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GE Range PHB920SJ1SS blank and beeping

dca

Premium Member
Joined
May 7, 2020
Messages
16
Location
PA
Model Number
PHB920SJ1SS
Brand
GE
Age
6-10 years
I have this GE induction oven and its display went blank and started beeping. I tried replacing the whole control panel assy with a used one (because a new one was not available), and it did the same thing. So, either the used one has the same issue, or I have a different problem. A service manual would really come in handy here. My dishwasher and refrig had service schematics tucked away inside, but I can't find one in this oven.

I could not see a clear Line power input from the board markings, and it looks like there are off-board power supplies (5V, 15V) that come in on a connector. I measured at the test points next to the power connector coming infor +5V and +15V and I got +5V and +13.25V. I am concerned that maybe the +15V is out of tolerance. Only other boards I see in the unit are under the cooktop, shown below. That assy is labeled as an induction generator board - I was assuming it was for the elements only, not the control voltage.

Do you have any add'l service /diag info or schematic dwg on this series of units that may help me to debug, or rule out issues here? Thanks! Dave
1616365975813.png


1616365232515.png
 

Jake

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Hi Dave,

I couldn't locate the service manual for this model either, and without the tech data sheet or service manual its going to be impossible to diagnose your range.

I can ask our tech @bigbuck if he has any tech info on this model.

Jake
 

Dan O.

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This is the tech sheet for that model:
 

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  • GE range PHB920SF2SS mini man 31-17061.pdf
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dca

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Thank you guys!!! Always really appreciate your expert help. 👍

I will review this and reply back with an update. Thanks again -- Dave
 

Jake

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Thanks @Dan O.

Yes, keep us posted.

Jake
 

dca

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Found that the sheet @Dan O. posted is indeed the same model, but is dated June 2013. The unit + controls were revised and there is a newer copy dated Oct 2015 which covers my unit's vintage. I am posting here for anyone who may need it. --Dave
 

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  • phb920sj_TechSheet_2015-10.pdf
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Jake

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Thanks Dave,

Did you fix your range? If so, what was the fix?

Jake
 

dca

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No, I found a lot of information to review on the original service sheet provided, but it was not all lining up, and have been busy with other stuff. Using that info, I was able to find the newer one using multiple creative searches on the internet.

I also wasted my time contacting GE, thinking they would provide the newer copy, since these are typically hidden away behind a panel in the unit anyway. They sent me to 4 different phone numbers before telling me that information could only be accessed at a secret certified technician phone number, and I was not allowed access. Which is why we're here in the first place!

I was a GE engineer at another division for 7 years before we were sold to another company. I told GE/Haier I had replaced all my appliances with GE (except one) and most have failed, all within 1 to 6-7 years from new. I emphatically expressed :-! to them that I nor anyone I know will ever purchase one in the future, especially if they are not willing to help out when they break down.
<end of rant>

Hopefully, I will be able to work on it this weekend.

Thanks again for the help ...
 

dca

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Location
PA
Ok, so I came back to the same conclusion that the top control assy is bad. Instead of ordering on eBay, going to get it direct from GE/Haier - it's back in stock now ($377). Hoping maybe they revised it at some point to make the design better.

Found out some important things:

No line voltage goes to this top control assy. It comes into a board under the cooktop and that board generates 13.20V which is fed up to the left wing/taco board on top (it's no longer 15V like previous gen, and like the test point silk screen incorrectly says on my board).

That left wing board (looking from back of unit) generates +10V and +5V that is distributed to the main control board (center), and right wing board.

So, I was able to rule out the power supply board (located under the cooktop!). Although it is somewhat high risk being placed there due to ambient heat in that space. But, they do insulate the cooktop from the under cooktop area, and since this is an induction unit, most of the heat is on top at the pot/pan vs. on/under cooking surface.

The fact that I am getting +13.2v from main power supply, and +5v and +10v (within ~+/- 2% in my case) from the left wing power supply to the other boards, tells me it must be the controller. Most all the buttons beep when pressed, the red status LED blinks on the board, and it beeps a double chime sound every ~10 secs. (The manual says nothing about the meaning of the LED or the chiming/beeping). But, the control won't go into service mode, nor will it display the stored fault codes. Every once in a while, it might flash SALE (this indicates "sales demo" mode). So, clearly the control has lost its wits as it is not responding properly, even with correct and stable control voltages.

