Refrigerator Door Won't Close Properly

I've got a problem with my GE model GTH18EBTZRWW refrigerator compartment door.
It won't close completely unless I lift up the door handle. The door's slightly off and the new, hi-efficiency models fit very snugly between door and frame. I only discovered this after a futile 20 minutes unloading everything I thought could be blocking the door. Never occurred to me that the door itself was blocking the door. Oddly enough, it seems to be encountering the obstacle more towards the top than the bottom. I marked around the door frame with a red wax pencil to see if I could detect any contact points but nothing's showing.
I see what look like hinge adjustment screws, but they're not anything I am used to and really don't look sturdy enough to support such a large door. Although I have as many wrenches, probably, as a NASCAR mech does (crow's foot, open-ended, deep socket, shallow socket, crescent and more) not one will fit in the space around the refrigerator door hinge. It looks to take some sort of bent-end wrench to allow tightening and loosening without hitting the door.
I thought I'd ask here before I went Googling in case there's a trick to it that someone else has discovered before. Also, what the heck is hitting? Why does it seem to be at the top when a sagging door usually binds at the bottom?
Any help, as always, will be appreciated. Amateur comedians will be appropriately heckled. (-:
Manual seems to be here:
http://www.searspartsdirect.com/partsdirect/user-manuals/GTH18EBTZRWW-GE-Parts-Refrigerator-Parts-manual
although current download is taking forever.
--
Bobby G.



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Robert,
Thanks for posting a link to the manual. The doors are discussed on pg 11-14. There aren't any adjustments. I'd remove the doors and watch for missing hardware by comparing the manual to your fridge hinges. Keep an eye out for the plastic washers. Look at the hinge brackets, perhaps one is bent. Put everything back together and hope for the best.
Dave M.
Dave M.

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I'm glad you confirmed that for me. It does seem very odd that there's no adjustment.

Look

and

Here's the latest result of my investigation. The door light switch seems to be locking up and not retracting into the switch body on occasion. I can't figure out why because it seems to work just fine by hand. It could be that it's just at the angle where the mating part of the door could make it stick by hitting the very end of the switch lever instead of the center. Whatever the cause, liifting the door slightly moves the spot where the switch contact the door but it seems so damn unlikely considering how effectively it stopped the door from closing. It felt just like something oversized was on the shelves (which is why I cleared them and stood dumbfounded when it still happened).
When I went to look at the PDF I downloaded it said the file was damaged. Apparently not for you. Just another problem to debug. This seems to have been the day for them! Each time I fixed something, the very next thing I touched went hinky on me.
I'm still a long way from popping the door although I did think, from reading the manual that I eventually DL'ed from GE, that if that plastic spacer cracked, the outcome would be a hosed door. I intend to do as the manual suggested and check to see if the gap between the two doors is consistent all the way across.
Thanks for your input, Dave.
--
Bobby G.



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On Fri, 19 Jul 2013 18:58:38 -0400, "Robert Green"

When you push it by hand, you're pushing it straight back. When the door hits it, it's at an angle and is pushed against the side as well as towards the back.
Just spray the cracks that surround the moving part of the swtich with some silicone spray (big can for $3 at HD) or if not that, WD-40. )I don't think it will hurt the plastic, but if you do, buy the silicone.) This will probably fix it.
If it still seem like the door, I still doubt it unless the screws that hold the bracket to the main part of the fridge are loose.

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wrote:

seems

It seems the switch (which is pie-shaped) hits at precisely the wrong angle against the part of the door that closes it so that it wedges in place rather than retracting as designed. Who would have thunk it? The clue was that the bottom part of the door could be pushed much closer to the refrigerator body than the top half could. Lifting the door slightly changed the contact point of the switch against the door so that the lever swung into the switch properly instead of propping it open. Not sure what corrective action to take other than Ye Olde Dremel Toole to slightly curve the contact point.

What's really odd is that the switch is smooth as silk when operated with a finger push. It's just the mechanics of how it hits the door. It's about 1/16" too low to keep from jamming against the door contact point. I'd take a picture but I don't want to have to empty the fridge and sit inside it <humor alert>. It's rare that I encounter a problem that can't be solved with either hot melt glue, duct tape, heat shrink tubing or WD-40, but this was one. I
What really irks me is that I followed two completely likely but completely wrong pathways to the solution. It really felt like something like a meat drawer wasn't pushed in all the way. When lifting the door handle fixed it, then I was sure it was out of alignment. The lack of adjustments meant it had to be something else.
Thanks to you, Dave and Oren for input.
--
Bobby G.



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Robert,

A quick look didn't show the light switch listed on a few appliance repair sites. At a guess here's a video of a replacement.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2juGyjXFpyk
I'd bet that the switch is an easy fix if it's the problem. The local appliance parts store probably stocks something that will fit.
Dave M.
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<stuff snipped>

The fix was simplicity itself - I hot melt glued a tiny strip of wood from something that came on a stick - some sort of Thai food - to the leading edge of the switch. This effectively lengthened the top edge of the "pie slice" wedge-shaped lever and it no longer jams!
It may not last long and I may end up adding a small strip of plastic that I screw on the switch, but we'll see. The new smoothness of the door operation clearly confirms the dingbat switch as the culprit. Could have really screwed up all the food in there had it happened at the wrong time.
This is the first wedge-shaped light switch I've seen on a refrigerator and I hope it's the last. The traditional push button seemed to work well enough. I can see that by mounting the switch right in the middle of the cold control dials they don't have to run a wire to the door jamb and can save 20 cents. They seem to have traded away a little reliability it that deal, too.
Thanks for your help, Dave!
--
Bobby G.




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On Friday, July 19, 2013 12:53:03 PM UTC-7, Robert Green wrote:

Check out http://atbayappliance.com/news-and-tips/ for tips and news on appliance repair from a reliable company in California.
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