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GE Refrigerator Appliantology: Dampers and Thermistors

Posted by Samurai Appliance Repair Man, in Refrigerator Repair 30 November 2011 · 1,580 views

This is the next in a series of posts I’m doing about the technology used in GE refrigerators. Understanding the basics of how these refrigerators work will give you a lot of troubleshooting insight when you’re trying to track down a problem.

For the previous post in this series on controlling and operating the fan motors in GE refrigerators, see this page.

This post gives useful tips and Fun Facts to Know and Tell for diagnosing the Damper Door and Thermistors.

Damper Door

The Damper Assembly has two motors: one to open the Damper Door and another to close it.

The Damper Door should always be either fully open or fully closed; if you ever see it in a halfway state, there’s a problem. Check it in diagnostic/self-test mode where you can run a test to open and close the damper door.

Thermistors

Thermistors are basically variable resistors whose resistance changes with temperature. They come in two flavors: Positive Temperature Coefficient (PTC) and Negative Temperature (NTC). In the PTC thermistors, the resistance increases with increasing temperature whereas in NTC thermistors, the resistance decreases as the temperature increases. All thermistors used in GE refrigerators are NTC.

Most of the side-by-side units will have four thermistors:
- attached to the evaporator coil
- freezer space
- beer section space
- damper

You can see a diagram showing thermistor locations in side-by-side units here ==> LINK

Units with the Custom Cool feature will have a fifth thermistor for the Custom Cool compartment. Lower end units will just have three thermistors.

In all units, the thermistor attached to the evaporator coil is the most troublesome.

There was a rash of problems with one of GE’s old thermistor suppliers a while back where they weren’t sealed properly so moisture got into ‘em and knocked ‘em out of calibration. More about that here ==> LINK

The refrigerator control has a self test for the thermistors, but it only tests if they’re open or closed. In real life, the thermistors rarely fail that way– usually they simply go out of calibration resulting in poor temperature control.

To learn more about your refrigerator, or to order parts, click here.




GE Refrigerator Appliantology: Fans, Evaporator and Condenser

Posted by Samurai Appliance Repair Man, in Refrigerator Repair 30 November 2011 · 1,364 views

This is the first in a series of posts I’m going to do about the technology used in GE refrigerators. Understanding the basics of how these refrigerators work will give you a lot of troubleshooting insight when you’re trying to track down a problem. This post explains how the fans in GE refrigerators are controlled and operated.

Like most other refrigerators, GE refrigerators have at least two fans:
- the evaporator (freezer) fan
- the condenser fan (the hot coil in the back, underneath the refrigerator)

Some up-line GE models may have an additional fan:
- in the beer section if it’s a dual evaporator unit
- in the Custom Cool® compartment, if so equipped

All fan motors used in current model GE refrigerators (includes Hotpoint brand) operate on 12 vdc. The motor speed is controlled using a technology called Pulse Width Modulation (PWM). Simple explanation of PWM: take a square wave and vary the width of the upper side of the pulses according to how fast you want the motor to turn- the longer the pulse, the faster the speed. For details on how PWM technology works, see this page ==> http://www.netrino.c...idth-Modulation

Currently, the condenser fan is single speed (although that’s gonna change in upcoming models) and the evaporator fan is multispeed.

Fan Wire Harness Color Code

- Yellow: PWM signal (input)
- Blue: Tachometer (output from motor)
- Red: +12 vdc supply (input)
- White: Common Ground! Can I hears an “A-freakin-men?”

The PWM wire on the fan motor harness is always the yellow wire– this is the wire that carries the signal telling the fan how fast to spin. Don’t bother trying to measure the voltage on the yellow wire with a conventional meter because the results will be meaningless.

Quick n’ Sleazy Fan Test

- White wire to the negative battery terminal
- Connect BOTH the Red and Yellow wires to the positive battery terminal.
Do not reverse the leads or you’ll blow out the sensitive electronics built into the motor assembly!

Quick Fan Diagnostic Test

- you should never hear the the fan making speed varying sounds in side-by-side units
- on top-mount units, you can sometimes hear the fan making pulsing noises

Fan Circuit on the Muthaboard

Some of the Muthaboards used in these boxes have resistors in the power circuit for the fans. These will be two resistors coming off the J2 plug on the board. If you’re looking straight at the board, the top resistor is for the evaporator fan and the bottom one for the condenser fan. They’re designed to burn out in case one of the fan motors shorts out. If this happens, you’ll need to replace BOTH the affected fan motor as well as the Muthaboard.

Part Links for Your Shopping Pleasure

Evaporator and Condenser Fans ==> http://www.repaircli...arch=Find Parts

Muthaboard ==> http://www.repaircli...5X10942/1531075


What are PTC compressor start relays?

Posted by Samurai Appliance Repair Man, in Refrigerator Repair 29 October 2011 · 5,227 views
PTC, compressor, refrigerator and 1 more...
PTC stands for Positive Temperature Coefficient. This refers to the silicon guts inside the relay whose resistance increases as its temperature rises. When the compressor first starts up, the resistance of the PTC stuff is very low and it lets current flow into the start winding of the compressor. As the current flows thru the PTC, it heats it up and also raises its resistance to the point that the start winding is effectively taken out of the circuit, which is what you want to happen as soon as the compressor gets going.

Back in the good ol' days, compressor start relays were the mechanical type. This was a metal plunger inside a tube with a heavy gauge copper coil wrapped around it. As current flows thru the copper coil, it creates a magnetic field that moved the metal slug up and took the compressor start winding out of the circuit thata way.

Grand Master Funk kdog has put together some examples showing common PTC compressor relays and a good ol' mechanical, non-PTC type relay; click the links above the pics for a larger view or to order the part:

Some common examples:

http://www.repaircli.../4387535/586234

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http://www.repaircli...ent/819099/2668
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http://www.repaircli...7005560/1159182

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http://www.repaircli...8201802/1177468

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This is what a NON-PTC starter looks like:


http://www.repaircli...2258450/1026578

Posted Image




Source: Whirlpool acronym


How to fix a defrost drain that keeps freezing up in an Amana bottom freezer refrigerator

Posted by Samurai Appliance Repair Man, in Refrigerator Repair 11 October 2011 · 2,366 views

Grand Master RegUS_PatOff sets the table for us:

"If frost or ice is forming on freezer packages, shelving, or back wall compartment order the following kit.

Order repair kit 12002686 for both Domestic Models (115 volt) and (230 volt) International Models.
See attached Instruction Sheet for details on installing Bottom Mount Frost Kit."

TDR-0045A-B.pdf

16026499.pdf

16027094.pdf

There is also a duckbill grommet # 8201796 that can be installed over the outlet end of the drain tube.
This is the tube at the bottom of the unit, to the drain pan. It will prevent air from equalizing through the drain tube.
click on picture
Posted Image


Source: Amana bottom freezer ABB1921WEW0, defrost drain freezing up


How to fix a GE Monogram ZISS420 refrigerator that freezes everything in the beer compartment

Posted by Samurai Appliance Repair Man, in Refrigerator Repair 19 September 2011 · 1,639 views

Sublime Master KurtiusInterruptus reveals this special repair kata:

This one is pretty simple...betcha the damper door is broken off it hinge.

to access,remove the light lens and frame from the top of the fridge compartment...carefully disassemble the Styrofoam housing at the top left corner...may need to cut the silicon with a box knife to assist in this.
feast yer squintys on the black damper door inside...is it laying askew, broken off the hinge?
well there you are!


Source: GE Monogram Fridge - is freezing. ZISS420MRESS






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