Short answer: Check the thermostat settings, ensure vents aren’t blocked, clean the coils, and inspect the door seal.

When a GE freezer isn’t freezing, it can be both frustrating and concerning. Proper functioning is vital for food safety and preservation. Several factors, ranging from simple operational oversights to more complex component malfunctions, might be at the root of the problem. This guide seeks to delve into some common reasons why a GE freezer might not be freezing and offers potential solutions to address them.

Why Is Your GE Freezer Not Freezing?

Why Is Your GE Freezer Not Freezing
GE Refrigerator Won’t Cool

Airflow Obstruction:

Airflow is crucial to a freezer’s operation. If air can’t circulate properly, the freezer may not cool efficiently or at all.

Freezer Icing Up:

Over time, ice can build up in the freezer, preventing the unit from cooling properly. This ice can block vents, preventing proper airflow.

Excessive Frost Build-up:

Refrigerator - Frost in Freezer - ge kitchen appliances
Excessive Frost Build-up GE Freezer

Similar to icing, frost can accumulate, especially if the door is opened frequently or isn’t sealed well. Excessive frost can impede airflow and the freezer’s cooling capabilities.

Condenser Fan Motor Issue:

The condenser fan motor helps circulate the refrigerant to cool the coils. If it’s malfunctioning, the freezer might not cool properly.

Start Relay Issue:

The start relay works with the compressor. A malfunctioning start relay can result in the compressor not running, thus not cooling the freezer.

Dirty or Clogged Condenser Coils:

Over time, condenser coils can become dirty or clogged, inhibiting their ability to release heat. When they can’t release heat effectively, the freezer may not cool efficiently.

Thermostat Issue:

The thermostat controls the temperature settings. If it’s faulty, it might not signal the compressor to start, preventing the freezer from freezing.

GE Freezer Door Problems:

Try This if Your GE Refrigerator Door Won't Close
Refrigerator Door Will Not Close – ge kitchen appliances

If the freezer door doesn’t close tightly or has a damaged seal, warm air can enter, preventing the freezer from maintaining the desired temperature.

GE Freezer Filter Drier:

The filter drier absorbs moisture from the refrigerant. If it’s blocked or faulty, it can restrict refrigerant flow, hindering the cooling process.

Freezer Door Left Open:

This might sound obvious, but if the freezer door is accidentally left open, even slightly, it can result in the freezer not freezing. Warm air enters, raising the internal temperature.

How To Fix A GE Freezer Not Freezing?

high temperature
Overfilled freezer

1. Defrost the Evaporator Coils:

Evaporator coils can accumulate frost over time, affecting the freezer’s cooling capability. Defrost the evaporator coils by following the given steps:

Step 1: Turn off and unplug the freezer.

Step 2: Remove any food items and store them in a cool place.

Step 3: Locate the evaporator coils, usually found behind a cover inside the freezer compartment.

Step 4: Allow the frost to melt naturally or speed up the process using a hairdryer on a low setting.

Step 5: Once defrosted, dry any excess water, replace the cover, and plug the freezer back in.

2. Check the Condenser Fan Motor:

The condenser fan motor is vital for circulating air through the condenser coils. Check the condenser fan motor following the given steps:

Step 1: Turn off and unplug the freezer.

Step 2: Locate the condenser fan motor, typically at the back near the bottom.

Step 3: Spin the fan blades manually. If they don’t spin freely, the motor may need replacement.

Step 4: Check for visible signs of damage or wear. Listen for unusual noises when it operates.

3. Fix the Start Relay Issue:

The start relay helps power the compressor.

Step 1: Disconnect the freezer from power.

Step 2: Locate the start relay, generally on the side of the compressor.

Step 3: Remove it and shake it; a rattling sound indicates it’s faulty.

Step 4: Replace with a compatible start relay.

4. Clean the Condenser Coils:

Dirty coils can inhibit efficient cooling. Clean the condenser coils to fix the freezing issue.

Step 1: Disconnect the power.

Step 2: Find the condenser coils, typically underneath or at the back of the unit.

Step 3: Use a brush or vacuum to gently clean off dust and debris.

Step 4: If heavily soiled, consider using coil cleaner as directed.

