We have a GE Profile side by side (TPX24BIY or maybe TPX24SIY) which is
plenty cold in the freezer side but barely cooling on the fridge side.
It's running continuously.
I know from past experience these models are very touchy when the condensor
gets dirty but I gave it a good cleaning about a week back and they
normally go back to normal operation within a day or two but not so this
time and as I said the freezer is solidly (below-zero) cold. Refrigerator
is only 40-50 range.
Before I call in the pros I want to check on the defrost system since I've
read that a defrost failure can account for this problem. Where is the
timer on this model? I don't see it on diagrams. I want to see if there
is a problem with the timer or the defrost heater. If nothing checks out
there then time for pro help. But where is it located? There are no fancy
electronic controls on this model.
I do not know where any components are located in your refrigerator but your
problem is caused by lack of airflow from the evaporator coil in the freezer
unit into the refrigerator. It could be blocked by ice, blocked by something
in the way of the air channels, or the fan might be inoperative. Locate the
air channels and do whatever is necessary to get the air moving thru and
your problem will be solved.
Leaving the refrigerator turned off will eventually melt any ice, even if
the defrost system is not working. A plugged condensate water drain can
contribute to icing up so be sure it drains well. Be careful not to damage
the coils if you try to defrost it; do not use an ice pick! Your problem now
is minor, just don't make it worse.
I'm pretty sure the problem stems from poor air circulation and I am
starting to be convinced it's caused by internal ice buildup although
that's not totally certain.
Here is what I have accomplished so far.
I saw a photo of the defrost timer online and recognized a corner of it as
something I'd seen and thus located it inside the refrigerator compartment
behind the plastic cover at the top.
Using a small screwdriver I gently advanced it until the continuously
running refrigerator shut off and went into the defrost mode. Measuring
the input current at over 6A I determined the heater was working (actually
I didn't have to measure as I could see a good spark when I pulled the
I had planned to move it out of defrost mode 20 minutes or so later but by
then it had moved off of its own accord and the machine was running again
but performance was no better.
So the timer was working or at least it was now. Could have been stuck
earlier I guess.
We also do not know if the heater stayed on or if it's intermittent.
This morning I put the timer into a defrost cycle again and I could hear
sounds like bits of ice falling in the evap compartment. Again the timer
moved on and the fridge restarted.
Afterwards if anything the air flow (as noted at the back of the freezer
compartment) was worse. The melting ice must have dropped to a place where
it's clogging air flow more than before. And if out of touch of the
evaporator and defrost heater it's not going to melt and the defrost
terminating thermostat will turn off the heat once there is no more ice on
the evap itself.
So we have the following suspects:
Previously stuck defrost timer allowed this much ice to build up
Intermittent defrost heater
Defrost thermostat shutting off heat too soon
Unfortunately there's too much in the freezer right now to shut everything
down and give it a thorough meltdown. Or even to access the evap
Seems like you are on the right track. I think you have ice buildup and will
have to remove the covers or let the unit stay off with the doors open long
enough for it to melt. I have not noticed you mentioning whether you can
determine if the circulating fan that is supposed to blow the cold air into
the refrigerator compartment is running or not. I assume you are aware that
on one common system there is a damper door in that air passage that is
designated as the "FREEZER" temperature control. The thermostat generally is
in the refrigerator compartment and the freezer temperature is controlled by
how much of its air you transfer into the refrigerator to satisfy the
thermostat. By restricting the air the unit has to run more to keep the
refrigerator at the thermostat temperature, so the freezer runs colder.
If the fan is running ciculating air inside that is OK. Timer comes on
once a day doing dofrost. It is a clock and contact which controls
heater on/off. Contact can get stuck together causing heater on all the
time, can burn out causing no current to the heater or pitted contact
can cause intermittent current to the heater. Easiest thing to do is
replacing the assembly which is not that expensive. Melting ice has to
drain to drain pan. The drain hose can gewt clogged with dirt, etc.
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