help! refrigerator not getting cold enough

I have an older fridge that's no longer getting cold enough. The temperature of the freezer is about 38 or so. Haven't checked the actual temp of the fridge section but I doubt it's where it needs to be either. It seems like it's running constantly. There's a fan in back that is working. Is it the compressor? Any idea if this is worth fixing?
The only brand name is "JCPenney" and judging by the harvest gold color I'd say this was made in the 80's sometime.
Thoughts?
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On 27 Feb 2005 16:05:42 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

Only worth fixing if you do it yourself. Your defrost heater is probably shot. They're filaments. They burn out. If you can figure out how to open the inside back to get to them, a manual defrost will get you back to normal for a little while. Replacement heaters can be ordered over the web.
Don <donwiss at panix.com>.
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I could think of three or four possible problems. But, by this time I'd lost the original post. Could also be low on freon (seen that several times) or some other problems. We need more information, though.
--

Christopher A. Young
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Problem solved.
Here's more info that explains the situation. This fridge is an extra one I use for my brewing hobby. Occasionally I need to ferment beer in this and it should be over 40 degrees. I have an external thermostat that I plug the fridge in to, which in turn plugs into the wall.
Apparently it's a bad idea to keep the fridge plugged into this device for long periods of time even if it is set to keep the fridge at 40 F. It causes problems with the fridges ability to defrost itself properly.
When I (finally) unplugged the fridge, something inside of it which had frosted over (not the freezer) melted and water was everywhere. Good thing it was in an unfinished basement.
Anyway, after plugging it back in directly to the wall it works fine. Apparently I should only use the external temp controller when I really need to adjust the refrigerators temperature to something other than the standard.
Thanks for your suggestions!
Now I need to find time to brew again.
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