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GE Monogram ZFSB23DRGSS condensation build-up on side wall and bottom of refrigerator


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24 replies to this topic

#1 dvanallen

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Posted 15 November 2013 - 07:27 PM

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#2 dvanallen

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Posted 15 November 2013 - 07:35 PM

Water accumulates inside the refrigerator compartment and pools mostly under the crisper drawers. The water starts building up beginning from the lower half of the shared wall. It's a side-by-side refrigerator. Any ideas?


Correction -- the condensation covers the whole wall, top to bottom. (Where's the edit button!?)



#3 dvanallen

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Posted 15 November 2013 - 08:02 PM

I've already replaced a temperature sensor and the evaporator fan motor assembly. The sensor was replaced probably a year ago because the plastic clips broke and it wouldn't say in the wall. The evaporator motor assembly was replaced this week because the styrofoam was covered in black mildew and impregnated with ice.


Oh, one more detail -- the drip pan seems to be dry. When I first took the evaporator motor and housing off, I noticed that the white paint that covered the drip pan was peeling, and so I scraped it off. Now, the rust shows on most of it (instead of the paint bubbling up).



#4 DurhamAppliance

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Posted 15 November 2013 - 08:30 PM

check out this thread http://appliantology...e-cscp5ugxcfss/

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#5 dvanallen

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Posted 15 November 2013 - 10:11 PM

This condensation issue has been around for months . . .just getting sick of soaking up the pool of water at the bottom of the fridge. Thanks for pointing me towards these resources. Unfortunately, I couldn't access the bulletin since I'm no longer an Apprentice. At one point, I passed the Appliantologist Merit exam and earned Apprentice status. It looks like this has been revoked . . .not sure why?!

 

The temperature in the freezer (0F) has held steady. The refrigerator is typically between 37 and 40. It's reading warmer now, around 40F, probably because I just installed the new evaporator motor. 

 

When I first checked the fresh food evaporator motor (prior to replacing), it did have some built up frost, but it didn't seem excessive. Also, there is some ice buildup around the evaporator passage through the mullion that apparently is causing moisture to accumulate in the area to the left of the evaporator motor and drip pan. The passage is padded with white insulating pipe foam, and the entry area has styrofoam surrounding it. The full section, about 6 inches in length, both have ice build up inside of them. This isn't visible when looking at the photo in the first post.

 

Regarding the temperature sensor replacement, I double checked my records and found that I replaced the WR02X10668 Shunt Sensor and Grille Sensor back 9 months ago. Both of these are on the refrigerator side (vs. the freezer).

 

It sounds like you're recommending I install the AC De-Ice Ball kit. I assume I'll need the 120V kit because it runs on US household current. Should I also replace the freezer sensor/thermistor while I'm at it? From what I could see, there are only 2 sensors -- one in the refrigerator and one in the freezer.

 

Thanks!



#6 dvanallen

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Posted 15 November 2013 - 11:57 PM

One final question before I head off to RepairClinic.com to order my parts. It seems like it would be worth trying to seal gaps with a $10 tube of RTV and some aluminum tape before dropping $175 for the kit. 

 

As shown in the photo above, I don't have an ice ball but instead have lots of condensation. What are the chances that the RTV silicone will fix the problem?


The foam insulation seems like it would come off easy -- I think it's just held on with some zip ties. Does the styrofoam block come off easily as well? I assume I'd need to silicone behind (or at least around) it also.



#7 DurhamAppliance

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Posted 16 November 2013 - 02:38 AM

I also emailed a question to a Ge trainer regarding these problematic dual evaps and their slight rise in temps in the ff section. He indicated that there have been problems with the ff evap fan motor and the sealing of the evap cover. He said to replace them both and that they came together as a kit. I could not find a part number for the kit and never did a follow-up. Maybe replacing both, kit or not, is a way to proceed. I have yet to find someone to try it and report.

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#8 dvanallen

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Posted 16 November 2013 - 02:52 PM

Durham, thx for the reply. I should have been more clear in post #3. I replaced the evaporator fan motor assembly about 18 hours ago. The part # is WR17X11844. The styrofoam was covered in black mildew and impregnated with ice. I just checked and the refrigerator still has condensation issues along the entire mullion/parting wall and the refrigerator is running around 40F (which is probably typical).

 

I have aluminum tape and white tape -- and RTV silicone is pretty cheap. Might just go ahead with attempting to patch the problem before I drop the big bucks on the de-ice ball kit.



#9 Level2Learning

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Posted 18 November 2013 - 10:14 PM

You most likely have a pin hole in that drain pain under the evaporator.  They fail... a lot.  Look closely at it and make sure the drain tube is clear.  Test with water.


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#10 dvanallen

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Posted 24 November 2013 - 12:50 AM

Samanera, thanks for your feedback. I don't think the pin hole is the problem.

 

The refrigerator has continued to run at 40F even though it's set at 37F. Also, the shared wall w/ the freezer continues to show condensation over the full length of the wall. I've ordered the de-ice ball kit and will report back on whether this resolves the issue.



#11 DurhamAppliance

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Posted 24 November 2013 - 07:41 AM

Samanera, thanks for your feedback. I don't think the pin hole is the problem.


Make certain of this as Brother Level2learning is the trainer I referenced.

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#12 dvanallen

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Posted 16 December 2013 - 12:01 AM

Unfortunately, the de ice ball kit didn't work. It's now a few weeks post-install and my freezer is running at 0 F and my refrigerator is running at 40 F (even though it's set to 37 F). I still have lots of condensation coming off of the shared wall and water pooling under the fresh veggie drawer.
 
13+-+4 13+-+1
 
While the top edge is caulked, the bottom edge is open. I've noticed that ice is still forming under where the heater was installed. Should this be? It takes a few days for the water to build up enough to make it to the front of the refrigerator.
 
