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GE refrigerator troubleshoot help

30 posts in this topic

GE model pss25ngna ww stopped cooling last night, this morning everything in the freezer was melting and water leaking out as the ice in the icemaker melted.  The problem is in both the refrigerator and freezer side.  I have not heard the compressor kick on since this started.  The compressor is a little drum with 3 stubby electrical contacts sticking out the side.  They had two little modules attached by 3 corresponding wires.   I was able to pull the overload switch (top one with one black wire) and the other little switch (bottom one with one orange and one white wire)  that is listed at the "PTCR" in a diagram I found on a parts site, I don't know what that is.  Both items meter out at 6.8 ohms.  Can anyone tell me how to properly meter these two little switches to see if they are preventing the compressor from turning on?  Or if I can just temporarily just attach the connections directly to the compressor and see if it kicks on?

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Need appliance parts? Call 877-803-7957 now!

ohm testing ptc in GE's isn't an accurate test.

I would reassemble everything and follow info found in http://appliantology.org/topic/44844-refer-stuck-in-defrost/

If power is going to the ptc after energizing the compressor as mentioned in the referenced thread, get resistance values of all three pin combinations on the compressor. The two lowest values added together should equal the highest value. Then test each pin against the compressor (at a place where you scratched off some paint) for shorting. If all is good replace ptc or use a test jig

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I reassembled everything, but I can't figure out the diagnostic mode.  My unit has a 3 digit display and all the info in the link refers to a 2 digit display.  On the refrigerator temp display (which is 2 digits) the lowest setting is 34 degrees, it does not go down to 5 (the setting described to enter diagnostic mode).  I think this diagnostic mode will help me locate my issue, but I can't seem to find any documentation anywhere online that tells how to enter this mode on my particular model.  I did find this ge fridge diagnostics pdf file which looks like the info I need, but it is for a 2 digit display where the limits for each side are 0-9, and mine has the actual degrees on it in a 3 digit display format.  I am also going to try to decipher the info in the link you sent to meter the pins on the motherboard, but I'd also like to have the diagnostic info for my model if you know of anywhere to find it.  But basically I got stuck on the whole diagnostic mode part when mine didn't do what was instructed in the link.

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cancel question about entering diagnostics mode, I did figure that out.  It doesn't have to be on 5 and 5 to start for this model, you just have to hold all 4 buttons at the same time. duh.

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from 31-9110

 

Enter the diagnostic mode by pressing both the freezer temperature (colder and warmer) pads
and the refrigerator temperature (colder and warmer) pads simultaneously.
Note: All 4 pads must be held for approximately 3 seconds.

A blinking "0" in both displays indicates the refrigerator has entered the test mode.

Press and release any pad (other than the temperature pads) to activate the test mode.
Then, enter the display numbers as shown in the Diagnostic Chart for the test desired.
Press and release any pad (other than the temperature pads) to activate that test.

Note: Selected models have limited test capability.

See the COMMENTS column for clarification.

d0hs.jpg

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Is the relay referred to in this :

"Posted Yesterday, 11:23 AM

okay,check and see if power is going to the relay while in 100% run mode. if not, you may need a new board. Also try jumping Line and compressor pins on your mainboard... pins j8 and j11 (don't remove connector but unplug fridge first before you jump the pins, then plug it back in). If compressor starts, replace mainboard. Otherwise check your relay and test compressor."
 
Meaning the compressor start capacitor that is listed in the diagrams?  I wasn't sure and it's hard to access with a meter with the power on, but I did the test to jump pins j8 and j11 and the motherboard clicked but the compressor did not kick on.  Also I just sat there a couple of minutes with it jumped and listening, then reached over and felt the exterior of the compressor and it was HOT but not running.  I unplugged the unit and took a minute to find my infrared thermometer and it was about 120 degrees still. 

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check the OHMs between each pair of the Compressor pins..

should be somewhere between about 3 and 12 OHMs

 

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Checked it with the ptcr and overload switch still assembled on it, just touching the orange white and black wire connectors, all combinations yielded between 3.8 and 5.0.  That's with the unit unplugged.  It's still been unplugged since the last post and the compressor housing is still over 100 degrees.

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with the PTC and overload removed,

two of the readings should equal the third

 

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The three pins on the compressor metered 4.5, 6.6, and 11.0, so I guess that's right.  While I had the ptc and the overload off it was easier to reach the run capacitor, so I unfastened it from the frame and fished it out where I can get to it to meter it if I need to back up to that step, but I'll need to know how to meter it and what readings to look for.  I assume to do that I have to reassemble the ptc and overload and plug the unit back in?

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Can you take a look at my last post from yesterday and give me a heads up on what to do next?

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Removed capacitor completely (unplugged from refrigerator as well), shorted the terminals with screwdriver- no sizzle.  Set meter to ohms meter reads 1.blank on all settings.  It does not climb or change at all.   On tone mode it gives no tone.  So if I read the instructions correctly this means it is bad? Because it should be accumulating that tiny charge that the meter is trying to run through it to get the resistance reading, yes?

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possibly ...

also note:

use a high resistance meter range...

after testing, then reverse the leads for another test

 

 

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Ok, I'm going to go test again on all ohm settings and try reversing, but if the results are the same, would that indicate that it is a likely cause?  They are relatively cheap, so if you think the probability is high that this is the cause I'll just order one and check back in with you in a couple of days if I swap it out and it doesn't start working.

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Oh crap it does climb on the 20M setting. 

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Well,  I'm going to call it a night and regroup in the morning to take another look at this thing.  Thank you so much for your help yesterday and today.  Hopefully I can catch you on again tomorrow and get it sorted out.  Thanks again.

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Ok, with the capacitor seeming to accumulate charge from the meter, do you think I should check the leads going to the capacitor? and if so how should I do that and at what point should I start reassembling the ptc and overload to the compressor and getting this thing in a condition ready to plug in and start hunting the problem again?

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Standing by for further instruction

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does the Compressor make any noise, humming, clicking, every few minutes when it tries to start / run ?

 

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Previously, with everything assembled a couple of nights ago, the only noise was the very quiet hum of the big fan on the end of the condenser core.  When I jumped the j8 and j11 legs I heard a click, either from the relay or somewhere on the motherboard (I couldn't tell which).   I just sat there a couple of minutes and reached over to see if I could feel any vibration on the compressor housing and it was not vibrating or anything, but it was hot to the touch.  I'm assuming that if the compressor was running I would know it because it would be significantly louder than the little fan spinning, but I don't remember the last time I noticed what the sound of the compressor was, it's just one of those ambient sounds that eventually I tuned out. 

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Reassembled everything last night.  Both sides started cooling right away.  The compressor is definitely running (it is so quiet that you almost can't tell and only the faintest vibration of the housing).  After about 3 hours it was 55 degrees in both the freezer and fridge side.  Went to bed, got up this morning and it's 34 on the refrigerator side (setting is actually for 37), and 4 on the freezer side (setting is actually for 0).  When the compressor is running the compressor housing does get up to about 145-150 degrees.  I am really at a loss, should I trust it to keep functioning correctly?

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Did you replace the ptc? Buy it from repair clinic. if it doesn't stop the problem, return it and get a board.

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No I didn't replace the ptc. Basically I've disassembled the ptc, overload, and run capacitor, metered them all, metered the compressor pins, and reassembled everything. Other than that all I've done is run through all the diagnostic tests from the display and forced the compressor on once by jumping the j8 and j11 pegs on the motherboard. Now that it's all back together it is running normal as far as I can tell.

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