GE SXS Plastic/Metal liner Motherboard/Evaporator Fan Motor

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rickgburton

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Model Number
GSS-PSW 22-27
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GE
Age
6-10 years
I've had to replace both motherboard and evaporator fan motors on GE SXS's with both the plastic and metal liners on models without the inverters. It seem to be limited to 22-23-25-26-27 cubic foot models. Customers replacing the motherboard have noticed a burn spot on the resistors below the J2 connector. In this case replacing just the motherboard will only result in another failed motherboard. Customers may have noticed freezer fan noise or excessive moisture in the freezer resulting in ice forming on the housing or blade before the motherboard failure.

Other symptoms were thawing and re-freezing in the freezer section. Most times this resulted in moisture getting inside the variable speed DC evaporator fan motor causing a short between (but not limited to) the white wire and the yellow wire on the fan motor. This is what is causing the "burned" mark on the motherboard. A 2002 GE Service bulletin addresses the fan noise and moisture issue (Attached).

On the main control board or motherboard diagram (Attached) notice the J2 connector is the DC fan motor outputs with the two large resistors directly below it. These are the burned resistors in the two pictures I've attached for easy identification. The burned resistor is not noticable 100% of the time. However, the fan motors showed water stains and/or rust around the motor shaft and bearing and fan motor bracket. I hope this was helpful information.

Motherboards and evaporator fan motors lookup
 

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rickgburton

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Replacing the evaporator fan motor and motherboard on GE SXS refrigerators

REPLACING EVAPORATOR FAN MOTOR AND MOTHERBOARD ON GE SXS REFRIGERATORS
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 PSS PSW 20-22-25-26-27 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.
rickgburton
applianceblog.com
GE MOTHERBOARD J2 CONNECTOR.jpg
 

rickgburton

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REFRIGERATOR SEALED SYSTEM: HOW IT WORKS
All conventional refrigerators manufactured today, from the less expensive mini-refrigerator to the high end models, all use one basic refrigeration system that consists of a compressor, condenser, capillary tube and evaporator. The compressor is a pump, because the pump in a refrigeration system is always used to compress the refrigerant, it’s referred to as a compressor. When the refrigerator is turned on, it starts the compressor. Since the intake of the compressor is connected to the evaporator, it begins to pump out some of the refrigerant gas from the evaporator. As the refrigerant gas is removed the pressure in the evaporator begins to drop. If there is any refrigerant liquid in the evaporator it will immediately start to boil because of the lowered pressure, absorbing heat of vaporization in the process causing the evaporator to get cold. The cold evaporator will, in turn, absorb heat from warmer food in the refrigerator. The refrigerant pumped out of the evaporator is forced into the condenser tubing where it is compressed into a high pressure gas because of the restriction presented by the capillary tube prevents it from flowing through as rapidly as the pump can pump it out of the evaporator. As the compressor runs more and more, refrigerant is pumped into the condenser so that it becomes highly compressed and its pressure builds up. Compressing a gas concentrates its heat and raises its temperature. The hot refrigerant gas, at this point, contains the heat it started out with plus the heat it absorbed from the food compartment. The highly compressed gas can be quite hot. As the hot gas flows through the condenser coils it begins to cool, giving up some of its heat to the surrounding air. At this point the refrigerant contains less heat than when it entered the compressor even though its actual temperature is very much higher. At this lower temperature some of the gas condenses to a liquid and gives off the heat of vaporization which it absorbed when it boiled in the evaporator. By the time the refrigerant has traveled through the condenser all of it has become liquid and given off all the heat of vaporization it absorbed from the food compartment. After condensation, the liquid refrigerant continues to flow, first through the filter/drier where any contaminants like moisture are removed, through the capillary tubing into the evaporator where it boils again. This cycle continues as long as the compressor is running. In order for the refrigeration system to work properly, some restriction to the flow of refrigerant is placed at the entrance to the evaporator. This prevents the refrigerant from flowing too fast into the evaporator so it maintains a low pressure in the evaporator as the compressor pumps it out at the other end. At the same time the restriction causes the refrigerant to pile up in the condenser and capillary tube raising its temperature and pressure and permitting it to give off its heat of vaporization. The refrigerant from the outlet of the capillary to the inlet valve of the compressor is at low pressure. This is referred to as the low side. The refrigerant from the output of the compressor through the condenser and capillary tubing is at high pressure and called the high side. The capillary tubing offers the restriction necessary to separate the high side from the low side outside the compressor.
 

jag6913

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Good post but I have a question?

