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GE Profile PFSS9SKYASS Freezer operates only at fridge temperature

drshock

Premium Member
Joined
Jan 27, 2022
Messages
2
Location
United States
Model Number
PFSS9SKYASS
Brand
GE
Age
More than 10 years
My testing of this unit implies it likely has experienced a failure of the sealed refridgerant system, but I thought I'd post here to be sure. The units freezer just failed yesterday evening. It has been in service without incident since early 2010.

- Refridgerator section still cools as usual as far as I can tell (it has held its 38 degree F temperature for about 20 hours since the freezer section failed and continues to cool as doors are opend and closed thru normal usage since the freezer failure).
- Freezer is suddenly only able to cool to around the temperature of the refridgerator ~37 degrees F, and only crawls back to this temperature very slowly if the door is left open for a few minutes.
- LCD panel shows 0 degrees (the set temp) for the freezer, but actual temperature is in the 37-38 degree F range since the problem set in. If the unit is power cycled, the temperature on the LCD panel then reads correct for the freezer but after a few hours it again starts showing 0 degrees incorrectly (perhaps this is a clue as to what's failed here).
- Condenser coils in the rear of the unit have been kept vacuumed of dust and are still clean.
- Compressor and its fan is operational and the inverter logic board red led is on steady, which the service manual indicates a non-blinking led is feedback of normal compressor operation.
- I have used the GE service manual to back probe the freezer evaporator fan and ice box fan at the main logic board connector. Both read within the voltage ranges specified in the service manual for output and operational feedback voltages.
- I have put the LCD panel into technician mode and ran the self diagnostics, all tests pass. Both fans report as operational (freezer fan low speed, ice box fan high speed, when viewed).
- The thermistor located behind the freezer lamp on the roof of the freezer bay has a resistance measurement within the stated ambient temperature range table in the service manual.

- Upon removing its plastic cover, the freezer evaporator coil unit has no frosting on it whatsoever though. Just bare metal. I believe this lack of frosting implies a internal sealed system failure, but not fully sure as I usually am doing automotive repair not appliances. I would have expected the freezer evaporator fan to be running in high speed given the temperature.

- Ice maker was full of ice, but once emptied now no longer makes new ice (this makes sense as the ice box fan is blowing over a non-frosted evaporator coil now).

My next step is to remove and test the freezer evaporator coil thermistor. But given the lack of frosting on the evaporator coil, I'm not sure that's even necessary. Thoughts?
 

Jake

Appliance Tech - Admin
Staff member
Joined
Aug 24, 2004
Messages
130,198
Location
Redmond, Oregon
- Upon removing its plastic cover, the freezer evaporator coil unit has no frosting on it whatsoever though. Just bare metal. I believe this lack of frosting implies a internal sealed system failure, but not fully sure as I usually am doing automotive repair not appliances. I would have expected the freezer evaporator fan to be running in high speed given the temperature.
Yes, you have a sealed system problem if you don't see a thin layer of frost on ALL the coils from Top to Bottom while the compressor and condenser fan motor are running.

Jake
 

drshock

Premium Member
Joined
Jan 27, 2022
Messages
2
Location
United States
Thanks Jake. The freezer has warmed up to over 60 degrees now she's definitely lost her R134a charge for the freezer bottom. But the top half refrigerator is still going fune. I can see that the compressor has a computer controlled three way valve on this model, to route R134a refrigerant between the freezer evaporator coil and the refrigeraor evaporator coil as needed. But I would have expected them to both share the refrigerant charge and be a common sealed circuit.

Given that the refrigerator is still cooling fine, am I mistaken and are the two halves of the sealed system actually independent from each other such that a leak in the freezer path will not affect the refrigerator path?
 

Jake

Appliance Tech - Admin
Staff member
Joined
Aug 24, 2004
Messages
130,198
Location
Redmond, Oregon
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