Six year old GE MBC12, tall, narrow (24") fridge with bottom mount freezer is not cooling. Compressor appears to be running, controls appear to be working OK, internal fans are spinning. There are no accessible condenser coils. Neither of the lines out of the compressor appear to be very cool and the smaller one (liquid?) gets very hot as does the compressor. Any ideas?


It is normal for the smaller line from the compressor (liquid line) to be hot. The larger suction line is usually cool and sometimes close to freezing. If the freezer and refrigerator sections are both warm, I would guess low Freon level. Since you can’t see any coils the condensing coils are probably just under the outside skin of the fridge. A service port can be added to the fridge and possibly recharged as it sounds like everything is working. I would manually defrost both the fridge and freezer make sure to mop up any water inside, this box(s) to test if the unit is defrosting if no change it will be time for a service call the tap is not expensive but if the charge is two low the tech may have to pull a vacuum prior to recharging. Depending on type of Freon this may cost a little over 100$ but probably less than 200 for a port and a top up charge to get it cooling again.

  • Tks. Figured it might be low refrigerant. That leads to second question: how did the refrigerant escape? I assume it must have leaked so won't recharging the system be a temporary fix at best? – Jimbo Aug 13 '19 at 0:54
  • Even my best leak checker can only detect a leak of about 2 oz per year many newer systems have less than a pound of refrigerant so a small leak that is below that level will eventually cause a system to fail, I recharge systems quite often for example my mom’s fridge it’s 30 years old and I have recharged it 2 times , it’s a high end model so it is worth repairing until I run out of R22. Once a port is fitted to the unit a recharge is quick, I don’t care for the clamp on ports but that’s how I open the system and recover the Freon in the unit then I silver solder a t & port reuse & top off. – Ed Beal Aug 13 '19 at 13:39
  • Unfortunately, this fridge was trouble from day 1. It was bought to fit in a space and it took 3 delivery attempts and 4 weeks to get it in. After about a year, I discovered cracks in the back wall of the fridge compartment case. GE said it wasn't an issue because of the way insulation is part of the construction. Later, when outside warranty, ice started building up on back wall of fridge - just over the drain. Bottom line: the GE is gone and replaced by an LG. – Jimbo Aug 13 '19 at 21:27
  • The ice can be caused by both an over charged or low Freon level, I never see over charged unless recently worked on and someone did not use proper methods (super heat and sub cooling or to weigh in the charge) if you still have the unit it might be worth fixing. To have a backup. – Ed Beal Aug 13 '19 at 21:43

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