13+-+3
 
Checking for the pin hole in the drip pan, I dumped a turkey baster full of water into the drip pan. It didn't empty into the bottom of the fridge, but instead filled the funnel. Shouldn't it drain into the pan under the refrigerator?
 
13+-+2
 
If that's not the problem, would it be worth trying to replace the thermistor/temperature sensors? Any ideas? Thanks!



#13 dvanallen

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Posted 16 December 2013 - 12:06 AM

Here's a photo of the de ice ball kit installed: photo.JPG



#14 DurhamAppliance

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Posted 16 December 2013 - 12:42 AM

Just about everything has been thrown at this problem and it is a common problem with this and similar GE models. Even though none of the solutions has worked, you have tried more things than most, so we can add this info to our collective knowledge and we've ruled out one more possibility (too bad it's at your expense)... Okay, lets try looking at this from a different angle..

Condensation... we condensation can be caused by external air entering the fridge and by a heat source. So, you have checked your gaskets? Checked for light bulb. staying on? Checked for "express thaw" feature staying on?

Thermistor... did you properly replace the shunt sensor and did you use any type of sealant on the thermistor before putting it in the shunt? Standard rtv silicone is not advisable. Did you get a resistance reading of the ff evap thermistor? Maybe it is too close to a coolingsource causing it to trigger ff defrost too often. It would be interesting to see it's resistance thereby letting us know the temperature it is sensing

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#15 dvanallen

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Posted 16 December 2013 - 01:00 AM

Durham, thanks for your quick reply. Express Thaw was not running and the gaskets are sealed. The light bulbs turn off when the fridge is closed. If I feel them first thing in the morning, they are not hot to the touch.

 

I'll take some readings with my multi-meter from the thermistors tomorrow or the next day. In the mean time, I'll watch the temperature readings to see if it drops below 40 F just by clearing the clogged drain line. 

 

About the drain line . . .realizing that the funnel leading from the drip pan shouldn't be full, I pulled the back of the fridge off and dislodged some brown, dirt-like gunk from the drain line. It's now clear and the funnel is empty. I didn't take a picture of the hose, but it's S-shaped and located on the left side (looking from behind). Future readers won't miss it.

 

Thanks again. I'll post an update later in the week!



#16 dvanallen

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Posted 18 December 2013 - 09:03 PM

OK, so I'm back. My refrigerator has been running around 39-40 F and the freezer between -1 and 0 F. It's set at 37 F and 0 F, respectively. After clearing out the drain line, the refrigerator seems to be running slightly cooler. I also haven't had to clean up the pooling water yet, but it is beginning to pool. I can still see ice building up under where the de ice ball kit was installed.

 

I tested the thermistors in the parting wall using my multimeter. When switched to measure Ohms, I didn't get a reading. For the freezer it read 3.3 VDC/6.7 VAC. The refrigerator read 2.3 VDC/4.3VAC.

 

My question is . . .shouldn't I be measuring resistance (i.e., in Ohms)? The fact that I got readings at all should show that current is flowing through them and that they're working, right? Thanks!



#17 BryanS

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Posted 19 December 2013 - 12:30 AM

Did you actually install the ice ball kit? You made it sound like you were trying to do your own version. The actual kit comes with a heater that goes over the hump on the left and you drill a hole to run the wires to tie into the compressor area. Plus it comes with all new foam n stuff. That being said I've ran into a few of these and the ice ball kit didn't work for the side wall moisture. As many techs know ge has had issues with the foam failing in freezer doors. It could be a possibility that the foam has degraded betweeen the walls, and the coldness from the freezer side is causing it to sweat. No way to fix if that is the case. I don't know if that is truly the problem. Is the freezer temp normal?

OK, so I'm back. My refrigerator has been running around 39-40 F and the freezer between -1 and 0 F. It's set at 37 F and 0 F, respectively. After clearing out the drain line, the refrigerator seems to be running slightly cooler. I also haven't had to clean up the pooling water yet, but it is beginning to pool. I can still see ice building up under where the de ice ball kit was installed.

I tested the thermistors in the parting wall using my multimeter. When switched to measure Ohms, I didn't get a reading. For the freezer it read 3.3 VDC/6.7 VAC. The refrigerator read 2.3 VDC/4.3VAC.

My question is . . .shouldn't I be measuring resistance (i.e., in Ohms)? The fact that I got readings at all should show that current is flowing through them and that they're working, right? Thanks!


Oops I missed your freezer temp post. I don't believe GE has a vdc to temp chart. You should be checking those sensors with the power off to ohm them out.

#18 DurhamAppliance

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Posted 19 December 2013 - 03:05 AM

ohm testing of sensors is certainly better than voltage testing. However, with a problem this persistent, I would change all fridge thermistors anyway.

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#19 dvanallen

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Posted 19 December 2013 - 11:31 PM

BryanS, I think you nailed it. When I first replaced the evaporator fan motor assembly and then the de ice ball kit, I noticed that the stryofoam I removed/replaced was saturated with ice/water. Btw, yes, I did buy the kit. It was a bit more expensive, but I didn't have the mental energy to drive to Lowes and spend $2. I'm pitiful, I know!

 

When you say that the foam can fail, I think that's exactly what happened. So what are my options? Write a complaint letter to GE?! So frustrating . . .the problem could definitely be worse, but my refrigerator isn't exactly a cheapo model!



#20 dvanallen

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Posted 19 December 2013 - 11:42 PM

See the photos posted by "LAZARO of Long Key , FL on Sept. 23, 2013" on this page: http://www.consumera...frigerators.htm. That looks like what I was dealing with before replacing the evaporator fan motor assembly. I had black mold (mildew?) covering in the foam (styrofoam?) assembly.






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