How To

GE Refrigerator Does Not Stop Running [How to Fix]

Your GE refrigerator does not stop running? Not to worry, the fix is easy. This article shows you possible causes and solutions to the problem.

GE Refrigerator Does Not Stop Running
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Do GE Refrigerators Run All the Time?

GE refrigerators do not run all the time. A GE refrigerator is built to run most of the time, but not 100%. You will find the compressor runs between 80 and 90% of the time the refrigerator is on. This helps the refrigerator to maintain the right temperature.

However, if you find a refrigerator’s compressor running all the time, something is wrong. And the problem is causing the compressor to work too hard. It is important, therefore, to fix it before it burns the compressor.

Note: If the weather in your area is too hot or humid, you may find the refrigerator running constantly. This is an effort to keep the interior temperature from rising.

How Long Should a GE Refrigerator Run?

There is no laid out normal runtime for a GE refrigerator. How long it runs depends on a few factors…

  • Putting too much food in the refrigerator, especially if the food is hot or even warm.
  • Lights inside the refrigerator not going off when you close the door
  • A freezer with little or no content
  • Obstructed freezer air vents
  • Constantly opening the door of the freezer or even refrigerator

All the above contribute to increasing the run time of the refrigerator. Therefore, it is important to fix them to reduce runtime and save energy.

GE Refrigerator Does Not Stop Running – Quick Fix

Do the following if a GE refrigerator does not stop running:

1. Check the Condenser Coils

Look under the refrigerator to see the coils. If they are dirty, clean them using a condenser brush or a vacuum brush head.

Also, clean them with a damp soft cloth if your hand can reach them. Do this to wipe off any remnant dust or grease on the coils.

The coils have the job of releasing heat that is found in the refrigerant that goes through them into the refrigerator. If the dirt on them is significant, they won’t be able to release the heat. As a result, the heat will go into the refrigerator.

The compressor will have to run more in order to help the unit maintain a cold temperature. This is when you find the GE refrigerator does not stop running.

2. Check the Temperature

Make sure the temperature in the freezer is at 0 degrees Fahrenheit or -18 degrees Celsius. If it has to be high, it should not exceed 10 degrees Fahrenheit or -12 degrees Celsius. But it is ideal to keep it at a maximum of 5 degrees Fahrenheit or -15 degrees Celsius.

If the temperature is high, the unit will try to make up for the slack by running non-stop. This could shorten the life span of the refrigerator.

Consider the evaporator coils, too. If there is frost on them, they won’t be able to cool the air for the freezer. Consequently, the refrigerator will put in extra work to keep the temperature cold. So, defrost the coils by manually defrosting the freezer.

But troubleshoot the components of the defrost system to find which of them has failed and replace it.

3. Check the Condenser Fan Motor

As the refrigerant passes through the condenser coils, the fan cools them so they don’t overheat. It also cools the compressor. So if the blades of the fan are stuck or obstructed, clean them and oil to remove friction.

And test the motor of the fan using a multimeter. This is to check for continuity. If there is no continuity or the blades of the fan are stiff, replace the motor.

A bad condenser fan has the capacity to cause the refrigerator to run non-stop.

4. Check the Evaporator Fan Motor

Test the windings of the motor of the evaporator fan with a multimeter. This is to check for continuity. Also, check the blades of the fan to see if they turn smoothly and freely.

If the blades are stiff, it means the motor is likely defective. And if there is no continuity in the motor, it is defective. It is important to replace it as soon as possible.

Some refrigerators have more than one evaporator fan but most have just one. The job of the fan is to spread cold air from the cooling coils in the freezer. If the fan is bad, there will be little or no cold air.

As a result, the refrigerator will try to cover for the slack. So, you will find that the compressor is constantly operating in an effort to maintain the temperature.

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5. Check the Door Seal

Pass your hand down the front of the closed door of the refrigerator. If you can feel cold air seeping out, it means the door is not sealing tightly.

But if you are not sure, open the door and close it again on a dollar bill or a piece of paper. Now, try pulling the bill or paper out with the door still closed. If you are able to do this, replace the seal.

The refrigerator will have a hard time maintaining a cold temperature if the seal is weak or loose. Use a small screwdriver to push the seal into place if you notice it is loose or out. But replace it entirely if it is in place yet does not seal tightly.

