How to Fix a GE Profile Refrigerator that is Not Cooling

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Key Points

  • When both Fresh Foods (FF) and Freezer (FZ) compartments are not working, the usual culprit is a failed inverter (relay) or compressor
  • Inverter cannot be tested directly so its functioning status can only be derived from testing the compressor windings


On April 2014, I discovered that my 6 year old (GE Profile PFCF1NFWA) refrigerator suddenly could not hold the temperature. Instead of holding at 0 and 37 degrees (freezer and refrigerator respectively), I found both of them at 48 degrees (and climbing).

We have a tendency of piling frozen food in the bottom drawer so I thought it was nothing more than an improperly sealed freezer door so I emptied it out, unplugged it for 2 hours, then after plugging it back in, left the refrigerator undisturbed overnight.

It worked for a day but then the temperature started to climb again which indicated a component failure.

Required Materials

  • GE Refrigerator Inverter (also known as the compressor relay – Buy GE INVERTER WR87X10111 (replaces WR49X10283)
  • Compressed Air Cans – Use a can of compressed air to gently blow hard to reach areas; I normally buy falcon dust-off electronics compressed gas duster 4 cans / pack; I do not recommend using air compressors as it’s pressure it can actually cause damage to the refrigerator components
  • Wood or plastic shims – I stack couple of these underneath the front of the refrigerator to gain 1/2″ or more for better access; you can buy any kind but I prefer the plastic shims (2 packs)
  • Pipe Cleaners – to reach small crevices and between coils (just buy some inexpensive pipe cleaners like this one)
  • Condenser Coil Brush for Refrigerator – you don’t want a long, inflexible handle; instead you want a soft-tipped, long brush head like this Flexible Dryer Vent Cleaner Refrigerator Condenser Coil Brush Auger Lint Remover
  • Digital Multimeter (DMM) (Don’t have one? Read my reviews here)

Required Tools

  • Mini ratchet wrench / ratchet sockets / 3/8″ socket
  • Phillips / flat Screwdrivers
  • Vacuum
  • Digital Multimeter (DMM) (Don’t have one? Read my reviews here)

Step-by-Step Troubleshooting Steps

If you have never worked on a refrigerator before, I highly recommend that you read my post “Complete Reference Guide to GE Profile PFCF1NFW Refrigerator.

A real quick snapshot of how everything works is that based on thermistor measurements, the motherboard sends a control voltage to the inverter board. Inverter board in turn supplies or discontinues electricity (coming from the outlet) to the inverter compressor to cool the refrigerator.

  • Step # 1 – Utilize the refrigerator’s self-diagnostics to see if it could detect a failed component; you can use it by following the steps outlined in my post How to Access the Self-Diagnostic Feature on GE PFCF1NFW Refrigerator Using the Temperature Display Control
  • Step # 2 – Confirm that both fresh food and freezer compartments have working lights and fans
  • Step # 3 – Slide refrigerator away from the wall to gain access to the rear access panel
  • Step # 4 – My refrigerator (and freezer) both had working lights and fans, I then decided to test the control board (i.e. motherboard), inverter and inverter compressor using my digital multi-imeter (DMM)
  • Step # 5 – Unplug the refrigerator
  • Step # 6 – Using a 3/8″ socket, remove the screws and put aside the cardboard access cover
  • Step # 7 – Using the same socket, remove the metal access cover above the condenser (i.e. heat exchanger)
  • Step # 8 – Using a DMM, test the J15 jumper. The output value should be anywhere between 4-10 volts 9VDC). Since mine checked out at 5.11 volts, I moved on to the inverter and compressor
  • Step # 9 – The compressor itself is NOT serviceable by a DIYer due to the fact that refrigerant recovery must be done. Neither can the inverter be tested directly. We have to utilize a process of elimination to decide whether the inverter should be replaced or not
  • Step # 10 – Take a look at the compressor. You will see a gray box attached to the left side of the compressor. This is the inverter.
  • Step # 11 – Please note that you DO NOT NEED to disconnect the two push-lock clips located just left of the inverter box (indicated in red circles)
  • Step # 12 – Use a medium-sized Phillips screwdriver to remove the screw on the bottom of the inverter
  • Step # 13 – Gently lift the invert to the left to expose the push-lock clip attached to the 3-post compressor. Using a medium sized flat head screw driver, gently work back and forth the loosen it. Then use your fingers to pry it off (It’s a tight squeeze so if you have large hands, you may need to recruit someone with smaller hands.)
  • Step # 14 – With the inverter disconnected, I can now test compressor’s resistance (ohm). This step was necessary due to the fact that I did not own a special tool to test the inverter directly
  • Step # 15 – The compressor has 3 posts and they need to be tested in pairs using our DMM. In the end, we will have measured 3 pairs
  • Step # 16 – For each test, the resistance measurement should be 5.5-7.5 ohms. My DMM readout indicated 6.6 ohm across all pairs so the compressor was determined to be in working order. If you happen to encounter infinite resistance to one or more tests, your compressor will need to be replaced.
  • Step # 17 – Since my primary control board and compressor were in working order, by process of elimination, I determined that my inverter board was faulty.
  • Step # 18 – The new inverter is slightly smaller and GE seemed to have applied more heat-resistant insulators around various connections. The new item also came with 2 adapter wires should you need them (I did not need them).
  • Step # 19 – Remember those two wires to the left of the inverter I mentioned earlier? They simply need to be disconnected (held by clip locks) as well as the ground wire attached to the refrigerator’s frame
  • Step # 20 – Upon plugging in the refrigerator, I let the temperature stabilize over 24 hour period without adding any food. I am happy to report that it has been working beautifully.


