Question about GE GSS20IEP Side by Side Refrigerator

1 Answer

Fridge will not automatically defrost.

My freezer coil keeps clogging up with ice every 3-4 weeks, then I have to manually defrost which is a real pain. I've checked for leaks around the door and ice dispenser flap, all seems fine there. Where exactly is the switch for auto-defrost and how can I check that it's working, because it's evident to me that it's not right now? Can it be manually set to NOT switch on somehow? The Sears tech who worked on it in November had obviously never worked on these before, I remember him calling a buddy and asking about checking the defrost function - if this helps? This site ROCKS!

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  • Lee Godwin
    Lee Godwin Mar 21, 2007

    Pretty much on the money, thank you! I think changing the heaters may be a job for someone else. It's cheaper than replacing the fridge if I screw it up.

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Ls, your model has a main board that controls the defrost. The board is located on the back side. In the lower left hand corner of the board you will see a blue harness. The board will be marked comp, defr, line. You will need to get a jumper wire with clips and jump line to defrost. This will send 120V. to your defrost heaters. Then you can determine if the defrost heaters are in fact working. In most cases, I find the heaters at fault on these models. Not hard to replace. There is a evaporator thermistor that sends the signal to the board to defrost. Connector J-1 pin 4 to 5 should read 2.8 to 3.5VDC, dc voltage. Reading from left to right. You can ohm out the resister at those wires, should read 36.4K ohms at 5 degrees. The defrost terminator is redundant to the defrost operation. It's there as a safety device in the event the thermistor does not terminate the defrost. Check your heaters first. The defrost cycle is determined by compresser run time, door openings and time between defrosts. Catriver..post back

Posted on Mar 17, 2007

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1 Answer

Permanent ice on back side of fridge near the sensor (thermistor?)


Hello Paola! If your refrigerator is frost free, that is an indication the ice build up is caused by a failure for your defrost circuit. This circuit is made up of a defrost heater, defrost thermostat (both in freezer section behind the inner shield) and either a defrost timer (if your unit is older than 5 years) or the control board if younger. If you take off the shield in the freezer and the evaporator coil is coated in ice that is probably the cause. To check, defrost the unit by unplugging, and then use a hair dryer or heat gun to defrost all the ice off. NOTE: Be ready to deal with the massive amount of water from this defrost or you will have a mess. IF I am right, the refrigerator will start working normally for 2-3 weeks (depending on your humidity it could be shorter). Then you will get another ice build up and it will do the same thing.

Jan 16, 2012 | Refrigerators

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Hi and welcome to FixYa, I am Kelly
Without your model number here is what most likely has happened:
The automatic defrosting system is not working due to a component failure.

The components of the automatic defrost system are:
1. Defrost control
2. Defrost heater
3. Defrost thermostat.
4. Wiring to inter-connect 1 - 3 above.

What your currently doing is a manual defrost cycle every 3 weeks because ice blocks the air-flow across the evaporator in the freezer compartment so everything starts warming up in the fresh food section first and finally the freezer as the ice block gets larger.

FYI you can unplug it... remove the contents from the freezer...use an external directed into the freezer compartment for just over 2 hours to do the same process your doing in 24 hours. Until the automatic defrost system is repaired you should do a manual defrost at least every 4 days.
Most units are on an automatic defrost cycle of 6 - 8 hours (usually) all the way up to 10.35 hours per cycle. Yours just is not working at all.

Thanks for choosing FixYa,
Kelly

Thanks for choosing FixYa,
Kelly

Aug 15, 2011 | Refrigerators

1 Answer

Frigidaire upright fridge freezer.The drainage hole at back of fridge part of item keeps freezing over blocking drainage from fridge


Yrur model number is missing the last three digits.... I will use FRT21H8CB1 as the example model number.
You need to do a total manual defrost with a catch basin and comprtment drain cleaning.
- Unplug the unit
- Remove fgreezer contents
- Direct an exteranl fan into the freezer compartment for just over 2 hours to ensure the compartment drain tube has defrosted.
- During the defrost period... open the fiberboard panel on the lower back of the refrigerator and clean out everything, Condensor coils, catch / drip pan (Called pan-defrost for parts), and the END of the compartment drain tube.
Model reference:
http://www.appliancepartspros.com/partsearch/model.aspx?model_id=5158190&diagram_id=1311449#d1311449

Defrost pan Item 26 of above link needs to be cleaned.
Coils Item 1 need to be cleaned
Fan blade Item 61 needs to be cleaned.

The evaporator trough, drain item 17 also should be clear. Here is what you can do without tearing everything in the back of the freezer apart. Once your sure the comprtment drain tube (no item number / bulk hose) is clean on the end. Use the exhaust of a Vacuum cleaner and the hose to force air UP through the drain hose and float out any debris from the trough drain. Have a 2nd person listen for air flow into the freezer compartment if possible. The biggest problems with freezer compartment drains is the END of the hose at the defrost pan underneath the unit clogs up and then the compartment drain hose just loads up with scum. Then the freezer stops draining and you have the symtom your describing.

After the manual defrost and cleaning return the unit to normal service.

