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Repair information and support for GE Profile Refrigerators.

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Cooling problem with freezer and fridge temporarily solved by reset

After about 12 yrs working perfectly, my high-end Profile fridge has a serious cooling problem. By turning off power for 30 secs (a “reset”), it works perfectly again for about 8-12 hours, but then freezer temp climbs to the teens F and fridge temp to 50-60 F. Once the problem starts, there is no cold air sent to the fridge through the damper, and what I believe is the compressor sound is ongoing, but a higher pitched (fan?) sound has stopped. Two expensive service visits by GE replaced the damper and the system board without fixing the problem. I limp along by resetting about twice a day, but would be extremely grateful for any suggestions as to a cause of my problem consistent with the above behavior, and/or possible diagnostics to pinpoint it.

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What is the model number of the refrigerator?

Possible cause could be a faulty defrost thermostat (or thermistor - may depend on model).

The defrost thermostat is used to signal the end of the defrost cycle. The defrost cycle occurs approx. once every 10 hours so this may be about right for you having to reset it twice per day.

During the defrost cycle, both the compressor and the evap fan are turned off. The temperature in the freezer compartment is allowed to rise to melt the ice and the defrost heater is turned on to help speed up the melting the ice build up on the evaporator coils. With the evap fan turned off the refrigerator temp will also go up as no cold air is being blown into the compartment from the freezer. When the defrost thermostat’s set operating temperature is reached it signals the control board to turn off the heater and to restart the compressor and evap fan to cool things back down to the set temps. When the freezer temp reaches the thermostat’s release temperature, it releases in readiness for the next defrost cycle ~10 hours later. Normally a defrost cycle lasts about 20-25 minutes.

If it is a thermistor its resistance value will change with the temperature and the control board then knows what to do. The principle is the same as for a thermostat

I realize that you said the the compressor noise is ongoing but you said that you only thought that it was ;-) Turning off the power “resets” the control board but the defrost cycle will kick in again 10 hours later.

Search online for (insert full model number) parts and select either the or link to view the parts for the refrigerator. When you have the parts diagram webpage, search for tech sheet or mini manual in the search parts box for that model. If there is a number listed (with GE it may start with 31-) search online using the part number only to hopefully find download links for the tech sheet or mini manual that will show you how to get into the diagnostics etc.

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Thanks so much, jayeff! One follow-up would be very helpful --

I'm not at all sure about my identification of the sounds of components, but after the trouble starts the fridge is not silent. There is at least one ongoing source of sound, and not a higher-pitched sound that seems to accompany cold air being channeled to the fridge through the damper. With your defrost thermostat explanation, would there still be some source of sound as both parts of the appliance gradually warm up? (By contrast, when all is working normally there are periods of silence when the goal temps are reached, followed by both the sounds I hear when more cooling is needed again and cold is being directed through the damper.) Btw, my model # is PDCS1NBXALSS.


The freezer and fridge just started warming a short while ago, right on schedule for the defrost schedule you describe. Something at the back of the appliance is making a constant whirring sound. So what are the possible consequnces when the defrost thermostat goes bad? Is it possible that the instruction to turn on the compressor could get through but that the signal to the evap fan could fail??


@David Griffeath

The noise could be the condenser fan which is located under the compartments near the compressor unit. The condenser fan can run at any time. It is used to cool down the condenser coils if they get too warm/hot. It is usually thermostatically controlled and not set to run at specific times

You may want to check the condenser coils and vacuum off any dust etc. Dust buildup prevents the coils from dissipating the heat from the refrigerant more quickly, so the cooling system is not as efficient and the compressor has to work harder. Also the condenser fan may have to turn on more often than usually is the case.

Here's a link to the parts for your model that may help. The condenser fan is in the Machine Compartment diagram.

The defrost thermostat is in the freezer compartment part #266. It is behind a panel, inside at the back of the compartment along with the evap unit, evap fan and defrost heater. To remove the panel, access is through the door at the front.

Here's a video that shows how to test the bi-metal defrost thermostat.

The mini manual part number is 31-51734.

Unfortunately I couldn't find a "free" download. The best i could find is here but you have to join to download. The part supplier I linked above says that it is no longer available to purchase.

A faulty defrost thermostat can either mean that the evap unit ices up because the heater isn't turned on to speed up defrost and eventually the evap fan is iced over so the refrigerator compartment gets warm (the freezer will stay cool though) or maybe like you are experiencing now the defrost cycle isn't ended properly.


This is great, jayeff. A GE service guy is returning today. I will definitely show him your info. Wish me luck. I will give you a million reputation points or whatever they're called if I can figure out how to do so!


@David Griffeath

Good luck with the repair.

I'm no fridge repairer so hopefully the service person doesn't laugh too much at what I've said.

You've already given me the maximum rep points that you can by accepting my answer and also marking it as helpful, so thank you!

I'm not in it for the points, I'm only trying to help people fix things so it doesn't end up in landfill if it can possibly be repaired.



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David Griffeath sarà eternamente grato.
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