Fridge not cooling properly

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Pete12
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Fridge not cooling properly

Post by Pete12 »

I have a GE Monogram built-in fridge with bottom freezer which I inherited from the previous owner of my house. I believe the fridge is about 12 years old.

Recently we had some severe storms and the power in our house cycled on and off several times over the course of a couple of hours.

After the storms had passed and the power was back on consistently, I noticed the freezer temperature was in the 20s and the fridge temp was in the 40s. This was the case for several days after the storm.

Thinking that the compressor had been damaged by the power outage, I scheduled a service call with GE appliance factory service. The service tech came and told me indeed we needed a new compressor to be installed at a cost of $1,100. Given these fridges cost over $8,000 new I said OK, as they give a 5 year warranty on the repair. He ordered a new compressor to be shipped to me, and also a follow up service call to install the part. At this point I just paid a $50 deposit for the repair.

The day of the next service call came around but I hadn’t yet received the new compressor. The service tech (a different person this time) called to say he was on his way and I explained I hadn’t received the part yet. He asked me to explain the issue we were seeing. I told him about the power problems and the fridge not cooling properly. He said he is the team leader for our area and he didn’t think the compressor was the problem, could he come and check it out himself. I said OK! When he looked at the fridge he said the compressor is fine, but instead I had a leak in the sealed system. He said we would need a new evaporator coil instead, at a similar cost to the compressor. He topped up the fridge with Freon and placed an order for a new coil. He told me to check the temperatures the next day and call him to let him know.

Next morning I check the temperatures and the freezer is at zero and the fridge at 37… perfect. I call the guy and he said it confirms he was correct that we have a leak, but the compressor is ok. He said when the evaporator coil arrives to call him directly and he will schedule the repair.

It has been over a week now and the fridge is working fine and maintaining the set temperatures. At this point I am skeptical about the whole thing. Why would a power problem cause a leak in the sealed system? The fridge seems to be working fine now, admittedly once the gas was topped up. I haven’t paid for anything yet apart from a trip charge ($120) for the original service call, plus a $50 deposit for the repair. Should I wait and see what happens?

Any advice would be gratefully received.
Thanks,
Pete
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arcticpineapplecorp.
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Re: Fridge not cooling properly

Post by arcticpineapplecorp. »

Pete12 wrote: Wed Sep 09, 2020 1:52 pm I have a GE Monogram built-in fridge with bottom freezer which I inherited from the previous owner of my house. I believe the fridge is about 12 years old.

Recently we had some severe storms and the power in our house cycled on and off several times over the course of a couple of hours.

After the storms had passed and the power was back on consistently, I noticed the freezer temperature was in the 20s and the fridge temp was in the 40s. This was the case for several days after the storm.

Thinking that the compressor had been damaged by the power outage, I scheduled a service call with GE appliance factory service. The service tech came and told me indeed we needed a new compressor to be installed at a cost of $1,100. Given these fridges cost over $8,000 new I said OK, as they give a 5 year warranty on the repair. He ordered a new compressor to be shipped to me, and also a follow up service call to install the part. At this point I just paid a $50 deposit for the repair.

The day of the next service call came around but I hadn’t yet received the new compressor. The service tech (a different person this time) called to say he was on his way and I explained I hadn’t received the part yet. He asked me to explain the issue we were seeing. I told him about the power problems and the fridge not cooling properly. He said he is the team leader for our area and he didn’t think the compressor was the problem, could he come and check it out himself. I said OK! When he looked at the fridge he said the compressor is fine, but instead I had a leak in the sealed system. He said we would need a new evaporator coil instead, at a similar cost to the compressor. He topped up the fridge with Freon and placed an order for a new coil. He told me to check the temperatures the next day and call him to let him know.

Next morning I check the temperatures and the freezer is at zero and the fridge at 37… perfect. I call the guy and he said it confirms he was correct that we have a leak, but the compressor is ok. He said when the evaporator coil arrives to call him directly and he will schedule the repair.

It has been over a week now and the fridge is working fine and maintaining the set temperatures. At this point I am skeptical about the whole thing. Why would a power problem cause a leak in the sealed system? The fridge seems to be working fine now, admittedly once the gas was topped up. I haven’t paid for anything yet apart from a trip charge ($120) for the original service call, plus a $50 deposit for the repair. Should I wait and see what happens?

Any advice would be gratefully received.
Thanks,
Pete
maybe the two events were correlated but not causal. i.e. just because you had a problem after the storm doesn't mean it was the storm that caused it. perhaps the freon happened to go at that point (which had nothing to do with the storm).

if it works it works. I'd cancel the order for the compressor. if it's not broke don't fix it.
It's "Stay" the course, not Stray the Course. Buy and Hold works. You should really try it sometime. Get a plan: www.bogleheads.org/wiki/Investment_policy_statement
chemocean
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Re: Fridge not cooling properly

Post by chemocean »

As the first poster suggested, maybe it was broken before the surges and you found the problem because you were looking for problems.

