GE Side by Side GSS25KGSACC freezer side gets warm, to about 25 degrees, then freezes like normal.

Bowtie--

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Model Number
GSS25KGSACC
Brand
GE
Age
More than 10 years
I have an older GE side by side that is in the garage. The fridge side works great. The freezer side will work fine for a few days with the temp getting down to around -10 or so (I have a thermostat in the freezer that shows the temp). There is a loud fan running behind a plastic shroud that is near the top shelf that blows the cold air around. Once the freezer gets to its desired temp that fan won't turn on again for several days until the inside temp of the freezer gets to about 25 degrees. After several days the freezer side decides to work again like normal. So it's basically three to four days of freezing properly and around two or three days where the freezer side does not work at all and the temp rises. Most everything in the freezer stays frozen except for things like ice cream or popsicles or bread.

Coils are cleaned as best as they can be. When the freezer is not cooling like it should, I can hear a fan running quietly inside the freezer/fridge. It turns off when I open either door. It's about 25% as loud as when the freezer fan that is up high turns on and is cooling (maybe this small fan is a defrost fan?)

Currently the freezer fan up high that blows cold air has been running for almost two days straight. But prior to this, the freezer didn't kick in for three days.

When the freezer side works like it should it cools/freezes great. It's those two or three days when the compressor or fan isn't running that is the problem.

Is this a thermostat issues? Any advice or help would be greatly appreciated.
 

Jake

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Bowtie--

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Thanks for links. I will look everything over this weekend.
The evaporator fan is the louder fan, behind the shroud near the top shelf, that blows the freezing cold air around? I get to that fan by unscrewing the protective plastic shroud?
Where is the motherboard and how do I get to it? Is it safe to assume if there are burnt resistors I will need to replace that also?
 

Jake

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When you click the part link to the evaporator fan motor I posted in post #2 will have a video in it that shows you how to access it.:)

Here's the motherboard for your model:
Main Control Board WR55X10942P


When you click the part link to the motherboard you will see a video on how to access it.

Let us know what you find.

Jake
 

Bowtie--

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Thank you for the info, Jake. I will work on both items this weekend and will post pictures of my findings.

If both the fan and motherboard need replacing is it worth putting $150+ into a 15 year old fridge? Might be worth taking that money and putting towards a newer used fridge? Again it’s just for the garage anyway.
I still have the smaller (18 cu ft?) no frills top door freezer in my garage that works perfect. It’s about just as old. Just smaller than the side by side. I was initially going to sell that one on Letgo/Craigslist but could just junk current fridge and re-hook up smaller fridge.
Opinion on that?
 

Jake

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Its up to you, the rule of thumb is if it costs less than half the price of a new refrigerator to fix, then fix it.

Jake
 

Bowtie--

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Jake I finally got around to looking at the fridge. I have not messed with the evaporator fan motor yet. Here are pictures of the motherboard. I know some of the wires are in the way but from what I can tell, everything looks good and clean. Extra clean actually. So I guess the next step is to check voltages on the motherboard and at the fan?
So with the freezer working great for a few days and then not working so great for a few days my question is how does a faulty evap fan cause the freezer to work great and then not like it should?
From post #3 in the link you provided above, there is probably a short in the fan somewhere? I just don't understand why that causes a problem.
 

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Jake

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Pull the refrigerator out from the wall, then remove the lower back access panel and make sure your condenser fan motor is running while the compressor is running.

Also touch the top of the compressor to see how hot it is.

Jake
 

Bowtie--

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I've been keeping an eye on everything, for the last week or so, after pulling the panel covering the motherboard and the lower back panel.
Since pulling both panels I have no had any issues with the compressor not running for days at a time. It's been working like a normal freezer where the highest temp I have seen on the thermostat I put in the freezer has been about 10 degrees. Otherwise it's always been at zero or below when the compressor and evap motor have been running.
I checked the temp of the compressor while the freezer has been cooling. It's been around 130-135 degrees (checked with an infrared thermometer). Yesterday I knew the compressor was not running and just caught it as it started. Was reading 108-ish degrees. It would appear than since removing the access panels the compressor and motherboard are cooler which is allowing the freezer to run properly?

Which is the condenser fan motor? Is that the fan motor that is to the right of the condenser if facing the back of the fridge (surrounded by a slotted tube)?

The other day I could hear the evap fan motor spinning inside of the freezer but it was making almost a grinding noise and the fan was running real slow. I had to pull the protective shroud a little bit with my fingers to allow the fan to get up to full speed and blow cold air around. It made a horrible ticking noise which I am almost positive is ice build up on the fan blades. After it ran for a few minutes the ticking noise went away. I have to do this once every few weeks when I can hear the fan wanting to spin but it's rubbing against something and spinning at a very low speed until a pull the protective plastic shroud/freezer covering off the evap motor/fan blades. Then it runs at full speed and won't cause any problems for another month or so. It's as if the bushings/bearings in the motor are bad but once at full speed it operates as normal.

What would cause that? Ice build up? I know that model fridge is known for ice build up on the fan blades.
 

Jake

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Yes, the condenser fan motor mounts next to your compressor, is it running? Do you see the fan blade turning fast and drawing air through the condenser? and blowing the air out?

