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GE side-by-side model# GSL25FPA BS - Help!  Rating:  Rating
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 Posted: Fri Mar 14th, 2008 02:09 pm
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ladylaz
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Went to California for 5 days (fridge completely
on and not in use).  As of yesterday
and presently the fridge is running smoothly at
37-38F degrees, the freezer 0-5F. Have not
pulled the panel yet as I am suspecting it will
look the same (3/4 frosted), but will do so  as
soon as I am caught up around here.

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 Posted: Fri Mar 14th, 2008 04:36 pm
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Poobah
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Thanx for the update....glad it's still going...just keep doing like you are...as we discussed before you should be ok until it finally leaks off enough to cause it to not pull down to temp..then we will do as we talked about...good luck



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 Posted: Wed Mar 19th, 2008 03:07 pm
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ladylaz
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3-19-08

After returning from a trip I noted
that the fridge/freezer were working
nicely. Since I didn't want spoilage I
deferred buying groceries until I got back,
and it took the unit almost three days to
get fully back to temperature after adding
a lot of groceries/opening it a lot, etc.
During this span it got no warmer than 15/40F
(freezer/fridge).

For two days now it has actually gotten UNDER
the former average and been holding at 0/35F.
This made me wonder if Iwas going to see freezing
in the upper part of the fridge similar to the
original ice-up patterns this blog pertains to.

Today I opened the freezer panel and saw little change.
If anything the frost pattern was more even and spread
ever-so-slightly higher with freeze droplets sparsely
populating the second to highest coil.

After nine minutes of the freezer off and opened (including
unloading/reloading) I turned it back on.
For the record, the compressor kicked on instantly again.
Will keep monitoring.

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 Posted: Wed Mar 26th, 2008 04:25 pm
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ladylaz
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New development:
Fridge now freezing food on top shelf and milk in the door.
Temps have dropped to 32/0F (fridge/freezer measured in the
middle of each unit). Unit remains on "5" for both sides.

Pulled freezer panel to see same frost pattern with the following
notations:
1) There is a "thickening" of frost front to back in the center coils.
this is not ice, but the frost is certainly robust and touching coil-to-coil.
Seems like this might be enough to block air flow some bottom to top.
2)I have noticed this before but this time I am providing a blow-up of
the area where the arrow in the attached .jpg points. After the freeze
ups that started this whole problem there seemed to be a bare spot
on one of the coils at a far edge. By "bare spot" I mean  the fins that  are
everywhere else do not appear on this section. This could have been due
to ice jams sliding the material off or around.  The reason I mention this is
that all frosting of the coils immediately above it pretty much fails.

Am I on the brink of a repair visit if this thing freezes further? I remember
way back when when this happened I turned down the controls to 4 to
stop the freezing and things went from bad to worse.

Attachment: 3-26Blowup.jpg (Downloaded 79 times)

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 Posted: Thu Mar 27th, 2008 09:01 am
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Budget Appliance Repair
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I've been watching your previous and this discussion but stayed out not wanting to complicate matters.

Now I will say what I think, and what you don't want to hear.....

You have a sealed system problem, bad/inefficient compressor or low on freon. You have a short frost pattern, why noone else has said this I don't know, it looks pretty obvious.

The coils should have a nice thin layer of frost from top to bottom. The coolent, (I believe), comes in at the bottom and works it's way to the top. The defrost bimetal/terminator is at the end of the evaporator and since it's low on freon or not able to move it with correct pressures, you never really cool the bimetal down low enough and when it does go into a defrost doesn't stay on long enough to clear all the ice on the lower parts of the coil because the heat raising to the inefficiently cooled bimetal and it opens to soon turning off the defrost. So eventually the lower coils plug up with ice.



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 Posted: Thu Mar 27th, 2008 01:44 pm
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ladylaz
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"You have a sealed system problem, bad/inefficient compressor or low on freon. You have a short frost pattern, why noone else has said this I don't know, it looks pretty obvious."

