is where the cooling coils are located. Then air is moved over the coils and circulated through the fridge side by a small blower or fan. The problem arises when the air is not circulated for some reason.

The reasons the air is not moving is usually two reasons

  1. The fan or blower has failed.
  2. The coil is covered over with ice and blocks the air flow.


The first reason is pretty simple to fix, you simply replace the air circulator and things are good again.


The second reason can be more difficult.


1. The timing device that runs the defrost cycle of the refrigerator is defective.
2. The heater coil that melts the water is shorted or not working

Usually the first thing to check is the heater coil. If there is resistance through the coil then most likely it is still good.


The timing device can be an advanced defrost control board or a mechanical timing device.
If the heater coil checks out to be good then the problem should be the timer.

For most situations, unplugging the refrigerator and allowing it to defrost on it's own will get you going temporarily, till parts can be shipped to you. That will melt the ice and give you a few days or a couple of weeks till it ices up to the point where it will not work again.

So, the problem can usually be traced to one of three things.

  1. The fan or blower
  2. The timer device
  3. The electric heater coil

Posted on May 28, 2011

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  • Master
  • 4,059 Answers

The fridge gets its cold air from the freezer through a vent(damper) between the freezer and fridge.The fan in the freezer blows air through it. Make sure this fan is running. You may have to hold the door switch in for it to run. There is a flap you adjust with the fridge temp. control. Make sure it's opening and closing when you adjust the fridge temp.
The problem could be the electronic control if you have one or the mechanical linkages.

Posted on May 26, 2011

  • Charles T Nevin
    Charles T Nevin May 27, 2011

    Part 305 on this DIAGRAM is your damper shown with the other parts.

  • Charles T Nevin
    Charles T Nevin May 28, 2011

    DEFROST PROBLEM
    The evaporator coil behind the cover on the back wall inside the freezer will ice up under normal conditions. Every 8 to 10 hours for around 20 minutes the defrost timer (or in most newer models the electronic adaptive defrost control) will turn the defrost heater on to melt the built up ice. There is a defrost thermostat which prevents the heater from overheating the freezer by breaking the heater circuit when the temp reaches close to 32 degrees F. The entire cooling system shuts off during the defrost cycle and starts back when the timer advances through the cycle.

    If this ice is not melted it will continue to build up until the air can’t flow over the coil to circulate the cold air through the freezer and into the fridge. The temperature change in the fridge is usually noticed first followed by the freezer.

    If the defrost thermostat is bad, it can prevent the heater from coming on OR it won’t turn the heater off when it gets too warm. It is clamped to the evaporator coil at the top to sense the temp. If it appears to be misshapen it is bad.
    With an ohm meter it should show continuity when cold and none when warm.
    You can also bypass(disconnect the two wires plugged into it and twist them together) the thermostat to see if the heater comes on then. If it does then you know the thermostat is bad and needs replaced.

    The defrost heater is located on the evaporator. It is in a tube which is at the bottom and can also go up the sides of the evaporator. On some types you can see a burnt spot if it’s bad. With an ohm meter it should show continuity from end to end when disconnected from the wiring in the freezer. You can also test the wiring for voltage when it’s in the defrost mode.

    If you have a defrost timer you can test it. It can be located under the fridge behind the kick panel on the front. Some are in the fridge with the controls at the top. You can turn the defrost timer till it clicks and everything shuts down. The heater should now come on. If it does, replace the timer because that means the timer is not running. If it doesn't, check the heater and defrost thermostat. Turn the timer again till everything starts back up to end the defrost cycle.

    If you have an adaptive defrost control instead of a timer, replace it if the heater and thermostat test good. It is located in the fridge with the controls in some models and on the back in others.

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  • Refrigerators Master
  • 8,220 Answers

I couldn't make your model number work but if this is a newer model GE with a computer board mounted on the back side then the temp is regulated by thermister. If the thermister is off the temp won't be right. Replacing the computer board will do no good either. You must locate each thermister and test them one at a time from the board. How to video
Late model GE service manual

Posted on May 26, 2011

  • 3 more comments 
  • Dan Webster
    Dan Webster May 26, 2011

    Well if that one has no electronics then I would check the damper. These type ice boxes have a cold control that regulates the freezer. For the fresh food compartment their is a damper with a cold control.
    When the temp inside the fresh food compartment rises the damper opens and allows cold air from the freezer to enter into the fresh food compartment. I would be taking a look at that.

  • Dan Webster
    Dan Webster Jun 07, 2011

    This one does have electronics.
    Thanks for posting th pictures. I have some videos that show how to do the diagnostics on that puppy

  • Dan Webster
    Dan Webster Jun 07, 2011
  • Dan Webster
    Dan Webster Jun 07, 2011

    I worked on one of these not long ago that had been donated to the church beacuse it leaked on the high side down in the puddle in the back. This one has a hole below the fan in the freezer where the cold air comes into the fresh food part. No damper. Just a cold control which

  • Dan Webster
    Dan Webster Jun 07, 2011

    regulates the temp. The size of that little piece of Styrofoam is critical to the performanace of the machine.

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  • Master
  • 2,047 Answers

Usually when the fridge begins to mess up while the freezer functions fine this problem is usually as a result of 3 things. The first and easiest to fix being the temperature dial if the temperature dial has been adjusted then the fridge will not function fine all you have to do in this case is adjust the dial to the lowest point to attain coolness.
Secondly is the issue of leaking pipes to the fridge segment of the unit. When there are leaking pipes to the fridge segment of the unit there is a probability that the unit would not cool because of the leakage. The leakage makes the presure insufficient to cool down the unit. Until the leakage gets blocked the fridge would not function properly.
Finally is the control board. If the control board has faulty connections then the unit could suffer from such symptoms as you are experiencing.
Get the above checked and get back to me.
Hope this solution has been helpful?

Posted on May 27, 2011

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