It sounds like your evaporator fan motor is wearing out too.

Ice build-up? or frost build-up? Take a photo of what you are seeing please, also take a photo of the evaporator coil.

Jake
 

Bowtie--

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Yes the condenser fan blade is spinning and drawing air in and blowing it out.

I have not taken off the front evaporator cover or the top cover that has the six vents in it (it has no number in the diagrams but it would be the piece that sticks out above #213). Sometimes when the evaporator fan is not moving at full speed I have to pull on one of the six vents to create enough space to allow the fan to get up to speed. Once the fan gets to top speed and I release the plastic cover with the six vents it makes a horrible sounds which I assume is ice build up on the fan blades. It goes away after a while once the ice wears away.

I have not gotten to the evaporator coil yet and have not taken the freezer side apart yet. But I think that is working well. I know that if that freezes up it basically stifles the entire system and no freezing cold air would blow around. When the evaporator motor is running, the freezer works great. It's just that the evap motor can go two days without running.

The freezer side was working great for almost three weeks and then this past week the freezer would freeze and blow cold air but then it would not run again for two days, at which time things would start to thaw a little. Once the inside freezer temp gets to 20 degrees the evaporator fan turns on and it blows cold again, freezing everything.

After reading Rick's post #1 and #3 I'm thinking the evap fan needs to be replaced. Because the freezer thaws, causing moisture and then refreezes. Which I think it causing a short, which does not allow the freezer side to work normal.
Most of the time the freezer side does work but then one or twice a week, or once every few weeks the freezer does nothing, it starts to thaw and then starts up once the inside temp gets to around 20 or so degrees. Then the freezer works well again for a week or two.

I've looked over the motherboard again and I see no burn marks at all what so ever. I'm pretty sure the motherboard is good to go. I just think the evap fan needs to be replaced.

Would you agree with that assessment?

(sorry for the time delay in posts. I'm trying to trouble shoot this as best as possible and am trying to give the best possible information. And I also greatly appreciate the time you are taking to reply to my responses)
 

Jake

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I'm pretty sure the motherboard is good to go. I just think the evap fan needs to be replaced.

Would you agree with that assessment?
Yes, I would agree with that 100%.

Jake
 

Bowtie--

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So the next questions is...

Do you recommend a GE OEM evap motor or can I get away with one of these ----- cheaper Chinese motors?
 

Jake

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The GE OEM evaporator fan motor I posted the link to in post #2 above.

Jake
 

Bowtie--

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IMG_1974.jpg

Ordered a new motor and a new fan blade as you can see the attached one is all chewed up.
I also broke the right "arm" that helps support the evaporator fan cover. I don't think that is going to be a big deal once I put it all back together. Hopefully. Apparently I should have taken the evaporator front cover off first???
Who knew.

After I plugged the fridge back in the evap fan would occasionally spin at very low speeds for a few revolutions and then stop. I tried to "help" it get up to speed but it would not spin anymore on it's own.
As I checked the motherboard once again, I could hear the evap fan spin inside at low speeds once in a while. I visually caught it slowly spinning a few times. Again I'm guessing it's shorting out due to the moisture of having the freezer door open while disassembling the ice maker. Or the evap motor is just plain old and crusty. Either way, a new motor and fan blade are on the way.
Since this is a garage fridge/freezer I don't plan on re-installing the ice maker. That should not affect performance in anyway having an open connector or two, correct?

What is the part number for the evaporator fan cover with the six vents in it? I cannot seem to find that anywhere or even what it is called.
 
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Jake

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Yes that old evaporator fan motor looks shot in your photo, the new evaporator fan motor should fix it.

Since this is a garage fridge/freezer I don't plan on re-installing the ice maker. That should not affect performance in anyway having an open connector or two, correct?
Correct, it will work fine without the ice maker.

Jake
 

Jake

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Ok, sounds good.

Jake
 

Bowtie--

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Installed new evap motor Thursday night. Motor kicked in and was blowing freezing cold air about five minutes after plugging freezer/fridge back in. Success ! I wake up next day, inside of freezer is cold. Evap motor not running. I was thinking maybe it was just running it’s cooling cycle and I caught it when fan was not running. Check freezer again both Saturday and Sunday. Inside temp steady at 20 degrees. Fan had not run since it shut off after it ran its cycle during Thursday night. Compressor was real warm (didn’t get a temp reading). Condensor/coils (whatever is behind cover and below evap fan was cold/freezing as moisture on cover was frozen. But evap fan never kicked in again.
Got home from work this morning. Freezer Still holding steady at 20 degrees. Unplug fridge/freezer. Let it sit while I sleep. Wake up 5 hrs later. Plus freezer in. Evap fan kicks in and blows cold air with in five minutes of plugging it back in. Evap fan is still currently running and blowing freezing air.
Any recommendations now?

Moisture on the evaporator cover was frozen. So everything is freezing as it should. It’s just that the evap fan didn’t turn on for three days until I unplugged it and let it sit for several hours. (Typing this on my phone and had to add this after looking at a schematic)
 

Jake

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Then you will need to order the new motherboard as well.

Jake
 
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