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Unread 12-13-2014, 10:56 AM   #1
Jerry Bransford
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Have a garage refrigerator/freezer that isn't as cold as it used to be

We have a 20 year old GE side-by-side refrigerator/freezer out in the garage and no longer gets cold enough to keep things frozen in the top of the freezer area. The controls are set as cold as possible.

What is the usual cause of that? Dirty condenser coil? I'm not afraid to try to fix it myself if it's fixable. I hate paying a repairman to come out after he applies an easy 15 minute fix lol.

No, I don't want to hear how it'd be more energy efficient to just buy a new one, thank you.

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Unread 12-15-2014, 06:28 AM   #2
captainauti
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could need cleaning..... or just old and paid it debt to society.
try cleaning. if nothing replace it. you can find cheap ones on cl for a garage.itmight be more energy efficient to just buy a new one.
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Unread 12-15-2014, 06:41 AM   #3
DoomsdayTJ
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I would start by giving it a good cleaning. A dirty condenser coil can definitely cause it to not cool properly and being a garage fridge, it probably sees more dust than if it were inside the house. Also check to make sure the doors are sealing properly, there's not a lot of ice build up in the freezer, and that the light actually shuts off when you shut the door.
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Unread 12-15-2014, 08:06 AM   #4
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the fans inside might have stopped working. my old freezer used to drop ice down the back and it jammed the circulator fan so nothing was cold unless it was right next to the coil
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Unread 12-15-2014, 08:17 AM   #5
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Fridges are basically simple machines and only a few things can go wrong, In order of most common.

1. Condensor coils clogged. Specially in a dusty spiderwebby garage. The worst are the ones with the coils on the bottom. They pick up floor dust and they are a pain to clean.
2. Condensor fan stopped. For the same reasons as #1 if there isn't air moving over the condensor it won't remove enough heat.
3. Evaporator coil fan dead. Kind of the same reasoning for #2 but the evap is the cold part and if you don't move the air around you will only cool directly around the coils.
4. Evap coils frozen over. just like #3 no air can move through a frozen up coil and only the coils will be cold. If it is a frost free unit then the defrost heater strip or timer could be bad. Try unplugging the unit for a day, leaving the door open.if you get a big puddle on the floor odds are your coils were frozen over.
5. Amost never happens anymore with the sealed units but if your coils get a pinhole you could lose freon and that will make it cool less.
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Unread 12-15-2014, 09:30 AM   #6
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Dirty.
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Unread 12-15-2014, 10:10 AM   #7
Jerry Bransford
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Excellent advice, thank you all. I was hoping it could just just be that dirty condenser coil you guys all confirmed and that makes a lot of sense since I know it's very dirty on the rear. I'll get it cleaned up this coming weekend, thank you guys!!!
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Unread 12-15-2014, 04:29 PM   #8
numbersix
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How cold is it in your garage? I have an insulated garage that still hovers in the 40s to 50s. Our 8 year old fridge/freezer had the same issue. It turns out the oil for the compressor wasn't warm enough. Runs great in the summer and not at all in the winter. Replaced with a chest freezer. You might try rigging up a work lamp / bulb next to the compressor.
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Unread 12-15-2014, 04:37 PM   #9
Jerry Bransford
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I'm in SOCAL where it never gets cold enough for that particular problem. In fact the refrigerator/freezer is now keeping things colder the last couple days since the garage temperature has gotten much colder. Thanks for the suggestion though!
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