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PFE29PSDCSS Freezer too warm, then days later fridge too warm also

garyrp

Premium Member
Joined
Mar 26, 2020
Messages
3
Location
Fishers, IN
Model Number
PFE29PSDCSS
Brand
GE
Age
6-10 years
I THINK I need to order a main control board. Hoping to get some confirmation or recommended additional testing to do before ordering.

Built Feb 2014 (6 yrs old). Freezer section stopped sufficiently cooling a couple weeks ago (was around 45-50 degrees?). Ran diagnostics at that time, all fan tests spun up with RPM readings, function cycle tests seemed to work, all thermistors reporting plausible values.

Vacuumed dirty condenser coil (the half I could reach). Kept track of temperatures over several days, freezer kept bouncing between 28-56 degrees, while fridge temp was solid, +/- 2 degrees from setpoint. Until yesterday.

Now temps from both fridge & freezer sections are too high, and constant; freezer is NOT varying its temp by 25+ degrees anymore. Fridge (53 degrees) is COLDER than freezer (59). Ambient house temp is 69. Temps stable over past day.

I have not removed covers to examine cooling coils for frost anomalies. I have not checked compressor winding resistance (not sure where to access these contacts).

Fan tests all working, sound normal, seem to be in proper RPM range. Compressor is warm and vibrating. Feels like enough air is flowing through condenser coil. Thermistor temps in diagnostic screens are slightly different from my ThermoPen digital cooking thermometer, but seem close enough (few degrees).

Voltages checked:
J9 Pin 1 & 2: 13.6v to condenser fan (at board, unplugged)
J9 Pin 7 & 8: 2.7-2.9v unplugged. Same at board and inverter plug (white/brown and red wire plug)
(I have not measured J9 plugged in, probes too fat. I can find some pins or extension wires to do so if that would help.)
122VAC at inverter plug with orange/brown wires
~30 VAC on dangling disconnected plug at inverter (red/white wires I think) Forgot to write this down

Current Error codes:
(descriptions from a later model manual, may be wrong, the service manual I found had no fault code descriptions.)
Code, # Times, Days Since
105, 34, 0 - Condenser fan can't reach target RPM
109, 54, 112 - Icebox fan feedback missing
112, 151, 2 - Deli pan fan feedback missing
300, 201, 27 - Excessive compressor run time
303, 1, 1 - FF Temp exceeded
304, 28, 21 - FZ Temp exceeded
709, 139, 13 - Cup Switch Input missing (our touchless ultrasonic Auto Fill sometimes doesnt work, probably this?)
721, 1, 2 - ??? (not listed)
722, 1, 21 - ??? (not listed)

My reasoning for suspecting the main board: because the freezer temp wildly jumped up and down for a while, and other posts suggest the voltage on J9/7-8 may be too low, so seem that compressor is running but perhaps not strongly enough. The condenser fan error is concerning, but it was stable at 1625 RPM, which seems in spec.

But I could also see that possibly inverter is not sending right voltage to compressor, or 3 way valve is stuck part-way, or compressor has leaked a bit but is still enough to cool 15 degrees below room temp.

What do you think? Anything else I can test?

THANKS IN ADVANCE!

(I am stunned that GE designed a $2000+ fridge with a "door left open" alarm, ultrasonic cup filler and even a USB port to display photographs, but NO basic temperature alarms! We had to toss most of our food, on two separate days. Won't be buying GE again because of this ridiculous oversight!)

PS: I believe this is the correct control board: WR55X30806.
 

Jake

Appliance Tech - Admin
Staff member
Joined
Aug 24, 2004
Messages
114,572
Location
McMullen Valley, Arizona
Remove the back panel inside the freezer and take a photo of your evaporator coil, we need to see your frost pattern. Normal would be a thin layer of frost on ALL the coils from TOP to BOTTOM.

Look at these photos below:

Frost Patterns.jpg


Jake
 

garyrp

Premium Member
Joined
Mar 26, 2020
Messages
3
Location
Fishers, IN
No frost anywhere. Coils feel uniform to the touch, no hot or cold spots. I measured the surface temp of the two in/out copper tubes as one was definitely cooler (using a quick-read kitchen thermometer). Refrigerant is entering at 51 degrees, leaving at 66.

Hope that helps. Wish I'd have removed this cover while it was bouncing up and down to colder temps, may have shed more light on the problem...
 

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Jake

Appliance Tech - Admin
Staff member
Joined
Aug 24, 2004
Messages
114,572
Location
McMullen Valley, Arizona
You have a sealed problem.

The sealed system consists of the compressor, condenser, evaporator, heat exchanger, filter/drier and refrigerant. Common problems with a sealed system are bad compressors, refrigerant leaks, and system restrictions.

You will need to have GE come out at 1-800-432-2737.

Jake
 

garyrp

Premium Member
Joined
Mar 26, 2020
Messages
3
Location
Fishers, IN
I was afraid of that, I’ve read those are expensive fixes. But don’t really have a choice, given this piece of junk cost nearly 3 grand, I don’t want to recycle it and spend $2000+ again after just 6 years. Thanks for the troubleshooting assistance.

I’ve used a local repair service for an LG washer that was competent and fair on price. Any reason to call national GE service hotline over the local guy I know?

For the future, what are the most reliable brands in this high capacity French door segment? GE won’t be getting my money again! (My GE complaints: fridge stuff sometimes freezes if up against back wall-since new, noisier than any fridge I’ve had before, auto water fill doesn’t always work - either refuses or overfills , NO high temp alarm (what?!), and now a sealed problem one year after warranty expired!)

Do you have a “tip jar” to reward you for helping me? I’ll be back for parts or help should some other appliance break....

Thanks!
 

Jake

Appliance Tech - Admin
Staff member
Joined
Aug 24, 2004
Messages
114,572
Location
McMullen Valley, Arizona
I’ve used a local repair service for an LG washer that was competent and fair on price. Any reason to call national GE service hotline over the local guy I know?
You can use your local guy if you like.

For the future, what are the most reliable brands in this high capacity French door segment?
We recommend Whirlpool, Maytag, KitchenAid, and Amana.

All my appliances in my house are Whirlpool and Maytag, and have been trouble free for over 10 years.:)

Do you have a “tip jar” to reward you for helping me?
If you scroll this page all the way down you will see a gold Donate button, Thanks!

Jake
 
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