So why did my inverter fail? My guess is that the freezer door was not completely sealed overnight and the compressor ended up working overtime which may have placed extra stress on the inverter. So check to make sure that you do not over-stuff the bottom freezer and the doors are properly sealed shut.

After 2 weeks, I am happy to report that my refrigerator is still working and that I saved around $325 in labor charge.


38 thoughts on “How to Fix a GE Profile Refrigerator that is Not Cooling”

  1. Fan and LIghts are on in the refrigerator but the air is not cold.
    J15 is showing same readings as you mentioned in #4.

    But Step #6 is showing me 1 OHM reading for all three windings.

    Is it the compressor that has the issues ?

  2. @rahul-

    if j15 reading is correct, i think the problem is (probably) either the compressor or inverter.

    did you make sure to unplug the refrigerator for at least 10 minutes before taking that reading? did you make sure that your multimeter was setup so that the units of measurement were correct?

    1 ohm is low, but i would re-take several readings before making decisions as i tend to blame the sensitive electronics first.

    last time i checked, appliancepartspros allowed you to return unused items back without restocking fees (you do have to pay for return shipping however) so you want to check out that route.

    ps. also check your purchase date as the compressor is covered by a longer warranty
    hope this helps?


  3. I have a GE profile stainless steel freezer at the bottom. Had it repaired last Saturday June 28 2015. It was completely not working, rrpairman replaced the motherboard. Both freezer & fridge was working great, now the fridge is little cool temp climbin. Could it be the outlet it was plug in a UL extension cord. Thank you for your response. Dianne ????

  4. Hi Dianne-

    Sorry to hear about your troubles. What is the average temperature in the refrigerator and freezer? From what I understand, it is perfectly normal for the temperature to fluctuate a bit. For example, my freezer temp swings anywhere between -4 to 5 degrees.

    As far as the extension cord is concerned, as long as it is rated for 15 amps or more (it looks like one of those heavy duty extension cords, not those skinny two prong ones) and it is not too long (like a 50- or 100 feet long), I don’t think it should matter.

    Do you know if the repairman tested temperature sensors and compressor?



  5. Hi kevin, my refrigerator has the same symptom. But my compressor is on when I put hand on it. So far ohm’d compressor all 3 readings read the same 8 is Electrolux ei28bs56 could not tell which pin is inverter signal on mother board. I’ll check orange and black wire for 115 or 240 vac. Any other suggestions to help. I do have hand held meter that can check pulses but when I unplugged 3pins plug out from compressor and probe acrossed combination of 3 pins and I did not get any pulse reading. I believe it has to be one of the 3 to dc negative

  6. Hi Kevin. I have a GE Profile Stainless French Door Fridge that the fridge temperature started to drop then the next day the freezer went as well. I saw a youtube video that explained the exact same procedure as you went through. I tested the J15 jumper and the compressor pins and all readings seemed acceptable so ordered a new inverter assembly. Installed it and over the next 24 hours, the freezer/fridge temperatures went from 65/61 to -5/58. The freezer seems to be working again but not the fridge. I think the minor change in the fridge temperature was just due to the cold ambient temperature of the freezer. Any thoughts on why the fridge is not working again?? Fridge is only 5 years old and hate to accept it is done so quickly. Thanks for your help.
    Cheers, Dave

  7. @Dave-

    Sorry to hear about your GE appliance. Have you tried the diagnostic mode to see if all thermistors are working properly? what about lights and all other functions?

