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GE side-by-side model# GSL25FPA BS - Help!  Rating:  Rating
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 Posted: Thu Feb 7th, 2008 10:30 am
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Poobah
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As much as I hate to admit it I'm afraid Appl.tech is right (don't mean that the way it sounds )....it did indeed look to me like a defrost issue at first also....but for as long as the compressor has been going and to get the frost pattern you have , it can't be much else but a sealed system problem ...unless it's under warranty it looks like it's about time to jack it up and drive a new one under it (a nice new shiny Whirlpool model :dude:  :D that will make you forget all the bad GE karma)....you have fought this beast valiantly and admirably...I know that is of no consulation though

I probably work on more than my fair share of these boxes...and have started seeing more of the sealed system problems here of late (have one in the shop now that will only frost 1/2 the main bottom coil)...seems to me like I saw more board issue when they first started making this style box.... I rarely saw a sealed system leak....here in the last few months have had between 3 &5..

I wouldn't put any money into this thing with all the problems they have...because as anyone that services these knows it will have problems again...as I said before would check and see if it is under warranty and if so make GE lick their calf and fix it..then think about putting it in the local trade paper for sell and do the new  Whirlpool

 



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 Posted: Thu Feb 7th, 2008 01:46 pm
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ladylaz
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You guys are great. Thanks.

I got this GE "new with the house" I bought over 4 years ago so I am the purchaser, and I never got
an owners manual...is there any way it could possibly be under warranty based on years and serial number or anything?

I also have to go out of town for 5 days right now, so I am guessing it is OK
to leave food in it and it will continue to fail on a 2-week cycle that will get shorter
as the freon disappears, when I can replace it with a Whirlpool?

Finally, having a bit of a farm mentality, is there any way I can spray some soapy water on coils or something to find an obvious leak and solder it shut? It would make an impressive beer fridge.

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 Posted: Thu Feb 7th, 2008 09:44 pm
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you may be able to defrost the coils and get a little time, but with a GE you aretaking a chance.....most likely you wont be able to find the leak if it even has one, the problem may be that the compressor is inefficient. Usually on these friges the evap. coils will spring a leak and can be extremely small and impossible to detect without specialized equipment.....time to bite the bullet.



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 Posted: Fri Feb 8th, 2008 06:29 am
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Budget Appliance Repair
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ladylaz wrote:
You guys are great. Thanks.

I got this GE "new with the house" I bought over 4 years ago so I am the purchaser, and I never got
an owners manual...is there any way it could possibly be under warranty based on years and serial number or anything?



If you got it new with the house just over 4 years ago there is a very high likely hood of the sealed system still being under manufacture warranty.

If you don't have purchase receipts they would go by the manufacture date determined by the serial #.

Most companys had at least 2-5year sealed system warranty of at least parts if not parts and labor. This isn't so with things purchased since Januaray 2006, lots of companys have went to the straight 1 years parts and labor and after that, tuff luck to the customer if anything goes wrong.



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 Posted: Thu Feb 14th, 2008 12:04 pm
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ladylaz
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Thank-you to everyone who has responded once again.
Here's where we stand. After calls to multiple repair
shops and being told there's a "date" stamped on the unit
(there isn't), we talked to GE directly, and the compressor
and sealed system are under warranty until this June.
They were very clear that nothing else is, and if a
service call was made and anything else found it would
be on my bill.

My questions: 1)Is "early sealed system failure" technically
a detectable/repairable leak as opposed to a weakening
of the compressor or a "pre-brekadown unrepairable state?

2)Since this gets frosted up after 5-6 weeks what is the best
way to convince to serviceman it is what we say it is? I.E.,
what if they tell me it's the motherboard or something?


3)When they see my repair to the thermistor do you think that
voids my warranty in any way, or should I come clean about that?

Thanks for any advice here...

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 Posted: Wed Feb 20th, 2008 11:13 am
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ladylaz
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Since I asked what is meant by "early sealed system
failure"
and how it could be addressed by a repairman (and got
no response),
I got chicken about calling in a repair guy for $105
to be told there
he can't find one to repair.

Thus, since this unit freezes up every 3.5 weeks like
clockwork, I figured after two+ weeks it ought to be
icing in there somewhere.
No complaints about the fridge in this timeframe
although it was by itself
for 5 days with no one opening the doors. I waited for
the unit to go entirely
off by itself...not a peep from a fan or compressor. I
pulled the freezer panel
and found it is virtually identical to the way it
looked two weeks ago: frost
on the lower half, none on the upper half, no icing
anywhere. Reviewing
Poohbah's 2/7 response "only frost 1/2 the main bottom
coil" leaves me stupid:
is there any chance this frosting pattern can exist
forever and not ice up
as before (I would like to rejoice and declare the
thermistor replacement has created
a never-to-ice-up-again status)? I would also like to
"make GE lick their calf and fix it",
sell the unit as-is still under warranty, and buy a
Whirlpool. Would someone tutor
me just a little further about a half-frosted coil so
that when the
repairman comes I have a better understanding of this.
Right now I have the
one-legged man entering the ass-kicking contest
feeling.

