Nick's appliance repair
By: Nick
By: Nick

CEO Nick's Appliance Repair

ge fridge not cooling

Table of Contents

8 Reasons for GE Fridge Not Cooling and How To Fix Them

Having a GE refrigerator that fails to cool is not a practical situation. The fridge’s deterioration may force you to buy more goods than necessary, and it can pose health risks as it only maintains a cold temperature for a short period.

Dealing with a constant ringing phone from a repair worker can also be frustrating. Additionally, if your warranty has expired and the repair cost is high, paying a hefty repair fee may not be financially reasonable to resolve the issue.

What causes a GE refrigerator to stop cooling? And how to fix

Although GE Appliances is known for producing some of the best refrigerators lasting up to 20 years, cooling issues remain a common complaint. This problem is significant as it can reduce the shelf life of your food, requiring immediate attention.

Temperature settings need to be set correctly.

If your GE refrigerator shows a cold temperature on the settings but feels warmer inside, there may be an issue with temperature management rather than cooling. The good news is that this is typically easier to resolve.

First, consult your refrigerator’s owner’s manual to determine the ideal cooling temperature for your specific model, and adjust the refrigerator’s temperature settings accordingly. If you don’t have access to the manual, the USDA recommends keeping food refrigerated at or below 40°F to slow the growth of bacteria. To check the temperature of your refrigerator, use a separate thermometer.

If the inside of your refrigerator is warmer than the temperature setting, lower the temperature by a few degrees and wait 24 hours before checking the temperature again. Gradually lower the temperature until it reaches the proper temperature of at least four °C, as sudden drastic changes can damage the refrigerator.

Filthy condenser Coils

The condenser coils in a refrigerator release heat as the refrigerant flows over them, which helps to regulate the temperature inside the fridge. These coils are typically located at the bottom of the fridge and can accumulate dust, preventing them from effectively releasing heat. As a result, the temperature inside the refrigerator can increase.

Experts recommend cleaning the dirty condenser coils of your GE refrigerator twice a year using a suitable appliance brush, which you can purchase online or at physical stores. Wearing a facemask during the cleaning process is also recommended to avoid inhaling dust. Here is a quick and easy guide on how to clean your refrigerator’s condenser coils.

Detach the refrigerator plug.

Locate the coil using the handbook that came with your GE refrigerator, as the coil varies from one unit to another.

Unfasten the grill from the front of the condenser coils.

Using a long, thin hose attachment, vacuum the coils.

Use an appliance brush to remove any remaining dust.

Replace the grill in front of the condenser coils.

Reconnect the refrigerator plug.

The condenser fan is malfunctioning.

The condenser fan could be the culprit when your GE refrigerator fails to cool. This fan, responsible for keeping the refrigerant coils cold and efficient, and preventing the fridge from overheating, can malfunction due to two main reasons: dirty condenser coils or a faulty/clogged condenser fan motor. The condenser coil at the back of the appliance is prone to clogging by dirt, lint, and pet hair. You can remove it using a screwdriver or call a professional to clean it. For future maintenance, use compressed cold air to blast away dirt before reinstalling the dirty condenser coil.


One glaring issue that may go unnoticed is the absence of electricity in a GE refrigerator. This is particularly true if you access the fridge during the wee hours of the night. To verify your refrigerator has power, open the door and check if the light comes on. If it does, then the device is receiving electricity.

However, if the refrigerator remains inactive and there is no operating sound, you can take various steps. Firstly, try plugging the device into another socket or using a multimeter to assess the current. Additionally, you may need to replace the plug or adjust the plug fuse.

The defrost timer has been programmed improperly.

A GE refrigerator may not be chilling due to an incorrectly set defrost cycle or unset defrost timer.

The defrost timer can be set to either on or off, with no other options.

If the refrigerator has been running for over 24 hours but is not cooling, it is likely turned off.

Once the temperature of the air vents in the refrigerator has lowered, it will begin to work again since it has been functioning non-stop for the past 24 hours, indicating that it is switched on.

The GE refrigerator compressor will not activate if the defrost timer is set. It will work on the refrigerator for a certain amount of time or until the freezer reaches a temperature of -10 degrees Fahrenheit (approximately -18 degrees Celsius).

To reset the GE refrigerator temperature settings and timer, you can follow these steps:

Disconnect the machine to turn off the power.

Remove all contents from the lower freezer door shelf.

Press and hold the “Freezer” button until it blinks.

Enter the desired time once the button starts flashing.

A door seal that isn’t up to snuff

The primary reasons for a refrigerator not cooling as expected are overheating and under-cooling. The fridge’s efficiency is also affected by the condition of its door seal.

A poorly fitted door seal can lead to overheating and undercooling, as well as fluctuations in the temperature of the refrigerator and freezer. This can also result in higher energy consumption.

To address this issue, ensure the refrigerator is level and all doors tightly closed. Check for any standing water or ice accumulation in or around the fridge, as these may contribute to the problem.

