There are a number of possible reasons why you will find that your GE refrigerator just stopped working. In this article, we list and discuss how to fix them.
GE Refrigerator Just Stopped Working – Quick Fix
If you find that your GE refrigerator has just stopped working, take a look at the following to fix the problem:
1. Power Cord
Take a look inside the refrigerator to see if the bulb is working if your GE refrigerator has just stopped working. If it is, then the power cord of the refrigerator is functioning well. But if it is not, check the power cord.
It is possible the cord is not fully plugged into the wall outlet. So check to see if this is the case. Plug it fully in if it is even slightly out.
But if it is fully plugged in, then unplug it and inspect it for any burn marks. Next, plug another appliance into the same wall outlet and see if it powers.
If the appliance powers, the cord is the problem but if it does not power, the wall outlet is the problem.
You can easily replace the power cord by buying a new one from GE or a trusted dealer. As for the wall outlet, have a qualified electrician replace the bad one.
The refrigerator will stop working if there is no electric power or voltage getting to it.
2. Temperature Controls
Check the temperature controls to be sure you didn’t accidentally turn them down. If they are down, adjust them to the recommended point for your refrigerator.
The refrigerator tends to look as if it has stopped working if the controls are turned all the way down.
However, if the controls are at the correct point, you may have to check their functionality. To do this, disconnect the refrigerator from power. Next, take off the controls’ cover. You will find it in the refrigerator’s top front corner.
Now, take a close look and you will see a plug that joins the controls of both compartments. Unplug it and reconnect the refrigerator to the wall outlet.
If the refrigerator starts working again after you unplug the temperature controls, you know they are bad and need to be replaced.
3. Condenser Coils
If a GE refrigerator just stopped working, inspect the coils at the back of the refrigerator to see how dirty they are. If the dirt on them is significant, it is time to clean them.
Take a condenser brush, the brush head of a vacuum cleaner, or a leaf blower to the coils. Any of these tools will clean the coils thoroughly. If they feel sticky or greasy, use a warm damp, and soapy cloth to wipe them carefully.
Be sure to repeat this process every 6 or 12 months.
Due to the location of the coils, they easily attract and retain dust and debris. Most refrigerator owners don’t pay attention to them and it is easy to find a refrigerator of 15 years with coils that have never been cleaned.
Over time, the unit starts to malfunction. Among other possible reasons, the dirty coils contribute to the problem.
As the refrigerant goes through them into the refrigerator, they remove the heat it carries. But if they are dirty, they cannot remove the heat. Consequently, the refrigerator’s capacity to cool or even work greatly diminishes.
4. Evaporator Fan Motor
Remove the inside rear panel of the freezer section and turn the blades with your hand. They should turn smoothly if the motor is working well. But if they are stiff, it is likely the motor is bad.
To be sure, test the windings of the motor with a multimeter to check for continuity. If the windings don’t have continuity, replace the motor. In addition, if you hear a loud noise coming from the motor, replace it as soon as you can.
Without the motor of the evaporator fan working optimally, the refrigerator is likely not to work. This is because the fan takes normal air over the cooling or evaporator coils. When the air cools, the fan spreads it inside the unit.
But with a bad motor, the freezer may remain cool but the refrigerator may grow warm.
Note: Some refrigerators may have more than one evaporator fan. Consult the user manual of your refrigerator to determine if yours does.
5. Condenser Fan Motor
Turn the blades to determine if they turn smoothly. If they do, the motor of the fan is working fine. But if they don’t, test the motor to check for continuity. This is to verify if the motor needs a replacement.
If there is no continuity in the motor, even though the blades are free of external obstructions, replace the motor.
The condenser fan is responsible for pulling air through the coils and passing it over the compressor. So if a GE refrigerator just stopped working, it may be because the fan is faulty.
6. Start Relay
Detach the start relay from the compressor and test it. Using a multimeter, check for continuity between the relay’s start and run terminals.
If you don’t find continuity, replace the relay. And if it rattles or smells as if it is burnt, especially if there was a recent power surge, replace it.
Another sure way to know if the relay is bad is if it clicks regularly. If there is a clicking sound coming from the compressor area, with long pauses between, it is probably coming from the relay.
The compressor is likely not to start and run if the relay is bad. This is because this tiny component enables the compressor to run successfully. And you know that if the compressor does not run, the refrigerator won’t work.
Run a test on the thermistor, using a multimeter, to check for continuity. While doing this, the resistance of the thermistor should change as long as the refrigerator’s temperature is changing. This shows that a thermistor is functioning.
But if the resistance does not change, even though the temperature of the unit keeps changing, and there is no continuity, replace the thermistor.
This component has the job of monitoring the temperature of the unit and recording the results. Then, it sends the results to the unit’s control board. With them, the board knows the amount of power to regulate the evaporator fan and compressor.
However, if the results of the temperature readings are wrong, the board may not send the right amount needed. Hence, the fan and compressor may not run as much as the refrigerator needs. As a result, the refrigerator will seem as if it is not working.
8. Start Capacitor
Some refrigerators have a start capacitor where the start relay is. If yours does, test it with a multimeter. If there is no reading, replace the capacitor.
Much like the start relay, the capacitor supplies a power boost so the compressor can start. So the compressor may not start if the capacitor is faulty.
In addition to the parts above, you can also look at the temperature control thermostat, temperature control board, compressor, and main control board. That is if all the other parts are working fine.
However, they are hardly the reason for a refrigerator not working. Just keep them in mind in the event of needing to run a thorough diagnostics on the unit.
Note: If the refrigerator is new, it could be in demonstration mode. If you are not sure, consult the manual that came with the refrigerator to determine this.
