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  1. Repair
  2. GE Profile
  1. Repair
  2. GE Profile

GE Profile refrigerator burning smell

Common reasons your GE Profile refrigerator has a burning smell

The most common reasons your GE Profile refrigerator has a burning smell are a broken defrost heater, defective electronic control board or a worn compressor motor bearing.

  • 64%

    64% of the time it's the
    Defrost Heater

  • 13%

    13% of the time it's the
    Electronic Control Board

  • 7%

    7% of the time it's the
    Compressor Motor Bearing

  • 16%

    16% of the time it's the
    Something else

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    Most common repairs needed to fix a GE Profile refrigerator

    Defrost Heater Replacement

    A broken refrigerator defrost heater leads to the accumulation of frost or ice on the evaporator coils, reducing cooling efficiency. This buildup results from the defrost heater's inability to melt the frost during the designated defrost cycles. A defective defrost heater also causes elevated temperatures in both the refrigerator and freezer compartments. Moreover, a defective defrost heater may overheat, scorching accumulated frost or ice, resulting in a burning odor. Additionally, the defrost cycle may become less effective, contributing to persistent frost buildup and potentially causing more severe issues with the refrigerator's cooling system over time.


    Electronic Control Board Replacement

    A defective electronic control board can lead to various failures in a refrigerator, including a lack of power or cooling and water leaking. This is because the board serves as the brain of the refrigerator, controlling crucial operations such as regulating internal temperatures, running fans, managing defrost cycles, overseeing the ice maker, and controlling dispenser functions. If the electronic control board malfunctions, it can disrupt communication between many different components, including automatic doors if equipped. A failing board may cause a chattering or clicking noise from the refrigerator and may emit a burning odor. Due to the potential impact on multiple components, it is advisable to have a Sears Home Services professional conduct diagnostic tests on the board to confirm if replacement is necessary.

    Compressor Motor Bearing Replacement

    If the compressor motor bearing is worn, you may notice an increase in noise during the compressor's operation, such as grinding or squealing sounds, indicating friction and wear on the bearing. Additionally, there may be a burning smell caused by the friction. You might also hear intermittent buzzing or humming noise, especially when the compressor starts or stops. Over time, a worn bearing can lead to the compressor seizing. It's important to have a Sears Home Services professional address these symptoms promptly to prevent further damage to the compressor and ensure the optimal functioning of the refrigerator.

    What to expect when you experience a GE Profile refrigerator burning smell issue

    How is the burning smell problem fixed?

    Correcting most burning smell problems usually involves replacing the defrost heater, electronic control board or compressor motor bearing. However, there are many potential causes, so a thorough diagnosis is key to fixing the problem. An accurate diagnosis is essential to understanding how much the repair will be.

    Sears Home Services recommendations for a refrigerator burning smell

    When the refrigerator has a burning smell it can be for many reasons. To avoid replacing unneeded parts we recommend having a Sears Home Services professional perform diagnostic tests to identify the root cause of the problem. Our technicians are experienced at diagnosing all types of refrigerator failures.

    What to look out for with a refrigerator burning smell diagnosis

    Diagnosing modern appliances without proper knowledge and training can be difficult. Without using proper diagnostic techniques, fixing your refrigerator problem will only be achieved through changing parts on a hunch. Appliances, especially in the last 10 years, have become extremely advanced, and many models have electronic parts that are difficult to test. DIY repairs on the latest appliance models are becoming increasingly difficult.

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    Jake is a great person.

    He did a great job, the problem is with the refrigerator.


    Nancy V, Meridian, ID

    Great job

    Robert did a great job and was kind and courteous. He cleaned up everything. I would highly recommend using him.


    Karen K, Mount Laurel, NJ

    Service appointment

    Joe was very professional and knowledgeable technician who quickly found and fixed the problem. I would recommend for service again


    Tim R, Schaghticoke, NY

    Additional resources to help you fix your GE Profile refrigerator

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    How to Fix a Refrigerator That’s Not Cooling

    Is your refrigerator too warm? View our list of common causes of a refrigerator that’s too warm and the steps to help fix your problem.

    Are your leftovers lukewarm? Did your milk go from fresh to foul in a matter of hours? You may want to check the temperature in your fridge. Chances are it isn’t cooling as it should. But why is it suddenly on the fritz?

    To get to the bottom of the issue, Sears Home Services refrigeration experts shared their insights into the most common problems that cause your fridge to stop cooling properly. While some of the issues they identify have relatively simple fixes, others require a service call.

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    Are you experiencing rapid food spoilage or annoyed by excessive refrigerator noise? If so, it might be the right time to consider replacing your fridge.

    Additional possible GE Profile refrigerator symptoms you may experience