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hokie88

10:09AM | 05/04/04
Member Since: 11/27/03
28 lifetime posts
Bvelectrical
I have a GE side-by-side of indeterminate age. Frost-free. I noticed a faint smell like electrical burning on Saturday, on Sunday noon I put some things in the freezer, all was well. Monday afternoon everything was melted, but fridge side still seemed cool. Tuesday morning, it was apparent the fridge side is no longer cooling. The unit still runs, and kicks on and off in cycles. I've read other posts that tell me I should check for a frost build-up on the cooling coil, and dirty condenser components. I will do this, but I'm curious if these things would cause such a sudden malfunction. The unit seemed to be cooling just fine until Sunday, so I don't think it would be things like a slow refrigerant leak. Basically, I'm trying to decide if I should call a repairman, or if this sounds like I need a new refrigerator. I would like to avoid the service call if I can tell already that I should just put that expense towards the purchase of a new one. Any thoughts are appreciated.

DanO

03:45PM | 05/04/04
Member Since: 11/11/02
2274 lifetime posts
** The unit still runs, **

The compressor? or maybe just the fan in the same area??

** and kicks on and off in cycles **

How long/short of cycles?

If the fridge isn't cooling the thermostat should always be telling the compressor to run and hense it shouldn't "cycle" at all.

** I've read other posts that tell me I should check for a frost build-up on the cooling coil, and dirty condenser components. ... but I'm curious if these things would cause such a sudden malfunction. **

Neither would usually cause an immediate failure although either could have lead to other failures which could have stopped it suddenly. It is not a good idea to let signs of problems fester, they rarely get better on their own.

** I'm trying to decide if I should call a repairman, or if this sounds like I need a new refrigerator. **

I rarely recommend a consumer just replace an appliance without finding out *for sure* what the cause is and getting a firm price on how much it will cost to repair. That way they can make an informed decision between repair and replacement.

** I would like to avoid the service call if I can tell already that I should just put that expense towards the purchase of a new one. **

That's the trick, isn't it?

Some dealers will allow you to put some of the cost of an estimate charge towards the cost of a replacement if you went that way. Unfortunately their own service department is likely the ones which would be giving you the repair estimate which might lead you to question their impartiality.

On a major item such as a refrigerator, I suggest you actually have a technician check it out. Preferably a factory authorized service depot for the appliance brand and if possible, an independent and one which has nothing to gain if they say a new appliance is in your best interest.

I would hazard a guess that the "electrical burning" smell was a sign of an electrical problem which in most cases would not usually require major repairs to correct. A problem in the cooling system might be borderline to making replacement most cost effective but such a failure would not usually cause any unusual odors.

JMO

Dan O.

http://www.Appliance411.com/?ref411=+GE+fridge

The Appliance Information Site

=Ð~~~~~~


hokie88

06:27AM | 05/05/04
Member Since: 11/27/03
28 lifetime posts
Thank you, DanO. I cleaned the coils under the fridge last night, and unscrewed the plate over the fan, and didn't see any problems with the fan. It (the fan) ran almost continously last evening, with a brief stop this morning before starting up again. The fridge does "kick on and off" (I'm guessing this is the compressor? It makes a loud rumbling when it kicks off. The cycles seem the same, neither longer nor shorter than before) but the fan was running no matter what. I'm definitely calling a repairman!

rpxlpx

11:19AM | 05/10/04
Member Since: 03/13/00
1675 lifetime posts
To determine if the problem is with the thermostat, you might try some different setttings and see what happens.

Could also be the defrost timer.

BV003289

10:15AM | 02/19/14
I had a Sears repairman come out to diagnose why my Kenmore sidebyside was having a burning electrical smell. His method of diagnose was to smell the components and tell me he could not tell what the problem was. Then he charged me $75 and left.
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