Question about GE Energy Star SDL20KCSBS Bottom Freezer Refrigerator

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Slow condenser and evaporator fans on SDL20KCSABS

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  • beerslayer24 Mar 03, 2009

    Thanks MNTECH, I purchased the refrigerator in April '06. The fans seem to be running slower than normal and cooling performance seems lower. Fan noise is definitely lower than usual from this unit, as I remember.Temperature in the cabinet has risen to 45F from 38F.

  • beerslayer24 Mar 03, 2009

    OK, now we are getting somewhere. I unplugged for 20 minutes. No excess water or dripping during the 20 minutes. Both fans seem to be still running on low speed after plugging back in. I would guess that the voltage could be checked at the fan or the board. Any suggestions as to where to start first? I found the condenser fan WR84X10055 rated at 11.5V, 2.54W. Thanks for your help. It's great fun to fix things.

  • beerslayer24 Mar 04, 2009

    I have performed the VDC measurements. On the J2 connector, pin 4 (yellow on my machine) to pin 3 (white) is 7.50 VDC and for the condenser fan, pin 8 (red) to pin 5 (pink) is 7.98 VDC. Is the .48 VDC difference between the two fans is significant? The tests would seem to indicate a new board is in order. By the way, I never did find the wiring diagram.

  • beerslayer24 Mar 04, 2009

    After performing the first set of VDC readings, it occurred to me that maybe the cabinet was not sufficiently warm to activate the higher fan speeds. So, I opened the door and allowed the cabinet to reach about 60F, 5-10 minutes. Sure enough, after closing the door and waiting a few more minutes, I could here increased evaporator fan noise but the condenser fan was still in slow mode. The VDC tests were performed again and pin 4 to pin 3, (evap. fan) is 12.64 VDC, while pin 8 to pin 5 (cond. fan) remained at 7.98 VDC. Does this still indicate main control board replacement? I wonder if there is another sensor or system that would override high speed running of the condeser fan.

  • beerslayer24 Mar 09, 2009

    Yes MNTECH, life can get hectic sometimes, some days are just not long enough. Fortunately for me, the refrigerator has regained efficiency after all this testing. Of course now there is not a dust bunny to be found and the fan blades have been cleaned **** and span. Temperature is now running 35-37F, instead of 45F, which set off my alarm bells. I had a surprise when testing the fan votlages with the J2 connector removed. Evap fan, pins 3&4, was 13.6 VDC, as expected, but, the cond fan, pins 8&5, indicated 0 (zero) VDC. I was expecting to read the 8 VDC I see with the J2 connector in place. What do you think?

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  • 1,543 Answers

Newer GE refrigerators use variable speed DC fan motors to improve energy efficiency. Fan speed is determined by the electronic control board. Your refrig is working as designed.
Please don't rate solution, as anything but a Fix-Ya lowers my overall score. Thanks.

Posted on Mar 03, 2009

  • 1 more comment 
  • Carl Schulzetenberg
    Carl Schulzetenberg Mar 03, 2009

    I have seen on a few rare occasions that the main control board (part number WR55X10656 for your model) no longer puts out the high speed voltage level. (If I remember correctly off the top of my head that is about 12 to 15 VDC, low speed around 6 to 8 VDC) Before replacing board, try unplugging for at least 30 seconds to reset electronic board. (That may save you the cost of a board) Air flow and thermistors are other possiblities, like a frost blocked evaporator, but if both fans seem to be running slow, it seems to be pointing to the electronic board. Good luck.

  • Carl Schulzetenberg
    Carl Schulzetenberg Mar 04, 2009

    A typical check for this would be to take the cover off the main control board on the back of the refrig and check the J2 connector, pin 4 (yellow/black wire) to pin 3 (white wire) for the evap fan motor and pin 5 (yellow wire) to pin 8 (red wire) for condenser fan motor to look for about 13 VDC for high speed when the refrig temp is warm. (about 8 VDC for low). if not getting the 13 VDC, replace the board. YOUR PLUG, PINS NUMBERS, AND WIRE COLORS MAY BE DIFFERENT than this example. Find your electrical diagram to see for sure. It is usually printed on a thin plastic sheet folded up and tucked in where the wires hook up to the temperature controls.

  • Carl Schulzetenberg
    Carl Schulzetenberg Mar 08, 2009

    Sorry I was not able to respond sooner. My last few days have been very hectic. The .5 VDC difference in output fan voltage is not significant. That was a good idea to let the refrig warm to test the board output voltages with a warm refrig interior. Both fan should have been seeing the aprox 13 VDC at that point. Considering that you did not get the higher voltage to the condenser fan, I would replace the board. (with warm refrig, you should really disconnect the J2 plug and test voltage output from the pins on the board, not just the wires with the plug still attached to the board)

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