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GE Monogram Refrigerator - lower compartments freezing foods


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#1 Gaucho100K

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Posted 21 July 2013 - 03:21 PM

Hello Folks, greetings from Buenos Aires, Argentina.  Please be patient with me as Im a very non-technical user and because of the recent economic turmoil in Argentina I am unable to find properly trained & certified technicians to service my GE Unit, so Im doing my best to do this myself.  Thank you in advance to those that are able to read through my long initial post and perhaps point me in the right direction.

 

I have a GE Monogram side by side, model number is ZSG27MINKASS.  The unit is 12 years old, it is a factory original 220V model which I purchased in the USA from an overseas voltage appliance specialist before I moved down to Argentina. 

 

Im having trouble with the temperature regulation in the lower shelves of my refrigerator.  Basically the two lower shelves that are supposed to hold the meats and fruits & vegetables are freezing most of the veggies and fruits.  I have the freezer set to 3 (three) and the refrigerator set to 2 (two).  After doing all the research I could, I found out that one of the most common causes for my problem is the failure of the Thermistor that is on the evaporator.  I was able to source the original part from the USA (part AP3185407) and was able to change the Thermistor.  However, my problem persists and the veggies in the bottom compartments continue to freeze after a few days of operations.

 

My difficulties are compounded by the fact that most of the advice available on the Web for GE Refrigerators is for 110V US market-models, and I cant seem to find anybody that can tell me which would be the "twin" model for my unit that was once produced for the US market.  For a more generic part like the Thermistor, I was able to solve this but now Ive figured out that my GE model is equipped with 4 (four) thermistors... I have 2 thermistors in the freezer compartment (one on the evaporator, the other on the right hand wall of the freezer compartment.  I have 2 (two) other thermistors in the refrigerator compartment.  All of the videos Ive seen on the web seem to have refrigerators with 3 thermistors.... so Im beginning to doubt what exactly I need to do.

 

Further research had led me to conclude that if replacing the thermistor on the evaporator does not solve this, then the next probably cause of the problem is the air damper/fan assembly.  I was wondering if one of the resident gurus here could chime in on this...?

 

Also, I have another issue that may (or not?) be related to my freezing problems... my ice maker does not seem to know when it becomes full, and makes more ice than it should.... in the end, it does stop but during times of low ice dispensing the ice ends up turning into an iceberg (all the cubes stick together).... so I wonder if I also don't have some sort of humidity issue in my freezer/ice making section...?   Could my problems somehow be related...?

 

Thank you in advance for reading and would greatly appreciate any advice you could offer.... :thumbsup:

 

Kind regards,

Alejandro



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#2 DurhamAppliance

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Posted 21 July 2013 - 04:26 PM

flying blind here since i don't have the manual so this is how I would approach your problem generally
1) have customer return temp controls to normal setting at least 24 hrs before I arrive so I could do a proper diagnosis

2 check damper for proper operation... making certain it opens and closes. and the damper door is intact

3 check air flow and fans.. I am assuming this is a single evap model.

4 test thermistors... you said you changed the evap thermistor? I would suspect a thermistor on the fridge side that provides temps to the board to determine when the damper should be open. In essence, I would change all thermistors on the fresh food side if I could not find one that tests bad

5 check for insulation problems

6 test icemaker... I have seen stuck ice maker heaters in freezer side cause food to freeze on fresh food side on a GE Profile.

7 Test defrost system... simply because I always test the defrost system.

Btw your explanation and english were great

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#3 RegUS_PatOff

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Posted 21 July 2013 - 04:37 PM

6 test icemaker... I have seen stuck ice maker heaters in freezer side cause food to freeze on fresh food side .

OR disconnect it for now ...
 

... Im having trouble with the temperature regulation in the lower shelves of my refrigerator. 
... I have the freezer set to 3 (three) and the refrigerator set to 2 (two).
... most common causes for my problem is the failure of the Thermistor
... my ice maker does not seem to know when it becomes full, and makes more ice than it should....
... during times of low ice dispensing the ice ends up turning into an iceberg (all the cubes stick together)....

1) posting actual temperatures may help
2) posting actual temperatures may help
3) yes
4) not sure, but not related
5) could be related
 

1192074498_YnRVM-L.png
... they should all be replaced with the new ones.

