Refridgerator Woes (Sorry If This Came Through Twice!)

Sorry for the double post (if it does). I've been having posting problems lately...
I have an older model (1994, I think) GE fridge (top freezer model) that recently decided it didn't want to cool the fresh-food section. I removed the back freezer panel, and sure enough, lots of ice build- up... I take it this means the defrosting system is compromised. Fine and dandy... I used the hair dryer trick, and over the course of the next two hours, I completely defrosted every bit of ice I could see in the freezer, made sure the evaporator fan was running, and made sure when I aimed the hair dryer down the vent, I could feel the air moving into the fresh-food compartment. I also vacuumed the coils underneath the fridge while I was at it.
Put everything back together, plug it in, and the fresh food section still isn't cooling (gave it 4 hours, and it got to a frigid 56 degrees). I can feel very little air moving out of the vent from the freezer to the fridge. The freezer fan IS running and blowing air into the freezer... I don't understand why its not also blowing into the fridge.
Is it possible that there was just enough of an opening in the air vent for the hair dryer to force warm air through, but not enough for the freezer fan to push cold air through?
I can replace the thermostat and related items, but if cold air isn't getting moved into the fresh food compartment, what's the point?
Any suggestions?
Thanks!
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The problem is it's a GE which stands for Good Enough. But is it really..?
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You did not mention whether you had determined that the condensate water drain was clear or whether the defrost timer, heater, and thermostat were working properly. Also, are you sure that the damper in the air passage from the freezer into the refrigerator is wide open. That setting would likely be marked for MINIMUM FREEZER temperature.
Many of these units have the thermostat in the refrigerator and the evaporator in the freezer. Temperatures are balanced by controlling the airflow from the freezer to the refrigerator. It can take a really long time (2 or 3 days) for the temperatures to stabilize and if you keep opening the door(s) to check the temperatures or to add food to either side, they never will. Also, when you open either door, the airflows are changed by the open door.
So your only problem is likely to be the failure to properly defrost and dispose of the water.
Don Young
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On 5/27/2009 8:33 PM, Don Young wrote:

I assumed the drain was clear because as I defrosted the freezer, the catch basin on the bottom of the unit filled up. Thinking back, perhaps it was blocked by a bit of ice at some point, and simply spiraled out of control from there?
I *DID* find the reason that it wasn't cooling after my initial defrost. Apparently I accidentally warped a piece of plastic that lined the air passage way from the freezer to the fridge, so only a trickle of air was moving down. I opened the passageway back up (two short pieces of doweling), and that seemed to do the trick. I don't remember holding the blow dryer close to anything for any length of time, but obviously I must have.
If the coils freeze up again, I imagine that indicates the defrosting system is on the fritz, and I'll have to pull out a voltage meter and decide if its the heater or the thermostat.
Thanks for the suggestion, though. Hopefully, a blocked water line will be the only problem next time!
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