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White powdery substance in GE side by side and not cooling


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4 replies to this topic

#1 bigdnpvb

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Posted 09 November 2013 - 10:37 AM

MY refrigerator has a white powder substance in ice maker and also main food section? Motors are running but freezer not freezing and main refrigerator not cooling? This machine is only 6yrs old. Local repairman came out and put "tap" on line which showed 30 PSI and she said that I needed a new refrigerator. He said it would be too costly to try and find the clogging. He never looked at the mother board and did not seem to know why the white powder was present? A friend told me that a GE repairman had told him to never store "freezer packs" or those "first aid packs" in your refrigerator? Could this be the problem?



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#2 BryanS

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Posted 09 November 2013 - 10:44 AM

If they put a tap on the low side and it is reading 30 psi, then it sounds like a valve is broken in the compresor. A leak or a restriction in the tubing would be running into a vacuum not at 30 psi. Sounds like you need a new compressor which can be about $600+. Sears charges almost $800 to do it. As for the white powder in the ice maket that could just be calcium from the water. Why you have powder all over the freezer, I don't know.

#3 DurhamAppliance

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Posted 09 November 2013 - 11:46 AM

Okay My dear Watson, regarding the white substance, the game is afoot!

 

The powdery substance seems to vex many a people on the net.  Some said it may be spilled baking soda,others indicate it may be from a leaky ice pack but none of these could be confirmed.  One thing that is common is all of the freezers were warm at the time.  One adventurous individual decided to taste the substance and it yielded a salty taste though he ruled out baking soda as the culprit.

 

A fridge/freezer that is too warm can also grow white powder mold so based on this information we have three candidates:

 

1) leaking Ice pack

2) baking soda

3) white powder mold

 

Let's rule out baking soda unless you store it on a tray above the icemaker...but you would have noticed spilled baking soda earlier.

 

I think we can rule out #3 as it would take a while for mold to grow and you probably would smell it

 

 

So that leaves us with #1. This would be my guess, especially if you had stored packs on  a tray  above or in front of an icemaker.  You would not have noticed the leak while the freezer was cold but once it warms up the ammonium nitrate use in many packs will solidify into a white crystalline substance.  I think this supposition is supported by the GE tech warning against ice packs in the freezer (but where else would you put them?) and the adventurous individual that tasted the substance and found it to be salt -like.  Ammonium nitrate is a salt of ammonia and nitric acid  

 

750px-Ammonium_Nitrate_zps1a837da7.jpg

 

 

 

Or maybe not, lol....anyway I had fun pretending to be someone who knows what he is talking about.


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#4 bigdnpvb

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Posted 09 November 2013 - 01:42 PM

If the "adventurous individual" had also stored ice packs ins his refrig. then I would think that you are definitely correct? I did in fact store my ice packs on the rack right in front of the ice maker. Most of the white powder could be found in the ice dispenser chute and in the ice bucket itself. So in that regard would you want to further a guess that maybe the white powder is clogging up the lines? Or do you agree with Bryon S that I probably need a new compressor? 



#5 DurhamAppliance

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Posted 09 November 2013 - 05:23 PM

The powder cannot enter a sealed system. I tend to agree with BryanS regarding that issue.

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