GE Profile Side by Side Refrigerator Model ESS25XGMB (2001) not cooling

boxer

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Model Number
ESS25XGMB
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Age
More than 10 years
GE Profile Side by Side Refrigerator Model ESS25XGMB (2001) not cooling

Posting a recent experience in case it helps others fix a similar problem

Problem: Neither freezer nor fresh food side cooling. No humming sound from compressor or condenser fan or evaporator fan. Lights come on inside both compartments if doors opened.
Followed test procedure to check main control board.

Found 120 Volt AC power coming to board (tested between orange lead, Pin 1, of connector at bottom right and right-most exposed contact of blue connector in the middle at the bottom of the board).

Opened both freezer and fresh food doors and left open for at least 3 minutes to force the fans to come on.
Then checked for power going to the condenser and evaporator fans by checking for 12-14V DC between Pins 3 and 4 (counting from the left) of connector J2 (left connector in second row of connectors at the top of the board), and then between Pins 3 & 5 for the other fan. Getting only 6 volts, indicating possible bad main control board.

Turned off power to the fridge, pulled off connector J2 to recheck voltages directly on the board (in case I was not getting a good contact with my probes through the connector). Turned power back on, and very soon heard the compressor start. Checked the voltages again directly on the board, getting 13 Volts for both fans. With power still on I plugged J2 back in and heard the fans start.

Waited for 5 hours, freezer was down to 2 degrees F and fridge down to 34 degrees F. Success!

So, what was the problem? I didn’t fix anything but the fridge is working again. Did I reset something on the control board when I unplugged and then re-plugged J2?
Posting this procedure to help others plus would appreciate any insight on what made the fridge work.

Thanks.

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rickgburton

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boxer

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Thanks for the quick replyy. And awesome repair diagram, really helpful, thanks.

You are right, I didn't fix anything, but the fridge IS working. Do you think it will just go out again after some time? The main board is of course expensive and I'm not sure it's worth it for an 18 year old fridge, but also I've heard that the boards keep failing, especially if the root cause is somewhere else.
 

rickgburton

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boxer said:
Do you think it will just go out again after some time?
I do. In your case the root cause is the board MICOMM. At some point the little 1's and 0's are going to crash. If there was a monitor screen on top of the micomm it would be blue.
44121
 

rickgburton

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I'm only saying the board is bad. 18 years is a long time for a refrigerator. I don't know if it's worth replacing.
 

boxer

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Yes, I know! Is it worth trying to find a cheaper used board on eBay?

Anyway, thanks for all your help and advice, I do appreciate your taking the time to give helpful responses.
 

rickgburton

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Here's the deal on that board; When you buy a used board you could be buying someone else's problems. There has been a lot of problems with used control boards from 3rd party sites. I'll use your board as an example. Resetting the board by unplugging the machine will sometimes work for a while until eventually it won't work. If you were to sell your board as a used board and someone installed it, it would probably work for a while until it doesn't work. Replacing the motherboard in a GE refrigerator is probably the most common repair. Your board might last for a month before it goes out again or you can buy a used board and it might last a month before it goes out. It's a crap shoot!.
 

boxer

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Hi Rick,

As you had prediicted the board went out again. I checked the condenser and evaporator fans and they are fine and I am thinking of replacing the board, but before I do so I wanted to make sure the compressor is OK.

I put a jumper between J8 and J11 and the compressor runs, and continues running for at least 5 minutes. However, if I switch it off and then switch on again in less than a minute or so it starts but within a second or so the overload trips. If I leave it off for about 5 mins and then try it starts and runs fine.

Why does it do this? Is it normal, or indicative of a problem?

Thanks.
 

rickgburton

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...if I switch it off and then switch on again in less than a minute or so it starts but within a second or so the overload trips......Why does it do this?
The refrigerant from the outlet of the capillary to the inlet valve of the compressor is at low pressure. This is referred to as the low side. The refrigerant from the output of the compressor through the condenser and capillary tubing is at high pressure and called the high side. The compressor can't start against the high head pressure and causes a high amp draw. That opens the overload. When the two pressures equalize or get closer to being equal the compressor will start.

I should add, trying to start it again right after removing power is bad for the compressor windings. So don't do that anymore..lol
 

boxer

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Thanks for the quick response! So I take it then that this is normal and the compressor itself is OK (unless of course I damaged it in the testing -- I probably did it 3-4 times, would that have caused damage)?

Thanks.
 

rickgburton

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You're probably OK. The overload did it's job. If the compressor is damaged you'll hear the overload click open once or twice each time the compressor starts on its own.
 

boxer

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Just out of curiosity ....

If the power goes out while a fridge is plugged in and comes back in 1-2 seconds I suppose there is no issue -- the compressor would still be spinning and have enoough momentum to restart even on load.

However, if power goes out for say 30-40 seconds and then come back, the compressor would have stopped spinning before the power came back. Then, when power is back the compressor would try to restart but since it can't start on load the overload would trip. Once the overload resets the compressor would try to restart again, since the fridge is plugged in and power is back. So, is the time required for the overload to cool down and re-set enough to allow the pressure to equalize? Otherwsie we would have constant attempts to restart under load.

Just wondering.
 

rickgburton

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The control has a built in delay if that happens. It only takes a 60-90 seconds for the pressures to equal enough and it will start.
 
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