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FIXED GE Refrigerator PSI23SCMAFBS - Freezer not defrosting

Shane836

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Sep 5, 2021
Messages
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Location
New York
Model Number
PSI23SCMAFBS
Brand
GE
Age
More than 10 years
New to the forum, have an issue that has been driving me and the local GE repair man crazy. Issue is the freezer is not defrosting, and frost builds every 7-10 days, freezer warms up and requires a manual defrost (take off back freezer panel and use a hairdryer). Repairman has replaced mother board, compressor fan, defrost heater, defrost thermostat, and all thermistors. Issue persists. I bought a MM and tested all thermistors from the mother board for proper resistance, they seem to be working fine. Tested defrost heater line from the motherboard for continuity, got nothing (open). Tested the defrost heater (removed from freezer this time) for continuity, it passed. Tested the circuit from the harness connection clip in the freezer, and I think I found the break. The half of the line that runs down to heater and back passed continuity test. The half that runs back into the freezer (and I assume down to the motherboard) showed as being open.

So, I want to be sure it’s the wiring harness from the motherboard to the defrost heater, and I want to know the part to order to replace.
 

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rickgburton

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Wiring harness- I checked two parts houses. One shows it out of stock and the other shows is as discontinued:

The blue wire on J9 goes to the L1 side of the defrost heater. The pink wire on the element goes to the defrost thermostat and the other side of the defrost thermostat goes to and orange Neutral wire (P7-9 is neutral). If the defrost thermostat is open there won't be any continuity from the pink wire to the orange wire or P7-9.
 

Shane836

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Messages
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Location
New York
How can I check if the defrost thermostat is open? Or is there a way to force it to close to check continuity?

Another thing that leads me to believe there is a break in the continuity of wires is that the freezer light is not working. I unplugged the socket and tested with power outside the freezer and it was working fine.
 

rickgburton

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The defrost thermostat needs to be below 40°F to show continuity. What's the voltage at the light with the door switch pushed in?
 

rickgburton

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OK, on the main board check for continuity between J11 (brown) and J7-4 (red) then J7-79 (red/white). Make sure the machine is unplugged
 

Shane836

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Ok, I am getting no continuity between J11 (brown) and J7-4 (red), but getting continuity (0 ohms) between J11 (brown) and J7-79(red/white). Photo attached of which wires tested just to be sure.
 

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rickgburton

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OK, replace the door switch or look for a broken wire between the door switch and the board.
 

Shane836

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I am assuming that I can test for continuity at the switch (remove and test open wires) to see if that’s the issue or if it’s in the wire?
If I order the switch, it would be part AP6026776, correct?

And is the switch integral to the defrost heater functioning, so addressing this problem will fix the frost issue?
 

rickgburton

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And is the switch integral to the defrost heater functioning, so addressing this problem will fix the frost issue?
No, just the light. If the machine is cooling properly the defrost thermostat should be closed. Unplug the machine and disconnect the blue connector. Measure the resistance across J9 (In the connector) and J7-9. Your meter should indicate 18-20 ohms.
 
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Shane836

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I measured resistance across J9 and J7-9 and got nothing. Calibrated the MM before to make sure it was reading. See picture below
 

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rickgburton

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That would indicate the heater or defrost thermostat is open. Check both for continuity. Check the thermostat while it's still cold. It needs to be below 50°F to show continuity.
 

Shane836

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I have already checked the heater, and the part itself has continuity. How do I check the thermostat?

Previously I had checked the harness where the wires that lead down to the heater plug in, and it was open. See first post and photo.
 

rickgburton

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Shane836

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Doing a manual defrost today, so I was able to get in to check the thermostat first. I had to cut the wires and strip to test, at the location where the repairman spliced the new thermostat in. It showed continuity. So I am hoping that means the wire connection was bad. I reconnected pink to pink and orange to orange, covered in tape, and then put a wire nut over. See picture

If that wiring connection was the problem, then I should be able to check resistance from the board once the freezer cools down, right? And if there is still no continuity, then the problem is somewhere else in that wiring line?
 

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Shane836

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Checked for continuity from the motherboard (J9 to J7-9) and it is still open. Any ideas where to look for the break in continuity in the wires?
 

rickgburton

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A broken or pinched wire can be anywhere. Look at where the wires go through a panel or wall. Also look for any splices. It might be easier to try and isolate which wire is broken
 

Shane836

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So I took the evaporator fan cover off today to get a look at the wiring, and noticed that the two harnesses that clicked into one another (one from the defrost heater/thermostat, and the other from the back of the fridge) did not have corresponding wire colors. The other harness plug nearby that wasn’t used did have matching colors. Those two were able to plug together. I plugged in the freezer to do a quick test, and the defrost heater came on right away (started glowing). Is this the correct fix??? See photo of new connection that got defrost heater glowing
 

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