6. Check the Defrost System

Begin the test with the defrost heater. Test it using a multimeter to check for continuity. If there is no continuity, replace the heater.

Next, check the defrost thermostat. Attach a multimeter to its wires and check for continuity. When it is at the lowest temperature within its operating range, there should be continuity. So if this does not happen, it is likely defective. Replace the thermostat.

After this, check the defrost timer. If you can see it, turn it manually so that the refrigerator advances into the defrost cycle. Wait about 30 minutes to see if it automatically advances out of the cycle.

If it does not advance out, it means it is defective. To be doubly sure, test it for continuity using a multimeter. If there is no continuity, replace the timer.

If all else is working, then check the defrost control board. It regulates the other components and controls the defrost cycles. So if it is faulty, the refrigerator won’t defrost, even if the other components are working well.

As a result, frost will accumulate on the evaporator or cooling coils, reducing the capacity of the unit to cool.

7. Check the Main Control Board

Hardly does the board fail. But if it does, it may affect the defrost cycle. So check for burn signs or disconnections. Replace the board if you are sure it is damaged or all the other parts are in good working condition.

Here is how to correctly troubleshoot a GE refrigerator that does not stop running…

GE Freezer Keeps Running – Solutions

The following are possible solutions to a GE freezer that keeps running:

1. Replace the Temperature Control Thermostat

Turn the thermostat to the highest temperature setting from the least point. Listen for an audible clicking sound. If you don’t hear the sound, check for continuity in the thermostat using a multimeter.

The contacts should open, even when set to the lowest. So if this does not happen, the thermostat is faulty. Replace it.

2. Change the Fan Motors

First, check the motor of the condenser fan. Turn the blades to be sure they spin smoothly and freely. If they don’t, it is likely the motor bearings have worn out.

So, test the motor to check for continuity. If you don’t find continuity and the blades turn well, replace the motor of the fan.

Next, check the motor of the evaporator fan. Activate the switch of the freezer door and close the door. Wait to see if the motor runs. If it does not, test the windings to check for continuity. And if you don’t find continuity, replace the motor of the fan.

3. Clean the Condenser Coils

Clean the coils if you have never cleaned them. Even if you have but it’s been more than 6 months, clean them again. This is to remove excess dirt and give them the chance to dissipate heat from the refrigerant going through them

Otherwise, you will find the freezer running constantly in a bid to keep the freezer cold.

4. Troubleshoot the Defrost System

As with the refrigerator, test the components of the defrost system to see if any of them has failed. There is the defrost timer, defrost heater, defrost thermostat and defrost control board. Replace any defective component.

5. Check the Sealed System

A refrigerant leak will greatly reduce the cooling capacity of the freezer. One tell-tale sign of a leak is when the top shelf alone freezes. Another is when only one part of the cooling coils has frost on it.

You have two options to fix this: you can choose to replace the freezer or add refrigerant. But bear in mind that you cannot replenish refrigerant in older models. The only fix is a freezer replacement.

Check out these other articles…

GE Refrigerator Making Ice – Issues [Solved]

Water Not Coming Out of GE Refrigerator [How to Fix]

GE Refrigerator Ice Maker Water Overflow [How to Fix]

GE Ice Maker Does Not Fill with Water [How to Fix]

Water Under GE Refrigerator [How to Fix]

GE Refrigerator and Freezer Not Getting Cold [How to Fix]

GE Refrigerator Water Tastes Like Plastic [Solution]



GE Ice Maker Keeps Running Water – What to Do

The water inlet valve may be faulty, causing water to keep running in the ice maker. But before you settle for that, check the pressure of the water.

If it is less than 20psi, contact a plumber to increase it. This is because the valve cannot close properly with low pressure. As a result, water will keep flowing into the ice maker.

But if the pressure is sufficient, test the valve for continuity. If you find none, replace the inlet valve.

However, if none of the above applies, consider replacing the ice maker. It may have become defective, causing water to keep running.


If your GE refrigerator does not stop running, check the door seal, condenser coils, fan motors, defrost system, evaporator coils and even the temperature setting. The same is applicable to when the freezer keeps running.

But if you find that none of the fixes works for your GE unit, contact GE Cares to report the issue and request service.

Alternatively, use the chatbox to your right to chat with our experienced appliance technicians. They are readily available to offer service so no need for appointments or expensive in-house calls.