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GE GNE29GGKWW Refigerator:Question about freezer frost in brand new fridge.

121 posts in this topic

 
 
 
We're on our third fridge in a little over a year. Two LG's died, and now we have the GE French door, bottom freezer.
Doing what a fridge should do, but one odd thing(or maybe not)....is that at least once a day, it seems, we see frost/ice inside the freezer, as you can see in the pictures. You can see the "fuzzy" frost on the blue ice in the freezer, but the weird part to me is what looks like drops of water on the front of that drawer. At some point it obviously was "wet", but it's frozen in the picture.Then.....for whatever reason, at some point, it "clears" itself up. It's almost a cycle, as it sort of repeats, but not at the same time every day. To think that a third fridge in a row could have a problem, is almost impossible, and add in the fact that it does this frost thing, then clears up....we thought possibly that it's normal, so we kept an eye on it for at least a week. It's not the gasket, it touches all the way around, and they had to adjust the door when we first got it, because it wasn't. Plus, it would have frost all the time if was that, I would think.
 
Anyway...at first we thought it just the warm air that gets in when you open it to get something, but the first time we saw what you see in the pictures, first thing in the morning, after being asleep all night, we knew that wasn't it.
It's weird......I've seen it stay like that for 7 or 8 hours, then later that night, clear itself up, and I've seen some days when it hardly frosts up at all, it seems. Sort of all over the place, but always clears itself up at some point.

We finally called GE, and they said it shouldn't have any frost. No "certified" GE repair people in our zip code, but the people that we bought it from are one of their "authorized" repair people. The quotations are not me being a smartass, it's just how GE explained it to me. I do wonder about the guy that came from the store, as he didn't know what was causing this, but he is ordering the fan for the fridge compartment, as I told him I though it was a bit loud, but this model gets some reviews claiming it is a loud fridge. *shrug*.....I just don't know.

Anyway.....he thought maybe moisture was getting on the fan, and making it louder?? He doesn't know where the moisture is coming from in the freezer compartment, but was going to call GE and ask, and forward the same pictures you're seeing here.
So.....I'm a little uneasy about the guy ordering a fan, but not know where this frost is coming from. He did say that the fan blowing the air into the fridge is what evaporates that frost. Make sense, and I'm not a refrigeration expert. He said if you never made ice, the existing ice cubes would eventually evaporate away. That would explain it clearing itself up.

Can anyone at least verify that this isn't normal....or is it??

If not.....any ideas on what is going on, so I at least know if he's on the right page when he come back. We're in a small town, and they're nice people and all, but they didn't know what was wrong with the second LG, and the guy that was at my house has been a repairman for 40 years. Not saying he doesn't know his stuff, just seemed odd he was baffled by the frost. *shrug*
I'm just really gun shy, as I'm sure you can understand.
 
Any input before he calls back to come install the fan, and whatever else, greatly appreciated.
Thanks, in advance!

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

Just to add.....the guy called today, and the parts have arrive. He has a "moisture kit", and GE sent a main board too. He has no idea why it's doing what it is doing, and he said neither did GE. Seems awfully odd the people that make the refrigerator don't know, but that's how I look at it. Getting tired of losing/repairing brand new refrigerators, and this is a little annoying because they're throwing a moisture kit, and possibly a main board, without knowing why it's doing this. The store owner thought maybe they have new software, and hence the new board. The tech thought maybe the defrost heater is staying on too long, putting warm air in the freezer?? That seems logical, but again, I definitely have no clue.

 

@john63......if you happen to see this, do you have idea of what might be going on?? :)

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Light frost is common...therefore normal.

This GE French door refrigerator may also be an LG but with a GE logo. 

GE and LG are collaborators on some products. 

LG gas ranges are GE built (there may be exceptions for Studio and Signature lines though).

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10 minutes ago, john63 said:

Light frost is common...therefore normal.

This GE French door refrigerator may also be an LG but with a GE logo. 

GE and LG are collaborators on some products. 

LG gas ranges are GE built (there may be exceptions for Studio and Signature lines though).

Would you call that frost on the front of that drawer, where it's like drops all over the front....light frost? If so.....then shouldn't the guy from the store we bought it from, that has supposedly been a repair person for 40 years, know that? I'm not being a smartass either, just wondering if they're bringing a moisture kit and main board, for no reason??

 

Like I said.......it's almost like a "cycle", as in it come and goes, almost regularly, but then, one day that frost you see, was there all day, and then cleared up later. I think it was last weekend, it didn't frost up too much at all, but what did appear, went away. I didn't call them right away, because I wondered if it was normal. Seems a bit more than light frost, what do you think?