This video shows how to troubleshoot a GE refrigerator that is not cooling or working…
GE Freezer Stopped Working – Quick Fix
Do the following if a GE freezer stops working:
1. Check the Evaporator Coils
Open the freezer door and remove the panel at the back of it. Behind this panel, you will see the evaporator coils and the fan. If there is ice around the fan and on the coils, thaw it by manually defrosting the freezer.
To do this, remove all the contents of the freezer. Next, unplug the unit and leave the door open. Place thick towels around the edge of the unit to absorb dripping water, if any.
After about 10 hours or more, all the ice should melt. This includes that around the fan and on the coils.
You can also thaw the ice using a hair dryer. It is a faster way but it is less safe than defrosting the unit manually.
However, run a thorough check on the defrost system of the refrigerator. The reason why there is an ice buildup on the coils and around the fan is that the system has failed. And if the coils are frozen, there won’t be any cold air to keep the freezer functioning.
The most probable defective component in the system is the defrost timer. It controls the defrost cycle and if it fails, ice will accumulate in the wrong places.
If you are not sure how to check the defrost system, contact a refrigerator service agent to troubleshoot and fix the issue.
2. Check the Start Relay
Disconnect the freezer from electric power and detach the relay from the compressor’s side. Test it between the two terminals using a multimeter to check for continuity. If there is no continuity, replace the relay. Additionally, if it has a burnt smell or rattles when shaken, replace it.
The relay supplies power for the compressor to run. But if it fails, the compressor may not run at all or run but only at short intervals. And if the compressor doesn’t run smoothly, the freezer won’t cool or even work.
3. Check the Evaporator Fan Motor
Open the door and press the switch of the freezer door to activate it. Once the door opens, the motor of the evaporator fan stops working. It is automatic. But when you activate the switch, the motor starts up again.
However, if the motor does not start up after you activate the switch, the motor is defective. Therefore, replace it.
If you are still in doubt, remove the fan from behind the inside back wall of the freezer. Test its windings to see if it has continuity. If there is no continuity, it is a confirmation that the motor should be replaced.
The cold air in the freezer comes from the air taken over the cooling coils by the fan. There is no other component in the unit to spread the cold air if the fan motor fails. As a result, the freezer will stop freezing.
4. Check the Condenser Coils
Significantly dirty condenser coils will impede the ability of the freezer to work. Therefore, clean them if they are accessible. But if they are in the freezer walls, there is no need to clean them.
Clean them using a vacuum cleaner or a condenser brush. And if there is grease on them, use a warm soapy cloth.
These parts are the most likely culprits if a GE freezer stops working. Therefore, you should troubleshoot them first.
Nevertheless, there are other less likely parts that can cause the freezer to stop working. They are:
- Condenser fan motor
- Temperature control thermostat
- Main control board
- User control and display board
These parts hardly fail, especially the control board. But once in a while, one or more of them may fail. Therefore, check them only if the other parts are in good working condition.
Finally, check the sealed system of the freezer. There could be a leak. To know whether or not there is a leak, look at the evaporator coils or shelf in the freezer.
If just one part of the coils is freezing or one shelf only is cooling, there is a leak. To fix this, you may need to replace the unit. This is because it is usually hard to replace freon.
However, some technicians can perform this task. Therefore, find a reliable one who is certified to replace freon.
Watch this video to see the top reasons why a freezer stops working…
Check out these other articles…
GE Ice Maker Stopped Working – Quick Fix
The following are possible reasons why a GE ice maker stops working:
1. High Freezer Temperature
Make sure that the temperature in the freezer is not higher than 10 degrees Fahrenheit. If it is, follow the steps laid out in the user manual of your unit to adjust the setting.
The setting should be between 0 degrees and 5 degrees Fahrenheit. However, if it must go higher than 5, it should not exceed 10 degrees.
Typically, an ice maker starts working at 15 degrees. But for it to work optimally, the freezer temperature has to be correct.
2. Defective Water Inlet Valve
Test the solenoid of the valve to see if it has power. If it does, then check the water pressure. It should not be lower than 20psi or higher than 120psi. This is the recommended range for the valve to function well.
But if the pressure is right and the solenoid has power, yet the valve is not working, consider replacing it.
The ice maker won’t work if the valve does not fill it with water. And the valve won’t open to allow water into the ice maker if it is defective.
3. Insufficient Water Pressure
If the pressure of water coming into the refrigerator is lower than 20psi, the ice maker won’t get water. As a result, it would seem as if it is not working.
Therefore, check the pressure of the water in your house. This is especially necessary if you have a reverse-osmosis filtration system. It tends to reduce the pressure.
If you do, consider installing a separate water line to the ice maker or refrigerator. This won’t be dependent on the filtration system so may have sufficient pressure.
Otherwise, have a certified plumber fix the issue from the water source in your house.
4. Old Water Filter
Have you replaced the water filter in your refrigerator since installation? If you have not, replace it as soon as possible.
But if you have, has it been more than 6 months? If it has, then replace the filter. And if it has not, you may need to remove it and inspect it.
If there is any damage to the head, consider buying a new one for a replacement since it cannot be fixed.
Note: Always buy using the refrigerator model number to help you get the right type for the model.
5. Damaged Ice Maker
Test the parts of the ice maker to see if any of them has failed. That is if all the other parts above are in good working condition. If you are not sure about successfully running the test, have a repair technician do it for you.
If there is any defective part in the ice maker, you may have to discard the entire assembly and buy a new one.
In the event you have a GE refrigerator that just stopped working, following the steps above will help you find the origin of the problem. Then, you can fix it. The same applies to the freezer and ice maker.
However, if none of the steps above works for you, contact GE Cares to report the issue and request service.
Need expert help? Click here to use the chat box on this page to speak with a verified appliance technician right away. No need for expensive in-home service calls. No appointments. No waiting.