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GE Refrigerator GNE29GMKBES Freezer Evaporator Fan

Daniel Anthony

Premium Member
Joined
Aug 21, 2021
Messages
4
Location
Indiana
Model Number
GNE29GMKBES
Brand
GE
Age
1-5 years
This appliance is 4-1/2 years old and is a french door model with the bottom freezer. Icemaker in the freezer. Here's what happened so far: We noticed that the freezer was not as cold as normal and icemaker cycles were taking longer. Initial thought was that the defrost heater wasn't working properly. Opened things up and found the freezer evaporator coil frosted over.

frosted freezer evaporator coil.jpg


Got everything thawed out and dried up, and started researching.
Tested the defrost heater for continuity, it's good, 31 ohms resistance.
Tested the evaporator thermistor, it's about 5 mega ohms resistance at room temp, and then 16 mega ohms immersed in ice water.
Tested the evaporator thermostat, it appears to be a high limit L140-30F, it has continuity at room temp. and 0°, which sounds right if it's job is to cut off the heater if things get too hot.

Original evaporator fan spins freely and has 8 mega ohm resistance between black/red, 93.8 kilo ohms between black/yellow. However, I did not remember that fan spinning whenI took things apart. Plugged all the components in enough to function and plugged fridge back in. Compressor and condenser fan sound normal, coils get cold, but fan ISN'T running. Yes, I made sure the door switch was closed. Put the door back on, let freezer get down to 42°, but still no fan action. Assuming it should certainly be running by now.

Unplugged fridge, removed evaporator fan, plugged fridge back in, tested evaporator fan socket. Black to red has 13.56 VDC, black to yellow 0 VDC, black to blue 4.94 VDC. I was hoping with those readings that the control board is OK. Applied 12 VDC to all three fan terminals on the workbench, no fan action. It appeared that i have a dead fan since power is present from the control board.

Ordered a new fan, which arrived last night. Original fan model is apparently superseded already with new model. The new fan does not operate either, and it tests almost exactly the same as the original fan. Applied 12 VDC at all three new fan terminals, no fan action. The new fan had a second almost identical packing slip in the box from another company from four months ago. The fan itself was taped in bubble wrap but had no factory packaging.

Wondering if they shipped me someone else's previously returned bad fan.
Seems really odd I can't get either one to bump at all. Can't these fans be bench tested with 12 VDC?
Do my meter readings sound correct for this fan? What should all these readings actually be?

Or, are these fans both good, and I have a control board problem instead? Should I get some voltage between black and yellow at the plug when the refrigerator is running? Are the other two voltages correct? I don't know if this is a multiple speed fan or if the lower voltage is a control voltage of some kind. I cannot find any kind of technical sheet or schematic for this fridge on it or inside the compressor area or online.

I have found similar posts that indicate a problem with burned out resistors and *both* the fan and the control board needing replacement on some older models of these refrigerators. I think that is a different type of control board though.

Looking forward to some words of wisdom to work this out. Thanks for taking a look!

original evaporator fan.jpg
new evaporator fan.jpg
 

rickgburton

Appliance Tech - Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Jul 11, 2006
Messages
43,665
Location
Murray, Utah 84107, United States
Tested the evaporator thermistor,
Nothing on your machine is measured in mega ohms. At 32 degrees F the thermistor should measure 16.3K ohms (16,300 Ohms) At room temperature or 77 degrees, 4.92K Ohms (4,920 Ohms). At 0 degrees, 42.09K Ohms (42,090 Ohms)
 

Daniel Anthony

Premium Member
Joined
Aug 21, 2021
Messages
4
Location
Indiana
Rick, you are correct, I wrote it down incorrectly. I just pulled the thermistor to check again. 4.78K Ohms at about 74°. Put it in the freezer to look at those readings again but I'm sure they will show as K Ohms. Thanks. Will go back and edit.
 

Jake

Appliance Tech - Admin
Staff member
Joined
Aug 24, 2004
Messages
122,628
Location
McMullen Valley, Arizona
I agree with Rick, must ohm test in K ohms.:)

It looks like you have a auto defrost problem, the fan must of been working before or you would have noticed it long before the evaporator looked like that.

Only 3 parts cause a auto-defrost problem, the evaporator thermistor, defrost heater, main control board. If the evaporator thermistor and defrost heater ohms test good, then the main control board is the culprit.

Here's the main control board for your model:

When you tested the freezer evaporator fan motor, was the door switch pushed in?

Here's the freezer evaporator fan motor for your model:
WR60X10352 Fz Fan & Felt Asm


Use your multimeter to check the evaporator fan motor in the freezer voltages at the connector that plugs into that motor.