This may or may not solve the problem but it is a visible problem that should be corrected.

Thermistor part link ==> http://www.repaircli...ber=GSH22JSTASS

... and how to install them properly ==> How to properly replace the thermistors in a refrigerator: an illustrated and annotated guide


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#4 Gaucho100K

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Posted 21 July 2013 - 04:58 PM

Dear DurhamAppliance--  Thank you very much for taking time to read my post, for your kind advice, and for your gracious comments on my English.

 

I will address your seven comments in the same order for ease of response.... thank you again for your assistance with this.

 

1)  I am the actual customer... the fridge is mine, I have zero technical/mechanical training (Im an economics/finance background guy), but as noted I cant find a properly certified/trained tech person here with the proper spare parts so Im doing this all 100% solo.  So then, when you say "normal setting" for the temperatures.... what do you mean..?  I have digital control for the temp on both the freezer and refrigerator sides, the settings go from 0 to 9.... if I reset them to 0, when I want to increase them they swith automatically to 5, I assume therefore that 5 (five) is the normal setting...?

 

2) I will check the damper and report back... for now trying to see if other more simple solutions apply as I will have to figure out which is the proper damper model number and source it from the US first, and this will take a couple of weeks

 

3) not sure how I can check air flows and fans, but I never heard any weird noises with fans and air flows seem to be OK since the rest of the fridge seems to work ok (other than the sticky ice cube situation).  To check to see if my model is a one or two evaporator model, is there any way to look at the unit and figure this out...?

 

4) I haven't gotten around to testing thermistors... I don't own an Ohm-meter (but Im open to buying one if I need to) and I now realize I made the gross mistake of throwing away the one that I replaced on the freezer Evap so I not will not be able to test it.  However, point noted about changing all the thermistors on the refrigerator side.  I will order more thermistors and butt splices and get those changed.

 

5) Insulation is fine, cant seem to find any portions that are heavily worn/torn, etc.

 

6) How would go I by testing the icemaker....?  Sorry for the stupid question, but I know it does make the ice... only that there seems to be some sort of overflow and then during the low dispensing periods the ice does convert to a huge iceberg after about 3-4 days.....  if you could describe a few simple tips to test the ice maker that would be great

 

7) similar to 6... I have no idea how to test the defrost system.... all I can say is that the evaporator on the freezer side does not seem to have any overflow of ice buildup, both times I opened the cover it seemed OK

 

Thanks very much,

Alejandro



#5 Gaucho100K

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Posted 21 July 2013 - 05:03 PM

Dear RegUS_PatOff---   thank you very much for your response.

 

The thermistors I have used for replacements are the correct ones, they are just like the "good" ones you have in your post, so I seem to have gotten that right.

 

Good tip on turning off the ice-maker, if my freezing persists I will try that since we are in Winter here and we don't use much ice during these months.

 

As for posting actual temperatures... I will do this but Im wondering how its best to test temperatures.... how about me putting a glass of water and leave it overnight and then test the water temperature..... would that help..?

 

Else, I have one of those wireless thermometers that are used to check for temperatures but wonder if they are reliable if I just point them to the walls of the refrigerator.... or, where would you suggest I point this....?  Or perhaps I should just get one of those cheap supermarket temperature gauges and leave it overnight...?

 

Thanks again !!

Alejandro



#6 RegUS_PatOff

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Posted 21 July 2013 - 05:36 PM

... The thermistors I have used for replacements are the correct ones,
... how about me putting a glass of water and leave it overnight and then test the water temperature..
... I should just get one of those cheap supermarket temperature gauges and leave it overnight...?

1) were the "old" Thermistors the "nice" type ?
2) yes
3) yes

just about any thermometer if it has the correct temperature range

image_1255.jpg


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#7 Gaucho100K

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Posted 21 July 2013 - 07:22 PM

1) were the "old" Thermistors the "nice" type ?
2) yes
3) yes

 
 Yes, the old thermistor I removed was also the new "nice" type.
 
Ive put in a couple of thermometers in various places of the refrigerator (on various levels/shelves).  Put them in at 8pm local time... will take ratings tomorrow morning and report back.
 
