Refrig/Freezer not cooling enough

Freezer on top GE frostfree refrigerator- TBX21TKC - 10-15yrs old
OK-- First I had puddles under the front of the fridge--- then it stopped keeping milk fresh so I bought a thermometer.
The refrigerator section was warm, so I checked the freezer & found the coils in a block of ice. [literally-- the right side was a block of ice-- the left was 2" thick with frost]
Great, I think-- and defrost the thing with a hair dryer. I didn't remove the galvanized pan behind the coils, but I could see that there was ice there, so I continued to apply heat until there was no more dripping.
After all is warm & dry I plug the fridge back in. The best the refrigerator seems to do is about 40 degrees. I can hear the compressor going nonstop, but there isn't even enough cold to kick the icemaker into action.
A thermometer in the freezer shows 27-8 degrees.
I pull the fridge out to check the compressor fan-- it is working fine & isn't too dirty. Clean and replace.
Unclog the drain tube.
Then I pulled the compressor out of the bottom & clean the coils.
Reassemble & plug it in. I can feel a hot & cold side to the pipes coming out of the compressor, so it is running-- but I still only get 26- degrees in the freezer section & it sounds like the compressor just runs continuously. [it is hard to tell because it is so quiet-- does the compressor fan only run when the compressor is running?]
I just went back & felt the tubing again. The cold side, which was very cold when I first plugged it in, is now just barely colder than room temp. [but the compressor is still running.]
Am I to the point where I need to call a pro or is there something else I can check?
Is this thing worth charging if that's what it needs?
Jim
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Jim Elbrecht wrote:

sounds like you probrobaby have a freon leak(due to the compressor running all the time and its not getting any colder???? did you have a fan running in the freezer part??? you should if not then the cold in the freezer is just gonna stay there and freeze up the coil and not let the cold get to the refrigerator part(the bottom)......
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-snip-
Thanks. That was my wild-ass-guess. [I know just enough about refrigeration to be dangerous] I hesitate to call the repair guy & have him charge it-- then not be able to locate the leak & end up having to repeat the process or replace the darn thing anyway.

That fan is running fine. The freezer temp is continuing to slowly drop. It has gone down another 1/2 degree in the last hour. [at this rate it should be cold enough to start the ice maker by tomorrow morning.]
Thanks for your thoughts Jim
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-snip-

-snip-
I thought the temp had leveled off when I posted this-- it had been a couple hours since the fridge was running again. But now it has been running a few more hours and is still very slowly getting colder. The current temp [@1600 EST] is 20.3 F.
How long should it take for it to get to 0 if it is ever going to?
Thanks, Jim
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I've noticed that mine can take a day or two to get all the way down. Hang in there.
Don <donwiss at panix.com>.
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Hi,
Block of ice on a GE fridge is often a sign of an inefficient refrigeration system ( leaker, weak pumping compressor, etc ).

A "running" compressor doesn't mean it is ok :(
A service tech would be able to check the fridge and confirm but it *sounds* like a bad refrigeration system to me by what you describe.
jeff.
Appliance Repair Aid http://www.applianceaid.com /
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GE units of this vintage have a history of gradual compressor inefficiency. Time to shop for a refrigerator....

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This is Turtle.
Untill you get all the ice off the coil inside. Your not going to know anything at all. Unplug it and remove the back panel so you can see the coil and then defrost it. clean out the drain while your there , then put it back together and try it. If that coil is frozen up you have one of three things wrong. 1) Defrost terminator 2) Defrost Heater or Heaters. 3) Defrost timer WR9X330 but don't use the WR9X330DS , i don't like them.
Now if box runs good : you have one of these three parts defective.
Now if box don't run good : You have one of these three parts defective and something else wrong with it.
TURTLE
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You any where near me? You sound like one very fine refrigerator repairman. Wish I had enough work to hire you.
It sounds like your fridge is dual diagnosis -- as many old fridges are. Turtle is on the right track with the defrost problems.
Sounds also like your fridge might be low on freon. Which is a very common situation. I used the last of my bottle of R-12 awhile back, but there oughta be some old guy out there some where who still has some 12 on hand.
Failing that, a licensed professional such as myself can pump out the last couple ounces of R-12 and replace it with R-409A, R-414B, or some other replacement blend.
--

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Is the evaporator fan running when you push the door switch in?
Is the cover on the back of the refrig sealed okay so the fan circulates air through the condenser coils?
When the evaporator was iced up it could have liquid slugged the compressor and messed up the valves.
I wouldn't spend money on an old fridge if you can't get it working right, buy a new high efficiency fridge.
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wrote:

Went through similar problems. The problem was that the cold air transfer duct from the freezer compartment was blocked by ice. Therefore although the freezer and the fan were working the fridge cooler main compartment never got enough cold cold air to trigger the thermostat (or was it the freezer got cold too quickly and shut off the compressor?)
The solution was to leave the fridge door open overnight to defrost the empty fridge completely. Fixed the problem. When the internal cold air ransfer fan blows you should be feel the cold air coming down from the freezer compartment.
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