GE refrigerator gsh22sgress Freezer is cold but fridge is not
It's that simple. Freezer is cold but fridge is not. Adjusting temp doesn't seem to matter. The flap between the two is open but air not circulating into fridge.
The Evaporator Coils are Frosted Over
If the freezer is cold but the refrigerator is warm and the evaporator coils are frosted over, there may be a defrost system problem. Several times a day the defrost heater assembly turns on for a few minutes to melt away any frost or ice that may have accumulated on the evaporator coils. If the defrost heater assembly has burned out, or the defrost thermostat or defrost control have failed the frost will build up on the coils and eventually no air will be able to travel through the coils to provide cooling. The most common cause for this condition is a problem with the defrost system.
Evaporator Fan Motor
If the refrigerator freezer is cold but the refrigerator is warm, the evaporator fan motor might have failed. Every refrigerator has a set of coils called an evaporator. These are the coils that get cold. A small fan and motor is mounted near the coils. This fan and motor - called the evaporator fan and motor, draws air over the evaporator coils and circulates it throughout the freezer and refrigerator. If the fan fails, the freezer or refrigerator will get much warmer than usual.
Damper Control Assembly
If the freezer is cold but refrigerator is warm the air damper control might be stuck closed or broken. The air damper control is either an automatic or manually operated door which opens and closes to let more or less cold air into the refrigerator compartment. If it doesn't open properly it won't let enough cold air into the refrigerator. If the evaporator fan is running, the damper door is open and no air is coming out. The evaporator may be frosted up caused by a defrost problem.
If the freezer is cold but the refrigerator is warm the thermistor might be defective. The thermistor is a sensor which monitors the air temperature. It is connected to the control board. If the thermistor is defective the refrigerator does not cool or may cool continuously.
Temperature Control Board
If the refrigerator's freezer is cold but the refrigerator is warm the temperature control board might be defective. The temperature control board provides the voltage to the fan motors and compressor. These boards are often misdiagnosed. Check all other components to be certain this is the cause of the problem.
If the refrigerator freezer is cold but the refrigerator is warm, the defrost thermostat might be defective. Several times a day the defrost heater turns on for a few minutes to melt away any frost that may have accumulated on the evaporator coils. In order for this to work, the defrost thermostat has to sense that the coils are cold enough. If the coils are cold enough the defrost heater will turn on. If the thermostat is defective it may not be able to sense the temperature of the coils and then won't turn on the defrost heater. If the defrost heater doesn't turn on, the frost will build up on the coils and eventually no air will be able to travel through the coils to provide cooling to the freezer or refrigerator. The defrost thermostat can be checked for continuity. It should have continuity when it reaches the low temperature of its operating range.
Main Control Board
If the refrigerator's freezer is cold but the refrigerator is warm the main control board might be defective. This is not common. The cause of this problem is almost always in the defrost components.
I had a very similar problem. The defrost system wasn’t working properly and the evaporator coils were frosted over and air was not circulating into the fridge well. After defrosting, the fridge returned to normal working order. For a while. A few months later, the problem came back. In my case, a clue was that the hole that drains the defrosted water was plugged with ice. I was slow to figure out that there was a clog of gunk in the drain line (not sure where it came from) because it never occurred to me that was possible. It seems to be working better now after defrosting AND cleaning out the blockage in the drain line.
Turned out to be the evaporator fan.. still stops some times but just tapping the cover that houses the evaporator coils and and fan seems to get it going again. Not sure if the fan is failing or if it's freezing over and getting jammed I ordered an extra motor just in case but I haven't replaced it until I absolutely need to.
Hi @fixitnow414 ,
The fan located in the underside/rear of the unit is the condenser fan.
The evap fan is IN the freezer compartment behind a panel.
Here’s a link to the relevant section showing the parts. The evap fan is part #5
The evap fan stops if a door is opened and starts when the doors are shut. It will run as long as the compressor is running.
You may have to place an ear against the fridge to hear if it stops when you open a door and starts again when you close the door.
If you can’t hear it it may be faulty or iced up. If it is iced up it could be the defrost heater is faulty.
Had same problem on my Kenmore. Was the fan in the freezer compartment that forces cold air up to th fridge. Had somehow become cocked and hit something that stopped it dead. Just straightening it solved the problem. Motor did not burn up so don't need a new one. This problem is not mentioned in your fixes.
got a side by side gallery . freezer fine -4 deg fridge warm 45 deg not much air coming out of vent in top of fridge , unplugged 3 days ago & still no change after 24 hrs unplugged . where do i go from here , cleaned fan & underneith & took back out of freezer evap fan running fine . lots of air in freezer makes ice cubes in 2 hrs
Assuming that you have a Maytag Mff2558vew2, see my answer (5 above this one) how to check if the evaporator fan is working or not without having to take the cover panel off in the freezer compartment to actually see if it is working or not.
Although if you can’t hear if the evaporator fan is running then the panel will have to come off anyway so that you can see what is happening and if you have to replace nay parts.