I also placed a thermo / hydrometer of a very good quality (Lufft, made in Germany) to monitor the humidity level I have in the freezer - placed that exactly at the level of the icemaker.... hope to be able to tell you guys how moist it is there and see if that is an issue with the ice cubes turning into a giant iceberg.
 
Will report back tomorrow....  thanks !!!!
Alejandro



#8 Gaucho100K

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Posted 22 July 2013 - 09:42 AM

So here is the temperature report.....

 

The Freezer is making ice properly and seems to operate in a temperature range of 14 to 23 F. Humidity is clocking in the range of 60-90%.

 

The refrigerator in the bottom shelves is operating in a range of 32 to 41 F.... and at one time when I checked it was below 40F and a little water I had purposely left at the bottom of one of the shelves was frozen.  On the top shelves, temperatures range from 41 to 47/48.... my last check that was 47/48 got me worried but then I figured out I had been opening the unit a lot to take pictures and also had the main lights cover taken off so Im assuming the two 40W light bulbs without the cover generated heat that distorted the top shelf readings.... after about 50 minutes of closed door operations the top shelf dropped to the low 40s quickly and seems to stay there.... BTW, temperature control settings on the main control board are at 3 and 3 for the freezer and fridge respectively.

 

Hope this helps, and thanks for any additional feedback you guys can provide.



#9 Gaucho100K

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Posted 22 July 2013 - 09:57 AM

Since one important point here is the actual pinning down of the model number that's the closest "twin brother" of my refrigerator, I thought that maybe posting a few pictures would help the resident experts to figure out what model I am actually working with.

 

http://img277.imagev...A_122_364lo.jpg



#10 Gaucho100K

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Posted 22 July 2013 - 10:07 AM

Sorry,,,, I don't know how to edit my above post... the link I provide allows you to browse an image gallery where Ive tried to picture the main sections of the Refrigerator in the hope that it will help to identify which is the closest US model to mine and thereby assist in finding a solution.

 

BTW, my current problem is that I want to try to take apart the cover that is hiding the air damper/fan assembly part to see what part number I have... since Im now suspecting that the air damper/fan assembly may not be working properly... Ive tried to pull on the plastic T-shaped like cover but Im afraid I will break it.... a few postings on various places say that you have to uncover the main lights and remove the screws and the damper is behind those screw... but on my unit the screws that are uncovered are on the "ceiling" of the refrigerator... how is it possible that the damper would be on the ceiling...?  I would expect the damper to be located against the back wall of the fridge, and somehow closer to the left hand side (near the freezer)...?

 

Im hoping that by looking at these pictures someone can give me a better idea as to where my damper is and how I can remove the plastic covers safely without breaking anything.... given I still cant find anybody to find the unit model number, Im very concerned about make sure anything I disassemble will not break.

 

Thanks again,

Alejandro



#11 DurhamAppliance

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Posted 22 July 2013 - 10:12 AM

ah ha! A picture is worth a thousand words. How much do you want to bet that your damper door fell off?

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#12 Gaucho100K

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Posted 22 July 2013 - 10:15 AM

ah ha! A picture is worth a thousand words. How much do you want to bet that your damper door fell off?

 

I pray to the Lord that you are correct... at this point I just need to figure out what is going on.  By looking at the pictures, are you able to figure out (at least in the ballpark), what model I have....?  The unit is about 12 years old... its manufactured in Mexico. 

 

Also, do you have any leads on how I can remove the covers needed to expose the damper unit so I can do a visual inspection...?? 

 

Thank you very much !!



#13 DurhamAppliance

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Posted 22 July 2013 - 10:27 AM

I thought you might ask that, my frozen friend. Every time I see that air channel design I suspect a damper/fan assembly problem. Cheap plastic door hinge always breaks. .... had to go searching for some topic links....
http://appliantology...eep#entry249997


and some more info

http://appliantology...bly#entry180622


as to the model number... no... it is similar to GE Profiles. The damper door assembly works across all of those models that have that design, but I am not sure about your 220v version. However based on the appliancepartspros link you provided, this is what you need www.appliancepartspros.com/ge-refrigerator-damper-assembly-wr49x10091-ap3775595.html

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#14 Gaucho100K

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Posted 22 July 2013 - 10:50 AM

DurhamAppliance--  thanks very much for the additional information and links.  The second link you provided has photos that look similar to my model, but mine does not have the internal water filter that is pictured.... so I feel I am still flying blind.

