Author Topic: GE Side by Side Not Cooling Properly  (Read 20975 times)

Offline smithlpoole

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GE Side by Side Not Cooling Properly
« on: November 16, 2008, 09:02:10 AM »
Hello.

Side by side bagan acting up about 3 weeks ago...fridge was averaging 50 degrees while freezer was averaging 30 degrees.

I took everything out of the freezer and took off the rear panel.  Man oh man the coils were stacked from top to bottom with frost.  I defrosted with a blow dryer as I read on many websites and ordered the defrost heater.  Got the defrost heater which now has a double heater and installed it.  I wondered if I had received a defective part because there wasn't a voltage tag on the heater as the instructions said.  Further, when I installed the part after drying everything I could, and plugged the fridge back in, the frost began piling back on before my eyes.

Well, I then went to a parts store and ordered a defrost thermostat and sensor and replaced both.  I had to splice the wires of both.  I disconnected the defrost heater, the new one, and dried it off and made sure nothing was wet and reinstalled it.  The little plastic tip of the defrost heater looked a little bit rusted so I used the spare wire that came with the new defrost heater and replaced it...had to splice that one to.

This time, when I plugged in the fridge, I didn't see frost pile on right away.

But, it's been about 5 days and the fridge averages 42 degrees when it used to average about 39-40.  It's warm up top and much cooler at the bottom but it seems like no cool air is being forced into the fridge from the freezer.  Freezer is now averaging about 10 below zero.

I went behind the fridge to look at the main board and was unable to pry it from the back of the fridge...wondering how I am to replace that if I can't get it off.  Actually I just didn't want to pry to hard since I wasn't actually replacing the main board at that time.

My questions are:  
1) is it possible the defrost heater was defective?
2) is it possible I spliced something wrong?
3) is it possible I need a new main board in the rear of the fridge?
4) is it possible it's something else?

I figured the last resort would be to replace the main board and if no results from that I was going to call someone in for repairs.  I like troubleshooting on my own.

I haven't looked behind the rear panel since replacing it last Wednsday.

I'd like to add that when I first thawed/blow dried the rear evaporator coils weeks ago while I waited for the delivery of my part, the fridge was acting normal...fridge was at 39 degrees and freezer was fine too.

Help!

Sherry

Model GSS22KGMAWW

Offline Repair-man

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Re: GE Side by Side Not Cooling Properly
« Reply #1 on: November 16, 2008, 10:42:13 AM »
Ah, the possibilities...  there are things we know, and things we think we know. Then, there are things we learn from experience. For instance, you know it's time to excuse yourself from the Urologists Convention when they bring out the Chardonnay in little plastic cups.

As far as electronic refrigerators go, the thing we technicians all know is to consult the diagnostic manual first. That way, we don't end up shotgunning parts until the thing finally  gets back on track.  Here's the  service guide for your model. See how easy it is to diagnose in  just a few steps.

31-9072 GE Profile Side-by-Side Refrigerator Service Manual

p.s....when you want to remove that main board, use your pliers to squeeze the little white  retainer tabs  flat so the board will pop out of them.
« Last Edit: November 16, 2008, 10:45:06 AM by Repair-man »
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Offline smithlpoole

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Re: GE Side by Side Not Cooling Properly
« Reply #2 on: November 16, 2008, 12:02:26 PM »
do you have a link for the GE GSS22?

This manual says it's for 23,25, 27 and 29 inch.  Mine is a 22 inch.

Offline smithlpoole

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Re: GE Side by Side Not Cooling Properly
« Reply #3 on: November 16, 2008, 12:10:22 PM »
Need the link for model series GSS22KGMAWW.

The one you provided gives instructions I cannot follow as it's for digital and I don't have a digital fridge.  My fridge has dials. 

Offline smithlpoole

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Re: GE Side by Side Not Cooling Properly
« Reply #4 on: November 16, 2008, 12:52:34 PM »
Found it on GE'sWebsite.  This link will take you to the Adobe Download of the Technical Service Guide for GSS22KGMAWW.

http://www.geappliances.com/service_and_support/literature/

Once you get there enter your exact model number and follow the prompts. 

Offline smithlpoole

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Re: GE Side by Side Not Cooling Properly
« Reply #5 on: November 16, 2008, 01:15:15 PM »
Okay, I was wrong.  The above link gives you the owner's manual which is not the same as the Technical Service Guide.

Okay, I need the link for the technical service guide for GSS22 series.

Thanks again. ;)

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Re: GE Side by Side Not Cooling Properly
« Reply #6 on: November 16, 2008, 02:45:57 PM »
What you see is what we got. Please don't PM me me about this, thanks.
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Offline smithlpoole

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Re: GE Side by Side Not Cooling Properly
« Reply #7 on: November 16, 2008, 03:29:22 PM »
Uh...Okay?

Thanks anyway?

