GE Refrigerator Not Getting Cold

If your GE refrigerator is not getting cold or cold enough, follow these nine troubleshooting steps to help you isolate and fix the problem, to get your refrigerator cold and functioning properly again.

WARNING – If you are attempting to repair any refrigerator yourself, be aware that you are working with potentially dangerous electrical currents that can cause serious bodily injury or death.  Always remove the electrical power source from the appliance before you ever begin working on it.  If you are attempting to repair any household gas appliances yourself, always be sure to turn off the gas that is designated to the appliance before you ever begin to repair it.  Be aware that refrigerators have extremely sharp edges and moving parts that can cause serious bodily injury or death.  Be aware that there are many other dangers and precautions involved in refrigerator repair besides those listed above.  We strongly suggest that you please read our DISCLAIMER before any further actions are taken or proceeding any further.  Think safety first!

GE Refrigerator Help

Step-1. Dirty Or Clogged Condenser Coils

The condenser coils are located under the refrigerator, behind the kickplate/grill at the very bottom of the fridge.  If the condenser coils become clogged with dust and pet hair etcetera, there won’t be sufficient air flow being moved by the condenser fan across the coils.  If the coils can’t release the heat, the refrigerator will strain to stay cool.  You can remove the kickplate from the bottom of the refrigerator and clean it if it is needed, then inspect the condenser coils for dust buildup, if there is buildup present, it will need to be removed.  You can remove the dust using a vacuum hose and small attachment or a long narrow refrigerator coil brush, which can be purchased fairly cheap from your larger hardware stores.  You will need to be careful not to damage any of the electrical wires or components on the compressor or damage the condenser motors fan blades.  This should really be done at least once a year if you have pets that shed in the house or live in a dusty environment.

Step-2. Evaporator Fan Motor

The evaporator fan motor is used in side-by-side refrigerators and refrigerators with a top or bottom freezer to circulate air over the evaporator coils which converts heat from the coils into cold air that is then circulated throughout the refrigerator from the spinning fan blade.  The evaporator fan motor is located in the back of the freezer compartment on a refrigerator.  The most common symptoms of a faulty evaporator fan motor are, the refrigerator is warm, the refrigerator is noisy, the freezer compartment is too warm, or both the fridge and freezer are too warm.

Step-3. Condenser Fan Motor

The condenser fan motor is located in the very bottom part of the refrigerator behind the access panel on the back side of the fridge.  It is used to draw cool air through the front grill and circulate the air around the compressor and through the condenser coils, then moving the hot air out into the room.  It also aids in evaporating water from the drain pan beneath the fridge.  Some typical symptoms of a bad condenser fan motor are, the refrigerator is warm, the fan turns slower than normal, the compressor is noisy or the freezer is warm.

Step-4. Temperature Control or Cold Control

Check the cold control knob/dial located in the refrigerator section, is it set at too warm of a position?  If so, this will not allow the fridge to operate often enough to stay cold, try turning the dial to a colder position.  Note – The refrigerator cold control dial should only be turned about 1/8 of a turn in a 24-hour period, you will need a refrigerator thermometer to adjust and set the refrigerators temperature correctly. You can purchase a refrigerator thermometer fairly cheap from almost any hardware store.  The factory suggests the cold control knobs indicator dial be set at the mid-range, 12 o’clock position.  The optimum temperature inside of a refrigerator for safe food storage is between 34 to 40 degrees Fahrenheit.   If the temperature is any colder than 34 degrees F food will freeze, any warmer than 40 degrees F food will start to spoil quickly.  Adjust the cold control knob 1/8 of a turn every 24 hours, and take notes of how much colder the fridge has become and repeat the process until you hit the optimum temperature range, between 34 degrees F and 40 degrees F.

Step-5. Overloading The Fridge

If the refrigerator shelves have been overloaded with food, sometimes this can block the normal cold air flow into the fridge’s cabinet from the air inlet damper, thus not allowing the cold air to circulate into the refrigerator section.  Overstocking the shelves can also disrupt the refrigerators air flow system, not allowing the cool air to circulate properly the way the refrigerator was designed to do.

Step-6. Refrigerator Door Gasket

The refrigerator may be warm caused by a faulty door gasket.  If the refrigerators door gasket is not making a proper seal between the fridge’s door and the console, this will let the cold air escape and the room temperature air to enter.  Visually inspect around the door and make sure that the gasket is sealed correctly into position and does not have any folds, creases or gaps anywhere.  This usually happens around the corners of the door gasket.  If the gasket is damaged, it will need to be replaced to solve the problem.

Step-7. Door Light Switch

The door switches operate the lights in both the refrigerator and freezers food compartments, the light switch also operates the evaporator fan motor in the freezer section.  When the refrigerator door is open, this releases the switch to the off position and the evaporator fan shuts off.  If the light switch has failed, the evaporator fan won’t be able to circulate the cold air into the refrigerator cabinet.  Test the light switch for continuity using an analog multimeter or a digital meter.  if the switch has continuity, it is good, if the test shows that it does not have continuity, it is faulty, and the switch will need to be replaced.

Step-8. Light Stays On

If the refrigerators interior light stays on, this can cause the refrigerator to be warm.  You can test the light switch for continuity using a digital or analog multimeter, if the test shows the switch has continuity, it is good.  If the test shows no continuity, the switch is faulty and will need to be replaced.

Step-9. Excessive Use

If the refrigerator is being used more often than normal, repeated door openings in a short amount of time will cause the temperature in the fridge to rise temporarily, then cool back down to normal operating temperature the longer the refrigerator door stays shut.


My GE Refrigerator Is Leaking Water

My GE Refrigerator Is Leaking Water

If your GE refrigerator is leaking water on the kitchen floor, finding the source of the leak takes some investigation but it is relatively simple to do.

Ice Maker

The water line connections to the ice maker can sometimes come loose or the seals can crack from age.  The plastic hoses can crack, tear or get kinked which would cause pressure at the connection and cause a leak.  The water line going to the ice maker is normally on the back, outside of the refrigerator.  Check this line and its connections for any signs of moisture.  If the ice maker supply line is the problem there will normally be water running or dripping down the line onto the floor.  You should tighten all of the connections or replace the water line.

Defrost Drain

A very common problem is that the defrost drain could be blocked.  The drain has a small opening that is easily clogged by food particles or ice.  During the defrost cycle, water could build up and not be able to drain into the pan.  The water would then leak out onto the floor.  You can clear the drain by pouring hot water over it and using a stiff wire to remove the blockage, if there is any.

Drain Pan

Normally the drain pan is not the problem but it can develop a crack and that would allow water to leak.  Only a small amount of water usually accumulates in the drain pan and not enough to overflow.  This water evaporates, with help from the condenser fan, which blows warm air across the surface of the pan.  Do a thorough examination of the drain pan looking for any damage or cracks. If the pan is damaged, replace it.


Water Filter

Refrigerator Water Filter Cartridge

If your refrigerator has a filtering system the connection between the water filter and the water supply can cause a leak.  The filter may have been installed incorrectly, wrong size or wrong model for the refrigerator.  It’s also possible that it may be very old and the housing or seals are cracked, therefore allowing  water to escape.  Remove and replace the filter if you see water running down the outside of the filter and into the interior of the refrigerator.  Make certain the filter is the one specifically for your model.