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FIXED GE Motherboard woes, fridge not cooling, howling fan, bad ice/water dispensers

Roy32

Premium Member
Joined
Jun 26, 2012
Messages
2
Location
California
Model Number
PSS26MGPAWW
Brand
GE
Age
More than 10 years
Our 12 year old PSS26MGPAWW stopped cooling recently and required a "kick in the side" to start back up (actually tapping it in the back in various places). Since the coolness settings were 9 and 9, once it started up, it stayed on for a very long time and all seemed well until it stopped again.

After a lot of troubleshooting and "sniffing around", I narrowed the problem down to the compressor relay on the motherboard. At last, I determined that a light tap on the relay with the handle of a screwdriver caused it to click and the compressor started back up and the refrigerator was good for a few more days. Reading the reviews online for replacement motherboards shocked me. Many, many people bought this and it fixed everything that had to do with controlling the refrigerator including
fridge not cooling, howling fan, bad ice/water dispensers. This saved them a $300-$400 service call with parts and labor.

I removed the motherboard from the back of the refrigerator (<5 minutes) and inspected the solder side of the board. My particular problem was a cracked "cold solder joint", so I scraped off the conformal coating, wicked up the old solder and reapplied 63/37 solder (one that doesn't form cold solder joints) and the refrigerator works like a champ now.

It's a shame that most GE refrigerator owners will be or have been dumping their fridge when all it takes is most likely a motherboard or if they are skilled with a soldering iron, $0.01 worth of solder. I now see why some companies have been selling refurb motherboards for $120 with a $40 refundable "core charge" when it looks like a resolder job is all it takes to fix these things.

A new motherboard will not fix everything, but with proper troubleshooting, it's far better than a $1200 new refrigerator when the old one still works fine mechanically.
 

rickgburton

Appliance Tech - Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Jul 11, 2006
Messages
43,698
Location
Murray, Utah 84107, United States

Roy32

Premium Member
Joined
Jun 26, 2012
Messages
2
Location
California
I've replaced over 1000 motherboards. The chances of it just being a "Bad" solder joint are 1000 to 1. Read this: http://www.applianceblog.com/mainfo...l-liner-motherboard-evaporator-fan-motor.html

Hey Rick, good to hear from someone who has seen this and has lots of motherboard experience.
So what are the "999" other problems? A burned out bearing will draw excessive current and a motherboard design that has no protection will fail (another typical symptom of this MB). Replacing the motherboard without replacing the fan motor will simply burn out another motherboard.

The main thought I have is that there are lots of failing refrigerators out there that probably have many years of service left in them but will probably be dumped because of a poorly designed or fabricated motherboard.
 

rickgburton

Appliance Tech - Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Jul 11, 2006
Messages
43,698
Location
Murray, Utah 84107, United States
When I first started replacing these motherboards I knew there would be an issue with them and started saving them. After I had a box full I thought I could make a few good ones out of the bad ones but no go. (maybe 6). I can check most components on the board but I'm not an electronic tech and I don't own a logic probe. Your bad solder connection is the first one I've heard about and that's always the first thing I look for. I talked to a GE service tech and he told me the computer chips on board were a big problem. Then I noticed on some of the replacement boards a huge aluminum sink was installed.
 
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