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Freezer check underway for ice build-up -- defrost heater, thermostat

freezer defrost

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14 replies to this topic

#1 dgp

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Posted 07 May 2012 - 09:07 AM

I have the GSS25LGMAWW side by side refrigerator with ice building up in the freezer bottom. I imagine I have a problem with either the defrost heater or perhaps the thermostat. However, I'm not sure how I should approach the problem. I have an old refrigerator in the garage, so I transfered all the food and I have the back panel off of the freeze unit. I also watched the video on the mudda board test, but I'm not sure how to access the board.

Any help on connectivity testing for this model would be greatly appreciated. The have full access to the front, as well as, the back and the beast is fully emptied and dried out.

dgp

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#2 dgp

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Posted 07 May 2012 - 09:14 AM

Just to clarify, when I said I had the back panel off, I meant the panel on the inside back of the freezer, not the back of the entire unit. The defrost coils are all exposed and accessible.


dgp



#3 RegUS_PatOff

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Posted 07 May 2012 - 10:27 AM

Self Diagnostics
To enter Self Diagnostic mode, both temperature control panel displays must be illuminated.
A display can be illuminated by pressing an adjacent temperature adjustment button.
When both displays are illuminated, set the freezer and refrigerator temperature settings to 5.
Simultaneously press and hold all 4 temperature adjustment buttons for approximately 3 seconds.
A flashing 0 in the refrigerator and freezer displays will indicate that the refrigerator is in Self Diagnostic mode.

Use the freezer temperature adjustment buttons to enter the test code number in the freezer display.
Use the refrigerator temperature adjustment buttons to enter the test code number in the refrigerator display.
When a test code has been entered, the displays will flash to confirm the test.
Press the HOLD button for 3 seconds to begin the test.

Enter defrost:
Freezer . . . . . Fridge
. . 1. . . . . . . . . . 4
If the cabinet is not cold when executed, this mode may execute extremely fast.
The refrigerator will return to normal operation on its own.

When testing has been completed, do one of the following things:
• Enter code 1 5 to completely reset the system.
• Enter code 1 6 to exit diagnostic mode. The temperature control panel is reset automatically.
• Unplug the refrigerator for at least 10 seconds. Test mode will terminate when the refrigerator is plugged back in.

Test mode will terminate automatically after 15 minutes of inactivity.
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#4 kdog

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Posted 07 May 2012 - 02:41 PM

ice building up in the freezer bottom.


If your defrost system is inoperable, the coils will be heavily frosted - If there is ICE on the floor external of the panel and it is solid/transparent ice then the drain tray below the coils is blocked or your icemaker is leaking.
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#5 dgp

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Posted 07 May 2012 - 03:27 PM

Poop Daddy, the ice is, indeed, solid and transparent-ish. I also have moisture on the wood flooring under the refrigerator -- which is rotting the wood. Perhaps it could simply be a clogged drain tray. I'm not sure how the drain system should work or how to test it. I don't believe it is the ice maker because I turned off the ice maker and shut down the water supply thinking that might be the cause. With no water supply, the ice must be from the defrost system, correct? Once the defrost melts the ice, were should it go and how does it evaporate. I did notice water on the bottom part of the back side were the motor sits.

I don't know if the coils were heavy frosted, because I turned off the freezer and melted the large chunk of ice before taking off the rear panel. Probably a mistake not to check.

Sensei, I will go ahead and plug in the unit, then attempt to run the self test as you describe. Perhaps I'll also be able to keep the panel off to see if ice forms on the coils.

Thanks for the advice. I'll post once I find out more.

dgp

#6 dgp

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Posted 07 May 2012 - 03:58 PM

I performed the self-test, but I'm not sure what I should see. After setting the digits to 5-5 and holding down all four buttons, the 0-0 began to flash. At that point I hit the left freezer button once (1) and the right frig button 4 times giving a display of 1-4. Nothing appeared to happen. I closeed the door and when I opened it again, the digits were off.

As for the drainage tray, that might be a good lead. The tray was a bit rusty looking and a stream of rust tracked down the right hand side to the bottom of the freezer. Should I stick something down the drain or test it by pour a small amount of water down?

Good stuff, thanks!!

dgp

#7 RegUS_PatOff

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Posted 07 May 2012 - 06:57 PM

... Press the HOLD button for 3 seconds to begin the test.


