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GE GTS22WCMBRWW regfrigerator and freezer warm - sometimes  Rate Topic 
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 Posted: Sat Dec 22nd, 2007 09:52 pm
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BrucetheHoon
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On  Thursday my wife heard a medium/low pitched vibration/noise coming from our GE GTS22WCMBRWW (freezer on top).  When she opened the freezer, the noise got louder as if it MIGHT have been originating inside.

On Friday, I got a call at work that the freezer was almost warm inside, and that the food was defrosting/completely defrosted.  We moved the savable food to the garage fridge and prayed.   The god of large appliances frowned on us, however, and by the time I got home, the same thing was happening with the fridge.

I pulled off the back, top and bottom and found nothing obviously scorched, missing or chewed by scorpions (we don't get many rats in Las Vegas).   There was no smell of burnt silicone (my least favorite smell in the world) in the controller compartment.

I vacuumed out the obvious and impressive dust that I could see from the bottom, and started her up again and there was no difference.   The fan in the freezer and the fan under the fridge both seem to be going at the right speed and there is no laboring / obvious issue with them.

THEN...

About 30 minutes later, the whole thing started working fantastic.   Last night I went to sleep feeling like a cross between Superman and Macgyver. 

This morning we woke up to a defrosting freezer and a coldish fridge again.  There is no change in the sound of the unit, and since thursday, there have been no odd noises.  I pulled off the back panel of the freezer compartment half hoping to see a block of ice (and know what to do) but the condensor coils are almost completely dry and not a touch of ice.  Plugging it in shows that the fan is working just right.  I put the back on again and buttoned it all up.  I suspect that the thermostat etc are on the right hand wall under a bump, but I can't seem to get the housing off.   I closed it all up again and plugged it back in.

Checking JUST NOW shows that it's getting nice and chilly again.   It alternately cools VERY LITTLE or quite well (our thermostats are set to 9 (max) on each compartment.  One of my biggest issues (I suspect) is that it's so close to Christmas that it will be difficult to find parts or repairmen.  

I would post pictures but with nothing obviously awry, I'm not sure what to shoot.  If they would help, I'm happy to post them.

Thanks folks, this has been a heck of a month, and it would be nice for something to go right :)

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 Posted: Sat Dec 22nd, 2007 11:12 pm
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jambatt
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It alternately cools VERY LITTLE or quite well (our thermostats are set to 9 (max) on each compartment.  One of my biggest issues (I suspect) is that it's so close to Christmas that it will be difficult to find parts or repairmen
Return both "thermostats" to 5. One is your cold control thermostat(the one that turns off the compressor) and the other controls to damper door opening between the freezer and the fresh food compartment.  At 9 you have the damper door between the freezer and fresh food section completely closed. Makes freezer colder but lets no cold air into the FF compartment. Allow unit to run for 24 hours in order for the temps to settle. Use thermometer to check temps in freezer and FF compartment. Freezer should be 5 degrees or below and FF 38-40 degrees. Post back results.



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 Posted: Sun Dec 23rd, 2007 12:45 am
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himeros

 

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If the freezer fan is running, the compressor should be running.  The controls are fine or the fan would not be running.  Check to see if the compressor is running at the same time the freezer fan is running, but when the coils are not cold.  Most common problem is the relay on the compressor is bad.  If it is the common relay, you can unplug the refrigerator, remove the relay, from the left side of the compressor,and shake it , if it sounds like there are loose parts inside, it is bad.  That relay is a push on black or brown device that has either one or three wires going to it depending if they use a run capacitor or not.  Do not mix up the wires on the relay.  If it sounds bad, you need to find a source for a new relay, take the model number and old relay with you.  Those relays are a very common item, and most any will work for you.    Good luck.

Himeros 

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 Posted: Sun Dec 23rd, 2007 02:27 am
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BrucetheHoon
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Thank you both for the advice.   I have set them both to 5.

Jambatt, - would my settings impact the fact that the freezer keeps getting warm?  

