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GE Refrigerator not Cooing


Model #PFS22SISBSSicon, this french door refrigerator apparently stopped cooling while the customer was asleep. Everything seemed fine the previous night, but when they were going along with their morning routine of making breakfast and lunches, the temperature didn’t seem to be as cold as usual. Prior to leaving for work, they set the temperature to a colder setting, but once back home, they noticed everything in the inside of the refrigerator was about the same temperature as the outside of the refrigerator.

The path for diagnosing a refrigerator that is not cooling really depends on whether or not the problem is with the sealed refrigerant system, or something else. Refrigerators, freezers, and air conditioners all use the flow of a refrigerant to move heat from one place to another. By removing heat from lets say the freezer section, what we get is cold. Simple enough to understand, but if this system were to fail say from a leak, well the cooling process comes to an abrupt halt.

Because the actual diagnosis of a sealed system requires specialized tools, and a very good understanding of the system, the average person should really leave these problems to the professionals. But in reality, most refrigerators that stop cooling do so because of many other things, some of which have nothing to do with the refrigeration system.

When I began looking at this refrigerator, the first thing I noticed was the compressor was not running. The compressor is the component that moves the refrigerant around the sealed system and without it, well no cooling is going to take place. The compressor can stop for several reasons, but the most basic is no power.

I started by taking voltage measurements at the compressor, and this is where I found there was no power to the compressor electrical terminals. The main board located on the back of these refrigerators is what provides the electricity to make this compressor operate so that was my next place to do my electrical checks. With the cover removed, I could not only see the problem, but the smell was unmistakable.

Two of the capacitors on this board had all but blown up, leaving the rest of the board just about worthless. I did some looking around for possible reasons, then remembered a bulletin mentioning problems with these two components. My next step was to install a new control boardicon in place of the old one to get this refrigerator cooling again. Once everything was connected and the unit plugged back in, the compressor turned on as usual with all the other associated fans and sounds.

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2 Responses to GE Refrigerator not Cooing

  • I too have a GE PFS22SISBSS that has been nothing but a headache. The temp display has gone out before but then started working again. The last time, the numerical display was 999 on both sides when it did start working again. The refrigerator component totally stopped working altogether about 5 days ago; inside it’s no cooler than room temperature. There is still a light that goes on when the doors are opened so I know it’s getting power. Strangely enough, the freezer is still fully functional and the ice is still frozen 5 days later. I am a single mother on a tight income so I am trying to fix this myself. My landlord said it’s not their problem to fix so I’m basically stuck trying to do it myself.

    My question to you is, “am I deluding myself into thinking that I’ll be able to diagnose and fix this on my own via on-line manuals and forums?” In your opinion, am I going to have to break down at some point and call a repairman or would the average person be able to solve this if they just remain diligent and keep looking on-line? If I DO need have to call a repairman, in your opinion, what do you think it will cost me to fix it?

    Thank you SO very much in advance for the advice.

    ~Christine

  • Hey Christine, thanks for visiting. I will start by answering your question as to calling a technician. If your money is tight and given the information you provided, I would suggest seeking professional help. There are plenty of things someone with good mechanical and electrical skills can do to repair their appliances. Oftentimes the DIY’er can save some time and money. But with many of todays more complex appliances such as your refrigerator, it is unlikely you will stumble upon the fix. Prices for repairs can be very different depending on your area and what the actual problem turns out to be so it is difficult to say how much to do the repair. The important thing is to find a good technicians in your area that will fix your refrigerator at a resonable price, that is willing to stand behind their work, and respect your home and time. Ask your friends and family for suggestions. If you do plan to do the work yourself, use a place like JustAnswer.com to ask your questions. It will cost you a some money for the help, but you will have one on one access to a technician, unlike most repair forums. Good luck with your refrigerator.

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