# GE refrigerator failures update

#### #12

Joined Nov 30, 2010
18,217
Having been extremely frustrated with fixing computerized refrigerators, I have finally found enough information. There are whole websites dedicated to listing the problems with GE computerized refrigerators, model numbers starting with GS and PS (all side-by-sides after 2001). Some of the problems are:

Designing the mother board to intentionally burn out a 2.1 ohm, 1/4 watt resistor if a fan motor goes bad, instead of installing a fuse, a current limiter that responds to heat (forgot what these self resetting devices are called), or using the MCU to detect overcurrent.

Being plagued with a bad batch of thermistors.

Using poor quality fan motors that fail way more often that the old 4 watt, 120 VAC motors, and when they fail and take the motherboard out, the price is about $200 for parts. Wiring harness failures (open circuit to thermistor). Overheated compressor relay and associated bad solder joint for the relay on the motherboard. After seeing GE Factory Service throw 2 of these in the dumpster, and me going crazy for weeks trying to fix them, I can not recommend GE refrigerators. #### PackratKing Joined Jul 13, 2008 847 Made in Chynna ??? Disgusting, aren't they ? Good news though - having worked 8+ years in an HVAC repair shop, and seeing things go steadily downhill, now seeing the trade publications / magazines indicating that the industry is rapidly getting sick and tired of this "made in china" thing......... Hokey SMOKES Bullwinkle !!! the offering below ain't off topic in the least -- It IS exactly the point !!! Last edited: Thread Starter #### #12 Joined Nov 30, 2010 18,217 Holey smoke! Seven "thank you's"? I am humbled. ps, last night a customer reminded me that there is also a problem with the water dispenser tube freezing inside the door. There is a heater kit to fix that. There is also the problem of using old Klixon brand, multi-amp rated temperature sensors on "dry" circuits. The slightest oxide layer stops the MCU from sensing the closed position. (I think they should have switched to a gold plated contact for low voltage/low current sensing.) Last edited: #### vrainom Joined Sep 8, 2011 126 I would say programmed obsolesence, but this is way beyond that. Thread Starter #### #12 Joined Nov 30, 2010 18,217 Some of it is. The burnable 1/4 watt resistor is definitely "save a penny, cost the customer hundred$", but the rest of it could be explained by using a first year graduate engineer. He wouldn't know about dry circuit sensing, crimping every connection instead of soldering, using 17 strands of #36 wire and calling it crimpable, and not knowing how to dissipate heat on a circuit board. Or it could be the chynna syndrome.

In the end, there are about 4 parts on this model that are not subject to design flaws. The solenoid board for the water and ice dispenser, the compressor and associated condensor fan motor, and the temperature setting controls board. Every other electrical part, including the wiring harness, must be considered suspect when diagnosing failures in this machine.

If I may ramble for a while...the whole purpose of this electronic control system was not to save less than 4 watts on a fan motor. It was "adaptive defrost". Defrost cycles are available from 8 hours to 48 hours apart, depending on how cold the defrost thermistor is after a standard defrost cycle. However, due to the multitude of problems, it is now approved procedure to cut the wires to the defrost thermistor. When the MCU sees the defrost thermistor as "always frozen" (I'm guessing here) it either reverts to a limping mode with 12 hour defrost interval as refrigerators have been doing for 40 years, or, it goes into minimum time between defrosts, 8 hours. Either way, after this modification, there are no energy savings compared to the old mechanical clock defrost timer. The whole design goal was defeated by either novice engineers or the chynna syndrome.

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#### Externet

Joined Nov 29, 2005
1,572
12 hours defrost cycle ?
Do you mean defrosting during 12 hours or every 12 hours ?

I just added a small panel with 3 neon bulbs to signal what is going on with my refrigerator, as every about 3 months it misbehaves and I have removed the evaporator cover each time to find iced everything.
It tells me the heater is energized, or the compressor is running, or the temperature has been reached. A 1/4" hole allows me to confirm the glow of the heating element when defrosting.

The unit works fine and goes trough all the cycles but with time, it ends in need of attention; or leave it unplugged for many hours.

#### debe

Joined Sep 21, 2010
1,226
Hi Externet, Most frostfree fridges have a defrost cycle every 12hrs or 24 hrs. The defrost cycle uses a thermistor to end the defrost cycle. Check that the drain where the defrosted water goes is not blocked. It should have a drain tube at the bottom of the fridge & a tray toget rid of the water. Usualy blowing compressed air through the tube clears it.

#### VoodooMojo

Joined Nov 28, 2009
505
while I got all the refrigeration specialists here:
What the heck causes hollow ice cubes to come out of the ice-maker?
GE also

#### debe

Joined Sep 21, 2010
1,226
First pic shows water is pumped over Evaporator fingers where it freezes, this is time controlled. When the time is up the refrigeration cycle is reversed (Hot gas defrost) this causes the ice cubes to drop of in to a storage bin. The evap fingers cause the hole in the cube. 2nd pic is the refrigeration part of the process.

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#### #12

Joined Nov 30, 2010
18,217
@Externet...Being intentionally disingenuous? Of couse it doesn't defrost for 12 hours. It has a 12 hour interval between defrosts, so I changed that one word that you had fun with.

@voodoo...The fixit sites say to look for a water supply problem. Low pressure from your pump, sediment in the intake filter on the water solenoid, etc. I'm not really a fridge guy or it wouldn't have taken me from 2002 to 2011 to face this GE problem. I do air conditioners (mostly) and get talked into doing refrigerators for my co-workers. However, If the thermostat in the ice maker was tripping too early, that would cause hollow cubes. Make sure it is attached well to the mold, didn't get knocked loose in the move. Make sure your ice cream temperature is close to 0 degrees F. See if the handle for cube size is at minimum setting. Personally, I suspect the new water supply is not as expected. Probably coughed some sand into your intake solenoid filter.

@debe...C'mon guy. That's not a residential GE ice maker. It's industrial size. Close, but no cigar.

#### Externet

Joined Nov 29, 2005
1,572
Hi Externet, Most frostfree fridges have a defrost cycle every 12hrs or 24 hrs. The defrost cycle uses a thermistor to end the defrost cycle. Check that the drain where the defrosted water goes is not blocked. It should have a drain tube at the bottom of the fridge & a tray toget rid of the water. Usualy blowing compressed air through the tube clears it.
Thanks, debe, I do understand very well how a refrigerator works. They call me among my friends instead of a calling an 'expert' that not always is.

In my case, the water from melting ice in the evaporator during the defrost cycle drips to a ~1" x 3" drain port under the evaporator, then it is hosed to the underpan.
The freezer section fan pushes cold air down into the general compartment trough the same drain port.
Water builds up frost in that port blocking the fan flow and causing the general compartment to receive no cold air.