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View Full Version : What's the problem with my freezer?


Mr. Duality
03-20-2011, 01:51 PM
I have a GE chest freezer, 14.8 cubic foot capacity, model FCM15CMBWH. I recently defrosted and cleaned it and now it will not get cold. It makes a humming noise and the compressor gets very hot ( too hot to touch) if it is left on for several hours. Of course it is plugged in, and the dial is set to 4.

I'd like to clean the coils but I can't see where they are or how to get to them.

I'd rather not pay for a service call. I read the owner's manual online and looked for troubleshooting help, so I've done due diligence trying to solve the problem on my own. Help me save some money, please?

jz78817
03-20-2011, 02:45 PM
is the evaporator/circulator fan running? if so, is it possible that it didn't defrost "long enough" such that water still in the evaporator has frozen, blocking airflow through it?

Mr. Duality
03-20-2011, 02:57 PM
is the evaporator/circulator fan running? if so, is it possible that it didn't defrost "long enough" such that water still in the evaporator has frozen, blocking airflow through it?

I think what I hear is the compressor trying to run. When the freezer was working properly it made a soft Darth-Vader-breathing sort of noise.

We can be certain it defrosted long enough.

pulykamell
03-20-2011, 03:04 PM
When I had that problem, it was the defrost heater. Also, check to see if the fridge is clean underneath--that's also a source of problems. The defrost timer is also another common culprit of this problem (from my reading up on the matter when it happened to me.)

Mr. Duality
03-20-2011, 03:15 PM
When I had that problem, it was the defrost heater. Also, check to see if the fridge is clean underneath--that's also a source of problems. The defrost timer is also another common culprit of this problem (from my reading up on the matter when it happened to me.)

It's a freezer, not a refrigerator. The bottom is flat and it sits flush against the floor. There is nothing to clean on the bottom.

I think all freezers have coils. I can't find them in this case. They are in the walls of the freezer somewhere and I don't see how to get to them.

jz78817
03-20-2011, 03:18 PM
I've also looked up that model on the usual appliance parts sites, and none of them have any diagrams or parts listing for the "cold" side of the refrigeration circuit. they show the compressor itself, the wiring, and the condenser but that's it. hopefully someone else can help 'cos I've run out of knowledge :(

Mr. Duality
03-20-2011, 03:19 PM
Hey thanks for trying!

thelabdude
03-20-2011, 03:42 PM
On some freezers the coils are under the skin and inaccessible. They aren't out in the air where they can gather dust and need cleaning. That isn't the problem. I know our refrigerator has a second motor that blows air over the coils and condenser. You could look for a fan and make sure it is running. If the sides of the freezer get warm, you could blow air on them until it cools.

If none of this helps, it is likely something internal requiring a technician.

Snnipe 70E
03-20-2011, 03:56 PM
Chest freezer, I assume it is not a "frost free" freezer?

Mr. Duality
03-20-2011, 04:09 PM
Chest freezer, I assume it is not a "frost free" freezer?

Right. No automatic defrost either.

I am not impressed by the GE owner's manual.

Philster
03-20-2011, 06:56 PM
Did you tilt the freezer when you defrosted it?

pulykamell
03-20-2011, 07:02 PM
It's a freezer, not a refrigerator..

:smack: I was thinking the freezer section of the fridge. Obviously, missed the "chest freezer" part of the OP. Whoops.

Mr. Duality
03-20-2011, 07:31 PM
Did you tilt the freezer when you defrosted it?

No. Moved it back & forth 2 feet or so. I know it's a bad idea to tilt refrigerators & freezers. And before you ask, yes, there is sufficient clearance between the freezer and the walls of the room.

Snnipe 70E
03-21-2011, 12:04 AM
Right. No automatic defrost either.

I am not impressed by the GE owner's manual.

Can you locate the condencer coils? On the compressor should be two lines. The larger will be the suction line the smaller will be the discharge line. Trace out the the discharge line. does it go to a set of coil or into the case of the unit?

Let the unit cool down. If you have an amp meter set it up to take a amp reading. If the unit is cool plug it in, check the amp gage. also note if the suction line and discharge line get hot. Be careful they can get really hot. The suction should go down in temperature and the discharge go up. Check the lines near the compressor and as far away as possable.

Mr. Duality
03-21-2011, 09:20 AM
The compressor is easy to get to and the lines go up into the side wall of the freezer. I can see no way to get access into the freezer wall. I'm ready to call a technician.

Nuts. Thanks for the responses everyone.

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