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Refrigerator - Vacation Settings

Absences shorter than 1 month.
Refrigerator recommendations for absences shorter than a month:
  • Leave refrigerator running.
  • Remove perishable foods.
  • Turn ice-maker off.
  • If refrigerator and freezer are less than 1/2 full, plastic gallon jugs of water may be placed in the refrigerator to assist in maintaining the proper temperature and run time. A few bags of ice or plastic gallon jugs of water (not too full, as the water expands when it freezes) may be placed in the freezer. Cold items help maintain a cold internal temperature when the compressor is not running, thus reducing the amount of time the compressor has to operate.
  • Leave temperature controls at normal settings, or if all food is removed and you want to save energy, control may be set to warmer temperature setting during the absence.
  • If room temperature is expected to go below 60 degrees F., the refrigerator will cool less efficiently. In this case, we suggest that you turn the temperature control off or unplug the unit and follow the recommendations for extended vacations in your Use and Care manual. Download a free copy of the Owner's Manual and/or Installation Instructions.


  • Dispenser models: after a short absence, we suggest that you run three to four glasses of water from the dispenser to flush out any bad taste from stale water.

    Being Away longer than 1 month:
    If you are going to be away for more than one month, or are going to place the refrigerator in storage, GE recommends the following:
  • Remove food turn off breaker (or fuse) or unplug from wall receptacle.
  • See your owner's manual for temperature control features for your model. Download a free copy of the Owner's Manual and/or Installation Instructions.
  • Turn the temperature control to Off.
  • Clean the interior with baking soda solution (1 tablespoon baking soda per 1 quart of water).
  • Wipe dry.
  • Place an open box of baking soda in the refrigerator or put 2 cups of dry (unused) coffee grounds in a small paper bag and place in the refrigerator.
  • Important: Leave the doors open.
  • These last 2 steps are to prevent the formation of food odors, mold and mildew.

    If your refrigerator has an icemaker, turn the icemaker off and then turn off the water supply valve to the refrigerator.

    Note: If you have a water dispenser model and are going to be away for an extended time, it would be best to drain the reservoir (located behind the meat and vegetable bins). If storing in an unheated space, draining the water tank is a must. If not drained, the water will freeze, causing the tank to rupture and leak when it warms up. The refrigerator's water valve may also need to be removed. If the temperature can reach below freezing, have a qualified servicer drain the water supply system. If you would like to schedule a service appointment, please contact GE Consumer Service or schedule a service appointment on-line

    Storing the refrigerator in unheated areas will not hurt the appliance as long as the above recommendations are followed.