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GE Model TFX20JR side by side Cooling issues then no fans at all

janedoecooks

Premium Member
Joined
Aug 10, 2016
Messages
6
Location
MI
Model Number
TFX20JR
Brand
GE
Age
More than 10 years
Hello and thank you for being here to help us DIY'ers. :)

I'm having continuous troubles with this unit. So, I will give a little history on how this started.

First problem, the unit would not cool and frost built up in the freezer. I pulled it out to clean coils and discovered where the mice had been taking pieces of cat food and storing, they left a huge mess in there. The fan, although working, was plugged up pretty bad with dirt/dust, so I cleaned that off too. I cleaned it out and cleaned up the coils as best I could, let the unit defrost (I thought) and plugged it back in. It ran great for about a month, then the same thing happened.
I pulled it out again, this time taking an air hose under and over the coils and a major amount of built up dust/dirt/dander came out of it. This time I had read how long it takes to defrost if the frost gets built up behind the freezer back wall, so I let it totally defrost until I saw no water dripping at all on the bottom of the wall piece. I plugged it in and it worked fine again, for about a month.

Last night, the refrigerator stopped cooling. I checked the ice cubes in the tray and they were watery feeling so I knew it was about to stop again.
I moved it out and waited until this morning to work on it, and somewhere during the night it began working again. Can I say LOL here? :)

So, this morning the fans are working and compressor is working but I knew there was frost built up in there and that had to be removed. While I was getting tools, the whole thing shut down. No fans...no compressor. (Is that normal to have no fans running anywhere even though that freezer door had been opened quite awhile?)
I removed the panel and there was major frost build up. Set a fan in front of it and allowed every ounce of it to melt away.
Plugged it in. Nothing. No fans, no compressor. I turned the temp dial all the way to off, then back up again, closed the doors and nothing came on.

While I was registering here, funny thing happened. The thing kicked on. That was about twenty minutes it took, and there was no cool air inside there at all due to how long it took to melt the frost.

So...do I still have a problem? Is it normal to take that long to kick on the fans/compressor even though there is no cool air existing in it? Seems the thermostat would know the temps were way too high and kick that on immediately.
Is it possible that some of the frost build up from last time it went down was still there and slowly kept building back up causing it to not work properly?

I have a condenser coil cleaning brush coming in a couple days, I'm going to leave it out and thoroughly clean those coils again.
If there are any other suggestions on what could be happening here, I would be truly grateful.

I'm befuddled here. :confused:
 

janedoecooks

Premium Member
Joined
Aug 10, 2016
Messages
6
Location
MI
Also, could someone show me where to test or feel for the cool air coming into the refrigerator from the freezer? Is there a diagram somewhere that I can get a visual from?

Thank you. :)
 

janedoecooks

Premium Member
Joined
Aug 10, 2016
Messages
6
Location
MI
Well, based on what I've been reading on this forum since last evening, I think I may have a defrost issue with the freezer on this unit. My compressor is fine, and the fans are fine. I defrosted completely yesterday, and overnight the refrigerator is cooling just fine and the freezer seems to be operating okay. The symptoms with the frost build up after a month and then the fridge not cooling, 3 times in 3 months, seem to indicate the defrost timer or other defrost item, like the heater?
I don't know where my defrost timer is on this model, or anything about the heater coil. I'm going to post a pic of the frost build up behind the wall, see if that helps anyone....anyone out there? :)

Frost build up 2.jpgFrost build up1.jpg

I would love to have a link to a diagram of parts for this model if anyone has it, so I can find where the cold air is going to the refrigerator section. I want to be sure that's not plugged up somehow. I've seen it on the forum for other models, but am unable to locate the link again. :(

Thank you
 
Last edited:

Jake

Appliance Tech - Admin
Staff member
Joined
Aug 24, 2004
Messages
122,624
Location
McMullen Valley, Arizona
Hi,

Yes, you have a defrost part that's gone south, but I need your complete model number first before I can help you. Read the model number from the model number tag inside the refrigerator section, its on the upper wall.