 

Sorry to bother you further and I hate to be a PITA, but looking at the pictures I sent, do you think I need to remove the ceiling screws under the main lights board to expose the damper...?  Im guessing that I will have no choice but to remove all shelving and remove the plastic  pillar that runs down the center of the fridge to expose the damper.... do you think this is the way to go...?

 

I was hoping I could expose the damper with less hassle to first be sure what part number to order.... but it seems like I will have no choice but to defrost the fridge and take it all apart... or do you have other ideas...?

 

Once again, appreciate you patience with this.

Alejandro



#15 RegUS_PatOff

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Posted 22 July 2013 - 11:16 AM

post pictures of front of Fridge,

and of controls ?


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#16 DurhamAppliance

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Posted 22 July 2013 - 11:25 AM

Flying blind only because your model doesn't have the water filter? Si verdad mi amigo, con este informacion, tienes el sonar de un murciealago. Well my Spanish isn't as good as your English (i had to look up "sonar" to see if it is "el sonar" or "la sonar") but it suffices just as i believe your ability to disassemble the air channel will suffice. Check out the post by Vee8power in my first link. He gives instructions on how to see if the door has fallen off without having to remove the assembly.

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#17 Gaucho100K

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Posted 22 July 2013 - 08:21 PM

post pictures of front of Fridge,

and of controls ?

 

Here is a link to a pictre of the Controls....

http://img5.imageven...ls_122_21lo.jpg

 

Will take a pic and post the front of the Fridge tomorrow.  

 

Thank you kindly for any additional tips you can provide...

 

Cheers,

Alejandro



#18 Gaucho100K

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Posted 22 July 2013 - 10:06 PM

Flying blind only because your model doesn't have the water filter? Si verdad mi amigo, con este informacion, tienes el sonar de un murciealago. Well my Spanish isn't as good as your English (i had to look up "sonar" to see if it is "el sonar" or "la sonar") but it suffices just as i believe your ability to disassemble the air channel will suffice. Check out the post by Vee8power in my first link. He gives instructions on how to see if the door has fallen off without having to remove the assembly.

 

I read the referenced post and got as far as removing the 2 bulbs and the 4 screws.  The entire light bulb frame lowers down just a tad and while I can see the opening of the duct I was not able to tell if the door had fallen off or not.  I will post a couple of pictures below to see if they are useful in terms of trying to determine which part number I will need.

 

I did this disassembly and re-assembly in under 18 minutes as I was working with a fridge & freezer full of food... I did not risk trying to take apart the air channel and expose the damper.  If from these additional pictures the resident tech gurus here determine there is no way to know with a high degree of certainty which part number I need, I will arrange the logistics of transferring all the food in the fridge over to an old (but large) Westinghouse I have in a warehouse while I take a couple of hours to try to completely take apart the darned air channel and get a good look at the guts of this unit.

 

Thanks again to all for you help, assistance and patience with this issue.

 

Cheers,

Alejandro



#19 Gaucho100K

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Posted 22 July 2013 - 10:50 PM

post pictures of front of Fridge

 

Here is picture of the front of the Fridge....

http://img242.imagev...A_122_185lo.jpg

 

The Dispenser....

http://img143.imagev...rB_122_90lo.jpg

 

DeliFresh section...

http://img146.imagev...B_122_425lo.jpg

 

IceMaker...

http://img185.imagev...8_122_526lo.jpg

 

Humidity Control Shelf...

http://img216.imagev...f_122_565lo.jpg



#20 Gaucho100K

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Posted 22 July 2013 - 11:04 PM

The cross section of the air channel has this little part.... perhaps someone here can recognize it...

http://img201.imagev...r_122_527lo.jpg

 

Ive tried to remove this part somehow in the hope that this would help me take apart the air channel to expose the damper unit.... but I don't want to use excessive force and break anything.

 

If someone know what part this is and can tell me how to go by removing this, it would be a great help.

 

Also, this part pictured here on the right side of the back wall of the fridge looks as if it should come off easily.... should I just pull back in it or is there some hinge or clip that I need to work with.

http://img291.imagev...C_122_364lo.jpg

 

Thanks very much !!






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