I had a similar situation in which I was told the damage was not caused by an incident, but I found the damage because I was looking for damage after the incident.
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Pete12
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Re: Fridge not cooling properly

Post by Pete12 »

chemocean wrote: Wed Sep 09, 2020 2:41 pm As the first poster suggested, maybe it was broken before the surges and you found the problem because you were looking for problems.

I had a similar situation in which I was told the damage was not caused by an incident, but I found the damage because I was looking for damage after the incident.
I should have clarified that the fridge has the temperature display right on the control panel, so I can see what it's running at each time I open the door. The fridge was definitely cooling properly and maintaining the correct temperatures prior to the storm event.
MarkerFM
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Re: Fridge not cooling properly

Post by MarkerFM »

Any chance you had the power off for a bit when he charged the system? We have a dehumidifier that appeared to quite working after some hinky power events. I turned if off and back on, but it still didn't work. Then, I unplugged it and let it sit for awhile. Plugged it back in and it has worked fine since. Maybe you were low on coolant but the power problems made your compressor stop working which made the low coolant more apparent. I would wait a few weeks and if it stays working properly cancel further service. It could be a very slow leak and it might be some time before it is an issue again. In the meantime, something else might break that causes you to replace the whole fridge.
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Re: Fridge not cooling properly

Post by celia »

Pete12 wrote: Wed Sep 09, 2020 1:52 pm Next morning I check the temperatures and the freezer is at zero and the fridge at 37… perfect. I call the guy and he said it confirms he was correct that we have a leak, but the compressor is ok. He said when the evaporator coil arrives to call him directly and he will schedule the repair.

It has been over a week now and the fridge is working fine and maintaining the set temperatures. At this point I am skeptical about the whole thing. Why would a power problem cause a leak in the sealed system? The fridge seems to be working fine now, admittedly once the gas was topped up. I haven’t paid for anything yet apart from a trip charge ($120) for the original service call, plus a $50 deposit for the repair. Should I wait and see what happens?
I, also, don't think the problem is related to the storm. I think your TV station caused the problem. JK!

When the compressor arrives, I would reject the package. As for the evaporator coil, I would hold onto it until the temp goes haywire again. (If it doesn't during the next year, return it or sell it on eBay.) It will probably take some time for the freon to leak (if that is the problem) so then you can call for repair.
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arcticpineapplecorp.
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Re: Fridge not cooling properly

Post by arcticpineapplecorp. »

Pete12 wrote: Wed Sep 09, 2020 2:51 pm
chemocean wrote: Wed Sep 09, 2020 2:41 pm As the first poster suggested, maybe it was broken before the surges and you found the problem because you were looking for problems.

I had a similar situation in which I was told the damage was not caused by an incident, but I found the damage because I was looking for damage after the incident.
I should have clarified that the fridge has the temperature display right on the control panel, so I can see what it's running at each time I open the door. The fridge was definitely cooling properly and maintaining the correct temperatures prior to the storm event.
yes, i wasn't suggesting as chemocean did that you found a problem because you were looking for it. I know there was a problem after the storm. That still doesn't mean is was caused by the storm. The freon problem could have just started/coincided at the same time but was unrelated. We are a pattern seeking species. We look for patterns, even when they may not exist.

if the problem is fixed by the freon, why replace the compressor?
It's "Stay" the course, not Stray the Course. Buy and Hold works. You should really try it sometime. Get a plan: www.bogleheads.org/wiki/Investment_policy_statement
Hiker-Biker
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Re: Fridge not cooling properly

Post by Hiker-Biker »

I have a GE Profile Arctica Top Freezer refrigerator that was purchased in 2003. It exhibited the same symptoms the OP described about 5 years later, outside the warranty period. A tech replaced the mother-board at 1/3 the initial cost of the refrigerator. If I had just paid the diagnosis fee, it would have saved me money at the expense of the lost food items, as it is just attaching the board and power connections.

It is still running well since the repair. Given the posts I have read about reliability problems on this board, I'm not going to replace it.
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Pete12
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Re: Fridge not cooling properly

Post by Pete12 »

celia wrote: Wed Sep 09, 2020 3:03 pm When the compressor arrives, I would reject the package. As for the evaporator coil, I would hold onto it until the temp goes haywire again. (If it doesn't during the next year, return it or sell it on eBay.) It will probably take some time for the freon to leak (if that is the problem) so then you can call for repair.
I am inclined to agree with you... as of now I have received no parts so am limited to keeping an eye on it only...
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Re: Fridge not cooling properly

Post by Pete12 »

arcticpineapplecorp. wrote: Wed Sep 09, 2020 3:14 pm if the problem is fixed by the freon, why replace the compressor?
Exactly.... the first repair tech was totally wrong. This was the official GE factory service too!
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celia
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Re: Fridge not cooling properly

Post by celia »

