Fridge worth repairing??

When is it time to toss away a refrigerator? My 9 year old side-by-side GE 21 cf was doing fine, then all of a sudden it began to fail. Not completely (yet).
Right now the freezer section works as follows: 22 degrees at the bottom and 32 degrees at the top. (I don't know why the discrepancy.) The non-freezer section maintains a 52 degree temp. These are when set at max cold.
The fins are dust-free. I've turned the controls on and off several times.
Is it worth calling in a repairman? I figure that the worst problem I could have is a bad compressor. So what might that cost? Is it cost-effective to repair or should I just go get a new one? The original was $900 at the time. I can get an equivalent today for around $700.
This brings up another issue...finding an honest repairman. I recall seeing a TV consumer special about how unscrupulous some are.
Thanks.
_________________________________
"Take a little 5FU, leucovorin and oxaliplatin for thy stomach's sake." -- 1 Timothy 5:23 (adapted)
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Check to see if the evaporator fan is working It circulates the air and if it stops, the freezer is OK but the fridge section warms up. If that is the problems, it can be a PITA to get to, but otherwise reasonable cost and not overly difficult to replace.
check out www.repairclinic.com for some information also.

If it is the compressor (and I doubt it) buy a new one, but chances are, you can have it fixed for $100 or so.

Most often, the local dealer has fairly competent repair people on staff. Some independents are great, others, shoddy. Ask a neighbor if they had any repairs for a reference.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Hi,

When the cost of repair is more than 50% of the cost to replace the item.

Some common things to check for... http://www.applianceaid.com/frig_notcold.html

Put the controls back on a mid point setting.

Have you tried an over night defrosting?

If the rest of the refrigerator ( gaskets, plastic panals/parts ) is still in good shape, for sure call!

Approx 350-400 to replace a compressor.

Depends on what is wrong and what is required to correct the problem.

Ask some nieghbours/friends/relatives who they use.
jeff. Appliance Repair Aid http://www.applianceaid.com /
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Well guess what. I pulled off the panel inside the freezer section and what do I find but a block of ice covering all the coils. Aha I think, the defroster has gone bad and I'm not about to tackle repairing it. So I set up a hairdryer to melt the ice before the guy comes over.
An hour later the repairman comes over. My suspicions are answered as he says that the heater bars and control mechanism are bad and need to be replaced. (He showed me the bars, they 're make of glass and look busted.) This he does, but guess what... it doesn't fix the problem. The defroster section still doesn't work.
So he says I should not have melted the ice, that the believes the hairdryer damaged the aluminum coils. He says I never should have touched it, that whenever an appliance goes bad, one should never tinker with it. Then he says that there may be a freon leak, or that the compressor is gone bad.
I tell him to forget it that I'll just dump the piece of crap. (G.E.) Now I'm out $85 and I still have a fridge that don't work.
The reason why I melted all the ice was because the recommended http://www.applianceaid.com/frig_notcold.html said that's what to do to get to the heater bars. The repair guy says he never does that, that he uses a pot of boiled water at the bottom of the freezer, that it's more "gentle."
OK. Think I just got hosed? Or what?
On 6 Sep 2004 04:31:09 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com (jeff) wrote:

_________________________________
"Take a little 5FU, leucovorin and oxaliplatin for thy stomach's sake." -- 1 Timothy 5:23 (adapted)
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Sorry to hear of your $85 loss. IMO, the technician is a nut case. I cannot see how you could have heated the coil enough to damage the aluminum coil unless you got it up to melting point, 660 degrees C.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Sounds like a very common and very simple repair. I can't imagine an appliance repairman the couldn't fix it. Does he have a supervisor you can call?
The defrost heater circuit should function fine even if the condensor was physically ripped out of the fridge. Its just a simple heater hooked to a timer.
Steve B.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Hi,
You got hosed!! :(
New tech time!!
jeff. Appliance Repair Aid http://www.applianceaid.com /
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

This he does, but guess what... it doesn't fix the problem.

the defrost termination thermostat is cold.

He says I never should have

Then he says that there may be a freon leak, or that

heater element. I'm wondering if this guy knows his head from a hole in the ground.

drier is good, too. The one I did over the weekend, we used a hair dryer. Thaw it out for a couple days, and I'll go back later with my box of parts. Never trust the customer's dianosis, and never diagnose over the internet.

Hi,
You got hosed!! :(
New tech time!! SM: I'm with you, Jeff. He got hosed.
jeff. Appliance Repair Aid http://www.applianceaid.com /
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Two issues here... Side by side freezers are inefficient. The cold air literally "falls out" when you open the door. And the design means that you don't have enough room in either the freezer or the fridge. But there's also energy consumption. Old refrigerators burn a lot more electricity than today's models and at current power rates, that's a factor.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

This is Turtle.
Read Jeff's post and follow his instructions.
Now i think you have one of the three items that are defective. Defrost timer , defrost element, or the Defrost terminator. I don't think there is nothing wrong with your compressor for you have not said anything that would leed me to think it was the problem at all. One of these three items are not working right or defective.
OOPPPPPssse , Could be a bad evaperator fan motor or blade.
TURTLE
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
GE had a run of bad compressors. Might want to websearch, and check to see if yours was one of them. They did a lot of free compressor replacements.
The fact that it's cooling at all is a good sign. I can think of several common problems that could be. But I'd ahve to be there and check it out.
I did this "diagnosis over the wire" with some friends over labor day weekend. I got there and found the problem wasn't what it sounded, and I needed a small part which I had -- in my tool box, about three hours drive away. How frustrating!
At one of my parts houses, they call GE "Generally expensive" for parts, so try to find a local small town repair guy.
--

Christopher A. Young
Learn more about Jesus
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.