Here is the latest unchanged pic. Sorry to be a pain
here, but I'm in need of
just a little further advice. Must the system freeze
up
(if it ever does again) to prove my point(?)

Attachment: 2-19-07FrostPattern.jpg (Downloaded 115 times)

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 Posted: Thu Feb 21st, 2008 12:31 am
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appl.tech.29501
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There's no problem with the repair you made if you have GE service guy fix the sealed problem, after the first year the warranty is off of everything else so ofcouse repairs are going to be a necessary item.

If I understand you correctly the fan nor the compressor was running when you checked it?

the important. thing is to get very accurate temp. readings in both the freezer and the frige at several different times. If the fan motor wasn't working the frige temps. would be high and thr frost pattern would be covering the entir evap. coil.

 99 % of the time a partially frosted evaporator is a direct indication of a sealed system problem, but the temps will tell the tale. If the temps are good then it's not a sealed system problem, sealed system problems dont come and go, they just get worse.

Keep us posted.



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 Posted: Thu Feb 21st, 2008 03:09 am
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FREONBOB
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I HAVE SEEN THIS BEFORE  make sure the frost pattern is past the defrost thermostat . if the freon is low and the top of the coil does not freeze this is what you end up with .  first remove the evap cover just like you have in the photo . jam the freezer fan blade with something non metal  so it cant turn  and watch the frost pattern the top of the coil must freeze not just get cold .  if not it will never defrost properly and   you need a repair or a new refrig   good luck

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 Posted: Fri Feb 22nd, 2008 12:01 pm
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Poobah
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When I said only half the main bottom coil frosted I was referring to the single aluminum tube directly over the heater...it only had frost halfway across it and the rest of the way up had nothing...hence a sealed system leak....customer decided not to fix it because they had gotten it second handed and didn't want to spend the money.....so I promptly returned their check fee (what I charge when someone drops off a unit to be repaired) and they gave me the fridge for parts

 

 



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 Posted: Tue Feb 26th, 2008 01:41 pm
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ladylaz
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Thanks for the input one and all.

"get very accurate temp. readings in both the freezer and the fridge at several different times"

OK, mind you I am using pool thermometers.  At first I noticed that the temps plummet as soon
as I opened the door but this was circumvented (one in fridge is in water glass, in freezer
it is half covered by two ice trays, both centrally located) pretty well. Dials on fridge go up to 9; I have both on 4.
Freezer varies between 8-15F and fridge between 38-45F. Should I try to make it colder?
There's no meat in either and its keeps the ice cream perfect. Is this normal?

"jam the freezer fan blade with something non metal  so it cant turn  and watch the frost pattern the top of the
coil must freeze not just get cold"

Here are two pics of what I just did. Fridge has now run without manual defrosting for
22 days. The frosting pattern has gone upward only slightly, and the difference I notice
upon close inspection are a number of ice droplets forming as high as the 3rd-4th coil
from the top, in a couple cases spanning down to the coil under and forming small icicle
jams. As you can see, the fins are not frosted up there, but there are isolated icedrops.
Does this appear to be the precursor of the gigantic icing pattern that used to occur
(freon getting up there but melting as coils try to frost/freeze, and eventually jamming
the whole airflow?)  There are more droplets freezing on the right side (toward fridge).

How long should I let it go with the fan impinged before the test has surely failed;
 I didn't empty the fridge side? If it fails may I get a freon charge like an air
conditioner, or shall we assume there is a leak 100% (2.5 months left on sealed system
warranty)?

Attachment: iceBegins.jpg (Downloaded 92 times)

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 Posted: Tue Feb 26th, 2008 01:42 pm
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ladylaz
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one more pic

Attachment: impededFan.jpg (Downloaded 92 times)

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 Posted: Tue Feb 26th, 2008 04:33 pm
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Poobah
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You can let the fan go...you have also fought this battle far longer than I would have...I admire your spirit...with the fan running and the panel placed back in the freezer (just sitting there not screwed in place) let it run for a couple days monitoring temps (set both knobs on 5) and see what temps you get then....also periodically (every 12 hours or in the morn or after coming from work) remove the panel and see if the frost has grown up the coils, if so keep mnitoring it for a week or so...if not then bite the bullet and call GE to fix your leak or go get that new Whirlpool



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 Posted: Tue Feb 26th, 2008 07:23 pm
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ladylaz
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OK Poobah. Doing as told. Every time I went by the unit today
it was running (0900-1600). Attached is the pic of the coils after
7 straight hours with the fan impinged. No ice (I probed the
snow with a finger or two), but a lot of frosting
and a lot higher than I have seen it in awhile. I think I must have
interrupted a defrost cycle since the lower coils looked a little
bare as did the defrost thermostat. This leads me, in my entirely
amatuerish opinion, to conclude that the top two coils never frosted
(or were they too close to the fridge aperture?) before the defrost
cycle kicked in.

