freezer lost coolness overnight

Hi all -

First time poster. We just purchased a house which was built in 2000 and contains the original appliances. So 16ish years old, and seem like nice appliances. Full GE Profile suite of fridge, dishwasher, and oven.

Everything has been fine with our fridge/freezer our first 30 days in the house, but this morning I woke up to the freezer jumping from 0 degrees to 45. The fridge not so bad - 36 to 39. I really don't know where to start to remedy this before everything goes bad. Suggestions would be great. TIA.

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It may have been in the defrost cycle. Please check again and see how it is doing now. Also feel the side wall on the freezer side (outside). Open the door and feel the interior walls and let us know your findings. This would be highly unusual. Also please give us the model number.

Cause 1

Condenser Coils are Dirty

The condenser coils are usually located under the refrigerator. They dissipate heat as refrigerant passes through them. If the condenser coils are dirty, they won’t dissipate the heat effectively. As debris builds up on the coils, the refrigerator becomes less efficient, causing the refrigerator to work harder to cool down. If the coils are significantly dirty, the refrigerator will not be able to maintain the proper temperature. Check the condenser coils to determine if they are dirty—if the condenser coils are dirty, clean them.

Cause 2

Evaporator Fan Motor

The evaporator fan motor draws air over the evaporator (cooling) coils and circulates it throughout the refrigerator and freezer compartments. Some refrigerators have more than one evaporator fan motor. On refrigerators with only one evaporator, the evaporator is located in the freezer compartment. If the evaporator fan is not working, it will not circulate the cold air to the refrigerator compartment. If this occurs, the freezer may still get cold, while the refrigerator will not get cold. To determine if the evaporator fan motor is defective, try turning the fan blade by hand. If the fan blade does not turn freely, replace the fan motor. Additionally, if the motor is unusually noisy, replace it. Finally, if the motor does not run at all, use a multimeter to test the motor windings for continuity. If the windings do not have continuity, replace the evaporator fan motor.

Cause 3

Condenser Fan Motor

The condenser fan motor draws air though the condenser coils and over the compressor. If the condenser fan motor is not working properly, the refrigerator won’t cool properly. To determine if the fan motor is defective, first check the fan blade for obstructions. Next, try turning the fan motor blade by hand. If the blade does not spin freely, replace the condenser fan motor. If no obstructions are present and the fan blade spins freely, use a multimeter to test the fan motor for continuity. If the condenser fan motor does not have continuity, replace it.


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Hi Mayer - thanks for responding. I unplugged and plugged back in (after my original post). The freezer is on its way back down... 28 degrees now. However, the fridge seems to be hovering around 40 degrees. I cranked it down to 32 and hit the 'turbo cool' button. But not sure why the fridge is not going back down. I touched the outside and inside walls of the freezer and fridge. Both feel normal to the touch (normal on outside - cold on freezer inside, and cool on fridge inside). I can hear the freezer motor running.

Hi Andrew,

Don't know about where you are but here (in Aust) fridge temps are set for -18 C for the freezer (-0.4F) and 4C for the fridge (39F) so your fridge temp of 40F is probably alright. On the defrost cycle the freezer goes up to 0C (32F)

Hi Jayeff and Mayer - thanks again for your responses. I should mention the temps posted are fahrenheit (we're in Boston). So the freezer/fridge held good temps all day yesterday. However waking up this morning saw that the freezer is 19 degrees (should be 0). And there is frost on all the freezer food. Thoughts?

Hi Andrew,

Was the freezer temp heading down or up? Either direction still could be a part of the defrost cycle.

Frost on the food could be caused by a few things.

1. air entering the freezer compartment due to poor seals (gaskets).

Make sure that the freezer door closes completely. Make sure that the door gaskets are attached properly to the door and that they are clean. Also, make sure they are sealing properly and are not torn or split. Take a piece of paper and close it in the door. If you can pull the paper out with no resistance, the seals should be replaced. Try it in a few places around the door.

2. Improper Ventilation. Make sure there are no packages resting against the rear wall of the freezer. Space your food out as much as possible to improve ventilation. Make sure that the air vent in the freezer is not blocked.

3. Not sure if this is applicable to your model but check the Ice Maker Flap If the flap on the ice dispenser is not closing properly, it allows warm air to enter the freezer compartment, and causes frost build up in the freezer.

Also see cause 2 of Mayer's answer .

Freezer temp went up overnight. It stabilized at 0 degrees yesterday, and shows 19 now this morning.



It sounds like Gia’s Mum and Andrew both night be have an issue with the spider valve. It is a valve that diverts the refrigerant from one evaporator to the other on a duel evaporator system. These spider valves will open and send the gas to the freezer evaporator for about 15 min or when sensors are satisfied. Then it closes and opens another valve for gas to go to the other evaporator in the fresh food section where after about 15 min the valve Wil close and repeat until the valve fails and sticks or gets restricted. This is part of the sealed system. Check GEs warranty on your unit by calling GE. This repair can only be done by a certified refrigeration technician.


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Idiots, the defrost heater is not coming on . the coils are frozen up. Likely a thermistor or the heater itself.


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Mike - Don't be a dick



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