 

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I know Kenmore elite series is LG, and you can see it when you look at them. Other than the logo, they are exactly the same. This looks nothing like an LG that we've see. Of course, that doesn't mean it couldn't be. :)

 

On another note........if this is considered "normal", wouldn't GE know that?? You do, and I'd hope the people he can contact, are AT LEAST as smart as you....know what I mean?

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Yes...I know.

I've talked with LG engineers at training. These guys make it their business to have answers:)

Varying degrees of light frost in the freezer compartment can be caused by a number of different reasons.

One the more common...is warmer air intrusion...when loading the freezer with groceries from the market. Another is leaving the doors open longer than usual (perusing for food or beverage).

A refrigerator that is exposed to a lot of sunlight or next to a range/wall oven can develop periods of frost as well.

A heat register/vent too close to the box is not a good thing either.

Last but not least...the software design can be a "problem" too.

Refrigerators are being designed/built with an emphasis on efficiency. Defrost cycle frequency is reduced in a 24 hour period. A typical refrigerator at one time went in defrost mode every 6 hours for approximately 25 minutes...whether this is needed or not.

Today...defrost cycles are adaptive...based on activity (door openings are counted etc).

A few years ago...we were addressing a problem in LG refrigerators that were exhibiting "ER/IF" errors...ice cubes frozen together...ice won't dispense...icemaker shutoff and water leaking.

This was attributed to ice forming in the freezer fan motor that supplies cold air up to the left side door icemaker. It was jammed by frost/ice.

The solution was to replace the entire rear panel of the freezer...this had a new ice room fan motor. The main difference was that the fan motor had a mullion type heater wrapped around the fan motor housing. This stopped the formation of ice around the fan blades...keeping the icemaker sufficiently cold.

No emphasis was really placed on reducing the moisture that caused the motor to become stuck.

When we asked if the frost on the rear panel and elsewhere was a fault/problem...the answer was firmly..."no".

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by john63

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16 minutes ago, john63 said:

Yes...I know.

I've talked with LG engineers at training. These guys make it their business to have answers:)

Varying degrees of light frost in the freezer compartment can be caused by a number of different reasons.

One the more common...is warmer air intrusion...when loading the freezer with groceries from the market. Another is leaving the doors open longer than usual (perusing for food or beverage).

A refrigerator that is exposed to a lot of sunlight or next to a range/wall oven can develop periods of frost as well.

A heat register/vent too close to the box is not a good thing either.

Last but not least...the software design can be a "problem" too.

Refrigerators are being designed/built with an emphasis on efficiency. Defrost cycle frequency is reduced in a 24 hour period. A typical refrigerator at one time went in defrost mode every 6 hours for approximately 25 minutes...whether this is needed or not.

Today...defrost cycles are adaptive...based on activity (door openings are counted etc).

A few years ago...we were addressing a problem in LG refrigerators that were exhibiting "ER/IF" errors...ice cubes frozen together...ice won't dispense...icemaker shutoff and water leaking.

This was attributed to ice forming in the freezer fan motor that supplies cold air up to the left side door icemaker. It was jammed by frost/ice.

The solution was to replace the entire rear panel of the freezer...this had a new ice room fan motor. The main difference was that the fan motor had a mullion type heater wrapped around the fan motor housing. This stopped the formation of ice around the fan blades...keeping the icemaker sufficiently cold.

No emphasis was really placed on reducing the moisture that caused the motor to become stuck.

When we asked if the frost on the rear panel and elsewhere was a fault/problem...the answer was firmly..."no".

 

 

 

 

 

 

Well, the first time we saw what you see, it was after putting some stuff in from the store, so didn't think much of it. The first time we saw what you see picture, first thing in the morning, after we'd been asleep all night, and nowhere near the freezer, we started wondering. That rules out both loading up with new stuff, and leaving open to long. Another day it was like that when we had come home from work.

It doesn't get any sun. It sits next to an oven, but this happens when it hasn't been used for days. And it is winter, in Northern California.

No heater register close enough to cause this, in my opinion. There is one about 8+ feet away, and even points another direction, straight out from a cabinet. That isn't it.

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You might remember the second LG, and the frost issue I posted about here, and that loud knock. The tech from the store didn't know what it was. You had more knowledge than he did, but you've probably seen more, to be fair. We gave up on LG. Eff them.

