[FIXED] GE side by side fridge side not cold

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rickgburton

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Looks like you have a defrost problem. Could be the defrost thermostat, defrost heater or the motherboard. You'll need a meter to figure out which one.
 

DaveH28

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That's what I was thinking based on the other threads I read here.. I will either go get one or go borrow one -- now how do I know what and where to test? I do not know where the motherboard or the defrost heater is on this fridge...

I just put the back cover back on this morning, it's completely defrosted.. Should I give it some time to see if it happens again? Or do we KNOW it's going to happen again and I might as well test it now...?

Thanks
 

rickgburton

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You'll need to test the defrost heater and defrost thermostat. Both are located on the evaporator. Check both for continuity and if both check good then the motherboard will need to be replaced.
 

DaveH28

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Rick - what am I looing for on the evaporator? The evaporator is the section of coils that are frosted, right? Where/how do I check them? And if it is the motherboard, where is that?

Should I be calling GE for a problem like this? Is this something that they're known to help people on? I know it's an electronic issue but this shouldn't be happening on a fridge this new...
 

DaveH28

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Rick - thank you, that picture is actually very helpful.. I looked at a few exploded views on the site but could not find one for my exact model..

So the motherboard would require me to take off the exterior back cover/panel to access? I guess I should start with the defrost thermostat. What readings am I looking for? Just continuity? Do I have to take any of these parts out of the freezer to test them?

Sorry for the hundred questions.. I'm a novice here... I get the basic theory of how this stuff works together, but I've never actually taken one apart or tested these kinds of components before..
 

DaveH28

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My wife just told me that the same day the freezer froze up, the ice maker was making crushed ice when set to cubed (first time it's ever done that) -- Since that stuff is unrelated to the heating element, maybe the motherboard is bad after all?
 

rickgburton

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The defrost thermostat should read closed below 40*F. You don't need to remove anything to test it. The crushed ice thing sounds like a different issue. If it's already defrosted then turn it on and everything should work although nothing has been fixed yet. The ice and frost build up on the evaporator is what was keeping the refrigerator section from getting cold. See if the cube/crushed works now.
 

DaveH28

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Ok, it has been reconnected for a few hours now and both sides are cold (since it has defrosted).. I got a multimeter but I have never really used one before..

1. Do I test continuity with the fridge plugged in and on? Is it ok to have that cover off with the unit running?
2. Do I probe both wires @ the defrost thermostat?
3. What value am I looking for on the meter to know that it's working or not working?
4. How do I test the heating element itself after the thermostat? Unit on & plugged in? Where do I probe it?

Thanks again! Hoping I can get to the bottom of it..
 

rickgburton

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Leave it running while you take the panel off and set up your meter to read ohms/continuity. When you're ready, unplug the refrigerator. There are probably connectors you can just disconnect. Put one probe on each end of the heater wires. You should read closed or 0 or 0.0 or 000 something similliar to that. If you read 1 or OL it's bad. Same with the defrost thermostat. By now it should be below 40*F so it too should read closed or 0.
 

DaveH28

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Ugh.. This thing is really starting to confuse me now.. I took the panel off with the fridge running, and it looks like it was frosting up again. I think I found the thermostat, but I could not probe the wires, they're sealed right into the thermostat and I didn't want to open them up. But I did unclip the thermostat from the cooling line, and then reinstalled it. About an hour or so later, I open up the fridge, and the heater is running - I can see it glowing and there is water dripping on to it - so now I know the heater works and if it's on then the thermostat is working, at least for now.. Maybe the thermostat was stuck and when I was screwing with it, it freed it up..

The only problem is, the thing still doesn't feel very cold. The temperature according to the display is 41 degrees, and it's been that way for about 2 hours now - not really dropping. I have nothing in the freezer, not even shelves. When I put my hand near the vents I can feel cold air coming out so I know the compressor is running and the evaporator fan is running. If I listen to it, sounds like the heater kicks on and melts the ice and then the water drips on the heating element.. So it almost acts like it's supposed to, but it's still not cold enough. I'm not convinced that the thermostat is not faulty..

I guess I'll leave it overnight and see how it is in the morning. More than likely I'll just be calling someone tomorrow for help with it :(
 

rickgburton

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When you defrosted it manually, did you get all the ice out? Unplug it take the panel off and use a hair dryer to get all of the frost and ice out and off of the evaporator. Now here is a big mistake many people make when working on their refrigerator. They leave the back panel off so they can see what the coils are doing. The machine won't cool with that back wall off so be sure to put it back on before you start the refrigerator. If you are sure the heater was on then no need to check the heater or thermostat. They are both good. Normally when the defrost goes out and it's defrosted manually, it takes a few weeks to build up enough frost to stop the cooling in the ref section. So don't panic yet. Start over with defrosting it with a hair dryer or leave it unpluged and the door open for 12-18 hours.
 

bbeely

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Forgive me if I missed this answer - I read through the entire thread, and may have just missed it. Hotpoint model HSS25IFMCWW, not cooling at all. I pulled the freezer back panel, and the coils were all dry. The evap fan and condensor fan are both turning. Where to look next?

Thank you.
 

Jake

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Put your hand on the compressor and feel if its warm and vibrating while the fans are running.

Let us know.

Jake
 

Jake

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Ok, then its likely the motherboard. Look on the motherboard for any burnt spots on it.

Here's the motherboard for your model you can order(Video included):
Manufacturer part number WR55X10942P


(Unplug your refrigerator first).

Jake
 

bbeely

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Thanks for your help. The main board looks fine, no burnt spots at all. I read in another post somewhere (which I can't find now to link to) that the connectors #733 and #735 sometimes cause problems like I'm having. What are your thoughts on on of those two being the culprit?
 

Jake

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bbeely

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OK, the relay ohmed at 6.9, and the overload was at 0.6. Something inside the relay is rattling around inside it.

On a separate note, I just want to say thanks for your help - all through this site you are an amazing asset to humanity.
 

rickgburton

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My guess would be the rattling sound you hear is the small magnet that opens and closes the points. It's most likely not a solid state device or PTC device.
 
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