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Condenser Fan running slowly. Compressor very hot. '05 GE bottom mount.


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9 replies to this topic

#1 m_p_v_13

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 11:00 AM

I have a GE GBS22HCRAWW refrigerator with bottom mount freezer.

The fresh food (top) got very warm while the freezer was OK (but not great) and I started a series of trouble shooting steps.

I found the damper to be closed so I removed it and partially blocked that vent. That helped, but the temps never got much better than 45 and 25.

I checked out the damper by starting it 1/2 way on a power up restart (It opened) and then 3 minute open fridge door (it closed). So motor and it's basic mobo control seem ok.

I checked the evaporator coils and they were frosted, but more so in the middle of the grid than the left and right edges. I later witnessed a defrost cycle melting the frost. So the heater is ok.

I re-installed the damper with a mod to let see the position (and manually open or close the vent). That seemed to work, in that it was in both positions at various times automatically.

I next noticed that the door frame between freezer and fresh food was very hot and after some research checked the condenser coil and fan. Here I found moderate dust buildup (mostly on the intake vents in the back cover and floor) and a VERY SLOW running fan. Also the compressor housing was very hot, even after cleaning the dust.

From here I used a small house fan in an improvised cardboard duct to draw hot air from the back cover exhaust vent. The temps now reached satisfactory 38 and 03 and the door frame is no longer scorching hot.

So, based on web research, and focusing on the slow fan, I suspect either
- a motherboard problem or
- bad fan, or
- starter relay/ overload shutoff problem keeping starter circuit engaged and reducing current available for fan.

Would a kind expert or two please suggest tests that could isolate the problem part or parts.

Thanks in advance,
Michael

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#2 RegUS_PatOff

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 11:05 AM

- a motherboard problem or
- bad fan, or
- starter relay/ overload shutoff problem keeping starter circuit engaged and reducing current available for fan.

1) could be
2) most likely
3) can't be
http://www.repaircli...R=154&N=1093723

 

Condenser-Fan-Motor-WR84X10055-00654477.


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#3 m_p_v_13

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 12:23 PM

1) could be
2) most likely
3) can't be



RegUs,
Thanks.
I have more time than money right now. How can I test the fan or otherwise eliminate the motherboard?

The starter circuit theory sounds plausible and constant current in the start windings would explain very hot compressor (although I have no experience with how hot a normally operating compressor would be). Why are you so sure to eliminate this type of failure?

Thanks again,
Michael

#4 Samurai Appliance Repair Man

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 01:35 PM

Check the voltage going to the condenser fan, should have +12vdc on the red wire with your common probe on the white wire. Make the measurement with the fan connected. Easiest to check it at the muthaboard. See this reference:


Posted Image


Posted Image


If you have a good power supply to the fan, then replace the condenser fan motor ==> http://www.repaircli...R=154&N=1093723


More background info on GE fan motors here ==> http://appliantology...-and-condenser/

#5 jumptrout

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 03:18 PM

Isn'ty there a bulletin that states if you change the motor also change the board?

#6 Samurai Appliance Repair Man

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 03:23 PM

Yes, but I think that's just in the case of the evaporator motor because of the risk that the evap motor could be shorted and fry the new boars. For that case, the rule is: if you replace the board, replace the motor, too.

Maybe there's another bulletin having to do with either motor and I'm just not aware of it. Wouldn't be the first time that happened!

#7 m_p_v_13

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 03:32 PM

SARM,

<Ali G>Respect.</Ali G>

Check the voltage going to the condenser fan, should have +12vdc on the red wire with your common probe on the white wire. Make the measurement with the fan connected. Easiest to check it at the muthaboard.


I measured from the motherboard with the fridge running.

J2: 3-8 (Wh-Rd) = 14.0V

Also, the rest of the populated pins:
J2: 3-5 (Wh-Pk) = 3.3V Cond Fan
J2: 3-4 (Wh-Yl) = 13.2 Evap Fan
J2: 3-1 (Wh-Bl) = 6.6 Evap RPM


I guess 14V is close enough.

What about the 3.3V on pins 3-5 (which is labeled Condenser Fan DC output)? Is this some sort of feedback to the motherboard?

Also, it's becoming apparent that the compressor (or at least the fan) is never or rarely going off (At least I have not noticed it off).

The temps are 33 and 5. The dials are both set at 3 (out of 9).

I guess I'll take the fan out and connect to a 12DC source for a last check before I order a new one....

Thanks,
Michael

#8 Samurai Appliance Repair Man

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 03:42 PM

14vdc is a good power supply. The voltage on 3-5 is feedback and is not diagnostically meaningful or useful.

Compressor will continue to run because the interior compartments are warm because the condenser fan isn't running. This is not surprising. It would be surprising if the compressor wasn't running all the time!

Before you hook the motor up to an external power supply, read the background info link I posted-- it has details and precautions on doing this.

Replace the fan motor ==> http://www.repaircli...R=154&N=1093723

#9 m_p_v_13

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 10:56 PM

Compressor will continue to run because the interior compartments are warm because the condenser fan isn't running. This is not surprising. It would be surprising if the compressor wasn't running all the time!


SARM,

Thanks.

Note that I have been running a small house fan to cool the condenser continuously and temps are generally 5-10F and 33-40F with dials set at 3 and 3. I did just recently observe a period of compressor "resting". Thanks for the help as I try to bring this Apollo 13 home with it's crew of frozen mango, steak, and chicken.

Regarding your fan test note. If the fan spins fast with external +12 V on both red and yellow (fan lead), what would you surmise/recommend then?

Also, I never have tested the thermistors. Should I do that and is a single test temperature (i.e 10F or 40F) resistance reading (from the motherboard harness) sufficient to detect a problem with the thermistor?

Thanks,
Michael

#10 Samurai Appliance Repair Man

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Posted 03 May 2012 - 06:40 AM

Regarding your fan test note. If the fan spins fast with external +12 V on both red and yellow (fan lead), what would you surmise/recommend then?


I that case, the fan motor itself would be good and the reason it's spinning slowly is because it's getting a bad PWM signal from the muthaboard ==> new muthaboard.

Also, I never have tested the thermistors. Should I do that and is a single test temperature (i.e 10F or 40F) resistance reading (from the motherboard harness) sufficient to detect a problem with the thermistor?


This is a whole different rabbit hole and not relevant to your problem with the condenser fan; the thermistors do not affect this fan.






Recent blog entries on this topic

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Condenser fan in a GE refrigerator runs slowly, compressor hot; how to test the condenser fan

By Samurai Appliance Repair Man in Samurai Appliance Repair Man's Blog, on 03 May 2012 - 06:41 AM


Check the voltage going to the condenser fan, should have +12vdc on the red wire with your common probe on the white wire. Make the measurement with the fan connected. Easiest to check it at the muthaboard. See...

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