GE Refrigerator Icing Up [How to Fix]

A GE refrigerator icing up is an indication that one or more parts have failed. If you have this problem, read this article to learn how to fix it easily.

GE refrigerator icing up

GE Refrigerator Icing Up – Solutions

If your GE refrigerator is icing up, do the following:

1. Check the Temperature Setting

A GE refrigerator icing up could be a result of low temperature. Take a look at the temperature setting. The setting should be 5 and 5 or C and 5 for models with control knobs.

Those with digital temperature displays should have the temperature in the freezer set between 0 degrees and 8 degrees Fahrenheit. And the temperature in the refrigerator or fresh food compartment should be set between 37 degrees Fahrenheit and 42 degrees Fahrenheit.

If the setting of the temperature is lower than the recommended points, you will find that the refrigerator will freeze quickly. This is especially true if both compartments have a shared cooling system.

Therefore, adjust the setting accordingly. If you are not sure about adjusting it correctly, consult your user manual or read more about it here.

2. Check the Door Seal

To determine whether or not the seal on the door of the refrigerator needs replacing or repairing, close the door on a piece of paper or a dollar bill of choice.

Next, try pulling the paper or bill out without opening the door. If the seal is working well, you cannot pull it out without tearing the paper. However, if you successfully pull it out, replace the seal because it is weak.

It is important to note here that ice buildup can cause the seal to fail. Therefore, even if you find that the seal is not working, first check for ice buildup before settling for a replacement.

If there is ice, defrost the unit manually and check the seal again. You may find that the seal is still in good working condition and the problem is solved.

In some cases, the seal may just need to be pushed into the door frame properly instead of getting replaced. So check to see if it is sticking out. If it is, use a flat head screwdriver and gently push it back in. Then, try to see if it seals properly.

3. Check the Damper Control

Take the shelves inside the fresh food compartment out of the way. Next, remove the air duct which you will find at the back of the compartment.

Right at the top of the point where the air duct is, you will find the damper control housing. Inspect it to see if it is broken. You will know this if it is stuck in the open position. Replace the whole assembly if it is broken.

The damper works with a motor. It opens and closes to allow the right amount of cold air to flow into the refrigerator from the freezer. When the refrigerator compartment is cold enough, it closes. This way, the freezer can continue to get colder without affecting the refrigerator.

However, if the damper breaks or disconnects from the motor that controls it, the refrigerator can cool to the point of icing up, much like the freezer.

In older models, you will find the damper behind a cover in the top left corner of the refrigerator compartment. Once you lift off this cover, you will be able to tell if the damper is damaged or not. Replace it if it is.

4. Check the Thermistor

Use a multimeter to test the thermistor of the refrigerator. As you do so, the resistance should change as long as the temperature of the refrigerator changes. This will tell you if the component is functioning well.

So if the resistance does not change, it is likely the thermistor is not working anymore. To be sure, check it for continuity. If there is no continuity, replace the thermistor.

The thermistor makes sure the refrigerant system runs by supplying the correct temperature reading to the control board. The board, in turn, supplies the needed amount of voltage to the system to run as needed.

However, if the thermistor malfunctions or fails, the reading would either be wrong or not available at all. As a result, the system may run more than needed, causing the refrigerator to cool to the point of icing up.

Note: A malfunctioning thermistor can lead to the damper staying open. Therefore, in some cases, the damper does not break but the thermistor affects it adversely.

5. Check the Defrost System

If you find that a GE refrigerator is icing up, check the defrost system. In the system, you have the defrost timer, defrost heater, defrost thermostat, defrost temperature sensor.

If one or more of these components fail, the refrigerator won’t be able to go into the defrost cycle. And as a result, the refrigerator will have too much ice.

Therefore, test each one to determine if they have failed. If you are not sure about how to do this, chat with any of our refrigerator technicians to guide you.

Nevertheless, this video shows you how to check these components…

6. Check the Condenser Coils

Check the condenser coils of the refrigerator to see if they are dirty. If they are dirty, clean them using a cloth or a condenser brush. And if they feel greasy or sticky, wipe them using a damp cloth or towel. Be sure to repeat the cleaning process once or twice every year.

Dirty coils cause the refrigerator to work more than normal. This is because the coils dissipate heat from the compressor and refrigerant so the heat does not enter the refrigerator.

But if the coils are so dirty, they won’t be able to release the heat. In a bid to maintain the right cool temperature, the unit will work extra. And while working extra, the refrigerator will likely become too cold to the point of icing up.

7. Check the Content

If the unit is less than ¾ of the way full, place other items to make up the extra space. If there is nothing else to put, fill bottles with water and place them in the unit.

A refrigerator or freezer that is too empty won’t be able to absorb all the cold air circulating in it. Consequently, the compartments will become too cold.

Also, check how the contents are placed. Space them properly so that the air can circulate freely and properly.

Additionally, make sure you don’t store moisture-rich food without draining it. Otherwise, the water from the food will drip and freeze, causing ice to build up in the compartment.

The same is true for hot food. Allow it to cool completely before putting it in the unit, freezer or refrigerator. If you store it hot, the heat will cause condensation. And the moisture from the condensation will refreeze and form frost.

Furthermore, keep food from leaning on the back wall, resting on the bottom or blocking the air vents. Frost is more likely to build from these areas than others because they are the coldest parts.

8. Check the Location

If a GE refrigerator is icing up, check its location. If it is too close to any source of heat, move it away. The same is true if it is in the path of direct sunlight.

But if you cannot move it away, adjust the temperature to a setting 1 degree lower than its current setting.

This way, the compressor and other parts of the cooling system won’t work extra hard to keep the unit cold. Otherwise, the extra effort may cause it to cool more than needed.

