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GE Refrigerator TFH22PR keeps running, was cold now warm

Mike86

Premium Member
Joined
Jul 29, 2022
Messages
18
Location
Illinois
Model Number
TFH22PR
Brand
GE
Age
More than 10 years
GE side by side Refrigerator TFH22PR keeps running

Yesterday a small amount of Coke in the fridge in a can had ice in it And ice cream was hard as a rock.

The fridge temperature was 30° and the freezer was -10°. And it seemed to be running all the time.

The temperature controls were pretty much in the default mid range. I adjusted them back & forth and the refrigerator kept running.

I rotated the defrost timer & that did silence the compressor at one point probably because it was in the defrost cycle. But I turned it back to the cooling cycle.

But now the fridge is 50° and the freezer is anywhere from -5° to -10° depending where I set both temperature controls. Actually the fridge has crept up to 55°.

I removed the back bottom cover & the compressor appears to be running all the time. One thought is that it’s not cooling. However how did the freezer get to -10°.

I vacuumed the condenser best possible but it’s very difficult to do. It had some dust but it always has some dust because you can’t really get to the coils.

If I move the Freezer Control all the way to the left or “A”, it opens the flap all the way between the freezer & the fridge. I figured that should help get more cold air into the fridge. At this point it doesn’t seem to make much difference where the Fresh Food Control is set. I don’t feel a lot of air coming through the flap opening which may explain why the fridge is not getting colder. But then how did it get to 30° yesterday? Maybe it just takes a real long to cool the fridge.

I planned on getting a new refrigerator when I find a good sale so don’t want to put a lot of money into this old one.

Any ideas why the freezer is cold but the fridge side is not?
Thanks
 

jeff1

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Mike86

Premium Member
Joined
Jul 29, 2022
Messages
18
Location
Illinois
The sticker inside the door says TFH22PR.
Found another sticker at the bottom which says TFH22PRSM WW.
 

jeff1

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The sticker inside the door says TFH22PR.

Inside the door is often a silent salesman sticker, energy guide sticker.

Found another sticker at the bottom which says TFH22PRSM WW

The tag with model # and serial # is the correct one.
That model# works :)

jeff sr.
 

Mike86

Premium Member
Joined
Jul 29, 2022
Messages
18
Location
Illinois
It’s been only 12 hours but here’s an update.

Since I didn’t want food spoiling, last night I put a bag of ice on the top shelf & also put some food in a cooler with ice.

The freezer now is -12° and the fridge was 45°. I opened & closed the door to get some milk. A few minutes later I opened & closed the door to replace the milk & the temp was 47°. Just that brief opening dropped the temp by 2°. The ice is still in the fridge which I’m sure is helping to keep the temperature down.

Looking at a parts diagram there does not appear to be any fan that blows air from freezer to fridge. The only temperature sensor appears to be what is part of the temperature control, #424 in the parts list.

With the freezer getting so cold it would seem the fridge would colder quicker than it is, especially with a bag of ice. But apparently not. In fact over night I had the flap between the two sections opened all the way in an effort to get more cold air to the fridge side.

I'll post back later with any changes.
 

jeff1

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Messages
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I opened & closed the door to get some milk. A few minutes later I opened & closed the door to replace the milk & the temp was 47°. Just that brief opening dropped the temp by 2°.

Yupper, cold air falls out and your feet get cold.

It’s been only 12 hours but here’s an update

Unless someone is opening the door all of the time it normally takes 4-6 hours to get back to temp and then a full 24 hours before it gets back into and on and off routine.

Looking at a parts diagram there does not appear to be any fan that blows air from freezer to fridge.

That is how the cooling get from the freezer and into the fresh food section.

#610 and #613.

00004124i03.gif


jeff sr.
 

Mike86

Premium Member
Joined
Jul 29, 2022
Messages
18
Location
Illinois
Shortly after my last posting, about 15-16 hours ago, I temporarily removed a plastic cover (#365) in the freezer to view the flap opening to the fridge side to make sure nothing was blocking it & it is OK. And the fan was running.

The thermometer in the freezer was sitting on a carton of ice cream which I thought might be affecting the reading so I moved it. OTOH how did the ice cream get rock hard and -10° in the first place?

I had to open the fridge a few times & tried to be quick but it still really affects the temperature.

I don’t think it makes much difference what the thermostat is set to because the compressor is running all the time, but I do have it set a bit higher than the default.

Nothing has been touched for several hours & currently the freezer is +8° and the fridge is +47° & that's with the bag of ice still there. I don’t get it - a couple days ago both sides were so cold that the ice cream was like a brick & ice was forming in an open can of Coke. I adjusted the temperature controls slightly & since then neither side can get cold enough, even with the settings back to normal or colder.
 

Mike86

Premium Member
Joined
Jul 29, 2022
Messages
18
Location
Illinois
Just thinking -
Many years ago the fridge was not getting cold because the evaporator coils were frozen up with ice. Turning of the refrigerator for a few hours let the ice melt off the coils & then the refrigerator worked OK for a day. Of course this had to be repeated every day until I replaced the defroster heater.

Could this be the problem again?

But how did everything get so cold a couple days ago? Could this somehow still happen just before the evaporator might have frozen up?

Maybe some freon/refrigerant has slowly leaked out over the years. But again how would everything have frozen up a couple days ago?

Could the evaporator have been partially covered with ice which made the air colder than normal which caused both sides to get colder than normal. And eventually the evaporator is getting blocked with more ice & consequently not getting the air as cold as it should?

Other than taking the freezer compartment apart, is there anywhere where I can access the defrost heater in order to check continuity?

I'm trying to put the pieces of the puzzle together.

I just checked & there is frost on the back surface of the freezer compartment.
 
Last edited:

Mike86

Premium Member
Joined
Jul 29, 2022
Messages
18
Location
Illinois
I removed the back panel of the freezer & the evaporator was frozen with ice. Used a hair dryer to melt most or maybe all of it. I wanted to get the food back in before it sat out too long. Obviously this is a short term fix & may have to do it another time or two before I get a new refrigerator, hopefully this week.

I'll let you know how the temperatures turn out.
 

jeff1

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Location
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I'll let you know how the temperatures turn out.

Great.

Could this somehow still happen just before the evaporator might have frozen up?

Usual frost build up on the evaporator is refrigerator starts to run longer, some have said the FF section gets too cold, then the FF section gets warm but the FZ temp is still good, FZ temp starts to warm up and odd time the fan blade hits the frost and makes noises once the build up is bad enough.

If/when the build up comes back, take a pic so we can see it.

jeff sr.
 

Mike86

Premium Member
Joined
Jul 29, 2022
Messages
18
Location
Illinois
I didn't think of taking a picture because I was in hurry to get the unit thawed, turned back on, & food back in.

After about 5 hours the refrigerator cycled off & the temps were a few degrees high: freezer was +8° & fridge about 42°. I adjusted the thermostat a bit colder & now after about 2 more hours the freezer is about +1° and the fridge just a hair below 40°. And it does cycle off. Hopefully this will hold out till Friday when we have a new refrigerator coming.

The refrigerator is at least 25 years old & I replaced the defrost heater about 12-15 years ago. It's time for a new fridge.
 

jeff1

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Hopefully this will hold out till Friday when we have a new refrigerator coming.

I can't see why not :)

jeff sr.
 
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