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Major Appliances/Refrigerator runs constantly


QUESTION: Hello Eric,

I have a General Electric side-by-side fridge that is over 20 years old.  It was with this house when I bought it 14 years ago.  Recently I have noticed it runs almost all the time.  It has a plastic grill at the bottom in front that is removable, and I regularly clean lint, dust, and pet hair from it.  I also have a brush that is made for cleaning underneath that I use to try to clean the coils.  The magnetic seal around the door is in fairly good shape but may need replacing, but other than that, what do you think could be making the compressor run so much?  The only problem it has ever given me was about 10 years ago the defrost timer went bad and I had to replace it.  Other than that it works good.  What do you think?  


ANSWER: Make sure the fan at the compressor is running freely..  and are you sure the doors are closing properly?  the gaskets can bunch up at the corner where the hinge is located.   and the plastic door cams on the hinges can wear away.   take a good look at those things....and let me know what you find...Ann

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QUESTION: Thanks Ann,

Yes, the compressor and fan run smoothly and freely.  The doors close as they should, and the door cam on the large door (refrigerator side) was replaced when the defrost timer was replaced, so it works fine.  The door gaskets appear to be okay. I inspected all around both doors and there is no bunching at the hinges.  They both seem to close and seal okay.  But with it being as old as it is, do you think the door seals eventually lose their sealing ability?  Many times when I first get up in the morning it will be running after it has not been opened all night.  So I'm wondering if somehow it is leaking around the doors?  Just a thought.  Thanks for your help.  


ANSWER: Take a good look inside the freezer and tell me if there is any ice or ice crystals forming on the back panel.

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QUESTION: I checked the freezer, the back panel is clear.  No sign of ice anywhere. One thing I should mention but I don't know if this has any bearing on it running a lot.  The ice maker has a shutoff lever that will not stay up when the ice bin is full.  The ice bin is full but not running over, and I have not used any ice for weeks.  I'm not sure exactly what is wrong with it, but I thought it was worth mentioning. Thanks.

the unit will run after 6-8 hours whether the door is open or not... it goes into defrost that often and will have to run the compressor to bring the temperature back down.   With age they do run longer, but if it is not freezing anything in the FF section it is not running too much... and if everything including ice cream and bread are still solid in the freezer the unit is probably just getting old... if the gaskets were leaking you would have ice crystals around the opening in the freezer and moisture around the opening in the FF section

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Eric Campion


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