Anyway......do you think it's a waste of time for them to put in this "moisture kit" in, whatever that is? He said it includes the new refrigerator fan, for whatever it's worth. And I'm guessing he's just going to put in a new main board, since they sent it. It's weird GE doesn't know, but sends the parts. Maybe the new board is a different software version??

Do you think the frost in my pictures is excessive?

And thanks for your input. :)

 

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I just checked right now, and it looks like the pictures....with the "pebbly" looking ice on the front of that freezer drawer, definitely more than fuzzy frost. When it does this, pretty much the entire freezer has a this layer of frost on it.

But like I said in my post above..... do you think it's a waste of time for them to put in this "moisture kit" in, whatever that is? He said it includes the new refrigerator fan, for whatever it's worth. And I'm guessing he's just going to put in a new main board, since they sent it. It's weird GE doesn't know, but sends the parts. Maybe the new board is a different software version??

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GE and most every other manufacturer always knows more information than they are willing to volunteer.

Yes...I would take any and all updates/improved parts and/or software updates.

Those will be the latest improvements in most cases.

A manufacturer will almost never provide the customer with any technical reason for changes that are done. A servicer should make every effort to explain to the owner why an update was called for.

I am not privy GE's technical information but since this refrigerator is likely an LG design...and with everything you've described (with the photo images)...I feel comfortable declaring that as long as the *knock* noise isn't occurring...all is likely well. 

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Well, the LG was scrapped, and we got a full refund from LG. This isn't that fridge.

Ok.......I'll let him put the parts in. I'm tired of having a third $2,000 fridge in about a year, being worked on.

I'm assuming you agree that the frost/ice I described and showed in the pictures, is a little mote than "normal", yes?

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From my experience...it is a common sight. 

Keep in mind though...If your original refrigerator (before these 3)...never had any frost at all...ever...this is likely because your older refrigerator was either non-digital or partially digital (hybrid)...and...not as hyper-energy-efficient as they are today.

A refrigerator from 15 years ago...is a dinosaur compared to today. 

 Technology is fast moving in the direction where...refrigerators and other digital appliances will capable of receiving software updates/corrections *wirelessly*.

Replacing a Main Board for a software issue will be obsolete.

For example...

If a defrost heater is found to be not staying on long enough...and causing unwanted frost accumulation to the point that either the frozen food in the freezer is *completely* coated with white snow (cannot identify if it's beef or chicken etc)...or frost/ice is interfering with fan motor function...or the freezer door rail is frozen (cannot open door)...then rather than having someone come to your home to replace a part...updates will be performed remotely...wireless internet.

Its overdue.

This will allow the manufacturer to track system performance (in your specific refrigerator...in your home)...and based on that data...will likely allow for customizable software changes to eliminate even simple nuisance concerns/complaints...such as persistent light frost.

A defrost cycle can be re-programmed to remain on 5 minutes longer...by wireless internet...to more adequately and sufficiently complete the defrosting cycle. Leaving no residual frost/ice which could grow/spread and cause problems with fan motor function and/or other faults/symptoms.

 

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Ok, so now I'm a little confused.

You say from your experience, what I posted pictures of, and described, especially the layer of ice over the entire inside of the freezer, is a common sight. But you also said I should let them put this "moisture kit", and possibly main board in. Why would I do that, if this seems normal?

Seems like it would still act the same way after replacing those parts.

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Because in reality...it is not normal:)

I'm 53 years old...I remember Coldspot refrigerators from the 1960s...that never had frost in the freezer.

My point is that...as long as that light frost is *not* adversely affecting the refrigerator ability to maintain temperature day in and day out...as long as the icemaker (if it has one) performs flawlessly...but...there's light frost (even with particlized ice crystals)...then that is the new normal.

When the DOE mandates strict energy regulations for refrigerators...endlessly changing regulations...since 1980...this has an effect on a how a refrigerator functions.

Plug in an old coppertone GE refrigerator that was built in 1970...and its cold in one hour. I mean COLD !

Plug in a new GE or LG refrigerator...you'll need to let it run for 24 hours before the temperature drops sufficiently for the icemaker to "wake up" and start making ice.

There many other examples of this nature. Including weird symptoms...that we never saw/experienced before.

Manufacturers are always addressing this stuff...with all kinds of updates.

The updates/revisions/corrections...never stop.

If the federal govt never got itself in the business of managing energy through regulations...

All of us would be enjoying beautiful French door refrigerators that did not have quirky issues...and would last 25 years:)

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Ok gotcha. It seems like it is keeping everything cold, as it should, and everything is staying nice and frozen, and like I said, the frost and the ice crystals are clearing out at least once a day or so. And yes, it has in ice maker in the freezer, not on the door, and it seems to have no issues.

