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Author Topic: 33 year old GE fridge not cooling  (Read 245 times)

Offline stevebass

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  • Member Since: Jul 2009
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33 year old GE fridge not cooling
« on: July 11, 2020, 06:50:25 PM »

My ancient GE TBX23ZHB is failing. The freezer's cold, but the fridge isn't.After reading Costco reviews for new ones, I'm going to try to get my old one repaired.
I'm using a Taylor Fridge thermometer. Here are the temps:
Freezer temp: 0-degrees
Fridge temp: 52-55-degrees (turned to highest setting)I clean the coils every six months. I checked this morning and they're 90% clean. I got very little crud from the tapered brush.
There's no ice build up anywhere.
I did the bill trick: It's difficult to evaluate what's "difficult" or easy. I could pull the bill out easily -- there was little resistance.

 Last year the bottom fridge door seal detached from the door was hanging. I cut it loose and replaced the entire area with a Home Depot weather insulation strip. The seal seems good there and everywhere else.

 I used a Harbor Freight temperature gun (you know, with the laser beam). I ran it across all the freezer and fridge seals. The numbers stay between 83- and 86-degrees.
Thoughts?
 

Offline manden

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  • Member Since: Oct 2011
  • Posts: 346
Re: 33 year old GE fridge not cooling
« Reply #1 on: July 12, 2020, 05:55:28 AM »
Is the evaporator/freezer fan running?

You may have to hold the door switch closed for it to run.

Offline stevebass

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  • Member Since: Jul 2009
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Re: 33 year old GE fridge not cooling
« Reply #2 on: July 12, 2020, 11:39:02 AM »
I don't see a door switch (the push-in variety), so it must be a magnetic switch. Can you guide me with two things:
1. How to toggle the switch if it is magnetic and where would the magtic be located.

2. Roughly where the evaporator fan is located (it's in the cabinet?) and what it might sound like (compared to,say, the compressor).


Offline stevebass

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  • Member Since: Jul 2009
  • Posts: 33
Re: 33 year old GE fridge not cooling
« Reply #3 on: July 12, 2020, 12:55:37 PM »
Update: I found what might be the switch you're talking about. It's dead center on the top wall of the cabinet. When I press it (with the oor open) the light does off. I do NOT hear a fan come on. Should the fan be as loud as, say, the compressor.

Where is the evaporator fan located within the cabinet? There's a fan at the bottom of the back side of the fridge -- is that it?

Can these numbers help? They were on the door tag:
Fridge GE TBX23ZH-B
162D1580P017 (possibly the number of the tag itself)

Offline stevebass

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  • Member Since: Jul 2009
  • Posts: 33
Re: 33 year old GE fridge not cooling
« Reply #4 on: July 12, 2020, 05:31:35 PM »
I've done some digging since my last update.
I found the location of the fan and the door switch. I think I can hear the fan -- at least a fan -- inside the freezer. It does NOT turn off when I press the cabinet door switch.
I also noticed an ice build up along the back wall of the freezer behind the ice maker.
See my video:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zj1kdTgS7ws&feature=youtu.be

Offline manden

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  • Member Since: Oct 2011
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Re: 33 year old GE fridge not cooling
« Reply #5 on: July 13, 2020, 06:38:20 AM »
Looks like you may have a defrost problem.

You will have to remove the back wall in the freezer so you can inspect them.

If they are heavily iced over to the point that the fan cannot pull air through the fins then you have a defrost problem.

Note that if you go to the Sears Parts site they have a break down diagram for this unit.
Though it is not very good.

Offline stevebass

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Re: 33 year old GE fridge not cooling
« Reply #6 on: July 13, 2020, 12:33:11 PM »
Quote
Note that if you go to the Sears Parts site they have a break down diagram for this unit.
Though it is not very good.
Quote
That's the problem at all of the parts sites -- the schematics are probably ancient photocopies and hard to read.

Offline stevebass

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  • Member Since: Jul 2009
  • Posts: 33
Re: 33 year old GE fridge not cooling
« Reply #7 on: July 25, 2020, 02:41:12 PM »
I tracked down the problem with the Defrost timer which I'm replacing today.

It's a six hour timer and I want the defrost cycles set to 7pm, 1am, and 7am.

If I advance the timer's screw to click into defrost at 1pm and then immediately advance the timer until the compressor comes one, the next defrost cycle will be about 7pm. Can someone check my logic on this?