Learn how your appliance is supposed to operate so you can determine if it is malfunctioning.
The "over and under" (aka top-freezer refrigerator) as opposed to "side by side" refrigerators discussed in this section will have the evaporator cooling coils located bottom of the freezer section and the condensor coils will be located underneath the refrigerator. The refrigerant gas-filled components such as the condensor coils and the evaporator coils will be discussed to understand the theory of refrigeration but no repair information will be provided for them. Repair information will be provided for the electrical components where most of the failures occur.
GE also manufactures refrigerators sold under the Penneys brand names. Many of the electrical components in a General Electric refrigerator are interchangeable with those in a Whirlpool refrigerator. For example the defrost timers and thermostats and the condensor fan motors are frequently interchangeable. Defrost heaters are never interchangeable between brands. As a consequence, the "Proper Operation" section will be generic for all brands and many of the repair procedures will be generic to all brands.
Cleaning condensor coils is a form of problem prevention and therefore will not be covered in the Problem Diagnostic section.
Most of the problems a refrigerator will experience over its life span are common and are caused by just a few of its functional (ie. operating) components. Once the actual symptom is confirmed, narrowing down the possible culprits and then replacing the failed one is often all that is needed to correct the malfunction. Even very old appliances may only require a simple repair to keep them operational for years to come.
Warming Up (Abnormal Cooling)
Cooling OK but Hear Strange Noise
All of the information in these Appliance Clinic procedures is provided FREE OF CHARGE. No liability is assumed by the author for the accuracy of the contents or damages caused by the use of these procedures.