GE refrigerator fresh food compartment not cold

jgy2001August 28, 2012

I have a 2004 GE side by side 25 ft3 refrigerator model GSS25IFP CC. It was working fine. The freezer side still works fine and get cold below 32F. I check for ice and frost and clean up. The small air duct between the freezer to the fresh food compartment is open and clear.

But the fresh food compartment does not get cold and stay above 50F. What should I do?

How does cold air pass from freezer to fresh food compartment size?

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Nobody has answered so I'll jump in an offer some suggestions even though I'm not familiar with your particular fridge.

1. Immediate stopgap: go to the store and buy a lot of ice. Either put the bags on the top shelf of the fridge compartment or put everything into coolers (bigger coolers are better, but anything will do.)

2. The freezer should be at or below 0 degrees F, not 32F. You've got a problem there, as well. The freezer will stay cold longer than the fresh food compartment.

3. Kick up the setting controlls to maximum cool. Do you hear anything running? If not, your compressor, a control switch or a circuit board has died. Call an appliance repair place or buy a new fridge. If the compressor runs, go to step 3.

3. If things run but are not cooling, check the compressor compartment to see if needs cleaning. Maybe you've already done this? If not, pull the refrigerator out from the wall so you can see the back. Unplug it. There will be a removable grill or panel across the back at the bottom. Take out the screws and remove it. Vacuum out the interior. Plug the fridge back in and see if it starts cooling. If not, you need to call an appliance repair shop or replace the fridge.

Sorry I can only offer generic advice.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2012 at 12:35PM
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Thanks JW. Yes, the freezer side is running and temp is at 0F. But the fresh food compartment stays at 50F.

When I remove the evaporator fan cable plug, wires are blue, white, yellow & red. Can you tell me what the voltage should be?

Here is a link that might be useful: freezer section drawing

    Bookmark   August 28, 2012 at 1:22PM
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How can I test if my evaporator fan is working properly?

Is this evaporator fan suppose to stop when I open the freezer door? What happen if I turn off the freezer door switch, will this fan runs?

    Bookmark   August 28, 2012 at 2:04PM
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>>"Can you tell me what the voltage should be?"Nope. My guess is that the voltage will be 120v but I do not know. Is there a wiring diagram somewhere, maybe on the back on or in the compressor compartment? Have you tried searching for one online?

I posted here because it sometimes helps get discussions going when folks see that there are responses to your OP.
I'm hoping that somebody more knowledgeable will jump in.

For the meantime, here are my further thoughts. In parts drawing you linked to, I see only one evaporator fan. If the freezer is cooling to 0F, I would think that the fan would be working.

Generally, the evaporator fan blows across the evaporator and funnels cold air to the fridge and freezer.

Again, I don't know anything about your model of fridge, but the symptoms would make me look for icing somewhere. Maybe your defrost heater or timer are failing/failed and the evaporator has iced up? Can you access the evaporator? (My recollection is that you might have to remove a panel on the back of the fridge to find the main controller board (with timers), evaporator, defrost thermostat defrost-heater. The parts drawing makes it look like some of these parts might be accessible from the front, but that might just be the way the drawing displays the parts.

Another thought: if the fridge side is running but just not getting cool enough, have you checked the door gasket and how well it seals?

Yet another thought: sometimes circuit boards get confused and need to reboot. On some fridges, you can do this by unplugging the fridge for five minutes and then plagging it back in.

Is this a fridge that was made for GE by LG, by any chance, and does it have incandescent bulbs for interior lights? LG side-by-sides had a spate of problems with light switches sticking in the on position and the heat from the incandescent bulbs heated the interior (like the old Easybake toy ovens). Find the door switches and make sure that they shut off the lights.

Have you searched sites like They might have a specific page(s) devoted to your model of fridge where you might find some more specific advice. But, maybe you've been there and found nothing useful?.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2012 at 2:45PM
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From the fridge side drawing, there is a damper that controls the airflow from the freezer to the fridge side. This damper is controlled by your settings, the temperature sensor and the main computer board (on the back of the fridge).

It says this is a DC motor and I tend to believe them.

I don't know if this model turns off the fan if the door is open, but you can certainly fool it by depressing the freezer door switch (fridge side too). You could tape them down as well. You should be able to turn the temp settings all the way down and the unit should turn on. You should feel air blowing through the damper into the fridge section.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2012 at 3:39PM
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Your model number is not complete, there should be another letter between the P and CC. Sears brings up 16 hits on GSS25IFP*. All of them are largely the same but there may be differences in a few components due to engineering or series changes.

The fan is DC-powered. The control board outputs 13 volts DC, pulsing the current rapidly to control the speed. The fan motor can be test-run on a 9-volt battery. Connect the red wire to the positive + battery terminal. Connect the white and yellow wires to the negative - battery terminal. Blue wire is a speed sensor connection so does not connect to the battery (some units don't make use of the blue wire).

The fan may be OK. The motherboard/control board may be the fault, not sending proper current to the motor. ALL the various fans in the refrigerator -- freezer evaporator fan, fresh food evaporator fan, condensor fan, and any other fans such as the Custom Cool drawer (if there is one) -- run on DC power from the control board. A given fan circuit / output may go bad and the others be OK, but replacing the board is the only fix. Been there, done that. Be advised that the "official" repair is to replace *both* the suspect fan motor and the motherboard.

In my case, the parts diagram referenced the *wrong* fan motor -- one that did not include a thermistor sensor in the wiring lead when my unit DID have the integral thermistor. Instead of returning the wrong fan motor and waiting for a reorder, I pulled the thermistor out of the old fan's harness plug and swapped it to the new fan. Note also that in my case some rewiring of the compressor wires was required for a parts substitution/update on the motherboard (instructions were included).

    Bookmark   August 28, 2012 at 5:40PM
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Thank you all for your responses.

The model number is GSS25IFPH. The evaporator fan is 12VDC.
I open the freezer panel and the evaporator fan is blowing fine. The freezer side is working fine. The air duct damper is working (actually I can discount and manually open the damper door to the fresh food compartment).

Can you tell me where is the location of fresh food compartment temperature sensor?

    Bookmark   August 29, 2012 at 2:44PM
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If I believed the parts picture, the sensor is there behind the control panel (where the knobs are). If not directly there, then close by since the wire is not that long.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2012 at 3:13PM
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gave up, getting a new LG refrigerator

    Bookmark   September 1, 2012 at 11:40AM
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