On that note- I will check the relay- It should be connected into the round pot shaped device in the bottom of the unit right?  I'm rather depressed that I'm not more handy in this way as I spent half of my teens with a soldering iron in my hand.

We've got a pretty great electronics store in vegas that might very well have them in stock.     I will test it and get it replaced if need be.  
I will  take pictures of anything I take out and make sure i put it back the correct way with the proper wires connected.


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 Posted: Sun Dec 23rd, 2007 08:24 am
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Budget Appliance Repair
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This is one of the GE frigs that use that famous G.E. electronic refrig control!!!!

I have no experience with them but from reading about all the problems people have had with them, it sure sounds like you could have an electronic control board flaking out causing your intermitent problem.



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 Posted: Sun Dec 23rd, 2007 09:36 am
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Samurai Appliance Repair Man
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I wonder if this is one of the units in the recall on the muthaboard?



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 Posted: Sun Dec 23rd, 2007 12:35 pm
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himeros

 

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It sure could be the control board.  What I was going by was the freezer fan was working, but the coils were not frosting up.  If the freezer fan is running, the freezer coils have to be frosting up, if the compressor is running.  The cold control should not cause this problem, but set both of them in the middle range as stated.  Good luck.

Himeros

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 Posted: Sun Dec 23rd, 2007 06:56 pm
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jambatt
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Follow  the Samurai's link and refer to the links by Pegi and Poobah. Remember now a similar situation a few years back with same model. House was struck by lightning and screwed up the boards in most of the kitchen appliances. Unit would not terminate the defrost cycle and heat would build up in freezer to the point that the cowling for the evaporator fan started to melt. Didn't do it on every defrost cycle so found it only by the SD@$$L method. Replaced board and cured problem for a while. Developed more problems later so owner got tired of fixing it and replaced it. Try to check yours when in defrost cycle(evap fan and compressor not running) and see if same problem exists. Defrost cycle should only be around 30 min.



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 Posted: Sun Dec 23rd, 2007 06:57 pm
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Poobah
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as himeros said check that relay/overload...with alot of dust and lint the condensor fan(by the compressor) can't pull air and it will cause the compressor to overheat and trip the overload....compressor will only run till it kicks back out, ususally no to long and the unit won't cool



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 Posted: Sun Dec 23rd, 2007 07:14 pm
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BrucetheHoon
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OK folks,
It's been a long morning filled with my mother in law.   Nuff said?

Now I'm going to pull the relay and see what comes of it.  What's the overload? 

I will post the results of course and keep everyone informed.  Fingers crossed that my local shop is open tomorrow.


Oh - and the recall does not seem to cover any freezer on top models.

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 Posted: Sun Dec 23rd, 2007 07:28 pm
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Poobah
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#735 is the overload and 733 is the relay on the compressor..the relay will be what should rattle if bad.....

Last edited on Sun Dec 23rd, 2007 07:35 pm by



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 Posted: Mon Dec 24th, 2007 04:00 pm
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BrucetheHoon
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Alright folks, here's what I've done.

The relay was pulled and shake though I might, it did not rattle.
The overload had no obvious damage, though from what I understand this doesn't mean much.  That said, it wasn't burned looking, had no burnt silicone smell and was cool.

The mainboard seems to not be covered under the recall.

I've  been letting it run, and since moment I posted the first message, it's been working like a charm.   Do you think I scared it into working?  20 years of working on software has shown me that things that magically work rarely stay working, but I'm not sure what else to do...   I've put a thermometer in the freezer on a 32 degree alarm.  If it starts warming up again I should have good warning.  

Any other suggestions?  

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 Posted: Mon Dec 24th, 2007 04:29 pm
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Poobah
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I would keep as little as possible in there for the next few days...I know that will be hard a this time of year (or at least have a back up plan if things go south)....from the sound of things you cleaned out from under in Fri....from then till now it should have done something if it was going to, HOPEFULLY  the lint and dust was prohibiting the compressor from cooling properly now that it's cleaned it will be ok...does this unit sit in any type hole or out flush against a wall....built in's that have alot of lint and dust can overheat a comp. pretty quick when they can't breath...good  luck...I hope it works out for you



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 Posted: Sat Jan 5th, 2008 06:32 pm
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BrucetheHoon
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Alright folks - My fridge is going on 2 weeks of no trouble.  Thank you all so much!  I never thought I could do this myself, and you all made it as easy as pie.

