GR-349R Freezer can't keep its cool

smuncky

Premium Member
Joined
Mar 23, 2019
Messages
7
Location
Ontario
Model Number
GR-349R
Brand
LG
Age
1-5 years
Been having an issue w/ my fridge/freezer (LG GR-349R) recently after living with it for 5 years...though we think it's an original appliance in our unit which is 12 years old.

A few weeks ago we woke up to the food in the freezer being a bit softer than usual. As the day progressed it got worse. However, the fridge part was still cool and had cold air coming out of the vents. Though it did seem like the air coming out of the fridge and the freezer was the same temp. which would explain why the food was defrosting.

We called out usual repair guy but unfortunately he doesn't service LG fridges or anything LG as they apparently only partner w/ one repair company for parts and such. So he recommended we call them (Elite Appliance). In the mean time, he suggested we turn the fridge off and see if any water would start leaking out, which would indicate ice build up. We did that but no water leakage occurred. Since the fridge part was working fine before, we turned it back on to put the food back in (we kept everything outside as the temps were below zero those days), but after a bit of time passing, the air that was coming out of the fridge part was warm. So now both areas weren't working.

Fast forward a few days when a technician from EliteAppliance came and diagnosed that the compressor was working. He did find that the overload protect and the thermistor assembly wasn't working properly and as he explained it, was the reason the compressor wasn't turning on. We agreed to continue the repair and order the parts. Unfortunately, one of the parts wasn't available and took 2 weeks to come in. Luckily, the fridge in our condo party room was available for us to use as a stop gap measure.

Today, another tech came in to install the new part during the day. It was fairly quick and the compressor turned on and started to cool. He mentioned that it'd take 4-8 hours to get to the right temperature but suggested to put some ice trays w/ water in the freezer as a test. It must've been another 30 min or so before I had to go back to work, but everything seemed like it was working fine. Fast forward around 5.5 hours when I got home after work, open up the freezer and see ice has formed to about 90% in the ice cube trays. The trays aren't deep and usually the water would freeze quite quickly, so my intuition tells me something isn't right, but I brush it off hoping that it still hasn't hit peak cool. However, over the next 4 hours, the ice starts turning back to water, and I haven't heard the compressor turn on again. The fan, though, is still working and I can feel cool area being pushed in both the fridge and freezer areas.

I'm going to be calling the repair company again tomorrow to send a guy out to re-diagnose the problem, but wanted to come here first to see if there any experts here or if anyone has had a similar problem.

- - - Updated - - -

These are the notes the tech left:

1. FOUND THAT THE CPMPRESSOR OFF WHEN TECH ARRIVED BUT UNIT IS STILL RUNNING.
TECH TESTED THE COMPRESSOR WITH THE 3IN1 AND THE COMPRESSOR STARTED AND
THERE IS HAVING FROST PATTERN. AFTER REPLACING THAT OVER LOAD PROTECTOR AND
THE PTC ASSEMBLY

2.REPLACE THE OVERLOAD PROTECT AND THERMISTOR. TESTED OK. CONDENSER FAN AND
COMPRESSOR WORK OK. EVAP FAN WORKING FINE. ADVICE CX KEEP OBSERVED IT. NO
DAMAGE DURING SERVICE. NO LEAKING DURING TESTING.
 

rickgburton

Appliance Tech - Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Jul 11, 2006
Messages
35,272
Location
Murray, Utah 84107, United States
OK I see several red flags. Before I can go any further I need a good model number. Read it from the tag on the machine. Click here: Appliance Parts follow the link “How to find a model number”
 

rickgburton

Appliance Tech - Moderator
Staff member
Joined
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Messages
35,272
Location
Murray, Utah 84107, United States
OK, it must be because it's a Canadian model. Unfortunately I have no way of knowing what compressor and control board it uses. Here's what I can tell you:


smuncky said:
...doesn't service LG fridges or anything LG as they apparently only partner w/ one repair company for parts and such.

The real reason is LG uses substandard parts and the design is difficult to work on and diagnose. Many appliance companies have stopped doing repairs on LG machines Some companies have stopped doing their warranty repairs. At one time it was difficult to get parts for LG but that has changed.


smuncky said:
He did find that the overload protect and the thermistor assembly wasn't working...

Two parts that never fail at the same time. The thermistor is a variable resistor. I don't know why he would say it isn't working??

smuncky said:
....one of the parts wasn't available and took 2 weeks to come in...

Here's where I start questioning the techs ability to diagnose this machine correctly. The thermistor wouldn't keep the compressor from running and the overload, for the most part, is the same across brands and models. Every tech has at least a half dozen in his truck.

smuncky said:
.....take 4-8 hours to get to the right temperature..

After power is removed the control board is reset. It takes a minimum of 24 hours before temperatures will stabilize.


smuncky said:
smuncky said:
TECH TESTED THE COMPRESSOR WITH THE 3IN1...

Bad idea! A 3-IN-1 is a hard start kit that uses a start capacitor. A start capacitor will short PC boards. That's the wrong way to check a compressor.
 

smuncky

Premium Member
Joined
Mar 23, 2019
Messages
7
Location
Ontario
Two parts that never fail at the same time. The thermistor is a variable resistor. I don't know why he would say it isn't working??
All that I understood was that when he checked it w/ his tool (not sure what it was), there was no current/power running through it.

Bad idea! A 3-IN-1 is a hard start kit that uses a start capacitor. A start capacitor will short PC boards. That's the wrong way to check compressor.
That's unfortunate to hear.

Do you have any advice on what I can ask/tell the tech when he comes in next?
 

rickgburton

Appliance Tech - Moderator
Staff member
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Messages
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I can't find a wiring diagram so I don't know what he planning to check. I wouldn't let him use a 3-IN-1 again.
 

smuncky

Premium Member
Joined
Mar 23, 2019
Messages
7
Location
Ontario
Another small update.

After taking the photo yesterday, I plugged the fridge back in after it being unplugged since Saturday morning. 20 seconds after I plugged it in, the compressor turns on and it starts to cool. So I put in some water into the freezer and cross my fingers. After 2 hours I do a quick check and ice had started to form. During this time, we could hear the compressor work.

I woke up this morning, around 7 hours later, and the ice has melted and the compressor is off.

So the fridge works, but only up to a certain point. It seems like when the temperature hits the appropriate level, the compressor turns off and can't turn back on again and the fan just keeps running.
 

rickgburton

Appliance Tech - Moderator
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Messages
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Location
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That sounds like the control board is bad. It's not sending the voltage to the compressor.
 
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