GE Arctica SxS (2001) - everything is hot!

tierra

Premium Member
Joined
Jul 19, 2013
Messages
4
Location
New York
Model Number
PSI23SGMAFBS
Brand
GE
Age
More than 10 years
My GE Arctica from 2001 is misbehaving and I'm wondering if I should put it to sleep forever. The freezer temp is at 30 and I can hear the fan inside running. The fridge temp is 50 and I can't hear a fan, at least not immediately upon opening it.

DIAGNOSTICS
I've run through the diagnostic tests. The main control board communication all gets a P. The temperature control panel and control and sensor system self tests both come out fine. I couldn't distinctly hear the damper, but I'm also mostly deaf. I did replace it once, so the one inside is probably five years old (unlike the rest of the 12 year-old fridge). On the fan speed test, I hear one clearly, but not the other. Pre-chill doesn't seem to do anything. I haven't tried defrost. I have reset the refrigerator.

MOTHERBOARD
I ran tests on the motherboard. All the J1 tests came out at 2VDC to 2.6VDC, which seems fine. The J2 tests also looked good. But the J3-J4 tests all came out at 0.5VDC, so that's definitely bad, and all J7 tests showed up with nothing.

PREVIOUS WATER DISPENSER PROBLEM
Prior to this major misbehavior, the fridge and freezer temperatures were fine. The icemaker produced ice, but no water came through the water dispenser.

Is it time to get a new fridge (and if so, please recommend a 23 cu ft. side by side)? Otherwise, please let me know what I can do.

Thanks,

Tierra
 

Jake

Appliance Tech - Admin
Staff member
Joined
Aug 24, 2004
Messages
102,861
Location
McMullen Valley, Arizona
Hi Tierra,

Did you pull the refrigerator out from the wall and take the lower back access panel off and check to see if the condenser fan motor that sits next to the compressor was running? Also make sure the compressor itself is running.

If that's fine, then remove the lower back access panel from inside the freezer and look at the frost pattern on your evaporator coils, normal would be a thin layer of frost on ALL the coils. If the frost is not on ALL the coils but some, then that indicates a sealed system/compressor problem.

Also if the coils have massive frost build-up on them to where you can barely see the coils, that would indicate a auto defrost part is bad.

Let us know what you find.

Jake
 

tierra

Premium Member
Joined
Jul 19, 2013
Messages
4
Location
New York
Hi Jake,

I did pull the refrigerator from the wall and remove the access panel. The fan is spinning. How do I know if the compressor is running? Is that what makes the loud noise when I pull out the electrical plug?

I've had the refrigerator unplugged for a day now. Should I plug it back in and then check the freezer, or will there still be some way of telling what the problem is from the freezer coils, even if there's no frost left on them?
 

tierra

Premium Member
Joined
Jul 19, 2013
Messages
4
Location
New York
Should I plug it back in and then check the freezer, or will there still be some way of telling what the problem is from the freezer coils, even if there's no frost left on them?
I went ahead and plugged the refrigerator back in and--boom--the lower 50% quickly frosted up and the top 50% is clear. I'm not sure what that means, but I got the sense from your message that it's not good. :(
 

Jake

Appliance Tech - Admin
Staff member
Joined
Aug 24, 2004
Messages
102,861
Location
McMullen Valley, Arizona
Yes, that means its your sealed system/compressor is shot. To have that repaired your looking at over $400. Not worth it since its already over 10 years old.

Go refrigerator shopping tomorrow.

Avoid GE they have had way too many problems. I recommend Whirlpool or Maytag or KitchenAid.

Jake
 

tierra

Premium Member
Joined
Jul 19, 2013
Messages
4
Location
New York
Thanks, Jake. I've spent hours reading reviews of counter-depth refrigerators and none are very positive! So far, KitchenAid and Electrolux look the best. Whirlpool has a decent model but the complaints about their customer service are through the roof. Maybe it's time to move out of New York City and into an actual house--that can fit a real refrigerator!
 

Jake

Appliance Tech - Admin
Staff member
Joined
Aug 24, 2004
Messages
102,861
Location
McMullen Valley, Arizona
Maybe it's time to move out of New York City and into an actual house--that can fit a real refrigerator!
Yes, I agree 100% with you on that. I live in a city that's about 50,000 people, next to Eugene, Oregon which is about 157,000 people and its much better living in smaller towns where normal appliances fit perfectly.:)

The KitchenAid is much better than the Electrolux as far as quality and reliability goes.:)

Whirlpool is #1 on my list for all appliances, so I don't know why complaints about their customer service is so high there, they have great customer service here.:)

Jake
 
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