Here’s a link to the parts to show where things are.
Hi @asouary ,
What is the make and model number of the refrigerator?
Is there a door switch visible in the door jambs of both the freezer and fridge compartments?
If so one may be intermittently faulty.
When a door is opened (either door) the evaporator fan which is located inside the freezer compartment behind a panel (mostly unless your model has two evaporator units therefore two evap fans) will stop to prevent cold air being blown out of the compartments. It will start again when the doors are shut.
The fan will be running as long as the compressor is running.
Try manually operating and releasing the switch (one at a time) to see if the fan turns on and off when the door is open, simulating closing and opening the door(s)
Do not confuse this fan with the condenser fan which is outside the compartments near the compressor and can be running regardless of the doors being open or shut as it is there to cool the condenser coils
The evaporator, evaporator fan, defrost heater and defrost thermostat are located behind the evaporator assembly cover. The cover is removed from the front on the inside of the freezer compartment.
Once the cover is removed you can see the fan and check if it operates by manually operating the door switch which should turn off the light and turn on the fan with the door open
The link I posted earlier has the parts locations diagrams see Cabinet parts #1104 for the cover, part #724 for the fan, #880 for the defrost heater and #771 for the defrost thermostat I think that that is it even though it is called thermal insurance but it looks like it.
If the fan and evap unit is iced over i.e. fan does not operate, then the freezer will still be cold because the evap unit is freezing cold (-18 deg C) from the refrigerant that flows through it and it is located in the freezer compartment. The refrigerator will be warmer than it should be because no cold air is being blown into it by the fan.
Disconnect the power from the fridge and use an Ohmmeter to check the defrost heater. Normally it should test 20-50 Ohms. If it is OK check the fan motor. If both OK check the drain hole tube.
The drain hole is located below the evap unit and during the auto defrost cycle, drains the melt water to the evap pan under the fridge . If it is blocked then the water can't drain away during the defrost cycle, and it will refreeze and build up until it covers everything and stops the fan etc. Pour a measured amount of water down the drain hole (not too much) and check that it all gets to the evaporator pan under the fridge
Avoid using a hair dryer on high heat to melt the ice on the evap unit etc as this can damage the evap unit and also the freezer liner which is very thin and cannot be replaced. You can use it on the coolest setting for short periods just to help it along a bit but don’t leave it on the evap unit for too long. You just have to let it melt by leaving the door open and the power off of course
One more think to look at. I was having the same problem. Freezer was cold but refrigerator was actually hot. On mine it ended up being a stuck door light switch. My GE built in uses four 60W bulbs. They were staying on all the time. The heat generated from 240W of lightbulbs just overwhelmed the ability of the fridge to keep cold. I unscrewed the light bulbs and the fridge started cooling down again. I have a new switch on order.
Answering your “diagnostics”, the freezer is cold like a refrigerator should be, not like a freezer (doesn’t freeze anything). So no idea if by “cold” you mean it freezes or it means something else.
“The Evaporator Coils are Frosted Over“ Nope, they’re not.
“Evaporator Fan Motor“ Nope, it runs fine.
“Damper Control Assembly” Again, there’s nothing frosted, no ice at all.
“Thermistor” Haven’t tested that part, should try doing it when I find out its location.
“Temperature Control Board“ Haven’t tested that one either.
“Defrost Thermostat” Again, no ice so that’s not the problem.
“Main Control Board” There’s always a first time for everything so who knows.
I have a Maytag Mff2558vew2
Double door upper fridge with lower freezer drawer.
My freezer is cooling just right, my refrigerator is not cool at all. I feel like my evaporator coils are frosted over because there is 0 air flow coming into my fridge, but the damper control assembly is doing its job. Here is where I get confused, could it be evaporator fan motor, thermistor, temperature control board, or defrost thermostat ?
If the evaporator fan is located in the underside/rear of the unit, this fan is working properly. This fan is controlled and given the signal to turn on and off if I'm not mistaken right? So what could it be or how can I move forward with my fix.
My fridge temperature is not working the fridge is warm and temp not going down how do I solved the problem
The clue about ice in back of freezer was spot-on for me. I cleaned that out (it was also blocking some air vents) and my fridge and freezer are working! In fact, I just had to turn down the fridge temp cuz my lettuce was freezing.
Thank God (and the person who advised) I don’t have to buy a new refrigerator!
What is the make and model number of the refrigerator?
The defrost heater element is usually located directly under the evaporator unit which is located behind a panel inside the freezer compartment at the back of the compartment.
Remove the panel inside the freezer compartment to expose the evaporator unit, evap fan and the defrost heater plus also a defrost thermostat and may be a temp sensor as well.
My fridge is not cooling and is sitting pretty steady about 56F.
My freezer seems to be working fine. I remove the inside panel of the freezer and the fan seems to be working fine, however the coils were frozen.
Please advise me how to move forward. I’m a single mom and pretty savvy but don’t have the money to replace it right now.
I have a whirlpool GSS26C4XXF03 (not finding much online for this fridge anywhere)
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