Another GE Motherboard Failure

Thread Starter

Hugh131

Joined Sep 20, 2014
8
I have a model GSL25WGSCBS with a WR55X10942 motherboard. I’m having a defrost problem. I have checked the defrost heater, defrost thermostat and thermistor and they are all good. That leaves the motherboard as the culprit. I found a repair kit on eBay that includes the 7 relays. I have the tools required for the replacement. What are the chances this will solve the problem? I had replaced the board about five years ago.

Hugh131
 

ThePanMan

Joined Mar 13, 2020
430
Without fully diagnosing the problem it's unwise to throw parts at it. You'll end up with a new refrigerator for your door handle. What are the odds? Don't have a clue. Don't know what the failure mode is. Don't know why it failed again.
 

MrSalts

Joined Apr 2, 2020
1,832
I had replaced the board about five years ago.
If it was the same problem 5-years ago, it is well worth the try. Right now, GE refrigerators are in short supply except the highest end models ($2500+ At current prices). Their highest model was $2700 two years ago. Today, the same fridge costs $3700. Very few low-end fridges available unless they are "retro" designers either no chips/microcontrollers. Even those are going for pretty prices.
I would definitely give it a try. The alternative is more painful.
 

debe

Joined Sep 21, 2010
1,295
I would try replacing the defrost heater relay first & see what happens. A common fault with relays on apliance boards is dry solder joints.
 

MisterBill2

Joined Jan 23, 2018
12,399
Before spending money, will you explain the complaint? I have dealt with a few refrigeration appliances that the cause of the problem was excessive "ground" leakage current in a defrost heater element.
And I also have seen a mechanical failure of a relay on a control board.
But first, please describe the actual problem.
Also, is there a way to do a "reset" of the control board? I once saved a client $350 by simply doing a reset on her appliance control board. Cheap and easy.
 

Tonyr1084

Joined Sep 24, 2015
6,881
Without fully diagnosing the problem it's unwise to throw parts at it. You'll end up with a new refrigerator for your door handle. What are the odds? Don't have a clue. Don't know what the failure mode is. Don't know why it failed again.
Gotta agree. You don't want to fire the parts cannon at a problem without knowing the exact target. In addition to the "problem" you need to also understand the cause of "the problem". Otherwise you're just throwing good money after bad.
A common fault with relays on apliance boards is dry solder joints.
What I think @debe means to say is "cold" solder joints. Or it could be a fractured solder joint. Couple decades ago a friend gave me a TV that had a horizontal problem. I fixed it by simply fluxing and then reflowing the solder joints in the horizontal circuit. In that case I knew where the problem was. Especially because you could "fix" the problem by rapping on the side of the TV. Banging on it is a sure sign of a bad solder joint.

I've had some issues with an old dishwasher. The control board would go out in a matter of a few years. I replaced it three times before deciding to buy a top of the line model and a different manufacturer. Five years in and no issues at all. I have the old control boards and have tried to scavenge parts from them. It's extremely difficult because they used a very heavy conformal coating on the board. I don't know if your fridge will have the same coating on it, but if so - it will be really difficult to reflow the solder joints. Or pull old relays out and put new ones in. But that's guesswork on my part.
 

Thread Starter

Hugh131

Joined Sep 20, 2014
8
The evaporator was all iced up causing the freezer to be warm. I have checked the defrost heater, defrost thermostat and thermistor and they are all good . The heater had signs of stress so I replaced it. The only component left is the board. I replaced it about 7 years ago But can’t remember why. Visual inspection of the board did not show any problems. I have not found a way to reset this board. Thanks for the suggestions.
 

Thread Starter

Hugh131

Joined Sep 20, 2014
8
Yes my board has the coatings on all parts. I have a Desoldering System with controlled temperature with a hole in end of the element that fits over the pins and has a trigger that turns on the solder sucker. I’ve found that it works good on coated boards. I also have adjustable soldering iron with an led that shows the temperature.
 

Tonyr1084

Joined Sep 24, 2015
6,881
Well, if the heater is OK then trace back from there to the board. Then on the board, find where power is supposed to be supplied to that line. If it's through a relay then you know which one. If you still have the old board from 7 years ago, scavenge a relay of the same size and type, just not the old relay for the defroster. Swap them. You have nothing to lose other than replacing the control board again.
 

Thread Starter

Hugh131

Joined Sep 20, 2014
8
Thanks I will replace the relay tomorrow. Just happen to have one that I purchased for a spare for another project.
 
Last edited:

michael8

Joined Jan 11, 2015
295
The evaporator was all iced up causing the freezer to be warm.

In the refrigerators I'm seen, the fan in the freezer failing will cause that. I've seen
it happen just due to time (and no oil). Sometimes a drop of oil will fix it (for a while at least).
 

ThePanMan

Joined Mar 13, 2020
430
Got a freezer for free because it let everything spoil. The reason for the spoilage was the lack of air flow due to a failed fan.
 

GetDeviceInfo

Joined Jun 7, 2009
2,100
the main reason a coil freezes, is bad door seals, or doors left open frequently. Your defrost coil may be on a fixed timer, waiting to defrost.
 

Thread Starter

Hugh131

Joined Sep 20, 2014
8
I installed a new board about a week ago and the refrigerator and it appears to be defrosting. I will continue working on the previous board so I am prepared for the next failure. I removed the large relay this morning (defrost relay) which was a bear because of the very heavy conformal coating had it cemented to the board. This relay be checked OK but I will replace it with a new one because I have one. I also removed one of the small relays which proved to be very easy. I have ordered the smaller relays but they are about two weeks out. If replacing all of the relays fixes the problem that’s great if it doesn’t I still have a board that everything works except the defrost circuit and I’ll only be out $11 plus my labor.

I want to thank everyone for all of the suggestions.
 

ThePanMan

Joined Mar 13, 2020
430
If the relay tests good after you've removed it from the board then I would suspect whatever is controlling the relay may have failed. With modern electronics drawing such low current they're also capable of low currents. Relays can draw more current than what a control circuit may be capable of outputting. To boost that power they may use a transistor or a FET of some kind. Your source of failure could be there. OR it could be in the main controller itself. If it's not giving the command to defrost then regardless of what relay you put in its place - it's not going to function. This is why it's wise to fully diagnose the problem BEFORE you start throwing parts at the problem.
 
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