What is this "moisture kit" he's speaking of, and he's going to call in the morning to see what time to come over, so should I let him put this kit, and the main board in, or do you think it's a waste of time?

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@john63

So....the tech called Friday morning, and said they had someone out sick, and could we reschedule the "repair". I said sure, but I asked him what GE had said about this issue, and he said he also sent them the pictures. They didn't know why it was doing that, but felt that if it was clearing up, that it was probably be ok, kind of like you said. It's sort of how I felt, only because it was clearing itself up, almost on a regular basis, more or less. Just seems like excessive frost/ice, but like you said, maybe that is the new "normal". I do wonder why they sent this "moisture kit", whatever that is, and a main board, unless it's like you said.....and they don't always admit everything they know.

All that said.....he is supposed to come back Tuesday morning. In your opinion, all things considered ....do you think I should let them put these parts in, on the chance that maybe it will improve the situation, even though it's feasible that it won't?? Just curious what you think. And thank you for all your input. :)

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Definitely.

If you've ever owned/used a Garmin or similar brand GPS for directions while driving...you'd know that it's a good idea to update the GPS once in a awhile (quarterly)...to get the latest new construction etc...

Let us know how it works out:)

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26 minutes ago, john63 said:

Definitely.

If you've ever owned/used a Garmin or similar brand GPS for directions while driving...you'd know that it's a good idea to update the GPS once in a awhile (quarterly)...to get the latest new construction etc...

Let us know how it works out:)

Yes, I get your point, but you said yourself that it might be normal, and it is a little over a moth old, so it can't be that outdated, haha. I guess I'm "gun shy", being on our third fridge in a little over a year. First fridge...."second opinion" tech that LG requested, "fixed" it, and it died the next day. Second one...it just dies, and no one knew why, and got a refund. Now I have a fridge that has behavior that might be "normal", but we're throwing parts at it.

"Leave well enough alone" comes to mind, but then, if he doesn't replace the parts, I'll never really know. If he does, and it's exactly the same, it will most likely be safe to say it's probably normal.

I also think "what if the guy "fixes" it, and something else goes wrong, like with the LG.

To ad to the story....the guy they're sending has been there a while, and he's mainly the inside parts guy, and is helping with repairs. I can tell he knows his stuff, and has been doing repairs a long time, but he didn't give me confidence when he came out the day after we got the fridge, and adjusted the freezer door. And unrelated to repairs.....they sent another guy to pick up the loaner fridge, after we loaded up this one, and he brought the big box truck, the regular delivery guy normally uses, as he had gone home for the day. Well, this guy never drives this truck, which is no excuse, but he hit this big tree in front of our house, by the curb. He drove right into a big branch that he should have seen. No one else has EVER hit that branch. He stopped the truck with it, really screwed the truck up, and moved the entire tree over about 6 inches. The city came out the next day, couldn't tell if the tap root was broken, and took the tree out. It was city property, but we got shade from that tree, and no one else has ever hit the tree. Then the owner insinuated that he was getting to be sorry he sold us a fridge. Well, I didn't build any of the three brand new fridges that we've had, and I didn't hit the freakin tree!

Anyway.....yeah, you can see why, more than usual, we'd kind of like to just use the fridge, and not do anything we don't have to do. It's like a bad movie, lol.

I'm gun shy, and my guard is up, and we live in a fairly small town, with somewhat limited options, but I'll go with the flow, and have him replace the parts, fingers crossed that it at least doesn't get worse.

He can't hit our tree, that's for sure! :)

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To "add" to the story, not "ad". Can't edit my posts. :)

And yes, I do own a Garmin, matter of fact, haha. I update any/all electronics and what have you, that need updating. It's more maintenance, in that respect, but I know what you're saying. Hell.....the one fan seems a bit on the loud side to me, and a new fan is part of this "moisture kit", so who knows.....maybe I'll at least get a quieter fan. :)

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@john63

So, the tech came today, as scheduled. He had told me to empty the refrigerator section beforehand, as obviously that's how he access this "moisture kit/fan. I had done that.

He comes in with just his laptop, plugs it into the Ethernet port on the fridge, and goes in and checks the history, number of door openings, etc. etc......you know the drill.

