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DFE28JMHBES GE French Door Refrigerator Not Defrosting in Refrigerator Section

az10sbum

Premium Member
Joined
Jun 23, 2009
Messages
39
Location
Tucson
Model Number
DFE28JMHBES
Brand
GE
Age
1-5 years
I have a DFE28JMHBES refrigerator, serial number ZD504111. The freezer seems fine. The refrigerator section temperature is climbing. I pulled the drawers and see a lot of frost on the plastic housings around the evaporator, so I am pretty sure I have a defrost problem. I will pull the housings off tomorrow to verify that the evaporator is frozen up, and then to defrost it manually to get my temperatures back down while I wait for parts.

Questions:
1. Do you have the manual for this model that I can download?
2. Does this model have a method to manually turn on the evaporator heater so I can get the defrost done easier than using a heat gun?
3. I think that this model would start defrost cycles from a control board, and not have a separate defrost timer. Is this true?
4. What should I look for to find the root problem? I think I have three items to check -- a temperature switch that should be closed because it is below 40 degrees, a safety thermistor, and the heater itself. Am I correct on this?
(Just a note: the fresh food fan on this unit has had the factory update installed.)

Thanks!
Dave M
 

rickgburton

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Use a hair dryer to defrost the evaporator and make sure all the frost is gone. Using service mode to defrost the evaporator won't work and can damage the board. That machine uses adaptive defrost so no timer. The control board uses the information from the thermistors to start a defrost cycle. Check the heater and defrost thermostat for continuity. The defrost thermostat is an over temperature thermostat that opens at 140°F. If the heater and thermostat check good, replace the control board.
 

Jake

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McMullen Valley, Arizona
Hi Dave,

Do your hear the evaporator fan in the refrigerator running? This model is known for that fan to go out and start frosting up that refrigerator side evaporator coil. I replaced the refrigerator side evaporator fan motor in this same model last spring and it fixed it for my customer.

This is the refrigerator(fresh food) evaporator fan motor for your model: WR60X29099 Refrigerator Fresh Food Fan

Jake
 

Jake

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Rick beat me by 2 seconds. LOL
 

Jake

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(Just a note: the fresh food fan on this unit has had the factory update installed.)
That means nothing if you don't hear it running. LOL

Jake
 

az10sbum

Premium Member
Joined
Jun 23, 2009
Messages
39
Location
Tucson
I do hear a fan running, but it is hard for me to tell for sure it is the fresh food fan. I have seen similar GE models that have pretty extensive diagnostics including fan RPM through the front panel, but my panel is enough different that the instructions from those tech-sheets don't quite apply. Any chance you have the tech-sheet for this model?
 

az10sbum

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Joined
Jun 23, 2009
Messages
39
Location
Tucson
I googled for a service manual for my model and found what turned out to be a reply to a question I asked on applianceblog.com two years ago. I was prepared to be really embarrassed, but it turns out the manual posted in that reply is for a different model. I figured that diagnostics would be similar or the same, so I fumbled around with the display which is substantially different and (I think) figured out how to run the test for FF fan rpm. If I did it right and the display means what I think it means, the fan is bouncing around at about 3000 to 3100 rpm which I think is good. The manual also has a test called "FF Defrost Heater Test" "Activates on the load" which I think means that it is turning on the defrost heater in the FF section. Should I try this?
 

rickgburton

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If I did it right and the display means what I think it means,
These should be the same as yours. Look for your tech sheet under a hinge cover. 00 47 is the FF fan and 00 48 is the FZ fan. The control operates the fan at 75% of the duty cycle then returns the RPM's. Test 00 53 turns on the FF defrost heater. Test 00 94 turns on the FF defrost heater then returns the FF evaporator thermistor temperature. Do one or the other, not both.
 

az10sbum

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Messages
39
Location
Tucson
Thanks for the info. I ran a bunch of tests, and everything seems to work properly. When I first pulled the cover off of the evaporator, I ran the 00 53 Fresh Food defrost heater and noticed nothing. I unplugged the connector to the defrost heater and measured 80 ohms across the heater. The schematic I have for a similar model says the FF heater should be 84 ohms, so the heater seems good. I did have trouble getting the connector to latch when I plugged it back in, but I got it. I tried the 00 53 Fresh Food defrost heater test again and heard sizzling and saw water dripping so I am pretty sure it was heating up correctly at that point. So basically I found nothing wrong and put it back together after completely defrosting the evaporator. (When I first tried to remove the evaporator cover, it was frozen on and I couldn't get it off until it was defrosted quite a bit. It was much worse than when I took the picture I believe.) I will run it a while and see how it goes. It could be that I was having a connector problem, but that connector hasn't been touched since it came from the factory, so it seems odd that it would come loose now. If the motherboard was bad, I don't think the 00 53 test would have worked. I will attach a couple of files so you can see what it looked like. Also, I ran the following tests which were all good plus I put my hand in front of the FF fan to verify it was running during the test.

00 47 FF fan test
00 48 FZ fan test
00 49 Condenser fan test
00 50 Ice Box fan test
00 51 Deli/QC fan test

IMG_20211002_120709833.jpgIMG_20211002_120715546.jpgIMG_20211002_120757044.jpgIMG_20211002_120800048.jpgIMG_20211002_125616307.jpg
 
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rickgburton

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so it seems odd that it would come loose now.
More common than you think. If it's not a good connection the pin can back out. Even the weight of the wire harness can cause a poor connection.
motherboard was bad, I don't think the 00 53 test would
Just the opposite, the motherboard knows how to do it, it just ain't doin it.
 

az10sbum

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Messages
39
Location
Tucson
Thanks for the reply Rick. I will keep an eye on it and see what happens.

I did run the 00 94 "FF Defrost heater Test with Feedback" test which as you said turns on the fresh food defroster and reads back the evaporator temperature. Anybody have a feel for how fast the temperature should change if the defroster is working properly?
 

az10sbum

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I meant the actual readback from the 00 94 "FF Defrost heater Test with Feedback" test while the test is running.
 

rickgburton

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That's the evaporator thermistor temp. It's not going to change much while it's in defrost. Once the compressor turns on it will change quickly because it's against the evaporator coil.
 
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