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      ***READ THIS PRIOR TO STARTING A NEW TOPIC***   05/02/2016

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BobM

GE freezer section rising to 40 degrees normal?

15 posts in this topic

I have a GE refrigerator model TBX21JATMRWH. Every once in a while the freezer section rises to around 40 degrees. The fridge section rises a little too but I'm not sure how much. Ice cream gets a soft and frozen dinners get ice inside them. I called for service but it was running normal when the guy showed up. He said the frost pattern was normal but ordered a new thermostat. When he tapped on the thermostat it kicked on but this was really his only reason for ordering it. I have not paid for the part yet. Anybody have any ideas? I would appreciate any help before I throw away any more money on this.

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Need appliance parts? Call 877-803-7957 now!

[user=1170]BobM[/user] wrote:

I have not paid for the part yet.

I don't get these servicers who don't collect their money when the job is done.  The way it's supposed to work is this: 

You do your due diligence as a consumer and hire a company to fix a specific problem with your appliance.  You have selected this company because they guarantee all their work. 

The tech comes in and diagnoses the problem based on either experience or methodical troubleshooting.  You don't care what the exact cause was because you hired them to fix a problem and they guarantee their work, so no need for the critical examination of his diagnositc methodology, right?  (As a side note, I don't mind people watching while I work, but don't allow them to ask a bunch of questions about what I'm doing because 1) it's distracting and I'm more liable to make mistakes and 2) I'm there to fix an appliance, not hold a class on how to diagnose and repair it.)

The tech replaces the part that he has determined is the cause of your problem.  You pay the man in full and he leaves.  If everything works normally, problem solved and everyone's squared up. 

Should the same problem arise, you call the company to have the tech come back out because the original problem was never corrected.  Any reputable company will stand behind their work and come back out at no charge; they will do whatever it takes to fix the original problem or they will refund all your money, not just for the part.

Speed.  Skill.  Honor. 

That's the Samurai Way. 

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Thank you for the reply.

I should clarify a little more. I paid them $75. He said it's a deposit but I guess it really covers the service charge should I decide not to get the part replaced. They are still waiting for the replacement part to come in. I don't know yet how much more it's going to cost me. They ordered it 5 days ago. I however have serious doubts whether or not the thermostat is the problem. He thought it could possible be the defrost timer but the thermostat was the only part ordered.

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I would advise against participating in the diagnosis with the servicer.  You're only concern should be whether or not he gurarantees his work and his reputation for actually doing so. 

As far as you're concerned, you don't really care whether the problem is the defrost timer, cold control, or the thingamabob-- you just want the refrigerator to keep your food cold.  And THAT'S what your hired them for. 

If they turn out to be wrong in their diagnosis and replacing the cold control doesn't fix the problem for which you hired them, then they need to either refund ALL your money, including for the part, or keep plugging away, at no additional charge, until it is fixed. 

You should have a heart-to-heart talk with the repair company to make sure you both understand each other.  If they don't do busines this way, find someone else who does.

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BobM, you might want to know when a frost free frig goes into defrost the freezer warms up to around 30-40 degrees about 3 times a day for aprox 21-45 minutes., depending on which timer is in your frig.  This is normal.  This does thaw the edges of the food in the freezer and causes the ice creme to melt and re-freeze.  Everything in the freezer will get ice crystals and your ice cubes will stick together because they thaw on the edges and then re-freeze together and shrink because they also evaporate during each defrost cycle, and all of the food in the freezer will get freezer burn if not used promptly.   This is why a frost free frig or freezer is not for long term storage since the items will be ruined within  6 months.   A non-frost free freezer is to be used for long term storage since it maintains 0. The frost free frig or freezer also must be kept 2/3 to 3/4 full of frozen product since air cannot hold cold, only frozen product will hold cold, so you have to be sure there is enough frozen items in your freezer, without cramming it full, blocking air flow, to maintain a reasonable temperature in the freezer during the defrost cycle.   I am explaining this because you might not have been aware of this frig getting that warm in the freezer before and just started noticing it.  Put a thermometer in the food compartment and another in the freezer and see if when this does the warm up if the box is dead except for the light, and when the box comes back on if the temps return to normal within 30 minutes to an hour.  If your freezer is warming up and then cooling back down and every thing is thawing and re-freezing and it is not in defrost while doing this I would suspect you have a compressor over heating for some reason, perhaps the condenser is clogged with dirt, the condenser fan motor is not running or the compressor is starting to fail.   Be sure to keep your ice cream away from the area of the defrost heater and not on the door either since it will not freeze above 10 degrees and will not keep cold enough in the door racks, nor by the defrost heater. 

