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FIXED Whirlpool Refrigerator GB2FHDXWS04 evaporator coils freezing up - Jazz board? defrost thermostat? heater?

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JRWooden

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Messages
10
Location
Charlotte NC
Model Number
GB2FHDXWS04
Brand
Whirlpool
Age
6-10 years
I recently bought a house that has Whirlpool GB2FHDXWS04 refrig. / bottom drawer freezer.
Last night the refrig. started getting very warm, while freezer was fine.
Not yet knowing about the "Service Test" modes, and not wanting to loose the contents of the unit
I pulled the freezer door off then popped the back panel and yup the evap. coil was a solid brick of ice.
Twenty minutes with a hair drier and I was temporarily back in business.

So ... on to diagnostics:
I have the tech sheet that I THINK is for this model it says: JZ 19-22 2 door & FD 5/10

I figure that at this point I should try Service test one - "forced defrost" and ...
* if the defrost heater works the jazz board is suspect... Would there be anything else I should check before dropping almost $200?
* if the heater doesn't work the defrost thermostat or heater is most suspect

I don't quite understand the Service test mode:

I enter test mode and the display reads: S E
Then reads: 1 4
Then reads 1 __
I press Refrig. "+" / dsplay reads: 1 S

Does " 1 S " mean I kicked off the test, and that the defrost thermostat is closed / shorted
and voltage is being applied to the heater?

Does forced defrost mode ONLY run as long as the refrig door is open?

I held the door open and after about 5 minutes the bottom of the vented rear metal plate in front of the coils is still quite cold...
It didn't seem to have been warmed by the heater but I have nothing to compare it against...
Then a few minutes later (door still open) the display returned to its regular setting numbers of 4 5 and the evap. fan came on ...
So I guess the test was over???

I'm on the edge of learning how this work ... but not quite there - thanks for any help!

I do have a DMM and know how to use it...

Does that mean its time to check resistance of the heater and switching of the defrost thermostat?
The technician sheet lists the relevant specifications ..

THANKS for any help!!!
Jim
 

rickgburton

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Go into service mode

The control will display S - E to confirm entry into the service mode.

You need to press the Refrigerator UP /+ key once more.

The control will display its software version for 3 seconds. All control functions will be turned off.

The freezer displays 1 for test #1. The refrigerator display is blank.

If this is correct, 1 in the freezer display and the refrigerator display is blank, close the door to exit the test.

Hold the refrigerator door light switch closed.

Press the Refrigerator Temperature DOWN /- keypad 3 times.

Release the refrigerator door light switch.

The control will display F- d to confirm entry into Forced Defrost Mode.

Press the Refrigerator Temperature DOWN /- key once more.

The control will default to the short run period test.

You can toggle between the S Short and L Long test mode by pressing the Refrigerator Temperature UP /+ Key. DO NOT USE "L" (long). Leave it in the S (short) test mode.

Press the Refrigerator Temperature DOWN /- Key once.

The defrost will begin immediately and the display will return to a normal operating display.

Close the Refrigerator door(s). You are in the defrost mode.

Verify the defrost heater is on. (hissing sounds when water hits the heater).
 

JRWooden

Premium Member
Joined
May 30, 2021
Messages
10
Location
Charlotte NC
Rick:

THANKS very much!!!! Your "incantation" did indeed kick my unit into a serious defrost cycle!
The temp. of both the freezer & refrig. compartments temporarily climbed into the 50s,
and the ice that was starting to form on the bottom of the evap. core vanished.

Is it safe to "assume" I need a new JAZZ board?

It looks like 3rd-party (aka "knock-off") board are about $40, but I'm not keen on a knock-off for a part like this... :-/
Prices for "Genuine" prices seem to have a broad range from $130 - $230 ... I did find this:



Again, I sincerely appreciate your help!
Jim
 
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rickgburton

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whirlpool-board-jazz-wpw10503278-ap6022400_01_l.jpg
 

JRWooden

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Messages
10
Location
Charlotte NC
So originally the evap. coil froze up solid ... really solid, and I disassembled and thawed with hair dryer.
At that point I did not know about the "forced defrost" option when in technician mode, but I'm not sure it would have worked anyway...
Perhaps it would have after several cycles...
Anyway, after I put it back together it started to freeze up again, and so i used the forced defrost and it cleared things up.....
I put the board on order and then got sent out of town for a couple days. I got back and expected to find the thing frozen solid again,
but it was running fine ..... :unsure:

What the hell I say, I've got a new board ... I'd rather not take chances....
The old board was revision level "M", while the new one was level "P"
I got it installed yesterday and the fridge (continues) to run normally.

So, unfortunately, I'm not sure what the heck was going on but it all appears OK now.

I only recently moved into this house, and the fridge came with it so I'm not used to the noises it makes.
I'm hoping the attached recording of the defrost sounds "normal" ;-)
 

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rickgburton

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I'm hoping the attached recording of the defrost sounds "normal" ;-)
Absolutely not! I'm not sure what it is. There's no way that sounds like water drops hitting a heating element. It sounds more like a roulette wheel in Las Vegas. lol Take the cover off so you can see the evaporator.
 

