Troubleshooting Guide for GE Eterna Series Refrigerators

GE no longer manufactures the Eterna refrigerator series, but the refrigerators remain for sale online and in many stores and are installed in many homes as well.
Eterna refrigerator owners experiencing problems need not despair, however, as many problems that might occur with the refrigerator are common. These can include inaccurate or unstable temperatures or issues with the automatic icemaker. Troubleshooting most problems with the Eterna refrigerator series will help solve the situation.

Step 1

Observe the Eterna's normal operation. The Eterna refrigerator automatically runs a 30-minute defrost cycle once a day if the refrigerator does not seem to be operating. Wait at least 30 minutes to see if the unit resumes normal operation before checking the power cord, plugging the cord in to a power outlet and replacing or resetting any household circuit breakers or fuses.

Step 2

Make changes to the refrigerator temperature if the interior seems too warm or too cold. Some Eterna refrigerators have dials that rotate left or right and other models have a touch pad with arrow pads. Turn the control dial to lower numbers to lower the internal temperature and higher numbers to increase the internal temperature. Press “Warmer” or “Colder” on the control panel and then the up or down arrow keys to set the desired temperature on keypad models.

Step 3

Close the refrigerator and freezer doors firmly to help ensure proper temperature maintenance and keep food items back away from the door to prevent possible obstructions. Spread a thin layer of petroleum jelly along the door gasket if it begins to fold over or stick, preventing the door from closing and affecting internal temperature.

Step 4

Pull the base grille on the front of the refrigerator straight out to remove if the refrigerator doors do not stay closed or the unit moves or vibrates constantly. Use pliers or an adjustable wrench to turn the roller screws clockwise or counterclockwise to raise or lower the rollers and adjust the height. Return the base grille by latching the clips on the rear of the grille onto the tabs on the refrigerator and pushing into place.

Step 5

Turn the icemaker on if there is no ice by sliding the power lever to “On” and then wait 24 hours for the icemaker to start actively making ice. Turn the icemaker off if the green light on the icemaker is flashing and remove any ice cubes on the top of the ice bin or stuck in the icemaker chute, then turn the icemaker power back to “On.”

Step 6

Clean out the refrigerator and freezer with a baking soda and warm water solution if the appliance develops an odor. Cover or wrap all food items to help keep odors trapped. Throw away the current ice and wash out the ice bin, rinse well and then dry the bin if the ice smells bad as well.

Step 7

Remove stuck cubes from the ice dispenser chute if the dispenser does not produce any ice. Remove any ice cubes stuck on the metal icemaker feeler arm and remove clumps of ice in the ice bin as the clumps may create obstructions. Turn the freezer temperature controls down by one setting to improve ice formation. Push and hold “Lock” if the control lock is activated and the entire display and dispenser will not activate.

Step 8

Hold an empty container under the water dispenser and dispense for several minutes, if the water tastes bad and you have not used it lately, to replenish the water in the system. Replace the water filter if the problem persists.

Step 9

Dispense water for three minutes after the installation of a new water filter if the water only spurts or does not exit the dispenser, as there may be air in the lines.

Step 10

Clean the defrost drain in the freezer if water pools on the floor in front of the refrigerator with a mixture of 2 cups hot water and 1 teaspoon baking soda. Pour down the drain using a meat baster and repeat until the cleaning mixture runs down the drain easily.

Things You Will Need

  • Pliers or adjustable wrench
  • Clean cloths
  • Baking soda
  • Dishwashing liquid
  • Towels
  • Petroleum jelly
  • Empty container
  • Meat baster

About the Author

Meredith Jameson writes early childhood parenting and family health articles for various online publications. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in history from San Francisco State University.