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Thank you very much for the information. From what you're telling me, I guess there really isn't anything wrong with the freezer after all. I was not aware that this was normal. I'm pretty sure it only goes up in temperature when it is not running. I'll keep an eye on it to be sure. I guess I never really noticed the temperature swing before until I ate the soft ice cream last week. I did clean the coils underneath before I called for service.  I guess I can tell the service company to forget about the thermostat. Thanks again. I really appreciate the info.

 

 

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Except that this is an older fridge and if this temp variation were normal, you'd have seen it from day one.  Something apparently changed enough to prompt you to call to a service company recently rather than several years ago.

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Would you recommend I go ahead and have them change the thermostat? I called them this morning and the part hasn't come in yet. I have not cancelled anything at this point. All of my food has been in my basement fridge for the past week.

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Are you in fact having a real problem with your fridge?  In other words, did it seem fine for years and years and only just recently become a noticeable enough problem that it seems like something is wrong?  Have you checked the basics:  door gaskets and condenser lint?

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It seemed a little warm once a few months ago but I didn't think much of it at the time. I bought the fridge from my brother maybe 10 years ago? Guessing, not sure how long. He had it serviced for a similar complaint back when he first bought it.  Nothing was ever found to be wrong with it. It seemed perfectly fine to me all the years I've had it.. Then last week with the soft ice cream, I put a thermometer in the freezer. I've always kept one in the fridge section and it was normal. The freezer was no more than half full at the time last week. I have one of those coils brushes and cleaned the lint as best I could. I also removed the back cover and vacuumed all around the motor area. It honestly had not been cleaned in a long time, probably a couple years. I cleaned the gaskets. They look good all the way around. The technician who was here last week showed me where the defrost timer was. He told me that if I thought the freezer was too warm for too long to take a thin screwdriver and manually turn it. I did that a couple days ago and it kicked right on. He said that would give him more information about what is going on. He had told me that it was normal for the temp to rise 20 to 30 degrees or so when the heater kicks on. But I never thought it should rise 40 degrees. That seems like too much of a swing but maybe I'm wrong. Or maybe it's because it was only half full.

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You might have a defrost timer that is dragging and staying in defrost too long or the defrost termination thermostat is not cutting the voltage to the defrost heater soon enough.  If you hear the box "click" and it goes dead meaning it is going into defrost, time this defrost cycle to see how long it is staying in defrost.  You might need that cold control but tapping on this would not necessairly mean anything because it might have been ready to come on anyway when he tapped it.  Not sure what is going on at this point, but now you have more information to sort of watch it and see if you can tell what is happening when you ice creme is not frozen.  If you do not want to put a lot of food in there at this point get a bunch of plastic jugs or something and fill the freezer full of jugs of water to make it think it is full of food. Loading  it with frozen jugs of water like it normally would have and monitor the temps and the cycling.

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Is the heater supposed to come on every time it goes into defrost? Is this what you meant earlier when you said 3 or 4 times a day? The reason I ask is that I have noticed most of the times when the unit is quiet, the temperature seems normal. Unless I'm missing something it's only occasionally that the temperature rises 40 degrees.

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When the ref goes into defrost, usually 3 times a day for about 21 to 45 minutes depending on which defrost timer is in your frig. the defrost heater does come on, assuming the heater and bi-metal is good.  This is when the freezer will warm up.  Now when your frig cycles on and off on the cold control the heater does not come on of course, and your frig will manintain the proper temperatures.   The only way to know if it is off on the cold control or the defrost timer is to see if the frig will come on if you turn the cold control up to see if it kicks back on.  If it comes on it is off on the C/C. If it is dead it is probably in defrost.  The defrost timer gives a loud click when it goes into defrost and back out again, you probably have not noticed this before.

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Thanks very much for the info. I now have a much better understanding of how it works. From what you're telling me, at this point I honestly doubt anything is really wrong with it. I will try to determine when it's in defrost mode and time how long it takes. If it's in that range of 21 to 45 minutes which I think it is, it probably indicates there's nothing really wrong. If it goes longer than that, then I'll know for sure to have them come back out here.

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