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FIXED PFSS5NJWASS GE Profile French Door Refrigerator Freezer Not working properly

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ai1782867

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Mar 3, 2014
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Location
Los Angeles
Model Number
PFSS5NJWASS
Brand
GE
Age
1-5 years
Noticed ice maker tray in bottom freezer had a lot of water and freezer items were not frozen. I hear the fan blowing air inside freezer. Air seems to be same temp as refrigerator air. Please help.
 

rickgburton

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Look on the evaporator cover (freezer section, back wall) for any frost. Use your hand to feel along the top and bottom. Pull the machine away from the wall and remove the cover over the machine compartment. See if the compressor and condensor fan motor are working.
 

ai1782867

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Location
Los Angeles
Hi Rick. Thanks for the response.

No frost on the inside freezer cover at the rear. I did pull the unit from the wall and removed the cover from the rear. Fan seems to be working but I don't hear or feel the compressor working (no noise no vibration). Now this morning it seems that the entire unit's cooling system is not working. Lights work, fan is on, display work but not cooling anymore. Unit was purchased August 2007.
 

rickgburton

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It's sometimes difficult to tell if an inverter compressor is running or not. Sometimes I need to unplug the machine, put my hand on the compressor, then plug it back in and feel for the vibration.

The compressor in your machine is a variable speed inverter type. Your machine uses an inverter on the compressor. The inverter receives 120 VAC line-in from the power supply. The inverter converts this single-phase, 60Hz, 120 VAC into 3-phase, 80 VAC to 230 VAC, with frequency variations between 57 Hz and 104 Hz. This voltage is delivered to the compressor through 3 lead wires. Each wire will carry identical voltage and frequency. The compressor leads must be connected to measure voltage output. If the compressor wires are not connected, or if an open occurs in one of the 3 lead wires or in the compressor, the inverter will stop voltage output.

When checking inverter voltage output, connect the test-meter leads to any 2 of the 3 compressor lead wires at the inverter plug (plug should be connected). The same reading should be measured between any 2 of the 3 wires. The inverter controls compressor speed by frequency variation and by Pulse Width Modulation. Changing frequency and PWM will cause an effective voltage between 80 and 230 VAC to be received at the compressor.

There should be 120 VAC at all times between the brown wire and the orange wire on the inverter. The inverter receives a communication signal from the motherboard J15 connector at the red wire and white wire on the inverter. With all the wires connected, the output voltage from the J15 connector on the motherboard to the inverter is 4-6 VDC. If the inverter wiring is disconnected the output from J15 is 10-12 VDC. The resistance of the compressor windings is 9 to 10 ohms between any two pins on the compressor.

Note: Certain voltmeters will not be able to read voltage output from the inverter. If no voltage or erratic voltage is measured, it does not necessarily indicate a faulty inverter.
 

ai1782867

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Hi Rick.

Just checking back in. I had to buy another fridge but still wondering if I can fix the old one. I checked the mother board and don't see any visible signs of any burn marks anywhere. In the text above I have no idea how to check for what. I do own a voltmeter but not very savvy on how to use it. If someone could explain it to me like i'm a 5 year old.
 

rickgburton

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OK, plug the machine in and set the controls to the mid position. From behind the machine, remove the cover over the machine compartment and remove the cover over the motherboard. Check if the compressor is running by placing your hand on top of it or the side of the compressor and feel for the vibration. If the compressor is running, stop and wait 24 hours to see if the machine is cooling. If the compressor is not running and the condensor fan motor next to it is running, check to see if it's getting supply voltage. Your machine uses the inverter compressor. Follow these steps to check it:

Use a good light to see if the fuse on the lower left quadrant of the motherboard is burned out. On your model the board is on its side so the fuse will be top left corner. If the fuse is OK, Leave all wires connected and take the voltage measurements through the back of the connectors. On most DMM's the test leads are too big to reach the wire through the back. I have alligator clips that fit over mine and I use a couple straight pins (or a paper clip will work) to make voltage measurements. Set your meter to measure DC Volts

Check for +5 VDC between the two wires in the J15 connector on the motherboard.

Check for +4 VDC to +5 VDC between the red and white wire at the connector on the Inverter.

Set your meter to measure AC Volts

Measure the voltage between the orange wire and the black wire at the connector on the inverter. You want to see 120 Volts AC on your meter.

MB2-1 With Inverter.jpg Inverter Compressor.jpgInverter Compressor Conn.jpg
 

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ai1782867

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Hi Rick.

Thanks for the simplified instructions.

Readings are as follows:

J15: 5.20 volts
Inverter (red/white): 5.15 volts
Orange/black: 121.3-121.7 (fluctuates).

Again...thanks for your help.
 

rickgburton

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OK, the voltage is correct. If the compressor is not running the problem is either the inverter or the compressor. The inverter takes the 120 VAC, single-phase, 60 Hz, line-in from the power supply (orange and black), and converts it into 3-phase, 230 VAC, with frequency variations between 57 Hz and 104 Hz. This voltage is delivered to the compressor through 3 lead wires. Each wire will carry identical voltage and frequency. The inverter controls compressor speed by frequency variation and by Pulse Width Modulation. An effective voltage between 80 and 230 VAC will be measured at the compressor. The compressor leads must be connected to measure voltage output. If the compressor wires are not connected, or if an open occurs in one of the 3 lead wires or in the compressor, the inverter will stop voltage output. When checking inverter voltage output, connect the test-meter leads to any 2 of the 3 compressor lead wires at the inverter plug. Don't disconnect the inverter plug from the compressor. The same reading should be measured between any 2 of the 3 wires.

