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Suff

GE fridge PFE29PSDASS freezer not cold enough, fridge fine

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Suff

My GE french door refrigerator freezer section is not cold enough (~20F, but set to 0).  Fridge section is fine (holds at 37F).  In running the tests, the fans and thermistors seem to be reading correctly.  When I exposed the freezer evaporator coils, there was an ice block in the upper right corner, but the heater works.  I manually defrosted the block, but it didn't help.  The evaporator coils DO NOT have a light frost on them (only on the supply tube).  After reading other posts, I believe this means I have a sealed system leak. 

Is there a definitive check to know if it's the sealed system (I don't have refrigerant equipment)?  I had to replace the inverter and condenser fans about a year ago.  Is there any chance it could be the inverter again?  Is there anything else it could be?  If it's a sealed system leak, it seems like I should get a new fridge, but I hate to throw this one in a landfill.  It's only 7 years old.

I'd appreciate any help.

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Slav

With these symptoms, sounds like it could be a sealed system problem.

If you can find an IR temperature gun and point it at the middle of (clean) condenser coils, the temperature should be about 30°F above ambient temperature in a healthy system. However, if the compressor is running and all fans are running, but the temperature of the condenser coils is just about the same as room temperature (below 100°F), there is some sort of sealed system issue.

Good luck.

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EthanRanft

Leak or restriction, but either way, definitely not something you can fix on your own, and quite expensive if you call a technician

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David Jero
23 hours ago, Suff said:

My GE french door refrigerator freezer section is not cold enough (~20F, but set to 0).  Fridge section is fine (holds at 37F).  In running the tests, the fans and thermistors seem to be reading correctly.  When I exposed the freezer evaporator coils, there was an ice block in the upper right corner, but the heater works.  I manually defrosted the block, but it didn't help.  The evaporator coils DO NOT have a light frost on them (only on the supply tube).  After reading other posts, I believe this means I have a sealed system leak. 

Is there a definitive check to know if it's the sealed system (I don't have refrigerant equipment)?  I had to replace the inverter and condenser fans about a year ago.  Is there any chance it could be the inverter again?  Is there anything else it could be?  If it's a sealed system leak, it seems like I should get a new fridge, but I hate to throw this one in a landfill.  It's only 7 years old.

I'd appreciate any help.

The only other possibility would be if the coil on the 3 way valve became loose from the valve itself.  The 3 way valve has a coil that switches the capillary tube to move the Freon from one evaporator to the other. I have seen one where the coil came off or slipped.  In this case I was able to move it back into the correct position.  It is possible this is the case because the FF evaporator is cooling enough to keep the refrigerator temperature at 37.  It's at least worth looking at it. Check the wire connections at it as well.  The connector also connects to the condenser fan motor. 

Maybe you could give GE a call and see if they will help with the repair costs.....Although it's unlikely due to its age. 

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Suff

Thanks for all the responses.  It turns out that the ice build up in the upper right corner of the freezer evaporator was the problem.  It was frozen over the evaporator thermistor.  The service manual says the defrost heater heats until either the evaporator thermistor reaches 50F, or 45 minutes, I believe it was heating up my freezer because the thermistor was packed in ice.  When I checked the evaporator for frost, my guess is that I caught it before the compressor had run very long so no frost had built up.  I was also surprised that it took about 18 hours for the freezer temp to get down to 0 F.  So, the freezer is working fine again, but the question remains of why the ice built up in the first place.  Any ideas?  The heater and freezer fan are working.

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EthanRanft

18hrs is a long time to pull down to 0. Also, the thermistor does tell the control when to cut out of defrost, but it won’t ever make it defrost long enough to cause a cooling problem. Your reasoning makes sense, but it just isn’t something that causes the heater to stay on too long. So keep monitoring it, you may not be out of the woods yet

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