I would have posted my "all clear" message earlier but something came up.   As you can see from the photo, it was the type of thing that can really distract.

Thanks again everyone!

Attachment: babyBruce.jpg (Downloaded 58 times)

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 Posted: Sun Jan 6th, 2008 01:56 am
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Poobah
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congrats on the fix and congrats on the new addition I pray many blessings to you all :D



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 Posted: Sun Jan 6th, 2008 05:57 pm
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Samurai Appliance Repair Man
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BrucetheHoon wrote:
As you can see from the photo, it was the type of thing that can really distract.


Hey, he looks just like me... 47 years ago! Congratulations on the new reproductive unit! :dude:



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 Posted: Wed Jan 16th, 2008 11:32 pm
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BrucetheHoon
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Blast!

Today while I was at work, the same thing happened.  The freezer completely defrosted to the point where things were WARM. 

I'm now flumoxed.   I can continue the process of trying to fix it myself (possibly ordering a new main board) and risk failing and wasting valuable beer time OR buy a new bottom freezer unit like the wife wants.

I appreciate all the help you folks have already given, I'm just not sure where to go without replacing that board.  The relay and overload seem fine by any means I can test and everything else seems fine.   Any other last minute ideas? 

If we are out of ideas (or you don't think a mainboard replacement has a very significant chance of helping where everything else failed- or only helped for a bit) does anyone have a recommendation on a bottom freezer?   I know I need to ask for recommendations in the other forum but I don't think my level will let me and I don't want to accidentally make a post faux pas.

Thanks again!

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 Posted: Wed Jan 16th, 2008 11:38 pm
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Poobah
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check and see if the compressor is running, also check the fans evap & cond.



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 Posted: Thu Jan 17th, 2008 04:47 am
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jambatt
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The freezer completely defrosted to the point where things were WARM. 
Not convinced it's a board problem. If stuff in freezer thawed that quickly there had to be heat involved. I'm thinkin' the defrost(terminating) thermostat(#620 below) is screwy. Let's defrost heater run too long before shuttin' off heater. As stated in earlier post I had one that got hot enough to melt the fan shroud to the point that it wouldn't let evap fan blade turn properly. These new adaptive defrost units don't go into the defrost cycle an a regular basis like the old style defrost thermostats did. Since the adaptive defrost relies on thermistors and a cpu to count the number of times you open the door and whatever else they factor into it and then the cpu decides if and when it should defrost. Defrost doesn't occur at regular intervals. I'd try changing the defrost(terminating) thermostat before changing board. It's a hell'uva lot cheaper and who knows, might get lucky.

http://genet.geappliances.com/IPCNet/Dispatcher?REQUEST=IPCNETGETPDF&file=00000000/00016300/00016399.p03.pdf



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 Posted: Thu Jan 17th, 2008 11:26 am
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Poobah
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check the schematic in the middle of this link......if the compressor isn't running you can by pass the board and directly check compressor by unplugging the box, accessing the board and removing the 3 wire main plug and jumping from L1 to J8(compressor)...bottom lower corner of diagram...

If the compressor isn't running before and then it does start with the test then thats a pretty good indication of a bad board.  Also as jambatt said it could be a screwy defrost problem....the thermistor is supposed to cut the heater out at 70 ish degrees, and if not the safety def. stat (top of coils will shut it down at 140 degrees)

the thing is unless that fridge just happen to decide to defrost at the right time so as to be down when you got home...it should have started to freeze back...if it did start to or is freezing overnight then I would suspect defrost issue....if still not freezing overnight do the test described above (compressor bypass)..this should tell us if it's board or not



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