Having said all of that... if the refrigerator then freezer starts warming up in 3 - 4 days... you may have an automatic defrost problem causing the icing. I.e it is not defrosting so the evaporator eventually ices over and forms an ice block in the back and bottom of the freezer compartment. Usually if there is an ice block that forms you wil hear the evaporator fan striking the ice build up.
If this is happening... for sure there is an automatic defrosting problem and your stuck doing a manual defrost ever 3 - 4 days until repairs are complete.

One more note.. if there is NOT any compartment drain tubing visible... your unit may port evaporator tray water down the back of the fresh food compartment to the defrost pan under the unit... just clean everything that serves as a drain function best you can during the manual defrost and cleaning process.

Thanks for choosing FixYa,
Kelly

May 23, 2011 | Frigidaire FRT21H8 Top Freezer...

1 Answer

I am also getting massive frost build up on the freezer side


depending on the model, 1-5 years. 5 reasons for fridge and/or freezer getting warm: 1- the evaporator coils are icing up and won?t let air circulate. 2- the evaporator fan is not working to circulate air. 3- there is no refrigerant in the system. 4- no power to fridge or compressor. 5- the condenser coils have no air circulation check under the fridge behind the vent. if it is too dusty or the fan isn?t working, it is not getting enough airflow to cool down. replace fan and/or vacuum out the dust. if there is no power to the fridge, the light will be off. if the compressor is not running, there is a defrost timer that cuts the power temporarily to the compressor to melt ice on the coils. it?s located under the fridge behind the bottom vent. If the timer is off and the compressor is not going, the compressor or the main board is bad and needs replacing. there is also a temperature sensor on the evaporator coils that tells the defrost coil to turn on and when to turn off. if the defrost timer is on but the coil is not heating up, replace the sensor. if it still won?t heat up, it?s the timer or the coil. the easiest way to tell if there is no refrigerant- the freezer wall is warm and the compressor is loud. if there is no refrigerant, it may be more cost effective to replace the fridge. if you feel no air coming from the freezer vent, the fan needs replacing. If you feel air moving in the freezer but not the fridge, the channel from freezer to fridge is blocked. if the freezer has air and the rear freezer wall has frost on it, the evaporator coils are iced up and need defrosting. causes: 1. low refrigerant 2. no fan 3. too much humid air in fridge/freezer due to door open or bad door seals 4. the condensate drain tube is clogged 5. defrost cycle not functioning properly if the seal around the door is ripped or not completely sealing, or there is condensation at the bottom or the walls of the fridge, replace the seal(s). no air, no fan. Replace if the refrigerant is low, it just needs a top off. but you need to be certified by the epa to move refrigerant, so get a professional. there defrost cycle starts with the timer. at a certain time of day for a specific time, the timer turns the compressor off and turns on the heater element located at the bottom of the evaporator coil. this stays on until the coil temp sensor reaches a certain temperature to let the timer know that the coils are defrosted and turns off the power to the element. the defrosted water drains to the condensate pan. if the timer is bad, it will never go into defrost, or never get out of it. if the element is bad, the coils will never defrost. if the temp sensor is bad, it?ll go into defrost, but it will either tell the timer that it?s always frozen or already defrosted, resulting in the element never turning on (stays frosted) or never turning off (eventually burning out the element). defrost solutions: unplug the fridge. remove the wall of the freezer that is frosted/icing up. use a hair dryer to melt the ice. do not get too close. you will see a drain under the evaporator coil. make sure it is not blocked. the water should run freely to a condensate pan under the fridge that evaporates the condensation with the hot line from the compressor. once the coil is free of ice, frost, and water, replace the panel and repair any of the problems that caused the icing up. plug the fridge in and turn it on. If it frosts up within a week, there is still an issue that not been taken care of.

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1 Answer

The freezer compartment on my fridge keeps icing up over a couple of months. How can i prevent this please.


if the freezer has air and the rear freezer wall has frost on it, the evaporator coils are iced up and need defrosting. causes:
1. low refrigerant
2. no fan
3. too much humid air in fridge/freezer due to door open or bad door seals
4. the condensate drain tube is clogged

if the seal around the door is ripped or not completely sealing, or there is condensation at the bottom or the walls of the fridge, replace the seal(s).

no air, no fan. Replace

if the refrigerant is low, it just needs a top off. but you need to be certified by the epa to move refrigerant, so get a professional.

defrost solutions:
unplug the fridge. remove the wall of the freezer that is frosted/icing up. use a hair dryer to melt the ice. do not get too close. you will see a drain under the evaporator coil. make sure it is not blocked. the water should run freely to a condensate pan under the fridge that evaporates the condensation with the hot line from the compressor. once the coil is free of ice, frost, and water, replace the panel and repair any of the problems that caused the icing up. plug the fridge in and turn it on. If it frosts up within a week, there is still an issue that not been taken care of.

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Our freezer and fridge or not keeping cold enough


This can be caused by the drain hole below freezer coil being blocked by ice. You MUST remove all ice in drain under freezer coil. Use turkey baster to squirt hot water into hole and use hairdryer to defrost. Possible defrost thermostat is defective. Unit never goes into defrost, ice forms on coil and in floor or back of freezer. After defrosting may work OK for a week or two but gradually gets warmer because ice is blocking ports where cool air gets to refrig. May also have water in refrig box. Can also be caused by defective defrost timer.

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1 Answer

Ice maker not working and Freezer not keeping things frozen.


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