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Nice guy eddie
 
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Refrigerator stopped working-HELP!

Well, Mercury must be in Gatorade or something wrt appliances today. First Scottís dryer and now the fridge at the cabin stopped working. The freezer seems to still be working OK but fridge not cold. A whole bunch of food about to go bad.

Itís a plain Jane GE, still humming away but not cold. Any help appreciated!!



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Old 07-12-2020, 03:22 PM
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Can't help ya on this one. Need to now outlet temps to even start guessing.
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Old 07-12-2020, 03:46 PM
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The evaporator coils are under the floor of the freezer. Take the floor out of the freezer (it's held down by a few screws) and see if the evaporator is iced up. If it is, the defrost heater or the defrost timer might have gone out. Either way, you might get it working again if the coils are iced up and you can thaw them.
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Old 07-12-2020, 03:54 PM
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Nice guy eddie
 
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One friend suggested that the thermostat quit working. I would not know where to look for that. I have no way to measure temps but it’s basically warm inside. No refrigeration taking place. Thanks
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Old 07-12-2020, 03:55 PM
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A new fridge is a joy. Automatic defrost etc. And they use a lot less electricity than that one.
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Old 07-12-2020, 04:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by speeder View Post
One friend suggested that the thermostat quit working.
I spent a few years working on GE refrigerators in the early 70s. Yours looks familiar, but I don't know it's vintage. Anyhow, I NEVER had a call where the thermostat went out. 99% of calls were one of the first five below. The first five you can diagnose yourself.
The problems, in order:

1. Defrost timer stopped working. The result was the evaporator iced up and often broke the defrost heater (a glass tube with a heating element in it). The symptoms are evaporator coils clogged with ice.

2. The defrost heater burned out. The symptoms are evaporator coils clogged with ice.

3. condenser coils were clogged with dog hair and other crap. They are pretty good at dispersing heat even with a lot of crap on them, but there is a limit.

4. evaporator fan stopped working. The evaporator fan is in the freezer, under the freezer floor.

5. condenser fan (under the refrigerator, draws air over the condenser coils) burned out

6. compressor start relay not working

7. compressor burned out

The freezer may still seem to be working because the evaporator coils are in the freezer and the compressor and cooling system are still working. It sounds like an air handling problem. The refrigerator section depends on the evaporator fan blowing air over the evaporator coils and sending it down to the refrigerator. If the evaporator coils are clogged with ice the freezer will stay cold but the evaporator fan can’t move air over them to send down to the fridge.

The first thing you should do is take the floor out of the freezer and see if the coils are free of ice and see if the fan is running.
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Last edited by wdfifteen; 07-12-2020 at 04:47 PM..
Old 07-12-2020, 04:09 PM
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Go on You Tube - punch in your model. Something may turn up that helps. That's usually my first stop.
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Old 07-12-2020, 04:11 PM
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Alright! If you're gonna make it difficult, pull the fridge out, turn the thermostat to its coldest setting, make sure the compressor is running, touch the small copper line and see if it's hot. Touch the bigger one and see if it's cool. You mention that it's "humming away" which indicates the evaporator fan is working. How does the air feel coming into the refrigerator? Does it seem like the fan is moving enough air? If not, evap is iced up. Let it defrost and try restarting the fridge. If you have some frozen stuff in the freezer and a cooler, toss the perishable stuff from the fridge in the cooler with some frozen stuff from the freezer and let the fridge defrost.
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Old 07-12-2020, 04:17 PM
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Post a pic of model and serial #. WD covers most of it. There is also a fan that moves air between the freezer and fridge. If it fails the fridge gets warm. All the food probably needs to come out and go in ice chests while you troubleshoot and diagnose.
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Old 07-12-2020, 04:30 PM
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Is your refrigerator running?
……..

Ok, lets not go there but a good place to start with WD's list.

Get some ice and throw all the frozen stuff in a cooler. Unplug and open the fridge and freezer door.

After a few hours, plug it back in and see if it goes back to normal operation.
Defrost timer. Very possible.
Defrost termination switch. Could be
Evap fan. Maybe
That style of fridge there shouldn't be any fancy damper systems like some of the newer fridges have.
Never hurts to roll out and clean the condenser.
Small line hot bigger line cold (to the compressor).
Refrigeration is something we all take for granted until it doesn't work. Much like running water and electricity...
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Old 07-12-2020, 04:43 PM
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Nice guy eddie
 
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You guys are the best! I’ll unplug it and defrost it, see if that helps.
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Old 07-12-2020, 06:11 PM
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I unplugged it and emptied the freezer, floor is a skating rink. Canít even remove those screws until I get it thawed. The vents on the floor are almost completely blocked w ice. Pretty sure this is the problem, thanks a million. Especially WD but everyone who posted.
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Old 07-12-2020, 06:43 PM
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Use a hair dryer to speed the process..
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Old 07-12-2020, 07:57 PM
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Clean the Freezer out, shop vac underneath and the coils. Make sure the freezer set is good. Thats how I milked ours until I spent 3500 on a new one!
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Old 07-12-2020, 08:15 PM
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The suspense is killing me! Fess up man! did ya get it working?
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Old 07-13-2020, 05:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wdfifteen View Post
I spent a few years working on GE refrigerators in the early 70s. Yours looks familiar, but I don't know it's vintage. Anyhow, I NEVER had a call where the thermostat went out. 99% of calls were one of the first five below. The first five you can diagnose yourself.

Snip
Years ago I had a great fridge that I bought used. It stopped making things cold. I found an appliance repair guy that came out and checked all the things on your list, and all was fine. Then he checked the thermostat. So he removed the thermostat and the probe went from one side of the fridge, up over the freezer and down the other side. He said "in all my years I have never seen that before" so he got it out, went the parts store and got the exact part, installed it, and it was a bad part. Once again he said "in all my years I have never seen that before" so off to the parts store he went. They had a second one and he got it exchanged. They bench tested it at the parts store. The second one was bad. So once again both he and the parts store guys said "in all my years I have never seen that before". They tested the last one in stock and it was good. He got it installed.

So I got a total of four "in all my years I have never seen that before" on repair from experts. My personal record.

What I loved about that fridge is is had an cold air outlet in the corner near a shelf. If I put a beer right in front of it it would chill it to have just a few ice crystals in it. Never freeze the beer, but just the perfect cold.
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Old 07-13-2020, 05:32 AM
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We had a compressor go out while under extended warranty and was replaced at no charge. The repair guy said people should ALWAYS buy the extended warranty when buying new. He said if this had been a service call and replacement it would have been a $400-600 bill.
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Old 07-13-2020, 05:43 AM
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You should NEVER (almost) buy extended warranty when buying new.
Old 07-13-2020, 05:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sooner or later View Post
You should NEVER (almost) buy extended warranty when buying new.
How about you provide a reason for why you believe this?
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Old 07-13-2020, 06:32 AM
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Nice guy eddie
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cabmando View Post
The suspense is killing me! Fess up man! did ya get it working?
Yep! Just checked it and all is cold again. It just needed a serious defrost, (and cleaning, of course), it's working like new!

Thanks again for the help, everyone. This place rocks for most any technical/mechanical problem on earth.

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-- Gabriel byrne
Old 07-13-2020, 06:34 AM
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