5. Inspect the Thermostat and Control Board:

Ensure they are sending the right signals for cooling. Set the thermostat to a colder setting and listen for the compressor to activate. If there’s no response, the thermostat or control board may be defective and require replacement.

6. Inspecting the Door Seal and Gasket:

Dirty coils
Inspecting the door seal

A tight seal is essential to keep warm air out.

Step 1: Examine the door seal for cracks, wear, or deformities.

Step 2: Test the seal by placing a dollar bill or thin paper between the gasket and door. If it slips out easily, consider replacing the gasket.

7. Checking the Defrost System:

A malfunctioning defrost system can lead to frost build-up.

Step 1: Identify components like the defrost timer, heater, and thermostat.

Step 2: Manually advance the defrost timer until it clicks into the defrost mode.

Step 3: If the heater doesn’t warm up, components may be faulty and need replacement.

Diagnosing and Fixing Freezer Temperature Issue:

Step 1: Unplug the Freezer: Always ensure the appliance is unplugged before working on it.

Step 2: Remove Shelves: Lift the shelf on the right-hand side to pop it out.

Step 3: Access Cooling Coils:

  • Check for frost accumulation on the cooling coils. If they’re heavily frosted, the coolant line could be frozen.
  • Remove the protective plate from the freezer’s interior (usually clipped or attached with screws).

Step 4: Examine the Automatic Defrost System:

  • Identify the heater at the bottom, responsible for defrosting the coils.
  • This heater occasionally heats the coils to melt any frost, and the resulting water drips down to evaporate.

Step 5: Check the Heater:

  • Unscrew and unplug the heater.
  • Use a multimeter set to continuity to check if the heater is functional. If there’s no beep when testing both ends of the heater, it’s likely faulty.
  • Examine the heater closely. If any part is visibly damaged or broken off, it needs replacement.

Step 6: Defrost the Coils:

  • Using a heat gun (or a hairdryer), carefully melt the accumulated ice from the coils. Avoid focusing on one area too long to prevent damage.
  • Lay down a towel to absorb melting water.

Step 7: Replace the Defrost Heater (if faulty):

  • Obtain a new defrost heater.
  • Plug in both ends (pink and blue wires) and secure it in place.

Step 8: Reassemble the Freezer:

  • Reattach the backplate.
  • Clip on any grounding clips that were removed.
  • Double-check everything is secure and in its correct place.
  • Reinsert the shelves.

Step 9: Power the Freezer: Plug the freezer back in. Monitor the temperature to ensure the issue is resolved and that the automatic defrost system is working.

This method will address potential frost build-up in the freezer and ensure the automatic defrost system is functional. Always remember safety first, and if unsure, consult with a technician.


How often should I defrost my GE freezer?

Modern freezers are typically self-defrosting. However, if you notice excessive frost build-up, manual defrosting might be necessary. Always refer to the user manual for specific guidance.

Is there a risk in using a hairdryer or heat gun to defrost my freezer?

Yes, if used carelessly. Always avoid focusing on one area for too long to prevent melting plastic parts. It’s also crucial to ensure that water doesn’t come into contact with electrical components.

What should I do if there’s frost only on one part of the cooling coils?

Uneven frost might indicate a refrigerant issue or a malfunction in the evaporator fan. In such cases, it’s advisable to consult with a technician.

How long should I wait after diagnosing and fixing the problem to see if the freezer is working correctly?

After addressing the identified issue, allow the freezer to run for several hours to a full day to determine if it reaches and maintains the desired temperature.


When a GE freezer isn’t freezing as expected, it’s crucial to promptly identify and address the underlying issues to prevent food spoilage and further appliance damage. Factors like airflow obstruction, faulty components such as the defrost heater, and even simple oversights like a door left ajar can be culprits. By systematically diagnosing the problem whether it’s related to frost build-up, malfunctioning coils, or thermostat issues you can take effective corrective measures. In many cases, the problem might be resolved with basic troubleshooting and maintenance. However, if the issue persists or if there’s uncertainty about the solution, seeking assistance from a professional technician is advisable. Properly functioning freezers not only ensure food safety but also improve energy efficiency and extend the lifespan of the appliance.

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