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GE Side by Side - Freezer cool, not cold; refrigerator cool, but warmer than usual


Dec 8, 2012
Model Number
1-5 years
Hello all,

This morning we awoke to a freezer full of melting food. The refrigerator was cool, but also not as cold as usual. My first check was to remove the back cover and clean the coil assembly which *was* covered with dust and pet hair. Plugged the unit back in, heard the compressor and fan kick back on and though I was done for the day.

About three hours the wife said the freezer still wasn't very cold. As troubleshooting, I turned up the digital thermostat on the freezer and refrigerator up to 9 (the coldest it goes). I heard the compressor kick on and about 30 seconds later the fan in the freezer started putting out cool (again, not cold) air. Checked again about 15 minutes later -- still no *cold* air, but still putting out cool air.

Suggestions? Is this repairable or time to replace? I'm very mechanically and electrically inclined and know my way around a multimeter. Give me some things to test and you'll help me make my wife a happy girl again. :)

Thanks for your time and for any help you can provide!


Appliance Tech - Moderator
Staff member
Jul 11, 2006
Murray, Utah 84107, United States
Is sounds like you'll need to replace the motherboard and possibly the evaporator fan motor:
Main Control Board WR55X10942 Order now for same day shipping. 365 day return policy. RepairClinic.com

Evaporator Fan Motor WR60X10185 Order now for same day shipping. 365 day return policy. RepairClinic.com

If your evaporator fan motor has the thermistor integrated in it order this one(Video Included): Evaporator Fan Motor WR60X10074

This is a rewrite of a thread I started above in 2011 in an attempt to make it easier to understand and how to determine whether the evaporator fan motor should also be replaced with the motherboard on GE refrigerators with failed motherboards.
I’ve had to replace both the variable speed DC evaporator fan motor along with main control boards or “motherboards” on GE side by side refrigerators, mostly the GSS HSS and PSS 20-22-25-27 cubic ft. models with both metal and plastic liners. I’ve found around half of these board failures were partly due to a faulty/shorted DC evaporator fan motor. Moisture gets inside the fan motor or thermistor that’s attached to the fan motor and causes shorts in the motor. Replacing just the motherboard and not the fan motor will only result in another failed motherboard in a short amount of time.

To determine whether or not the fan motor should be replaced with the motherboard, first look at the two resistors below the J2 connector. If they are burned or discolored you should replace the fan motor. Remove the J2 connector and check the resistance in the harness between the J2-3 white wire and J2-8 red wire. There should be approximately 1.5K to 3.0K Ohms. If it reads open or shorted you should recheck it at the motor. If the readings are the same replace the fan motor. On the mother board, check for 13 VDC between J2-3 and J2-8 and check for between 8-13 VDC between J2-3 and J2-4. When no voltage is measured at the motherboard check for a short in the fan motor between the yellow and white wire and the red and white wire. A short in the fan motor will damage the motherboard. If either of the following symptoms exists, freezer section thawing and refreezing, fan motor speed erratic or makes noise, or water stains and/or rust on the fan motor, then I would recommend you replace the fan motor.

While replacing the motherboard on GE refrigerators is common on all models, I have not seen this particular problem on top mount, bottom mount, french door, or inverter models. I’ve marked the image and picture of a failed motherboard for easy reference.