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Re: GE Side by Side Not Cooling Properly
« Reply #8 on: November 16, 2008, 03:45:13 PM »
Just because I can't magically produce a manual for you does not mean we are done yet. There's a tech sheet inside the control panel where your knobs are, or sometimes behind the front kickplate in an envelope. It explains how to check everything. From your description, it is a damper or a board issue. Maybe even the thermister for the FF side, since the damper is not opening to allow cold air to migrate over. The tech sheet sould be there somewhere.

Damper & Thermister Assembly Part # WR09X10050
« Last Edit: November 16, 2008, 03:54:21 PM by Repair-man »
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Offline smithlpoole

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Re: GE Side by Side Not Cooling Properly
« Reply #9 on: November 16, 2008, 09:27:05 PM »
Okay.  I thought we were done.
By the way, I forgot to mention the temperatures I read are while the knobs are on max or 9.

I checked under the front kickplate and nothing is there.
I hadn't thought to check behind the knobs.

Thanks again.  I'll keep you posted....tomorrow.

Offline smithlpoole

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Re: GE Side by Side Not Cooling Properly
« Reply #10 on: November 16, 2008, 09:55:25 PM »
Curiosity got the best of me...checked behind freezer panel and everything is frozen again...evaporator coils and all.  I've got a feeling it's either the main board or I got a bad defrost heater.  When I installed that heater I sat there and watched and it was frosting up right before my very eyes the first time.  Maybe the second time I checked I didn't wait long enough to see what would happed.

I'm feeling the urge to just call a certified appliance repairman at this point since I don't want to spend any more money unnecessarily.

Thanks for your help.

Offline smithlpoole

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Re: GE Side by Side Not Cooling Properly
« Reply #11 on: November 16, 2008, 10:42:49 PM »
I also pulled out the top shelf in the fridge when I took out the shelves in the freezer.  I turned out the light in the freezer manually and you could see the light shining in from the top where the damper was open.  It then closed mostly.  I'd also like to add that there was frost rising on the rear panel up to the mechanical icemaker assembly, on the ice itself in the ice bucket and around the square area of the damper within the freezer.  I manually opened the damper when it closed myself and it eventually partially closed back up.

I am aware that it could be the main board in the rear but the damper malfunctioning could actually cause all that frost on the evaporator coils?

Okay, I guess that would be no different than when the solenoid within the front ice/water dispenser area goes bad leaving the ice door open causing frosting and icing and a whole lot of back up where the ice can't even come out when you press on the funnel.

Yes?

This is all so interesting and fascinating to me...

Offline Repair-man

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Re: GE Side by Side Not Cooling Properly
« Reply #12 on: November 17, 2008, 04:40:47 AM »
Just a side note...all refrigerators have evaporator coils that are supposed to get frosty when the compressor is running. A healthy frost pattern on the coils is one of the primary things a technician looks for to assure a properly charged sealed system.  When the cover panel is in place and the fan is running, the frost does not sit there and collect on those coils, it is passed along to the fridge as cold air. If you sit there with the panel off looking at the coils, air cannot flow across them any longer so the frost accumulates.  Lesson 1: Do not run the fridge with the panels off.

If 3 days later you come out there and see frost covering the coils again, it means the board is not doing its job and turning on the new heater after every 10 hours of run time. Replace that board and you should be ok.
« Last Edit: November 17, 2008, 04:45:06 AM by Repair-man »
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Offline smithlpoole

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Re: GE Side by Side Not Cooling Properly
« Reply #13 on: November 17, 2008, 08:49:23 AM »
You know what, that was what I was going to replace first until I saw the price.

I kinda wish I had gone with my instincts.

It's always fun thought troubleshooting.

I think I'm gonna buy a relatively inexpensive but reputable voltage reader just in case I run into problems again.

After I buy the board and replace it I will put another reply on here to complete the trail of questions and answers.

I recently fixed our washer and dryer, to my husband's surprise.  I love this website and ones like this.  In an economy like today they are VERY useful.

I must say that you respond a whole lot faster than most, especially repairclinic.com's repair forum.  They took about a week to send a reply to my question and their reply wasn't even close to thorough.

Thanks again for everything.  I really appreciate your time.

Offline smithlpoole

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Re: GE Side by Side Not Cooling Properly
« Reply #14 on: November 26, 2008, 12:59:32 PM »
Received part and replaced it yesterday.

I turned the temperature dials to 7 for both the freezer and fridge.

Should I have blowed dried the evaporator coils too because I didn't?  Well, I did that over the weekend but I'm sure it piled on again...usually doesn't take too many days for that.

The freezer was at 10 below 0 this morning and the fridge not quite back to normal.

I was actually hearing blowing noise at the top of the fridge on the left side and the freezer fan was running pretty much non-stop.

I can tell you that the water dispenser was a little slower and is much faster now.

The damper opened up on its own too. 

Exactly how does the fridge in a side by side get cooled?  You have that little round hole where the crisper is at the bottom of the fridge and then the air from the damper.

How much time should I give this?  Aside from normal operation, What should I look for now?
How will I know if the heater is working and if that frost was caked on again, how many days will it take for that to get back to normal?

(I know this is a lot of questions).



 

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