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Refrigerator/freezer won't run..

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at all mad.gif

 

Woke up this morning, went to make breakfast and found a little water on the floor under the freezer door.

 

We have a side x side GE (5 yrs old), and everything in the freezer had begun to thaw.

 

Wifey had gone shopping yesterday and packed the freezer so full that the door remained slightly ajar. I repacked it and asked her to be more careful. I thought no more of it.. Dinnertime, she says to me..The refrigerator is acting up. Nothing seems very cold...UH OH.

I guess the poor machine ran itself to death. The last thing I need is to buy a new fridge.

 

Do these things have a breaker or some overload shutoff that will keep them from killing themselves? Is there such thing as a reset? The websites are of no help. They all say to check and make sure that the plug is fully plugged in or that the machine is on run instead of demo mode.

 

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

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Digger-

it's been awhile but when I was in college I worked as a GE repairman and remember a few things you can check. First, all cooling is done in the freezer- none in the refrigerator. There are a couple of common things that used to fix 90% of the problems. There are two probable causes:

1) The system is stuck in the defrost cycle. There is a timer that turns on heaters behind panels in the freezer to thaw ice off the coils. If the timer is stuck in the defrost mode, the heaters stay on an the compressor will not come on. The timer used to be mounted on the bottom of the fridge behind the removable grill. From what I remember they were about 3 inches square with a shaft in the center. You used to be able to put a screwdriver against the shaft and rotate it manually. If you do and the cooling starts up again, the timer needs replacement.

2)Sometimes the heaters themselves burn out. The way to check for this (other than measuring resistance) is to remove the panels in the back of the freezer. If the coils are icebound, it is either the heater or timer. The coils of the heater is brokern or the timer is stuck in the defrost mode. The freezer may already be defrosting if it's been sitting open now. To check the heater, rotate the timer slowly until it clicks and the heaters should start to glow. If they light up good, probably the timer. If they dont, you can check continuity (if you don't see a break in the wire of the heater). If it reads open, change the heater.

 

One key is if you see icebound coils. If they are iced heavy, air can't flow through them and provide cooling.

It's been awhile and I haven't fixed one in awhile, but I hope this helps or leads you on more productive internet searches. Rememebr to unplug the fridge before you take and resistance reading on coils or when disassembling. Hope this helps.

Jim

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if the unit sounds like it is running but not cooling properly it may have iced up the coil from running overnight with the door open.

 

if you can move the stuff for a day try unplugging the unit and let it sit with the doors open.

 

plug it back in and see what happens, also check and make sure coils under unit are clean.

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Thanks guys.

I'm home today so I have a bit of time to mess around with it before I call for service.

I'll check these things out.

 

I have 2 other refrigerators and freezers in the basement so I was able to save everything that I really wanted to keep.

 

 

Thanks very much.smile.gif

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View Postif the unit sounds like it is running but not cooling properly it may have iced up the coil from running overnight with the door open.

 

if you can move the stuff for a day try unplugging the unit and let it sit with the doors open.

 

plug it back in and see what happens, also check and make sure coils under unit are clean.

 

Mine did the same thing. The wife had it PACKED so tight no air could move. It froze up real bad. Shut it down for a couple days and it worked fine. Thank goodness for extra fridges... Good luck..

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I just fixed my fridge, there was an fan and motor up by the evap coils that had burnt out. The compressor, condensor, and the rest of the sealed system was working fine. But without that motor it wasn't pulling enough air through evap to function.

 

As others have said if the machine appears to be running the next step is to look at the evap.

 

I unscrewed the rear interior pannel in my freezer unit.

 

The evaporator should have even frost over the whole unit.

 

If there is no frost at all I would think it is a defrost system failure (stuck in defrost), or sealed system failure.

 

Completely frosted and iced over evap I would think the defrost isn't working. Could be defrost timer, element, or high temp limit thermostat.

 

Very uneven frost, I would guess problem with the sealed system.

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same thing happened to me about 5 months ago, pull the plastic off the back of the freezer, probably have a glacier back there. the defrost thing broke on mine so it couldnt defrost itself. had to have a guy come out and replace the coil.

 

i did everything you guys did, 2 months later it was all frozen up again.

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Check the vent to the compressor fan. I got home one night last week and it sounded like the compressor was going to blow up, everything in the freezer already melted. Unplugged it and cleaned out all around the compressor fan, plugged it back in after a few hours. Runs fine again.

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View PostThis problem coincides with hot muggy weather hmmmmm.......Could possibly need to be turned off for a few hours and then restarted.

 

 

That is only a bandaid if your evaporator coil is iced up. You are manually defrosting the evaporator coil by unplugging for a few hours.

 

If the defrost system is working properly it will do exactly what you are trying to do by unplugging and letting it sit for a few hours.

 

I guess you can advance the timer, if mechanical, and force it into the defrost cycle sooner. That would work if the timer is on the fritz, but you would still need to replace. If the evap coil froze up for other reasons, and the defrost is working, it would get things defrosted quicker. On my fridge the defrost cycle appears to be several hours in between.

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I checked everything you guys mentioned and a few things suggested on appliance repair websites.

No Dice.

 

I looked around and found a local repair place (Apex Appliance) who had been in business here for 15 yrs. They had good references, came out within 2 hours and had me running again in 5 minutes. It was the circuit board.

$374.00 including parts, installation and tax.

I ain't thrilled about it, but it is a whole lot better than $1,500 for a new fridge. Comes with a 2 yr guarantee.

 

Turns out that the guy is a striper fisherman. I turned him on to SOL.

 

Thanks very much for all your advice.smile.gif

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What did you do with the old board? I am kind of curious about what is making all these circuit boards fail on appliances.

 

My guess is crap capacitors that are leaking and then destroying circuit paths.

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I have it Doug.

If you want, I'll send it to you. I lack the testers (and the patience) to dope out the actual circuit or component that went bad.

 

The repair guy did say that a competent person could isolate and replace the faulty component, but the bench time spent troubleshooting it would probably cost more than a new board.

He also said that he carries boards for every major appliance because it is the faulty component in 95% of his repair calls.

 

PM me your address and I'll be happy to send it to you.

 

Thanks again for your help.

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