Jake

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McMullen Valley, Arizona
It sounds more like a roulette wheel in Las Vegas. lol
LOL, Yes It does Rick! but towards the end of his video I think I do hear water sizzling. Its very easy to tell for sure, just put your hand down there at that lower back freezer panel vent and feel for heat, then you will know for sure.:)

Jake
 

JRWooden

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Location
Charlotte NC
It definitely is defrosting that much is certain!
I can shine a flashlight into the slots and see a small but steady stream of water dripping into the center-drain
I've had that cover off and unless they do a crappy job at the factory ...
It seemed like someone had been in there before ... a number of the fins were bent.

And while I'm not real familiar with this particular model it did not seem like anything else was out of place.....
the fan spun freely.....

What I recorded ... MAY have been the first defrost cycle AFTER I re-installed the back cover over the evap. assby ...
so maybe it was just the real panel settling in on the first heat cycle???
 

rickgburton

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OK, So you put the new board in everything is working normal, correct? Don't use the forced defrost to defrost the evaporator. Use a hair dryer instead. Use the forced defrost to check if the element turns on.
maybe it was just the real panel settling in on the first heat cycle???
I don't know what a "real" panel is but it shouldn't make any noises.
 

JRWooden

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Location
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OK, So you put the new board in everything is working normal, correct? Don't use the forced defrost to defrost the evaporator. Use a hair dryer instead. Use the forced defrost to check if the element turns on.

I don't know what a "real" panel is but it shouldn't make any noises.

Thanks Rick!
Except for the noise ---and so far i've only heard it that ONE TIME in the video.
it is working normally and maintaining correct temps.

When it first froze up I did use hair dryer! if we re-freeze I will continue to do so!

Sorry that was a typo. "real" was supposed to be "REAR" --> the large rear sheet metal panel that covers the evap. coil.

I re-assembled - the freezer went down to zero ... so the sheet metal contacts a bit,
then on first defrost cycle it warms up, and maybe it was just the metal expanding
and binding against the screws? :unsure::giggle::sneaky:

I'll keep a close eye on it .........................

That's my story for right now ... again I appreciate you sharing your wisdom, and ... my beer is cold!

Jim
 
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rickgburton

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Other than the evaporator fan motor, there are no moving parts in the evaporator area. It might have been refrigerant reacting to the high heat. R134a boils at -15°F
 

JRWooden

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Thanks Rick ... the evap. fan spins free and quiet.

I'm going to blame it on some one-off "start-up" circumstance until my beer gets warm ;-)
 

JRWooden

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OK ... so no more repeats of the weird noises, so perhaps it was just some start up thing.

I've been shining a flashlight on the vents in the back of the freezer compartment ever day or two,
just to make sure the evap. coil is not turning into a block of ice so far all good there,
but this last check I noticed that the drain tray was full (with ice) and thought that maybe the rubber duck-bill thing
on the drain might be clogged / stuck.

I pulled of the back of the unit and fiddled with it without coming to any real conclusion
so I'll just watch it.

This piece of plastic was laying in the drain pan. I can't find it on the parts diagram ...
Anybody know what it is supposed to do for a living?

THANKS!

1623953751127.png
 

rickgburton

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If your machine has the duckbill on the drain tube, remove and discard it. Clean the drain from the freezer with hot soapy water. That part looks like the water valve cover.
 

JRWooden

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Location
Charlotte NC
If your machine has the duckbill on the drain tube, remove and discard it. Clean the drain from the freezer with hot soapy water. That part looks like the water valve cover.

Water valve cover ... doesn't sound critical :giggle:

Yes ... mine does duckbill which drains into a semi-open molded plastic downspout-gutter thing
that seems a bit weird, but is a lot less likely to get clogged up than a piece of tubing.

Thanks! I'll pull the duckbill out and toss it and clean things up!

<quack>
Jim
 

kamorela

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Location
Hillsboro, Oregon
JRWooden:

Jim,

The duck bill valve is a known Whirlpool design issue. When the duck bill valve sticks closed the defrost cycle works fine but the water cannot drain so - in my case - it simply backed up overflowed into the bottom of the freezer compartment. Over time this collected water froze until it reached the top of the recessed freezer floor where it would then drain out onto the kitchen floor.

One fix was to wash the valve (it gets a sticky residue built up and then won't open) and return it to service. But Whirlpool has a permanent fix that replaces the duck bill valve with a drain pipe. I purchased this and installed it and it did permanently resolve the defrost puddle on my kitchen floor. Periodic checks show it continuing to work flawlessly.

There are several very good, detailed YouTube videos on how to replace the old duck bill valve with this drain pipe. I'm not sure, but if you just remove the duck bill valve, the water draining from the collector may not land in the heated evaporator pan and that would be messy. The drain pipe assures complete resolution of the drainage issue. I used this video here, from Ace Appliance in Toledo, Ohio. They seem to make a lot of videos. I found 2 from them for the same thing, but I thought this one was the better of the two:


And yes, that white plastic 'thingy' is the water valve inlet cover, easy to put back in place. Again, it's in the video.

One last comment: my refrigerator is the noisiest refrigerator I've ever owned. It does a good job of cooling/freezing so I don't complain but mine makes loud pops and other odd sounds. Sometimes it sounds like a diesel truck idling a block away (seriously). Anyway...

Best of luck,

Kelly

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