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#8 dgp

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Posted 10 May 2012 - 10:46 AM

Sensei,

Yes, the ol' "Hold" button. That is easier said than done, as my unit has only "Colder" and "Warmer" buttons. One pair of buttons for the Freezer side and one pair of buttons for the Refig side and that is it. I have a two digit display with 4 buttons. After reading other posts on this matter, it appears that I am not the only one who doesn't have a hold button. I talked to GE and they were even aware that this model could do a self test.

Anyway, it has been several days and the frost on the coils is getting heavier and heavier. I must deduce that my defrost is failing and I should purchase the three primary defrost items: defrost heater, defrost thermostat and defrost timer. I don't believe it could hurt to replace all of these items, as the unit has seen a few years and it will be cheaper than calling in a service guy.

#9 RegUS_PatOff

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Posted 10 May 2012 - 10:58 AM

... GE and they were even aware that this model could do a self test.
... should purchase the three primary defrost items: defrost heater, defrost thermostat and defrost timer.

... no Hold button ... GE saves $1 :dazzler:
The Defrost Heater and Defrost Thermostat could be tested with a meter.
Your model doesn't use the mechanical Defrost Timer.
Defrost is controlled by the MotherBoard $ 164
http://www.repaircli...R=154&N=1531075

 

Main-Control-Board-WR55X10942-01091474.j


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one of my video productions: “Easter Seals: Walk With Me”

every day is Down Syndrome Awareness Day
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RegUS_PatOff > www.youtube.com/watch?v=oPAY2LsKVEw

#10 dgp

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Posted 10 May 2012 - 11:11 AM

... no Hold button ... GE saves $1 :dazzler:
The Defrost Heater and Defrost Thermostat could be tested with a meter.
Your model doesn't use the mechanical Defrost Timer.
Defrost is controlled by the MotherBoard $ 164
http://www.repaircli...R=154&N=1531075

 

Main-Control-Board-WR55X10942-01091474.j

So, GE sets me up for failure, eh. They get me almost all the way, then hose me on the HOLD button. Hummm. It sounds like I should test the Defrost Heater and Defrost Thermostat of continuity, then either replace or buy the motherboard. Correct?



#11 RegUS_PatOff

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Posted 10 May 2012 - 11:15 AM

correct
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one of my video productions: “Easter Seals: Walk With Me”

every day is Down Syndrome Awareness Day
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#12 dgp

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Posted 11 May 2012 - 10:23 AM

This evening I went to check the connectivity of the heater and found the freezer in the defrost mode. The coils were melting and the tray below had water in it. I also noticed water on the floor of the empty freezer. Apparently, the drain must be clogged. Perhpas that is my only problem and not the defrost unit.

The question now is, where does it drain and how should I unclog it. I'm tempted to pour some water in the tray and see if it has a slow drain or no drain. Perhaps I should simply insert a pipe cleaner or rubber tubing to clear it out.

Thoughts?

One other question, being that I have the rear defrost panel cover off, will that effect how well it will defrost or how often?

dgp

#13 RegUS_PatOff

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Posted 11 May 2012 - 10:48 AM

... where does it drain
... I'm tempted to pour some water in the tray and see if it has a slow drain
... I have the rear defrost panel cover off, will that effect how well it will defrost or how often?

1) to a pan under the Compressor
2) yes
3) yes, somewhat
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#14 dgp

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Posted 27 May 2012 - 12:19 PM

After keeping an eye out on my freezer for several weeks, it appears that my only problem is the drip tray. The tubing from the tray is unblocks and flows freely, however for some season the water is getting out of the tray around the drain area. I am tempted to use a silicone sealant below the tray between the plastic ledge and the metal tray. Will this work with the low temperature? The tray doesn't appear to be easily removed. I imagine the leak is between the tubing on the tray.

#15 RegUS_PatOff

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Posted 27 May 2012 - 01:28 PM

.. silicone sealant below the tray between the plastic ledge and the metal tray. Will this work with the low temperature?

yes
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one of my video productions: “Easter Seals: Walk With Me”

every day is Down Syndrome Awareness Day
"A Child Is Waiting" . Burt Lancaster . Judy Garland . 1962

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Recent blog entries on this topic

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How to enter self diagnostic mode in a GE side by side refrigerator

By Samurai Appliance Repair Man in Samurai Appliance Repair Man's Blog, on 08 May 2012 - 07:16 AM

This is for the GE refrigerators that have the muthaboard in back and at least 5 pads on the touch control panel.


Self Diagnostics
To enter Self Diagnostic mode, both temperature control panel displays must be illuminated.
A...

Read Full Entry →

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