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Fridge is warm, freezer is cold. Do I need a new fridge?

  • Last Updated:
  • Jan 2nd, 2019 6:33 pm
[OP]
Jr. Member
Dec 10, 2012
114 posts
113 upvotes

Fridge is warm, freezer is cold. Do I need a new fridge?

I have a GE Profile PDS22LBN. I noticed the fridge was warm today and looks like I'll have to throw out a lot of food. Fortunately the freezer is still ice cold.

I messed with the freezer for some time until I eventually got to a rear coil and fan. The fan turns freely when the freezer is on. Here is a picture:

https://1drv.ms/u/s!ArBs_HSTtA1bhdR0pLKX_xTEPNTfaw

I took a hair dryer to the coils and melted all the ice. It didn't seem like a ton of ice to me and it was mostly covering the front, although the bottom was quite thick.

I closed the freezer off again and to my surprise cold air appears to be entering the fridge again. I am using an infrared thermometer.

Did I fix this? If so, is it a temporary fix, or likely a "permanent" one? How can I go about to make sure this does not happen again?

I can buy a new fridge if needed but would rather not. I don't want this thing crapping out on me again.
21 replies
Deal Addict
Nov 2, 2005
3658 posts
979 upvotes
Ottawa
You can overwhelm the defrost by accidentally leaving the door open, opening it too often or putting in hot uncovered foods that are releasing a lot of humidity. Once the evap coils get badly frozen up manual intervention is often required. I'd start by assuming this is the case and it it happens again in the coming weeks you'll need to dig deeper.
Deal Addict
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Nov 9, 2003
1330 posts
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Grimsby
When you melted the ice did you watch if the water went down the drain pipe to the evaporator tray underneath or into the base pan of the freezer section? The ice looks pretty solid at both ends. Dirtmover's points seem very valid here.
Deal Addict
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Oct 12, 2007
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Ottawa
You have to figure out why your coils froze over.

I could be wrong but if this is auto defrosting, there's something not right as the defrost heater should have prevented that build-up. If could be the heater, the timer, or the thermostat - they're usually fairly cheap parts but you have to figure out which one is at fault. I suggest you youtube or google how to diagnose and repair.
[OP]
Jr. Member
Dec 10, 2012
114 posts
113 upvotes
I have not left the door open or opened it very often. I have been running two humidifiers in my condo however. Could a more humid condo cause this sort of an issue?

When I melted the ice the water did go into a drain hole, and I did not see any water appear under the fridge.
Deal Guru
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Feb 11, 2007
11748 posts
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Oakville
Did you also clean the dust off your condenser coils? They're on the outside of the fridge in the bottom or back of it.
[OP]
Jr. Member
Dec 10, 2012
114 posts
113 upvotes
Also what is this funny looking knob thing with a clear plastic ribbon around it that attaches to the back of the fridge?
Deal Fanatic
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Dec 28, 2007
6192 posts
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Alberta
You don't need a new fridge. Had this happen to me twice already. Easy fix. I took everything out of the freezer compartment and check the fan/motor behind the back panel. It is what blows the cold air into the fridge compartment. Mine wasn't spinning and was clogged with ice. I defeosted it with a hair dryer and it worked for a few years. The next time it happened I had to replace the fan motor for under $50. Really simple to do, just a few screws.
Last edited by jackrabbit000 on Jan 1st, 2019 11:52 am, edited 1 time in total.
[OP]
Jr. Member
Dec 10, 2012
114 posts
113 upvotes
I appreciate the thought, but unfortunately the fan was spinning well and this problem persisted. Still troubleshooting!
Deal Fanatic
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Dec 28, 2007
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Mine was nowhere near as iced up as yours. The passageway to the fridge could be iced up. I would try removing the fan and blow hot air up into the passageway to the fridge or let it defrost/melt and see what happens. See if you can get warm air out of the fridge when you are doing this.
[OP]
Jr. Member
Dec 10, 2012
114 posts
113 upvotes
The fridge has been working for about 5 hours now. The question is whether or not I solved the problem temporarily, or "permanently". I need to see if the defrost timer works adequately.
Deal Fanatic
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Sep 1, 2005
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Markham
Behacad wrote:
Jan 1st, 2019 11:51 am
I appreciate the thought, but unfortunately the fan was spinning well and this problem persisted. Still troubleshooting!
I have also had to do this a couple of times on my fridge.

After the defrost, pour water thru the drainage tube because there could be some blockage there...you'll need to pull the fridge out to "mop up the water" which is much more than normal.

You can also try using some pipe cleaner to clean the "hose" to clear possible blockage.
We're all bozos on the bus until we find a way to express ourselves...

Failure is always an option...just not the preferred one!
Deal Fanatic
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Dec 28, 2007
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x2. On mine I can access the drain tube and pan from the bottom front panel. I just made sure I didn't overfill it and didn't have to move the fridge out to empty it.

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