GE Freezer Icing Up – Quick Fix

The following are ways to fix a GE freezer that is icing up:

1. Replace or Repair the Door Seal

A worn or damaged door seal won’t seal properly. It will easily let in warm air that has moisture in it. This moisture freezes and forms ice in the freezer.

The seal is usually the first thing to check. So pass your hand around the seal area of the door. If you feel even the smallest cool air coming through, the seal is weak.

But if this does not work, try the paper or dollar trick. Close the door on any piece of paper or dollar bill. See if you can pull it out with the door still closed. If you succeed, replace the seal.

On the other hand, the seal may just need to be readjusted. Therefore, use a flat blade screwdriver to push it into the frame of the door if it is sticking out of its place.

2. Clean the Defrost Drain

Locate the defrost drain of your GE refrigerator model. Check to see if it is clean and free of ice and debris.

If it is not, clean it with warm water or with a hair dryer. The hot air will melt the ice. And if you find that there is dirt down the drain, clean it using vinegar and water. Be sure to pour clean water down the drain until it runs clear.

A clogged or blocked defrost drain cannot drain water from the defrost cycle. And if the water remains in the freezer, it will freeze and cause ice to build.

In addition, check the drain pan or tray. Empty it if it is full and clean it properly. Doing this ensures drained water does not back up into the freezer and refreeze.

3. Adjust the Temperature

If the temperature is lower than 0 degrees Fahrenheit, adjust it to the right spot. But if you are not sure what the current temperature is, use your freezer thermometer to verify and monitor.

Low freezer temperature will cause everything in it to freeze quickly and easily. Therefore, it is important to use the recommended setting. If you are in doubt, consult the user manual.

4. Keep the Door Tightly Shut

Make sure to properly close the door of the freezer after opening it. If it is open, even if it is only a little, warm air will creep in and form ice or frost.

In the same vein, keep from opening the door regularly. It compromises the temperature as well as encourages frost buildup.

And when you do open it, don’t hold it open for too long. Make quick work of taking what you want and closing the door tightly.

5. Check the Defrost Timer

Turn the timer until it clicks and wait for the system to kick into the defrost cycle. Use a flat-head screwdriver to do turn it. This tells you the timer is likely working fine.

After about 20 to 30 minutes, the timer should advance out of the cycle into the cooling mode. If this fails to happen, replace the timer.

The timer is responsible for regulating the defrost cycles of the refrigerator every day. It should get the defrost heater to turn on and melt any accumulated frost off the evaporator coils or warm them.

If it fails, the defrost process won’t happen and the freezer will begin to ice up.

6. Check the Defrost Heater

Test the continuity of the defrost heater by connecting it to a multimeter. If there is no continuity, the heater likely defective. Replace it as soon as possible.

Without the defrost heater properly functioning, the evaporator coils will have frost building on them. Over time, the accumulation will spread in the freezer or even cause a freezing problem.

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7. Check the Defrost Thermostat

The thermostat can keep the heater from working. It does this by not closing its contacts and allowing voltage to flow to the heater. As a result, ice or frost will accumulate on the cooling coils, causing a buildup.

8. Load the Right Content

Don’t put hot food into the freezer. Allow it to cool properly before storing it. If you put food that is hot into the freezer, the heat will melt the frost in it. Then, the water from the melted frost will refreeze and form clumps of ice in the freezer.

It is also important to allow food that is water-rich to drain thoroughly before putting it in the freezer if that is where it should be. Ideally, water-rich food such as vegetables and meat should go in the fresh food compartment.

9. Keep Away from Heat Source

Too much heat on the freezer constantly will affect its freezing capacity. It is possible for it to reduce cooling or increasing without control.

The increase is usually due to the freezer trying hard to retain a cold interior. In the process, it can overwork and ice up.

This video shows how to fix a GE refrigerator with a freezer that is icing up…

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GE Refrigerator Just Stopped Working [How to Fix]

GE Refrigerator Troubleshooting [Quick Guide]



GE Ice Maker Icing Up – Quick Fix

The following are possible reasons why a GE ice maker is icing up and how to fix them:

1. Temperature Is Too Low

Make sure that the setting of the freezer temperature is correct, according to the user manual. If the temperature is too low, it would cause several problems, including the ice maker icing up.

2. Water Line Is Not Properly Positioned

Inspect the water line to see if moving the unit mistakenly pushed it too far into the water inlet valve.

If that is the case, it could cause a splashback effect. The water that comes from the splashback will freeze around the ice maker over time.

Simply adjust the line and move the unit so it does not press it into the valve.

3. Water Inlet Valve Is Faulty

Test the solenoid of the valve to check for power and continuity. There should be power going to it and continuity as well. But if you find none, replace the valve.

If the valve is working properly, it should open and close in a regulated manner. So if it remains open for too long, too much water will go into the ice maker and spill over. The excess will freeze around the ice machine over time.

4. Ice Maker Is Defective

If all else fails, check the ice maker itself. It is likely one or more of its parts have failed. If this is the case, you will have to replace the whole assembly.

However, be sure that the ice maker is defective before replacing it. If you cannot correctly diagnose it, have a qualified technician check and verify it.


If a GE refrigerator is icing up, it means something is wrong. One or more parts may have failed. The same is true for a freezer or ice maker.

Therefore, be quick to contact GE Cares to report the icing up issue and request service immediately.

Use the chat box on the right side of this page to speak with a verified appliance technician right away. No need for expensive in-home service calls, no appointments and no waiting.

Remember to disconnect the refrigerator or freezer from power before fixing any part of it. That is unless the repairs require electric power to be done. Otherwise, keep yourself safe by unplugging the unit.


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