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Fan noise in freezer of my GE side-by-side refridgerator

I have this noise coming from the evaporator fan in my GE fridge model # GSR23VSTASS. It only makes this noise when the fan is in running in it's slow mode. If I tap the vent that covers the fan, the noise disappears. A few days later it comes back. There seems to be a bit of ice and frost underneath the ice-maker. The temperature of the freezer is 0 degrees and the fridge part is 37 degrees. If this is an ice problem, is there a way of preventing this?

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  • whaleforce Dec 06, 2008

    Thank you for the advice. I really appreciate it. It's a bit annoying though to have to keep rapping the vent. You would think GE would have stood the fan upright instead of flat to prevent the ice from forming on the vent. But, thanks again for the good advice.

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You don't have to worry about the ice and frost, Your heater does that for you Your heater comes on and defrost every day. You just need to tighten the screws and clean up the vent where the noise is coming from but I wouldn't worry about it. The temperature on your fridge and freezer is running optimal, You know the saying, if it ain't broke, don't try to fix it....just tap the vent covers every few days.

Posted on Dec 06, 2008

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Really need to know what motor(s) are running (compressor, evap fan inside freezer compartment, condenser fan under fridge)?? Of course, check your temperature (thermostat) settings. Side-by-sides usually have 2 of them. They should be labled for refridgerator and freezer. The freezer control usually only opens a baffle from the freezer compartment to the refridge compartment. The refrigerator temp control is the one that controls the compressor on-off cycles and the temp of refrig compartment (this keeps the refrig compartment from freezing the milk and cokes) If the freezer control/baffle is set too far open, this will cause the refrig temp control to shut off too soon for the freezer temp to get low enough. These controls can get bumped out of the correct setting accidently from time to time.
To check the following, the fridge has to be running, or in a condition where it "should be" running: If compressor is running (condenser fan should be too), check if evaporator fan (inside freezer) is running. Open (freezer) door and hold door light switch in when you check evaporator fan operation (some fans stop when door is open) If it is not running you may have a bad evaporator fan motor. It could also be a bad defrost timer, causing the evaporator (also inside back of freezer) to ice-up. This blocks the air flow over evap. Also, there is a defrost terminator switch on the evaporator coil that stops the defrost cycle when coil is clear of ice/frost (but timer hasn't ended defrost cycle). If it is defective, that could also keep the fridge from going into the defrost cycle, or taking it out too soon. If it is the timer, change the defrost terminator as well. Depending on how handy you are, you may be able to check/change any of these parts yourself. If you don't know much about elecrical stuff, you should leave it to a repair tech. Hope this helps.

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Despite my urge to vent about GE refrigerators, I'll keep this short.

If you have a constant squealing noise from the evaporator fan in the freezer, there's a good chance the fan just has failing bearings, and replacing the evaporator fan might solve the problem.

But if the noise is intermittent; quiet sometimes but sometimes buzzing loudly, then my bet is there's nothing wrong with your evaporator fan. It's a problem with the design of GE fridges: They don't defrost completely. So ice builds up on the back freezer wall, etc., and on and around the evaporator fan. That's not a problem when the fan is in "low speed mode". But open the door, get the fridge warm, and the fan kicks into "high speed mode". That's when the noise will start, as the fan blades and assembly warps under speed to hit ice and start vibrating.

Acid test is this: While the noise is occurring, turn the fridge temp (not freezer) control up as high as you can without turning off the fridge. That will make the fan shift into low speed. If the noise stops, you got ice on the fan, my friend.

In that case, unplug the fridge, and get a hair dryer and blow warm air into and onto the evaporator fan area. Maybe gently whack the fan area with your hand a bit, to knock the ice off. Once you get all the ice off, turn it back on. If it runs on high, without any noise, the problem is fixed ... until the next set of high humidity days. I plan to post a video about this, once I get it edited to remove the expletives. ;-)

GE will sell you a "moisture kit" for $340, which may fix the problem, but only if your fridge is out of warranty.

If your fridge is still under warranty, GE will tell you there's nothing wrong and that maybe you just need ear plugs.

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Hello Michael,
Thanks for your question, I hope I can help some. My answer is long winded but full of good info.
The noise could be as the GE guy said refrigerant (gas) noise. If it is refrigerant noise it happens as the liquid refrigerant comes out of the tiny capillary tube and enters the evaporator (cooling) coil in the freezer. Along with the liquid coming through the capillary tube there often are gas pockets. The flow of the liquid and gas pockets into the evaporator coil cause strange sounds. If the noise you are hearing is this refrigerant noise, you should only hear the noise while the compressor is running and then only for a short time (1 to 2 minutes) after the compressor shuts off.
If the noise continues after that I do not think it is a refrigerant noise.
There are times when the compressor will not be running but the fan in the freezer will be running on this model. This is normal and working properly but if the noise is present when the freezer fan is running and the noise stops when the freezer fan stops, the likely cause will be the main board located in a square panel on the rear of the refrigerator above the compressor compartment. I know that sounds crazy but the main board can cause the freezer fan motor to make some really strange noises. Eventually the board will probably fail.
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I tried to locate for you information on a material that Whirlpool and Frigidaire as well as some others use as a noise deaden-er that they wrap around where the capillary tube enters the evaporator. I was not successful in locating anything. I am sorry I could not find it.
supertechks
Please don't forget to rate me

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