Certain meters and some less expensive meters will not be able to measure the output voltage from the inverter. Sometimes It can be difficult to check the voltage at the compressor with the inverter plug still connected. Because of those two issues, and to avoid any confusion, do this and follow this rule: Unplug the machine and remove the inverter and inverter plug from the compressor. Measure the resistance of the compressor windings. You should have 10 ohms between any two pins. If the resistance is good, replace the inverter. If you measure a short or an open winding, replace the compressor and inverter.

Here's the inverter:
GE WR49X10283 Inverter W/jumpers Kit
 

ai1782867

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Messages
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Location
Los Angeles
Hi Rick.

Here are the readings per the above instructions:

Disconnected inverter from compressor and ohms for any two of the three pins at the compressor are 6.6. I tried reading the voltage with the inverter still connected and machine connected to ac power but as you said very difficult to measure this way. Any reading I got from having the the inverter connected showed 1.5 volts at the inverter connection to the compressor. Don't know if I did that correctly.

Seems the compressor is out based your instructions above. Please confirm. Thanks again.
 

rickgburton

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6.6 ohms across any two pins is good. It's close enough to 10 as long as they are all the same.
 

ai1782867

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Hi Rick.

Just need some clarification. In your earlier post you said that I should have 10ohms at the inverter connection to the compressor pins but I only had 6.6 ohms. I just want to make sure that all I have to replace is the inverter and not the compressor.

Thanks.
 

rickgburton

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rickgburton said:
If the inverter wiring is disconnected the output from J15 is 10-12 VDC. The resistance of the compressor windings is 9 to 10 ohms between any two pins on the compressor.
Inverter
 

rickgburton

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You can't measure the compressor windings with the inverter connected to it. There are no continuity or ohm readings on the inverter. Only VAC and DC signal voltage.
 

ai1782867

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Location
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I measured the resistance of the compressor pins with the inverter disconnected which gave me the 6.6 ohm reading. So the compressor is good then?
 

ai1782867

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Location
Los Angeles
Hey Rick.

Just wanted to thank you for the detailed and very valuable tech support you provided. I replaced the inverter which fixed the issue with my refrigerator. Only problem is that I had to go out and buy another refrigerator because the inverter took about a week and a half to get here. Now I have three refrigerators. The two originals (kitchen fridge and small garage size fridge) and the new one.

Once again, thank you...Art.
 

saikodi

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Jan 29, 2017
Messages
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Location
Seattle, WA
Hello Rick,

We have the same model: GE Profile PFSS5NJWASS. We bought it 9+ years back (in December of 2007).

The problem:
Yesterday morning, it stopped cooling. The freezer was at 50+ while the refrigerator area was at 60+.

My research:
I have gone through this site extensively and have verified the following:
1. The fan inside the freezer is working. I can hear it - it definitely is loud.
2. In the refrigerator area, I can feel the air coming out of the vents at the top.
3. I opened the back of the refrigerator and made sure of the following:
- The condenser fan is working - there was a lot of dirt, etc and I cleaned it up.
- The motherboard when the inverter board was disconnected was outputting 12.6V DC at the J15 connector. But with the inverter board connected was outputting 5.5V DC.
- I verified continuity from the wire terminals near the motherboard and the wire terminals near the inverter board for the DC signal. So that is good too.
- The compressor with the inverter disconnected was showing 6.7 Ohms resistance across any 2 pins - I verified all 3 of them. So I am assuming the compressor is good too.
- The condenser was not switching on - its cold to the touch and is not vibrating.

Following Rick's advise, I bought a new inverter board and replaced the old one with the new one. The compressor started after I replaced the board. Thank you Rick for the helpful troubleshooting steps. I couldnt have done it without your detailed steps.

Its been 30 minutes now and the compressor seems to be working as expected. The temperatures are gradually coming down.

However, we are noticing that there are a few sounds coming. My wife says she noticed those weird sounds before as well. It seems like tummy rumbling. Not sure what those sounds are. The freezer temperature is definitely coming down. In 45 minutes it came down from 51 F -> 45 F.

Do I need to be concerned about those weird sounds? I didnt pull the unit out to hear where the noise is coming from. But wanted to ask here.

@rickgburton any ideas on what those noise are? I can record those sounds and upload them here if you want me to. Please advise.

Thanks,
Sai Kodi
 

rickgburton

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The noise is most likely refrigerant boiling in the evaporator lines. If it gets worse check where it's coming from.
 

saikodi

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Messages
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Location
Seattle, WA
Ok. It sounds like its a mechanical thing but I will record the noise the next time it occurs and will post it here. Also when I face the refrigerator from the front, the noise is more on the right side - on the side of the compressor. I did go to the back and out my ear close to the compressor which was running and the noise was not from it. It felt like it was coming from the inside of the fridge slightly above the compressor. I am suspecting it might be the evaporator fan?

What do you think?
 
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