  8. Hi, thanks for your guidance, there is an odd things in my EG fridge, because after defrosting my EG freezer the fan continuing to work! but when I turn off power for a moment, the fan of defrost stops and everything turn to normal (it is ok) . but if I let the fan continue, it works until reducing the temperature and the motor start working again. I am going to find the wire of that fan to cut or… I don’t know what ‘s happened. Board and thermostat are ok.
    I don’t know if somebody else has had this problem and how it could remove. thanks
    regards Hedayat

  9. @Hedayat

    I haven’t encountered that issue myself, but I would double check on that computer board as it controls the on/off for the fan…good luck

  10. thank you Kevin, there are 5 wires related to all fans in one part, but It is not easy to find the one that causes the specific fan continuing working! now I turn off for a moment when a quiet weak noise heard, the moment turn off stops it and that is ok but it is not the solution way.!
    warm regards Hedayat

  11. @Heydat-

    If you can afford it, you may want to buy a replacement board to try and see if that would resolve your work. I purchase stuff from all the time; you do have to pay $9 shipping each way, but if you do not end up using the part, you can return it for full refund.

    Good luck

  12. thank you so much Kevin, Even I changed the board but not any change! I wonder when it is on and works properly but when compressor finished the work and stops, I can hear a weak noise of a fan working at tope of fridge behind the ice-maker of freezer, it is odd and astonishing in the moment when I power off for the moment the fan noise stops.. I am trying to find the wire related to that fan if there is any joined and short circuit.
    Kevin, do you know the hours once defrost is on & off in 24 hours? and how many minutes it longs.
    warm regards hedayat

  13. my j15 reading is 12.3dcv. all three post on the compressor check at 8.4 ohms. is the control board bad at 12.3dcv?

  14. My ge profile french door refrigerator is not cooling enough the technician said to unplug for 24 hours said it is the motor he said he replaced the motor & sensor. It started to cool but i have a hunch he did not do anything as took so fast i was not there when he fixed it i asked to give me the old part & he said he will but on the receipt it just said sensor & charged me a lot. Am i right to complain?

  15. @ Encis-

    I certainly do hope that he was an experienced and honest technician but you have every right to ask for the old part(s).

    You also should get a detailed itemized invoice which should include costs for individual parts as well as a labor charge line item. You should not be paying for any item(s) that are not on the invoice.

    I would be be polite but firm when asking for the finalized invoice.

    Good luck

  16. HELP! My GE profile refrigerator stopped working about 10 days ago, freezer working fine. Repairman came and ordered mother board & fan, he will return on 7/20 to install. Well the refrigerator suddenly started working again today & not sure what to do. The display on refrigerator still shows the cooling system is off- even when you try to turn it on it still says off- but the refrigerator is up to 34, freezer at -2. Should I proceed with repairs? or return parts and pray it continues to work?

  17. Hi Lisa-

    If I was in your place, I would definitely replace the board. I would not want to deal with constantly worrying about the refrigerator not working.

    Make sure you ask for the broken parts (just so that you know the work was done). Your work invoice should have the new parts listed (individually), possibly with serial numbers.

    Good luck!

  18. We have a Profile GE side by side refrig serial #RG429660 MODEL PS123SGRB SV and it quit working
    our RV guy said the HRS IS FLASHING , the problem is no one in our region will even come to look at it because its in a motorhome, although the motorhome is all electric . our rv guy he would pull it out for them. There is no way we can get it out of the motorhome, we live in Calgary AB any answers thanks.

  19. Hi,
    All readings on compressor and Mother board come out with in specs. Replaces inverter and all thermistors. Fans working, condenser gets a little warm but never cycles on. Fridge is still warm. Now what?

  20. @ ES-

    Did you clean all nook and cranny in the back of the refrigerator? Especially condenser coils?

    The only other would be your refrigerant level. Because the entire system is sealed, you will need a technician to troubleshoot it.

    Hope this helps.

  21. My refrigerator side is running 30 degrees and when I push the warmer button it goes to 37 but returns to around 30 again

  22. I have a GE Profile fridge. The top Fridge temp has climb up to 65 degrees while the bottom Freezer says -11 degrees. What is happening?

  23. My GE Profile Mdl: PFSS9PKYASS was not cooling when I returned from vacation. The front panel was flashing 76 71. Seems that was the temperature in the freezer and fridge. I unplugged it and then plugged it back in. Numbers were no longer flashing, but it won’t cool. Al lights, the panel and fans are working.

    The compressor seems to be working. It;’s making the noise it usually makes when it is on and is hot on the bottom and cooler on the top.

    My main board is different than the one you have, so there is no J15 to test. The inverter board has a red LED that is lit. Do you know if this is an indication of power or a fault?

