fridge and freezer not comming up to temperature

by Gerald
(St Thomas, Ontario, Canada)

Its a side by side refridgerator, its a Feb. 2007 year...hence serial number DM433003....Model number GSR23KSTE SS.......Just bought it used...selleres telling me something must have gotten lose through transportation..(not believing this). we were very careful...All functions respond maker works great and crusher...lots of ice within a 24 hour this point have had the fridge now for about 22 hours....bought food to half fill both sides of frige. Temperature is presently 25 on freezer and 43 on the fridge side. Have checked for freezing pipes and/or any icing in fridge or by compressor and area...all is clear....compressor nice and quiet as well as fan(s).Bought thermometer to check if digital display is accurate and it is. wondering if it could be stuck in defrost mode? exposed coil at back fairly clean and not hot. Not sure what is remember being behind other fridges and touching the coil and found it was quite hot....not in this case though. Its warm to the touch...thats about it. No weird noises from unit. I am a technician myself...use to repair TVs and other words can follow your instructions...will wait for your responce...hope I have supplied enough information for you...thank you so much in advance...Gerald

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Hi Gerald,

The first thing that jumps out at me is the fact that you say you have plenty of ice yet the temperature is 25 degrees in the freezer. If it were 25 degrees in the freezer it would barely be making ice (if at all).

One thing that often happens when a refrigerator is off or transported is the evaporator fan (fan in freezer) will hang or fail. Make sure the fan inside the freezer is running and if not take a look at this page GE Refrigerator Fan Motor Diagnostics

Next make sure the light switches are working, as in the lights will turn on and off when the doors are closed. Even if you don’t have a light bulb the light switch must still work but the easiest way to tell if they are or not is to see if the light is turning on and off. Also not only do you need to know if the light switch is working you also need to know if the door is striking the switch or not. When the door is open for three minutes (or the board thinks the door is open) the main board will close the damper to the fresh food section. This could cause your problem.

You haven’t had it plugged in long enough for it to be a defrost problem so we can rule that out.

If you haven’t found anything at this point you will have to take the back cover out the freezer to view the freezer coils. What you want to see when the compressor is running is a light coat of frost along the freezer coils. If there is heavy frost you have a defrost problem (I wouldn’t expect that being that it has only been running for a day). If there is light frost on only part of the coils and nothing on the rest then you have a major refrigeration problem such as low on gas or bad compressor.

Let me know what you find.

Thank you,


My personal computer at my house is in the shop and I have to use the one at work so it may be a few days between responses. Sorry for any inconvenient.

Comments for fridge and freezer not comming up to temperature

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Apr 01, 2011
In responce
by: Gerald

Just notice I didn't mention it was a GE...(saw that you figured it out by the model and serial number)The freezer fan is working...I checked and confirmed that both door switches do shut off the lights in the fridge...(just enough door clearence to verify this)checked back coil and no frost build-up at all. pipes are barely cold. Compressor is barely hot. when I woke up this morning found that the fridge is now 34 and the freezer is 15.....fridge is at its selected temp.,however freezer is not....its set for -1...I had a qualified tech. out yesterday and he told me its the control board.hmmmm I'm having my doubts...he said that the compresor is not running at full you know if this fridge qualifies for the "recall board"? As for the ice maker...I thought it was wierd too, thats why I bought the old reliable thermometer to double check....

Apr 01, 2011
by: Shawn/admin

I am not going to say he is wrong because it is possible the relay that operates the compressor is weak. However I will say that it is very uncommon and that I have never seen this. If this were the case the compressor would be getting low voltage and it would be doubtful that it would even start at all. Typically if the compressor is running at all it isn’t the main board.

I really hate to say but it sounds like you have a major refrigeration problem, which would have to be preformed by a professional. I am not exactly sure which models fall under the main board recall but the best way to find out is to give GE a call and ask them. The number is 1-800-626-2000 or 1-800-GE-Cares.

The fact that the fresh food section is now at normal temperature and the freezer is still too warm tells me that you have a refrigeration problem or the compressor isn’t running long enough. Now with all that being said if it is in fact that the compressor isn’t running long enough then this could very well be the main board. The fan next to the compressor could cause this however you say in your first post that the compressor is cool to the touch, which wouldn’t be the case if the fan weren’t working. In any case make sure it is running. One way to know for sure that the main board is bad is if the fan next to the compressor is running when the compressor is not, they should run at the same time.

I still say that if it is making ice good (filled ice bin in 24 hours) then it is at least 10 degrees in the freezer. Again I can’t say for sure but I have never known for one to make ice good until it gets around 10 degrees. I have even seen them at 15 degrees and wouldn’t make much ice.

I am going to post some links for others that may read this post.

Apr 06, 2011
The final chapter
by: Gerald

Well, I have removed the cover on the inside of the freezer and fould that the coil is frozen can a 3 1/2 year old fridge have a bad compressor?....guess I'm out to buy another fridge....just lost 800$....thanks for all the help...I was wishing it was something simple. I know its not worth fixing...My advice to everybody is when you buy a 2nd hand fridge..get it in writting at least a 1 week note that if it doesn't work properly that you can return it for a full refund.

Apr 06, 2011
Is the GE refrigerator at room temperature?
by: AltaGuy

Is the GE refrigerator in a room that is at room temperature? That is, it is currently located within your house or is it in the garage being tested? The reason I ask is that your Freezer won't Freeze in the garage when the garage temperature is close to the temperature your refrigerator section needs to be. Given you live in Ontario, this may be a possibility. Should this apply to you, check out the following link:

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