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GE frig. defrost problem


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16 replies to this topic

#1 JeepMaker

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Posted 27 June 2005 - 05:33 PM

I have a GE side by side refrigerator Model gss22jemc. Last year I had a problem with it, everything was thawing out. I called a serviceman from GE (hoping like hell it was somehing major and thus covered under the 5 year part of the warranty). Of course it wasn't, it was the defrost heater. When the technician took off the back panel of the freezer it was completely iced up. He defrosted it and put in the new heater and all was fine. Now similar symptoms came up so I took off the back cover and lo and behold, iced up. I looked at the heater and the glass tube was all black. Since it is only a $30.00 part (GE charged 50.00 and 150.00 labor) I bought one and installed it. Unfortunately, it doesn't seemed to have fixed the problem. It gets cool in the freezer side, not cold enough to make ice, and the coils start to ice up in minutes. I'm wondering if it could be the defrost timer, which in this case I believe is a printed circuit board on the back of the frig. I hesitate to just buy it and install it since it costs $95.00.

What do you think?


Thank you in advance.

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#2 Pegi

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Posted 27 June 2005 - 05:46 PM

The whole coil will frost up, this is normal and has to do this for proper cooling , but a build up of ice does cause problems.  Would take 2  -5 days or so to get enough ice to cause a problem in the food side, but the freezer would do fine for several days, this is why I am puzzled about the freezer not getting cold enough to make ice unless you did not defrost all of the ice after replacing the defrost heater.  Did you have it checked to see if it was defective before you replaced it???  You could have a bad thermister or ADC board.  Check the thermister and hi limit in the freezer also, if they are good you are probably looking at the board, but be sure to remove all of the ice every time or you will not have solved any problems.
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#3 Jedi Appliance Guy

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Posted 27 June 2005 - 06:08 PM

   The force is saying to me "it is the evaporator thermistor".  You have nothing to loose by trying this.   When you take your hair dryer to the evaporator coil, to defrost it, locate the evaporator thermistor.  Its the small white thing on the top left of the coil..  Look at it and ask yourself "if that thing is not 100% water tight, could water travel along the wires into it?". 

    Pull it out of it's clip and dry it real good (wire side down).  notice the coil where the thermistor clamps on slants a little.  Clamp the thermistor so the wire side slants down.  After its clamped back in place tug down on the wire a little with your finger to make a loop for water to drip off of.

   If I were on your call, after I confirmed your heater was good I'd initiate a defrost cycle and probably end up doing what I describe above.

 


#4 Jedi Appliance Guy

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Posted 27 June 2005 - 06:27 PM

     After re-reading your first post I must ask, how much of the coil starts to ice up in minutes.  If it is only at one end of if you might have that major problem you were hoping for.   This would explain "not cold enought to make ice".

#5 JeepMaker

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Posted 27 June 2005 - 07:35 PM

OK, it's been several hours since I defrosted it. The evaporator is fairly heavily frosted, fairly evenly with the exception of the top 3 coils, they have very little frost on them. I bought a bag of ice which I have sitting in the drawer at the bottom of the freezer. It seems to be staying fairly solid, but the icemaker is doing nothing and the top of the freezer isn't cold. I have several reusable ice packs on the top shelf and they aren't cold at all. I can hear the fan running quietly, but if the compressor is cycling, it's quieter than I have ever heard before.And I still have not seen the heater come on. How can I initiate a defrost cycle?

#6 Jedi Appliance Guy

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Posted 28 June 2005 - 02:05 AM

     After you defrost a refrigerator it can take 24 hours for the temps to return to normal.   You need all the covers in place for it to work properly.

     Is your ice maker giving off any heat?  When you place your hand on the bottom of the ice maker does if feel warm?

     You cannot initiate a defrost cycle.  Need special tools to do that.

     Did you do what I described to the evaporator thermistor?