Just strange that the replacement I bought on eBay has same issue - but it was used, and this is probably a known failure mode or design flaw. Looked like someone put the old part back into the new part's box. These units could be sensitive to power surges, as my GE dishwasher control failed just a few months ago as well - and it is even newer.

FYI - I found another mistake in the service sheet where it references the old +15v instead of +13.2v. It also communicates using a serial comm protocol between boards (may be LIN - a scaled down version of CAN). If it was the comms not working, there is a fault code for it on the main board, and I saw the data line being toggled on an o-scope like it was communicating, so at least the main/master side was sending data.

I'll update when I get the factory direct replacement board assy. The
service sheets helped confirm things for me. Stay tuned ...
 

dca

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Ok, got the new top controls assy from factory. Does the same thing :( I am starting to run up against multiple dead ends here.

Over the weekend, I opened up the cooktop and looked at the filter board and gen board #1 & #2. I didn't find any physical damage, and rang everything out in the wiring harness and it checked out.

The Gen Boards start out flashing green 1/sec, which indicates normal. Then, after a 5-10 seconds of being powered, I hear a relay click and they stop flashing. So, this seems to indicate to me that they start out ok - unless there is some self test that fails after boot, but it doesn't make sense that both would be bad - so this tells me someone else is telling them there's a fault, or removing their power.

The only other board is the filter board, where the main power comes in and 13.25VDC (although the docs sometimes refer to it as +15VDC) is supplied to the upper controls, where the left wing board creates +5Vdc and +10Vdc and shares it with the other boards.

This control knows why, or at least has an idea why it's failing, it's just not telling me.

Only other clue I have is before it failed, when the oven element cycled on, the oven light got really bright, like there was an SSD failure or something, not sure.

I have some questions here:

1.) Is there anything that indicates what the double chime with no display means. Not sure why the main control wouldn't turn on it's display and report a fault code, if it is able, but that depends on the internal logic. What can cause a general fault like this, besides bad power supplies? They all seem to check out.

2.) There is a modular jack (RJ) on this unit that is there to provide 'advanced diagnostics' for GE techs. I believe it is called NewFi. I think it's also used with the SUM (s/w update module). I see that GE sells it for $50 w/activation, but it's backordered for another month or so, and I'm assuming to activate it you'd have to have some official GE registration/SSO, etc. Anybody know?

3.) After reviewing all signals coming from the filter board (with primary power supply), only other signals there are (besides power): GEN ENABLE, GEN FAN LOW, GEN FAN HIGH, & GEN FAN SENSE.
But, those GEN signals are outputs from the left wing board in top controls, not created by the filter board. SHT 2 table says replace control (not filter bd) if those don't function properly, and they seem to be related to turning on heating, not basic boot up of the controls.

Only other thing could be the GEa2 communications, but only the top controls and the Gen Boards use those. It's possible one of the Gen Boards are disrupting comms on that bus, but I have no way to tell (maybe unplug them?). Still seems like the main control should be able to indicate that in a standalone diag mode.

Other suggestions on determining health of the other boards?

These are all things that the factory should be able to answer, along with their 13.25V vs. 15V errors in the tech sheet, but they won't speak to me, since I'm not a factory tech. I measure 13.20v, so seems to jibe with the 13.25v value.

Any help is appreciated! Now, I've got to get the root cause diagnosed, the main control panel returned, and the right defective component replaced. It's tough for a family of 5 being without a range for about a month now. I really don't want to scrap a 7 y.o. unit that's about $1500 new over a $200 board.

Thanks,
Dave
 

Jake

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That's very odd, I don't know what else would be causing this problem.

Its best at this point to contact GE at 1-800-432-2737 to come out and see what's going on.

Jake
 

dca

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Just closing the loop on this... I talked with the local GE expert tech, and he didn't know what was going on either. He also didn't seem optimistic that the NewFi diagnostic tool would tell us anything new.

Since nothing was making sense, and there were some undocumented components on the unit, and considering the way it failed, mistakes on the tech sheet and short of replacing the filter and generator board assys... Instead I opted for a new (non-GE) induction oven.

Thank for the help!
Dave
 

Jake

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I opted for a new (non-GE) induction oven.
Great Dave, that's the best route to take.:)

Thanks for the update!

Jake
 
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