For the record, I closed up everything except
the fan compartment to do this (it was open a crack for the clamp)
, and all the freezer ice stayed frozen all day.
You give me too much credit; with a cordless drill taking it all apart
is now less than two minutes...maybe one.

Attachment: 7HoursFanOff.jpg (Downloaded 88 times)

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 Posted: Fri Feb 29th, 2008 03:09 pm
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ladylaz
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First report after 3 days of setting both fridge and freezer at "5":
Freezer temp steadily between zero and 8 (about ten readings).
Fridge dead-on 38F (more than 10 readings).
Today at noon compressor off for prolonged period, temps holding steady,
compressor kicked on and brief clattering noise from high fan (sounded like
ice, for about 10 seconds).
Took unit apart, noted nothing different. Everything frosted up to top three
coils. Ice droplets up higher only. Will keep posted.
Four questions: 1)Bottom coil attached to tube only frosts on right = leak?
                 2)Am I looking for a big temp drop, an ice-up as before, both?
                 3)When I pull the panel should I have waited for the compressor
                   to have just shut off, just started, or run a spell? I did this
                   today after it had kicked on for 15 minutes assuming it had
                   started a cooling cycle as opposed defrost. Should I just do it
                   randomly?
                 4)Do top three coils HAVE to freeze to be working properly?

Attachment: 3DaysAt38.jpg (Downloaded 74 times)

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 Posted: Fri Feb 29th, 2008 06:03 pm
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Poobah
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I'm glad that the temps are remaining stable...this is a good sign...although with 2-3 coils unfrosted you could still have a very S...L...O...W leak and it not drop completely out for a long while...it does appear that it's not as bad as I once thought as the frost pattern has went from poor at best to alittle less than optimum...I would continue to monitor it maybe once a day or so...

1)anytime the coils aren't covered entirely there is a possibility of a leak 9even frost top to bottom)

2)you shouldn't notice a big ice up... just even frosting

3)from the way your describing it being off for awhile and then puling the panel, and it then running for about 15 mins or so it could have been coming out of defrost cycle (were the coils thawed out)

4)the coils don't have to be frosted entirely for the box to cool but as the frost gets less and less it will gradually warm up...as said earlier it could take awhile



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 Posted: Tue Mar 4th, 2008 02:54 pm
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ladylaz
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FYI only.  Last few days freezer stabilized at approximately zero degrees F.
Fridge ran consistently at 35F.

Pulled the panel on 3/3 while fridge had been running for 30 minutes.
Identical results. Took picture but won't post as it is the same as the last
with top coils ice droplets only, frost on rest including entire bottom tube/coil.

Took one day for the  freezer to get back to zero temp and the fridge currently
is 37F after peeking at 40F after shutdown. Will continue to monitor.

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 Posted: Tue Mar 4th, 2008 05:54 pm
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It looks like the cap tubes goes to the lower loop of evap coils, I would expect only the lower part of the evap coils to frost up if there is a system leak.  I am worried some about the frost pattern sometimes going up to the top 3 loops, and sometimes to only half.  Could a restricted dryer of cap tube cause this problem, the compressor shutting down too soon?  Why was compressor shut down when he was removing back panel, was it trying to defrost, compressor overheating, cold control contacts open ?  It seems strange to me that the compressor would turn back on when he repluged unit.  What do you think?


H. 

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 Posted: Wed Mar 5th, 2008 01:37 am
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ladylaz
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Clarification:

I don't know what a dryer or tube cap is. My methodology for
pulling ANY panel is unplug the whole unit because I am not
a fridge tech and I have had my share of shocks. I guess if someone
told me to pull the freezer panel while it was running and that would tell
us something vital I might try. Afterall, I was flattened last week by a faulty
jacuzzi blower switch just turning it off (and that was 220V).

That said, I have never replugged the unit and NOT had the compressor
kick right back on... and this is a lot of times. Also, I have never seen frost
on the top three tubes except during the initial severe ice-ups. They are cold
and have tiny icicles only(?).

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 Posted: Wed Mar 5th, 2008 06:41 am
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BrntToast
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your compressor should not start right back up if you unplug and plug the fridge right back in

repeat the test a few times, if the compressor starts back up and continues to run each time you have a bad compressor

 



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 Posted: Wed Mar 5th, 2008 01:07 pm
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ladylaz
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Someone earlier in this blog suggested I wait 15-20 minutes
for the unit to reset after I pull panels, etc., so even though
my inspection takes only a couple minutes I always wait. Does this change the
 "right back in" part of things?


My recollection is that even had the compressor been off it
always kicks on at re-plug...I could be wrong...I had come to
believe this was normal somehow... but I will carefully
monitor this too. It cycles itself on/off regularly every day
by itself.

Today for the record it is 2.7C (fridge) and -17.7C (freezer)...
in Canadian...btw: spent a lot of time dealing with Manitoba Hydro
and always enjoyed your town.



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