I have a GE Refrigerator Bottom Freezer that is 13 years old. My refrigerator stopped working but the freezer seemed to still be very cold, though ice cream was not as hard. A guy from the Appliance Dr told me my compressor was bad. My fan in refrigerator was not working either.

I moved everything out, but was still able to use the the freezer as refrigerator. Water stayed ice cold but was not freezing. Then I went away for five days and everything in freezer started freezing everything again. The freezer continued to work fine, but refrigerator still did not work. Water in bottles I had became solid. This made me think the Compressor could not be bad.

I was told by a second appliance company that it was NOT my compressor but rather my evaporator fan motor that needed replacement. I was told this repair would cost $325. I did not want to pay $325 so I unplugged the refrigerator, took the doors off and put it in the garage to dispose. The next morning I noticed a substantial amount of water in the bottom of the Bottom Freezer. I am now wondering if the problem was actually a simple build up of ice and that both appliance people were wrong.

Is it normal for a lot of water to show up at the bottom of of a Bottom Type freezer if it is unplugged? In hindsight I probably should have unplugged for a day before I gave up. I can not plug it again as I don't have electricity in the garage and have take it apart so it probably isn't worth assembling it back, but wanted to get a perspective if this happens again. THANKS IN ADVANCE FOR YOUR INPUT.

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    Does it still have the Energy Star sticker on it anywhere? Compare those numbers to a new refrigerator. Depending on the numbers, the electricity savings alone might pay for the new fridge. But yes, I could see a fan motor not blowing being the problem. Easy enough: after it thaws out, reassemble it and try again. Also search for any fan motors not running. Jul 8, 2016 at 4:54
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    Fan motors can be blocked by the ice build up. This often starts with extra noise as the ice grows into the path of the fan blades. Then the air flow stops. At this point you can have a cold freezer and warm fridge compartment. Feb 15, 2018 at 17:04

2 Answers 2


'sOne possibility is the heater strip that is in the air duct between the freezer and the refrigerator section. This strip warms the icy air to provide the cold for the top. If it fails then ice buildup occurs in the duct until it blocks off the air flow and the top gets warm.
When unplugged the ice melts. If this part failed or it's thermo sensor failed it is a cheap fix (around $30 not including service fees). I have had this happen on our old GE losing several hundred dollars of food in the refrigerator.
If you put doors on and plug it in and the top gets to the proper level of cold for several days until ice starts building up again you may likely have this issue.
A refrigerator/freezer thermometer is cheap and handy to see what the sections temperatures are really doing, even on a newer digital control unit.


The evaporator fan may be part of the problem (this is the fan inside the compartment usually behind a removable panel). I have a freezer that on occasion builds up two much ice in the bottom then the circulation of cold air stops and things warm up if the door gets left open. $325.00 for the fan sounds a bit high to me I think a new one could be found online for under $50.00. Most of the fans are shaded pole 120v with oil lite bearings the bearings probably could some oil after 13 years and that could give a few more years of life to the fan motor. A few drops of a penetrating oil in each end of the motor shaft allowed to soak in then a few more until the fiber that holds the oil is saturated. The one good thing about shaded pole motors is if they lock up their design keeps them from burning up like some motors will do so there are no real fire risks if it is the fan motor. Since this is now a spare you could tinker with the fan and possibly run an extension cord to see if it is running correctly after a repair.

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