He doesn't find anything not operating properly, or any error codes or whatever, and as we know, GE has basically said it could be "normal". So he says everything is operating normally, and that there is a software update, but the program wasn't working, or something with his laptop......not really sure, but he couldn't update it right then. Puts his laptop away, says he's going to whatever he was talking about, regarding the update, and come back in a couple days. Doesn't replace the main board, or put this moisture kit in......so I'm thinking he feels he doesn't need to. That's fine with me, if it doesn't need to be done, and the frost in question is indeed normal. So he leaves and says he'll come back Friday, to update the software. He says "you can go ahead and put all the food back".

Now.....I started wondering why I pulled it all out in the first place, if he didn't even know if he was replacing these parts, but then I figured maybe it's so that if he sees something on his laptop that tells him something is wrong, then everything is already out, and that's the only thing that makes sense. But then I thought......why didn't he plug his laptop in the first day he came, and saw the frost, and hadn't ordered any parts? He'd come to the same conclusion, and could still update the software. Seemed odd.....but I'm not an appliance repair man, so I have to give him the benefit of the doubt.

But, I called GE, and they put me through to the help line, and I know they're not techs, but the woman I talked to said it seemed backwards to check the fridge after emptying it, to determine that you don't need to install either of the parts you have. She said she wasn't a tech, but also felt the the frost in question was likely normal, and that if it sticks around for 24-48 hours, then we might have an issue.

I called the tech back, and asked him why GE sent those parts, because that was my understanding, and he said they didn't.....they suggested having those parts, just in case, and he ordered them.

What is your take on how this service call was handled? Seem kind of backward to you? I'm not judging.....just asking. Like I said before.....this has almost turned into a gong show.

 

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A good technician will always at least verbally explain everything that he or she doing and why.

I write it down...so that there's no ambiguity about what's going on (or what the procedure is).

If I am still trying to makes heads or tails of a problem and possible solutions (in other words I don't have definitive answer yet)...that too will be conveyed to the customer.

Sometimes...an answer/resolution will be found/identified weeks later.

A follow up service visit resolves the issue.

As for unloading food...we always do that task...when done...everything is wiped clean then the food is reloaded into the box...as it was...all labels facing forward...looks clean and organized:)

It appears that the tech discovered that his software update did not match your model refrigerator...and now must obtain it from GE before returning and completing a correct and successful upload. Hard to know for sure.

Its also possible that updated parts are not needed...as your model may already have it.

It does seem discombobulated how the service approach is being handled...but that could be GE's faux pas...If they do not have system in place to allow expedited updates/repair information.

Everyone is afraid to admit the "new normal"...but are working behind the scenes trying to find a fix for the light frost condition:)

 

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@john63

Yeah, my confidence in them is on the low side, and the person I talked to at GE sort of agreed, for whatever that's worth.

 

Oh......I forgot to show the tech a picture of one of the vents behind the bottom meat drawer, if you will, in that fridge, and the ice on that metal piece that's in there. This picture was taken back when I took the others, and looks a little different today. You can see the rather large "frozen drops of water", if you will, and the frost on what reminds me of the "fins" that are all round my house air conditioner. The store owner said he thought that was part of the evaporator, or something like that, but wasn't absolutely positive. Today that flat metal piece is clear, but there is frost on those fins, if you know what I mean. Is there supposed to be any/all of that there? Pics below

from a couple weeks ago   http://imgur.com/a/xPFtI

today:

http://imgur.com/a/uHijf

http://imgur.com/a/SMbwG

I'm sure hoping that frost is part of the normal operation.

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Just to add......the pictures from today were a while after the fridge had been reloaded, but obviously had been open quite a bit while I unloaded it, the guy looked at it, and I reloaded it. Lots of warm air got in there, obviously. The refrigerator portion anyway. Freezer hardly got opened today.

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Yes...that's the fresh food compartment Evaporator Coils and aluminum drain trough.

The evaporator coils will get "snow covered" until the defrost cycle melts it all.

Water then drains through a hole in the trough...to the drain pan under the refrigerator.

The degree/amount of frost on those coils varies...depending on the amount of door openings/moisture intrusion.

Looks good there.

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9 minutes ago, john63 said:

Yes...that's the fresh food compartment Evaporator Coils and aluminum drain trough.

The evaporator coils will get "snow covered" until the defrost cycle melts it all.

Water then drains through a hole in the trough...to the drain pan under the refrigerator.

The degree/amount of frost on those coils varies...depending on the amount of door openings/moisture intrusion.

Looks good there.

Ok cool. I kind of thought that was normal. After I posted, I remembered that our old side by side got "clogged" up in that area, as the defrost heater had stopped working.

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