Actually, this has been suggested by some...and I believe it. I also think that I reset the unit so often with my inspections I have been unable to fully replicate the full icing pattern.

Thanks. Your logic is crystal as to why defrost is insufficient. This unit is still barely under warranty. Some deja vu with this: LONG ago I had an Ignus Danby refrigerator that had a sealed system problem as soon as I bought it. The repairman could only come during MY working hours which meant I had to take off work. This resulted in six different days where he was never on time getting more parts, resealing, retesting,
etc. Some of the labor wasn't covered, he damaged my floor with hot solder that I should have complained about, etc. Then on top of things, just like my crumby John Deere mower, the replacement part (compressor) had a 90 day warranty so in the end the unit still failed long before its stated "guarantee". What I lost in work/vacation vs. saved in repair taught me a big lesson: do it yourself or throw it away, and beware of what you buy.

In retrospect I witnessed 1st hand how this kind of problem can render a warranty effectually useless. I've gotten older and smarter: I drive a 1993 Toyota that has never seen a mechanic. This is just the nicest fridge I have ever owned, and the whole kitchen is stainless so replacing it puts me in a position of something I would have never otherwise purchased.

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 Posted: Tue Apr 22nd, 2008 07:03 pm
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ladylaz
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Almost a month since my last post, and my last episode of
tearing a panel off. The result is attached. The fridge had not
murmured for hours so I suspected something bad. Turns out
it had already defrosted successfully yet stayed cold.

What has changed? I moved the fridge to a porch-like room
nearby to see if the bad clearances and dust were making things
worse systematically. The unit is more full than before, but also
in an unheated/uncooled room with full clearance in every direction.

I'd say the air temps are in the mid-80's day and night.  The temps in the unit
have changed to be warmer with the same settings ("5") that were used
in the kitchen. The fridge sits at a steady 40F and the freezer around 10F.
The unit also runs quietly and not nearly as much. The walk out there
has me opening it a lot less.

The auto-damper door opens and closes like clockwork.  The only thing
that bothers me is the 4-6F increase at the same settings, but the
surrounding air is probably 10-15F warmer than it had been.  I guess this
is normal and not a sign of weakening, similar to a beverage cooler inside
vs. at the beach?



Attachment: 4-22-08Frosting.jpg (Downloaded 53 times)

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 Posted: Sat Sep 19th, 2009 09:17 pm
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ladylaz
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Update 9-18-09:

This fridge had run flawlessly now in an
unheated/uncooled environment, even with
windows open half the year and high humidity
as well as desert dryness and a summer of
100+ temps. Overnight, my new Rhodesian Ridgeback
(who has become an expert at opening doors) broke
into that room the fridge is in, stole some things
(shoes, clothes, a spa thermometer), and left the
door ajar. The outside temps are in the 60's for the
first time day or night in 6 months.

The fridge is right next to the door and was warm
by morning. Just like when in the house and the
temps were allowed to get into the 60's at night,
it failed in the same manner.
The freezer was perfect, fans on, shutting off/on,
etc., damper doors open, just poor airflow to the fridge.
I am sure there is an iceberg on the coils. I
emptied, shut it down; I know the whole drill too well.

So here is another thought: when I lived in the beautiful
hills of southern Mizzou my neighbor borrowed my
dehumidifier for his unheated pantry. He ran it
but the coils just frosted up and he returned it to me
as broken. I tried it in my unheated cold cellar which
was very humid: same result. I threw it away. A month
later he came over to me asking for it again, saying
he had researched it and knew it simply wouldn't work
in the 60'sF and below...that NO dehumidifier would.

Could that be this model's issue? Iced coils from low
temps? If so, every Canadian I have ever known has a
beer fridge in an unheated garage, yet come to think
about it, they're all the old ones that never failed no
matter what and you expected to do a manual defrost.

Too simplistic? What do you think?

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 Posted: Sat Sep 19th, 2009 10:26 pm
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RegUS_PatOff
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60's isn't too bad ... for most fridges ...