Malfunctioning Temperature Sensor

Even if you set the thermostat to the appropriate temperature, it will only help if the refrigerator’s computer receives accurate information. The refrigerator temperature sensor, the thermistor, transmits temperature data to the control board.

If the temperature in the refrigerator is not optimal, it may be necessary to replace the thermistor. If you plan to undertake this task independently, it is extremely important to unplug the cord from the wall outlet before installing the new part.

Dials for Temperature Control Thermostat

Your GE appliance’s defrost thermostat is typically set to a range of 35°F to 37°F. However, accidentally turning the dial without realizing it is quite common. The dial can be found on the access panel inside the freezer compartment on newer GE models. For fridge-freezer units, there is a dual temperature dial.

The left dial on a dual temperature dial controls the temperature control of the freezer, while the right dial controls the refrigerator. The dial ranges from 1 to 9, with 1 being the warmest and 9 being the coldest. Setting the dial to 0 turns off the cooling together. It takes about 24 hours for the cooling unit to begin working after installation, so there is no need to be concerned if it does not start working immediately.

GE fridge not cooling, but the light is on

If your GE refrigerator seems to function correctly, such as the lights turning on but not cooling appropriately, the central controller board may be the culprit. The controller board acts as the brain of the refrigerator, so malfunctions in the main control board can cause issues that affect its overall performance.

Although this is a common issue with GE refrigerators, it is possible to diagnose the problem by looking for charred markings or poor soldering joints on the motherboard if it has overheated. Repair costs can vary, but hiring a professional to diagnose and solve the issue can cost around $500.

Fortunately, even if you are not handy, you can purchase the controller board online at a significantly lower cost and install it yourself. GE has made it easy to locate the correct component for your refrigerator.

GE refrigerator not cooling, but the freezer is working.

While a GE refrigerator is an excellent addition to any kitchen, it is not immune to occasional issues. One common problem is when the freezer works correctly, but the fridge needs cooling. Thankfully, many of these issues can be resolved by the homeowner. To learn more about how to address this problem, continue reading below.

GE refrigerator not cooling, but the freezer is working.

While a GE refrigerator is an excellent addition to any kitchen, it is not immune to occasional issues. One common problem is when the freezer works correctly, but the fridge needs cooling. Thankfully, many of these issues can be resolved by the homeowner. To learn more about how to address this problem, continue reading below.

If the door gasket, which plays a crucial role in maintaining the temperature stability of your GE refrigerator, becomes loose, the door won’t seal properly, allowing cold air to escape. Therefore, it is essential to ensure a tight seal.

The failure of many door gaskets is due to a misalignment. This problem can be easily corrected by gently pushing the gasket back into place using a finger or tool.

Your GE refrigerator’s defrost assembly is responsible for removing any ice that has formed on the evaporator coils several times a day. However, if the defrost system or heater component fails, ice will accumulate on the coils, obstructing the airflow and preventing your refrigerator from cooling properly.

To determine the problematic component, it is recommended to have a qualified technician inspect the defrost thermostat, timer, fan motors, and control board.

The air intake damper in GE refrigerators is responsible for maintaining the optimal temperature throughout the entire unit. If the damper breaks or becomes obstructed, cold air may not flow properly, resulting in insufficient cooling for your refrigerator.

Inspect the damper to ensure it is opening and closing correctly if it does not, seek the assistance of an expert.

However, if the evaporator fan is on and the damper door is open, but no air is flowing out, the evaporator may be frozen.

GE refrigerator not cooling or freezing.

As per the Appliance Repair Information Technology website, one of the common issues affecting a GE refrigerator’s cooling performance is its self-defrosting function. The problem may originate from the thermistor, defrost thermostat, or heater above the condenser coils. Additionally, the shutdown arm of the ice maker may require resetting. GE refrigerators have various models; you can reset them if they stop reacting to the temperature dial or fail to produce ice. Finally, cleaning the coils underneath or behind the refrigerator can help avoid negative cooling effects resulting from clogged coils. To ensure the condenser fan is not blocked and can spin freely, detach the fridge to remove any obstructions.

GE refrigerator not cooling after a power outage.

A defective control board is likely the culprit if your GE refrigerator fails to run or cool appropriately after a power outage. Because the board fails to signal to start the fan spinning, the GE unit cannot begin to relay cool.

Watch out for flashing lights, strange whining sounds, a burning smell, and a malfunctioning refrigerator light, as these are indications of a defective control board.

To fix the issue, remove the temperature control board and panel and replace it with a functioning one. This simple troubleshooting process can be completed at home in less than an hour. Before returning the control board in your refrigerator, ensure that you have the correct part for your refrigerator’s make and model, as each design is unique.

GE refrigerator not cooling after cleaning.

The evaporator coils in a panel behind the freezer are cooled by the refrigerant and transformed into gas. The evaporator fan’s task is to distribute cool air from the coils throughout the unit, starting from the freezer and extending through the refrigerator. If the evaporator fan motor is damaged, the cool air won’t circulate properly, resulting in a freezing refrigerator compartment but a not-at-all cold fresh food compartment. Replacing the fan’s motor is likely necessary if it is the source of the problem.