When the freezer fan is NOT running:
Test voltage at--->RED to BLACK --->You should have 12 Volts DC CONSTANTLY

IF the freezer fan is running check these voltages too:
YELLOW to BLACK - 2 to 3 VDC / FAN ON
BLUE to BLACK - 2 to 4 VDC / FAN ON

Jake
 

Daniel Anthony

Premium Member
Joined
Aug 21, 2021
Messages
4
Location
Indiana
OK, I think we are getting somewhere.

Rick, I doublechecked the thermistor and it is definitely within spec range from room temp to -8°. Calling it good. Can't go back and edit my first post apparently.

Jake, thanks for the fan voltages. I cobbled up a multi-volt test arrangement and applied 12.12 VDC to the red, 3.43 VDC to the blue, and 2.85 VDC to the yellow terminals. Both freezer evaporator fans - the original one and the one I bought this week - run fine on the bench with those voltages! That's the good news.

Bad news, I'm not getting any voltage on the yellow at the plug inside the freezer for that fan so it won't run inside the freezer.
I need to better understand: under what conditions does the freezer fan run - or NOT run? When should that voltage on yellow appear? If I plug the fridge in, after a very short interval the compressor and condenser kick on, everything sounds normal, freezer evaporator coil starts to get cold, I have 12.56 VDC on the red and 4.94 VDC on the blue right away, NOTHING on the yellow. Yes, the door switch is closed. I even put the door back on, let the freezer get down to 42° without the fan, and still no juice on the yellow. Should voltage appear on both red and yellow - simultaneously - always? I would think that as soon as the compressor and condenser are in operation the evaporator fan should be running - or does it only get voltage on yellow to spin up after the thermistor gets down to a certain temperature, or if another condition is met? I've got nothing to compare it to. Don't even know what the smaller voltages do, the fan only says 13.6 VDC.

I understand your point about the defrost problem and agree, this points to a control board issue.
Is it reasonable to assume that the defrost cycle got borked and the voltage to yellow for the evaporator fan is collateral damage? Or vice-versa, the voltage for yellow faulted out and killed the ability to defrost?
 

Jake

Appliance Tech - Admin
Staff member
Joined
Aug 24, 2004
Messages
122,628
Location
McMullen Valley, Arizona
When the freezer fan is NOT running:
Test voltage at--->RED to BLACK --->You should have 12 Volts DC CONSTANTLY

IF the freezer fan is running check these voltages too:

YELLOW to BLACK - 2 to 3 VDC / FAN ON
BLUE to BLACK - 2 to 4 VDC / FAN ON

Keep this simple, don't do anymore volt tests expect to RED to BLACK when the fan is not running. You only test YELLOW to BLACK and BLUE to BLACK when the fan is running.:)

If you are getting 12 volts DC at RED to BLACK or a little higher and the fan is NOT running, then your fan is the problem, cut and dry.

Now why its running when you bench test it is beyond me. LOL

Rick? Am I right or am I missing something?

Jake

I'm attaching your tech. data sheet below.

In the tech data sheet you can actually get into the SERVICE DIAGNOSTICS and do a FORCED DEFROST and a FREEZER(EVAPORATOR) FAN MOTOR TEST.:)
 

Attachments

  • 31-51901 GE Mini Manual.pdf
    3.4 MB · Views: 34

Daniel Anthony

Premium Member
Joined
Aug 21, 2021
Messages
4
Location
Indiana
We are making progress but are not out of the woods yet.

Thank you for your insight and the information.

I ordered the new control board per your link early this week; I had previously ordered a freezer defrost heater, and freezer evaporator fan. The board arrived yesterday and I installed everything late yesterday evening and let it run to stabilize overnight.

As of this morning, the freezer maintains temp right at 0° and I can see the freezer evaporator fan running. So the freezer seems fine, and I trust that the defrost issue has been solved one way or another with a new heater and control board.

The refrigerator section isn't working correctly. The door display refrigerator SET temperature of 34° (the lowest setting) matches the door display refrigerator ACTUAL temperature of 34°, but the real temperature as measured inside the fridge is being maintained at 42°- 46°. Everything sounds normal, and the refrigerator evaporator fan is running, I can feel airflow. It appears that the control board thinks all is good and it is maintaining the set temp of 34° correctly but it's definitely not the case. I powercycled the refrigerator but am still getting the same readings. It's too warm by 10°.

Is there a reprogram or recalibration procedure to match the real temperature to the display "actual" temperature?
Issue with the new control board?
Bad thermistor? Exactly what components determine the 34° "actual" temperature displayed?
Something else going on?
 

Jake

Appliance Tech - Admin
Staff member
Joined
Aug 24, 2004
Messages
122,628
Location
McMullen Valley, Arizona
Give it 24 hours to stabilize.

Put the refrigerator at the 37 degrees.

Jake
 
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