Pete12 wrote: Wed Sep 09, 2020 4:00 pm
celia wrote: Wed Sep 09, 2020 3:03 pm When the compressor arrives, I would reject the package. As for the evaporator coil, I would hold onto it until the temp goes haywire again. (If it doesn't during the next year, return it or sell it on eBay.) It will probably take some time for the freon to leak (if that is the problem) so then you can call for repair.
I am inclined to agree with you... as of now I have received no parts so am limited to keeping an eye on it only...
Something to ask a repairman:
What happens if you just add Freon every year? Does the part that "leaks" evaporate or what kind of mess could you end up with?

https://www.hunker.com/12488224/how-to- ... more-freon
sport
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Re: Fridge not cooling properly

Post by sport »

Hiker-Biker wrote: Wed Sep 09, 2020 3:15 pm I have a GE Profile Arctica Top Freezer refrigerator that was purchased in 2003. It exhibited the same symptoms the OP described about 5 years later, outside the warranty period. A tech replaced the mother-board at 1/3 the initial cost of the refrigerator. If I had just paid the diagnosis fee, it would have saved me money at the expense of the lost food items, as it is just attaching the board and power connections.

It is still running well since the repair. Given the posts I have read about reliability problems on this board, I'm not going to replace it.
We had a GE Profile bottom freezer unit. That motherboard failed twice requiring service calls. There was another circuit board for the temperature display/adjustments. That one failed one time as well. There were other problems too. At one point, the Google Street View of my house showed the GE Service truck parked in the driveway (really!). We bought it in 2006 and recently replaced it with a Whirlpool. I am glad to be rid of that GE. Besides being unreliable, it was very noisy.
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Re: Fridge not cooling properly

Post by Hiker-Biker »

sport wrote: Wed Sep 09, 2020 4:59 pm
Hiker-Biker wrote: Wed Sep 09, 2020 3:15 pm I have a GE Profile Arctica Top Freezer refrigerator that was purchased in 2003. It exhibited the same symptoms the OP described about 5 years later, outside the warranty period. A tech replaced the mother-board at 1/3 the initial cost of the refrigerator. If I had just paid the diagnosis fee, it would have saved me money at the expense of the lost food items, as it is just attaching the board and power connections.

It is still running well since the repair. Given the posts I have read about reliability problems on this board, I'm not going to replace it.
We bought it in 2006 and recently replaced it with a Whirlpool. I am glad to be rid of that GE. Besides being unreliable, it was very noisy.
My neighbor's LG counter depth refrigerator just died several months ago. He's getting a Whirlpool as a replacement since it's supposed to be reliable. Problem is COVID supply chain issues: estimated delivery date - Nov. 2020. :shock: He's making do with a smaller 10 cu ft one in the meantime.
sport
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Re: Fridge not cooling properly

Post by sport »

Hiker-Biker wrote: Wed Sep 09, 2020 5:18 pm
sport wrote: Wed Sep 09, 2020 4:59 pm
Hiker-Biker wrote: Wed Sep 09, 2020 3:15 pm I have a GE Profile Arctica Top Freezer refrigerator that was purchased in 2003. It exhibited the same symptoms the OP described about 5 years later, outside the warranty period. A tech replaced the mother-board at 1/3 the initial cost of the refrigerator. If I had just paid the diagnosis fee, it would have saved me money at the expense of the lost food items, as it is just attaching the board and power connections.

It is still running well since the repair. Given the posts I have read about reliability problems on this board, I'm not going to replace it.
We bought it in 2006 and recently replaced it with a Whirlpool. I am glad to be rid of that GE. Besides being unreliable, it was very noisy.
My neighbor's LG counter depth refrigerator just died several month's ago. He's getting a Whirlpool as a replacement since it's supposed to be reliable. Problem is COVID supply chain issues have it not be delivered until Nov. 2020. :shock:
We did not get a one that was too fancy. It is 25 cu ft in stainless without ice/water in the door. Our wait time was 3 business days. We might have preferred a Kitchenaid (made by Whirlpool) as it was a little nicer. However, the wait was a little longer and we wanted one ASAP. We have had it about 3 months and are very happy with it.
inbox788
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Re: Fridge not cooling properly

Post by inbox788 »

If it's working fine now, seems like the compressor is fine.

If it's leaking, maybe look for the extent of the leak and try to plug it? That's what you might do with an AC before doing much more.

https://www.walmart.com/ip/Supercool-Se ... /932224099
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Pete12
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Re: Fridge not cooling properly

Post by Pete12 »

inbox788 wrote: Wed Sep 09, 2020 6:09 pm If it's working fine now, seems like the compressor is fine.

If it's leaking, maybe look for the extent of the leak and try to plug it? That's what you might do with an AC before doing much more.

https://www.walmart.com/ip/Supercool-Se ... /932224099
That’s not a bad idea. Might at least tide me over...
bberris
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Re: Fridge not cooling properly

Post by bberris »

Did you vacuum the dust off the coils?
Dilbydog
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Re: Fridge not cooling properly

Post by Dilbydog »

Properly functioning refrigeration systems do not leak refrigerant, nor does refrigerant “go bad” and need to be replaced. If a charge was needed to get your system functioning properly there is a problem. Given that the system appears to be functioning normally with an added bump of “freon” I’d tend to believe the second diagnosis is accurate.
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