Here's the results I get:

TFX20JRBAAA
TFX20JRBAWH
TFX20JRBAWW
TFX20JRBBAA
TFX20JRBBWH
TFX20JRBBWW
TFX20JRBCAA
TFX20JRBCWH
TFX20JRBCWW
TFX20JRBEAA
TFX20JRBEWH
TFX20JRBEWW
TFX20JRBGAA
TFX20JRBGWH
TFX20JRBGWW
TFX20JRBKAA
TFX20JRBKWH
TFX20JRBKWW
TFX20JRSAAD
TFX20JRSAWH
TFX20JRSAWW
TFX20JRSBAD
TFX20JRSBWH
TFX20JRSBWW
TFX20JRSMAD
TFX20JRSMWH
TFX20JRSMWW
TFX20JRXAAA
TFX20JRXAWH
TFX20JRXAWW
TFX20JRXDAA
TFX20JRXDWH
TFX20JRXDWW
TFX20JRXFAA
TFX20JRXFWH
TFX20JRXFWW

Jake
 

janedoecooks

Premium Member
Joined
Aug 10, 2016
Messages
6
Location
MI
HI Jake, and thanks so much!
I actually found the same list of numbers you did when I was searching parts last night, so I went looking and found the rest of the missing info.

It's TFX20JRXFWH

Today I will be pulling out the panel on the back freezer wall again to look over the defrost heater, I have a feeling that's the part that has gone south. The last time I had to defrost, a month ago, a very large piece of ice/frost build up fell out from behind that panel and hit the top of that heater. I understand there are glass units in them?? Is there anything I can do to test that without pulling it out first? Will it feel warm?

I could order both parts, but I want to be sure which one is bad first.

Thanks again!
 

janedoecooks

Premium Member
Joined
Aug 10, 2016
Messages
6
Location
MI
I was going to edit my post, but there must be a short time frame there to do that.

Jake, can you tell me how test the defrost timer too?

Thanks

:)
 

Jake

Appliance Tech - Admin
Staff member
Joined
Aug 24, 2004
Messages
122,624
Location
McMullen Valley, Arizona
Thanks,

Ok, here's what I do, its very easy. But you need to make sure the defrost thermostat is frosty first!

You need to first advance your defrost timer into the defrost cycle. Your defrost timer is located inside your refrigerator section, its #257 here: Parts for GE TFX20JRXFWH: Fresh Food Section Parts

Just remove your knob#425 then pull your light shield#421 off, then turn your defrost timer clockwise slowly till it turns your refrigerator off. I use my Flathead screwdriver to turn the defrost timer. Give it a few minutes first, then look to see if the defrost heaters are glowing red.

If so, then the bad part is the defrost timer, because its stuck and not turning into the defrost cycle on its own.

Here's the defrost timer for your model, in case you need to order it:
Defrost Timer WR9X489 | RepairClinic.com



If the defrost heaters do NOT come on when the defrost timer is in the defrost cycle, then its either a bad defrost thermostat, or bad defrost heaters. On this model when you order the defrost heaters the new defrost thermostat comes with it, and vise -versa.

Here's the defrost heater assembly for your model you can order if needed:
Defrost Heater Assembly WR51X442 | RepairClinic.com


You can also Watch this video to ohm test the defrost heaters to see if they test good, make sure you unplug the refrigerator first!:

[video=youtube_share;311BiD76iYg]https://youtu.be/311BiD76iYg[/video]

Jake
 

Jake

Appliance Tech - Admin
Staff member
Joined
Aug 24, 2004
Messages
122,624
Location
McMullen Valley, Arizona
I forgot to mention, you put your flathead screwdriver in the little round access hole, on the defrost timer metal housing #436 in the parts diagram link I posted above, but you only need to turn the defrost timer through the access hole on #436.

You don't need to remove the defrost timer metal housing #436 to turn the defrost timer, just put your flathead screwdriver in the little round access hole and turn the defrost timer clockwise slowly till the refrigerator shuts off, then it will be in the defrost cycle.

Jake
 

janedoecooks

Premium Member
Joined
Aug 10, 2016
Messages
6
Location
MI
Jake, thanks so much. I am going to run the test in the next couple of days. Sorry for not responding sooner, the computer was down for a few days. Back up and running, and hopefully will have a fixed fridge/freezer soon.
I'll post back when I have things tested out.

Thanks again, you're a gem!
 

Jake

Appliance Tech - Admin
Staff member
Joined
Aug 24, 2004
Messages
122,624
Location
McMullen Valley, Arizona
Sounds good jane, let us know what you find.:)

Jake
 
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