I have a GE GSH25JFTC bb Serial#mm217659 and I have watched and read your posts regarding the motherboard and evaporator fan replacement. I would like to know it your posts apply to the model I have as well? I am having issues with frost and ice all over the freezer. It is causing my ice cubes to clump together as well. I took the evaporator fan and motor our just to inspect it and it looked good. I did not test with a volt/ohm meter yet. Any assistance would be appreciated. I also want to know if you have instructions for the motherboard replacement.
 

rickgburton

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It's easy to replace the motherboard. No two connectors have the same amount of pins. Put the 6 pin wire harness connector on the 6 pin motherboard connector, 9 pin wire harness to 9 pin board, etc, etc.
 

czechfridge

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Story is: Model: PSS26MGPCBB

I have never cleaned it and ridiculous as it sounds didn’t realize that its normal to clean the coils underneath or in back.
I took it all apart and the coils inside freezer were frozen. Cleaned the coils underneath of debris and dust and used a hairdryer to defrost frozen coils.

Not sure if that was the issue but after research saw that it might be one of 5 things that could be making the freezer not work. After cleaning and taking apart panels inside and back, and plugging back in power, I saw that smoke was streaming out of the circuit board like a burnt computer..
I remembered a weird smell then the night before. Looks like I could have had a house fire had I not investigated when I did.
I saw there used to be a recall on my fridge that has expired but GE sent me a new motherboard for 40 dollars instead of higher price.

Now researching here I see that I need to get the evaporator fan motor or else my new board will burn like old one? My fridge is a PSS26mgpc bb , GE Profile. Should I get the fan as it seems like i have to do so? A tech is coming tomorrow and I don't have time to order the part through the site. Is there a place in South Houston I could buy the motor for the evaporator fan? Thanks!!

 

rickgburton

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It sounds like you need to replace both. Remove the cover over the motherboard and see if the two resistors below the J2 connector are burned. If they are, you need to replace the fan. That's probably where the burning smell came from. AppliancePartsPros is excellent about getting parts out to you. There have been several members say they ordered the part and got it the next day without paying for next day air. If you ordered it now I wouldn't be surprised if you got it tomorrow or the next day at the latest. I'm not familiar with the Houston area. I looked to see if any of the techs here were from that area but didn't see any. I know there's an Appliance Parts Company in San Antonio but don't know about Houston. Your tech should have one on his truck.

WR60X10185 Evaporator Fan Motor


Jake
 

mlonas

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I started another thread with my issue and just realized that I probably should have posted it here. My apologies. Here is my deal:

I have a 2006 Profile PFS22SISBSS that I was given about 8 months ago. I came home after a labor day weekend trip to find the refrigerator temp in the high 60s and the freezer just above freezing :-( My son said that he found the GFI circuit that it is powered by tripped a couple of times for no apparent reason, although we did have some thunderstorms which tend to kick the breaker.

I started investigating and found that the compressor was not running but hot to the touch, the condenser fan was not running nor was the evaporator fan. The control display indicated mode and set point normally. The start relay rattles a little bit. The start capacitor checks good. The compressor windings seem to test fine but I can't get accurate reading with my cheapie analog Walmart special analog multimeter. I guess I'll buy a digital multimeter and see exactly what I'm dealing with. The total resistance looks to be the sum of the start and run windings. I don't have a megger to check for shorts to ground. After reading many forum posts about control board issues I decided to inspect the board. It has the replacement P/N WR55X10942 board, not the original WR55X10552 board. I do hear a relay on the board make when I plug in the unit. When I leave the refrigerator doors open for 3 minutes the evaporator fan runs.

Before I knew that the control board was not the original, I called GE Customer Relations and they agreed to sell me a board and evaporator fan for $50 each. I hate to order a board and that not be the problem so I am hoping you fine folks can tell me what troubleshooting steps I may have failed to do. Since the compressor wont start, I cannot measure the current. I can't test the solid state start relay which seems to be step one if I wanted to start throwing money at this thing. I suppose I can make a test cable and see if the compressor will start if that is the next logical step.

What confuses me if finding the compressor hot to the touch and the start relay rattling. If the relay is bad, there should be no power applied to the compressor unless the relay contacts welded closed. Is that a common failure mode?

Any advice will be greatly appreciated!
 

rickgburton

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The part number WR55X10552 changes to the more common WR55X10942:
GE WR55X10942 Main Control Board - AppliancePartsPros.com


To see if the compressor is getting the correct voltage measure the voltage drop between J7-9 and J8 (COMP). Your meter should indicate 120 VAC. When the freezer door is open for an extended amount of time the machine goes into liner protection mode and turns the evaporator fan motor on high speed. The fan voltages can also be checked at the motherboard at the J2 connector.
 

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mlonas

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Thanks, Rick. Awesome graphic. I'll do some more troubleshooting and report back with my findings. Many thanks!
Mike
 

mlonas

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The compressor voltage out of the control board (J8) is basically zero, although with no load (the start relay disconnected), the output is 20VAC. I guess I'll take GE up on the $50 control board. It'll be a week before I can look at it again (hopefully the board will arrive this week while I'm away) but I'll report the results of a new control board installation.

Mike
 
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