The new ones (yours) have a few Thermsistor Sensors that decide if it's too warm in the Fridge or Freezer
and run the Compressor to help cool that area.

Your Fridge's problem is that the Door was left open to let in all the humid air which will then get circulated past the Evaporator Coils
in the Freezer and frost them up nicely.
 



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 Posted: Sun Sep 20th, 2009 04:17 am
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kdog
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Your fridge definitely has a system problem by the look of the frost patterns, because the frosting is only in the middle of the evaporator would suggest a suction valve failure in the compressor. Your previous experience with system repairs are accurate. IMO, I would ditch this unit and get a new one - Where I live, it is VERY dry and each year, after the spring rains (flooded basements etc), we have an influx of repair requests for dehumidifiers for the exact symptoms that you described and it's difficult to convince folks that the unit can't extract water from the concrete floor, only what is vaporized in the air.
During the 2 weeks of hot,humid weather we get each year, they work wonderfully with water beads sweating off the coils filling the buckets endlessly.



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 Posted: Sun Sep 20th, 2009 03:46 pm
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ladylaz
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Thanks!
Really!

In past years this unit failed always after extensive rains. I live in far South Coastal Texas in
an area where we either get El Nino desert drought, or
turbulent Gulf moisture. During the past two weeks it
rained for the first time in 5 months. A lot. We got
"tropical funnel clouds" if you have ever seen one.
Drought seems to = no hurricanes...I can get used to that...so apparently can the fridge.

Fall is the time of year the windows get fully opened:
the A/C will not turn on, and switching to heat makes no sense until December. Similarly in early Spring.
This is when the failures occured every time (no matter which area the unit resided.) Windows or doors were opened all night in humidity.

Normally, the room its in now drys out wet towels left on the concrete floor overnight--with just two windows open...except for this last week. Having the door open would have created a wind tunnel behind the fridge. Plus there's a swimming pool just outside the door.

I'm going to clean this unit out, teach my African Lion Hound better manners, and see if this unit won't go another 19 months without a hitch. If not, I've always got a fridge I've had for decades (all the food is in it now): it sits idly for years then powers up like an old Toyota, when called upon.

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 Posted: Mon Sep 21st, 2009 12:44 am
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denrayr
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here is my explanation as to why the fridge works in warmer weather. In cooler weather the condensor works more efficiently and you stack more liquid refrigerant there. with a low charge there isnt enough refrigerant to properly frost the evaperator. With a low charge the fridge isnt working 100 percent in any scenario it just works better when its warm. you could try to unplug the condensor fan motor to raise the condensor temperature.



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 Posted: Mon Nov 2nd, 2009 09:06 pm
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ladylaz
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The saga continues...

From 9/18/09 to 11/01/09 the unit has been off and my spare
little fridge and freezer took over. With winter beginning (it's down
to the 70's) I figured I'd fire it back up.

When I opened the door it looked like an algae experiment gone wild.
Only the fridge--the freezer was clean. Both had been emptied and bleach
cleaned. Which brought to mind: what if the coils look that bad? Would
anyone go to the trouble to check it before turning it on again? They're
behind the freezer which was clean.

I also kind of wondered: if I am running a low charge is it better to leave
the unit off or have it on? Logic seems to say "no compressor pressure = less freon escaping", but maybe that's backwards? Just trying to get the max
life out of the thing.

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 Posted: Tue Nov 3rd, 2009 05:03 pm
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fixyourboard

 

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We see a lot of odd, intermittent symptoms due to a common problem with the motherboard. It may not be the cause of this problem, but you might want to have a look at this article I wrote on the subject  -just in case.

http://www.fixyourboard.com/techzone/refrigerators/ge_fridge_testload/ge_fridge_testload.html

Regards,
Bruce
http://www.fixyourboard.com

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 Posted: Tue Nov 3rd, 2009 08:46 pm
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ladylaz
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Thank-you for that link.

It looks like a lot of fun to do...another toy...it's on my rainy day project list!


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