#7 JeepMaker

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Posted 28 June 2005 - 10:44 AM

The thermistor seems dry as a bone.
New question, this just dawned on me. It would seem that the frig would need a fan to circulate the cooled air. The only fan I am familiar with is the one that cools the compressor. Is there another fan elsewhere that is supposed to circulate the cold air? I mention this because I remembered that since we've had this frig it has periodically made noise like something hitting a fan, but the sounds seems to come from up higher in the cabinet.

Also, the bag of ice I put in the bottom drawer isn't even melting, yet the top part of the freezer is warm, no ice production, and the fresh food is barely cool.

#8 Pegi

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Posted 28 June 2005 - 11:42 AM

There is a fan in the freezer that blows the cold air into the freezer and the food compartment, you need to see if this fan is working . If it is not, the box will never cool down.  It should be located down above the evaperator in the bottom part of the freezer in a SxS.
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#9 JeepMaker

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Posted 28 June 2005 - 11:50 AM

I found the evaporator fan, I can spin it freely by hand, but when I plug the frig back in and hold down the door switch it never seems to come on. I wish there were some way I could defineately tell if it was bad. It has been hitting something in there, because on the center hub there are little projections all around it and a number are broken off.

How much voltage does it take to run the fan? Any way I can test it?

Thanks again for all your help.

#10 Pegi

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Posted 28 June 2005 - 12:22 PM

This is a DC motor and is controlled by the mother board, you would need to take a reading and see if you are getting power to the motor.  If this motor has gone out it usually takes the mother  board out with it and both will likely have to be replaced.
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#11 JeepMaker

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Posted 28 June 2005 - 01:32 PM

Yech, I hope the mobo is ok, if I spend anymore on the damn thing I might as well jack it up and drive a new one under it.;)

#12 Jedi Appliance Guy

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Posted 28 June 2005 - 03:57 PM

[user=1686]JeepMaker[/user] wrote:

The thermistor seems dry as a bone.
New question, this just dawned on me. It would seem that the frig would need a fan to circulate the cooled air.

 

    Dude... You're like amazing.  Yes.. there is a fan inside.  and yes it should be blowing.  It like, if you were there when they were inventing the refrigerator and all.  And you could have said something like" Hey.. Don't chall think youghta put a fan in there or somen to circulate the cooled air?"


#13 JeepMaker

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Posted 29 June 2005 - 03:23 PM

OK, next followup questions.
I have removed the evap. fn. It has 4 wires leading to it's plug, red, blue,yellow, white. Using a volt/ohm meter, I am getting resistance when checking across these wires. Are there any particular ones I should check? Since I'm geting resistance, does this mean the fan is good? Would that mean the mobo is bad? I checked the thermister with the meter t also shows resistance.

BTW I checked the defrost heater that I replaced, apparently I wasted $30.00, oh well, I now have a spare.;)

#14 JeepMaker

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Posted 30 June 2005 - 10:13 AM

bump.

#15 Jedi Appliance Guy

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Posted 30 June 2005 - 04:13 PM

   Pegi is right.  92% probability you will need a fan and a board.   I keep 2 of each on my truck cause when you need one you need it now.

#16 JeepMaker

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Posted 30 June 2005 - 04:35 PM

Well I officially give up. I bought the new board-124.00 installed it, plugged it in, opened up the freezer, and just saw the evap. fan stop spinning. Then I smelled it...the damn board burned up. So, 4 days and 150.00 in non-refunable parts later I have a 3 year old non-working refrigerator.

I think I have bought my last GE, they can stuff the thing where the sun don't shine, I'll be glad to assist.

Now I don't know what to do, the first available time for GE service is July 5th. I ready to drag it outside beat it with a bat and leave it at the curb.

#17 Jedi Appliance Guy

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Posted 30 June 2005 - 04:39 PM

http://www.bringgoodthingstolife.org/

   Maybe you can pick up a 18 cubit foot Roper refrigerator for the garage to get you thru the long weekend.  Cost you somewhere around $300.   You get used to that second fridge real quick.





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