  24. Hello Terry-

    Sorry to hear about your refrigerator. GE PFSS9PKYASS seems to have been manufactured by Samsung so the parts should be identical.

    I think that red LED light is simply a power-on indicator. Before replacing the inverter board (expensive), you may want to:

    1. Run the self diagnostic (mine works this way – you may have to look up your manual to see how to get yours to run)

    1. using this test mode, check the thermistor which sends temperature readings to the control board; if the self diagnostic mode does not detect them, it means these components have possibly failed. You should first replace these (they are relatively inexpensive). part number is DA32-00027B

    2. see if the self-diagnostic mode can detect a Refrigerator Temperature Sensor part # DA32-00006R. If not replace.

    3. check the condenser fan motor (located over the compressor). It needs to be fairly clean to cool the refrigerator. You should try turning the fan motor blade by hand to see if it will turn freely. If it does not turn with ease, you need to replace it (part DA97-07754C). While at it, vacuum the coils.

    4. check the continuity on the compressor using your multimeter. there should NOT be an open circuit. Read bullet #2 in the “How to fix a GE profile refrigerator that is not cooling” to see how you can test it. Just know that this component must be replaced by a licensed tech

    5. as far as logic boards are concerned, I do not have access to the technical info. But I see that it has two parts (main PBA part #WR55X10965) and (inverter part # WR55X10960). Just buy them both from either or as they both have 365-day return policy so that you can return the items you do not need.

    I hope this helps you little bit…good luck!


  25. Hi Kevin,

    I do not have my manual Can you please post some pictures step by step on how you were able to get to the compressor and motherboard? My Refrigerator is running and I believe the fan blades are spinning. i hear a quite hummmm that tells me the refrigerator is running. All the lights come on and my front display is running my photos.

    My refrigerator stopped cooling sometime yesterday. 5/27/2020

  26. Hi Dara-

    Yikes! Sorry to hear about your fridge.

    I will add some pix to the post but in the meantime, it’s really not that hard to get access to the rear panel.

    1. Pull out the fridge
    2. Using a small hex socket, remove 6-8 nuts holding the cardboard panel (at the bottom)
    3. The inverter board will be facing you, with compressor (round, pancake shape) will be behind it.
    4. Best bet is to have the inverter on hand (the link I gave in the post is for appliancepartspros; they are great because if you end up not needing it, you can return it for refund minus shipping)

    While you are at it, clean the rear cooling coil…did you run any diagnostics?

    While you are at

  27. I have a GE Profile side by side, french door freezer on the bottom (model PGSS5RKZSS). About 2 or 3 weeks ago it started rising in temps. Freezer would get up to about 35 F and the fridge would be about 65 F. After a day or two, it would start working again and cool properly. Then repeat. Repair guy has replaced the control board, and the inverter. Problem still remains.

  28. Hey Jeff-

    It’s funny you left this comment because MY refrigerator stop cooling again for the third time! Lights and fans are working so my guess is the inverter board went bad again so I ordered a replacement that should be here in couple of days.

    As far as your situation is concerned, did you make sure to get the bad part when the tech made the repairs? I have had some bad, unscrupulous dudes so I always make sure I get the bad part back.

  29. I’ve had this same issue with the lower part of my fridge freezing and top not cooling properly. The problem is that your evaporator fan is not working properly (cooling too much by constant spinning 24hrs.) GE is aware if this manufacturing defect and will replace it free if you contact GE and make a service appointment.

  30. Thanks Lang! Ironically, my fridge started acting up again with the exact same problem. Do you know if there is a recall service bulletin from GE?

  31. GE profile side by side. When outside temp goes above 70ish, evaperator coils freeze up. Defrost heater works in diagnostic mode. Thermistors all pass diagnostic mode. Cleaned condenser coil it was pretty dirty. Any ideas as to what could he the problem? The fridge works great in the winter but this is the second summer in a row where this freezing up is happening as the outside temp rises.

  32. Kevin,
    I have a pgcs1pjxass. I have lights and fan but no cooling in either the fridge or freezer section. But I’m confused by your instruction at Step #4. How do you get a voltage reading at J15 if the fridge is unplugged? Without power to the motherboard, I would expect to get a 0.00vdc, which is what I’m getting. BTW, the compressor studs checked out fine. So I think it’s the motherboard or inverter.

  33. Hi Bob,

    Yes, you need to plug-in your refrigerator to test the J15 jumper (I need to fix step #5).

    If you tested all three posts on your compressor, and your J15 jumper checks out, the lack of cooling problem is probably caused by a failed inverter.

    Good luck!

  34. Hi,

    I am going to guess that you have a failed defroster thermostat. You will have to google your specific model…

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