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FIXED PGCS1NFZASS GE Refrigerator - warm fresh food section; arctic freezer

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hamilton101

Premium Member
Joined
Oct 2, 2020
Messages
5
Location
Oregon
Model Number
PGCS1NFZASS
Brand
GE
Age
6-10 years
First post on this forum, so please excuse any breaches of procedure. I'm working on my neighbor lady's refrigerator and need some pointers.

Symptoms:
- Freezer cools to 0-F, but fresh food section drifts up to around 45-F. Settings are Freezer: 0-F; fresh food: 37-F.
- Ice formed on the cold air inlet at the top of the fresh food section, even when the air temperature was above the set-point.
- A few days later the Freezer started drifting down to minus-8-F, and then to minus-25-F, and the fresh food section went up to 58-F.
- Temperatures were confirmed by comparing to separate thermometers in the different locations.

Debugging:
- Evaporator Fan observed to be running.
- Condenser Fan observed to be running.
- Cleaned the condenser coils. No effect.

- Metered the evaporator + duct heater resistance from the main control board on the back of the refrigerator. Measured 27.5-ohms, vs approximately 30-ohm specification. Heaters appear to be good.
- Metered the thermistors from the main control board after unplugging the cable to them. Resistance for all four thermistors was appropriate for the temperatures measured at the three locations in the refrigerator and freezer, and the outside ambient location. Thermistors appear to be good.

- Attempted to use the Control Diagnostics using the Temperature display to check out the refrigerator function. Initially, I could get into diagnostic mode by pushing the four indicated pads. The temperature read-outs would blink "00". Then by pressing another pad the blinking would stop on "00" and I could index the code to the desired test mode. Instructions did not indicate how to trigger the tests, so the refrigerator would time-out after 30-seconds and go back to normal cooling mode. So, no help.

Later, after metering the heater resistance and the thermistor resistance, I tried the Control Diagnostics again. This time the refrigerator would not go into test mode upon pushing the four temperature control pads.

Do all of these results suggest the main control board should be replaced? Other things to check?

Thanks, in advance.
 

Jake

Appliance Tech - Admin
Staff member
Joined
Aug 24, 2004
Messages
114,513
Location
McMullen Valley, Arizona
Hi,

Yes, it would have to be the control board malfunctioning, that's all it can be at this point, since all your thermistors test fine.

Here's the control board for this model:
Board Main Combined Hmi


Jake
 

hamilton101

Premium Member
Joined
Oct 2, 2020
Messages
5
Location
Oregon
Thanks very much for the information - I will check out the board situation and let you know what we do.
 

Jake

Appliance Tech - Admin
Staff member
Joined
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Messages
114,513
Location
McMullen Valley, Arizona
Ok, sounds good.

Jake
 

hamilton101

Premium Member
Joined
Oct 2, 2020
Messages
5
Location
Oregon
I replace the board and the refrigerator is behaving much better.

In checking the old board more closely I found a distorted component next to the heat sink - it has a label 1R8 on it. This is a picture from a good board with the inductor at the top edge, with the upside-down 1R8 label.
L2_Inductor_Spec2.jpg


The component is labeled L2 on the circuit board, which means it is an inductor. The resistance across the leads is 0.1-ohm, pretty much a dead short (internet search says it should be above 1-ohm and less than 10-ohm).

Here's what it looks like on my board - looks like it overheated and melted (sagging black component at the front):
Defective_Inductor_trimmed2.jpg


Does anyone know what the spec is for this inductor? I want to see if replacing it will revive the board.

Thanks!
 

Jake

Appliance Tech - Admin
Staff member
Joined
Aug 24, 2004
Messages
114,513
Location
McMullen Valley, Arizona
Excellent, glad to hear the new control board fixed it.(y)

Thanks for the update!

Good photos! Yes, I see it melted. Unfortunately I don't know the spec of that inductor.

Jake
 

hamilton101

Premium Member
Joined
Oct 2, 2020
Messages
5
Location
Oregon
Follow-up. Neighbor reports the temperatures are within a couple of degrees of the set points of the freezer and refrigerator. That's a big improvement.

She is concerned about the ice-cycles and frost on the cold-air inlet in the fresh food section. I have attached a photo. Is this a symptom of something like a wimpy fan, or can I tell her not to worry about it? (I can feel the air blowing in and can hear the fan working when the freezer drawer is pulled out on the bottom of the unit).

Thanks!
 

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Jake

Appliance Tech - Admin
Staff member
Joined
Aug 24, 2004
Messages
114,513
Location
McMullen Valley, Arizona
Follow-up. Neighbor reports the temperatures are within a couple of degrees of the set points of the freezer and refrigerator. That's a big improvement.
Wonderful.(y)

It's the symptom of the door accidentally being left open, thus condensation forms on that vent.:)

When you let the door go it should close by itself. If not, just raise the front legs up a little and let gravity take over.:)

Jake
 

hamilton101

Premium Member
Joined
Oct 2, 2020
Messages
5
Location
Oregon
Jake - you were spot - on - door leakage was the problem, caused by incomplete installation of new door gaskets by son-in-law of owner a couple of months ago. Careful heating of the gasket with a hair dryer let me "fluff up" the gasket so it filled the gaps on the sides of the two doors. No more condensation and ice-cycles on the inlet to the fresh food section of the fridge.

Back to the original defective control board - I found the specs for the melted inductor and replaced the component, but have not tested the board. Neighbor is leery about messing with her now functioning 'fridge, and I agree with her.

In case anyone else needs the part, here's the info: radial inductor, 1.8 uH, part number ELF0607-1R8K, purchased on eBay from Tekno Network Systems in LA. Ebay seller id is
tekno_network with 100% positive feedback on more than 15,000 transactions. I bought 10 parts for $5.50, shipped. If anyone needs one, I have extras...

Website is TEKNT.com where you can contact the seller directly, and may get a cheaper price (hard to beat $5.50, though).

Thanks for all the help!
 
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