Question about GE GSS20IEP Side by Side Refrigerator

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Will dirty codenser cause evaporator to freeze

Frozen evap

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No but a defective defrost system, defective evaporator fan or lack of Freon will cause ice to form on the rear panel of the freezer. The most likely cause will be a defrost system component. If the model number above your post is correct the item listed as location 230 and 240 Click=> HERE are the WR51X10101Defrost Heater Assemblyor the WR50X10068 Defrost Thermostat
Is the model number on your post correct? I am here should you need me, Thanks John Tripp Appliance 911

Posted on Mar 28, 2014


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Posted on Jan 02, 2017

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SOURCE: Frig side is warm, Evaporator is frozen. checked


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    Why your unit is freezing up.

    To understand why your AC or heat pump is freezing up, it helps to know how your system works.

    There are 7 major parts to an AC system, 9 with a heat pump.

    1 - Condenser/heat pump (The outdoor unit)
    2 - Air Handler (the indoor unit unless the system is a package unit, then all is outside in one system. The air handler is usually found under the home, in an attic, or in a closet.)

    In the condenser are the following major parts.

    3 - Compressor
    4 - Condenser coil
    5 - Condenser fan
    6 - (HPs only) reversing valve

    In the air handler are the following major parts.

    7 - Blower motor
    8 - Evaporator coil
    9 - (HPs only) electric heat strips

    Some systems known as "dual fuel systems" use another heat source in place of the heat strips, usually a gas furnace. I will address gas furnaces in another post.

    When an air conditioner is operating properly several things are taking place.

    1 - The compressor is compressing or "pumping" refrigerant through the system.

    2 - through changes in pressure, the refrigerant makes the evaporator coil get very cold, and the condenser coil gets very hot.

    3 - The blower motor/fan circulates air across the evaporator coils, as the room temperature air (Also known as "indoor ambient") goes through the cold coil, it exits, cooled approximately 15 to 20 degrees cooler than when it entered. (In a ducted system, the blower is also the fan that circulates the air throughout the home.)

    4 - The condenser fan circulates air across the condenser coils. As the outdoor air goes through the condenser coil, it removes heat from the coils that are very hot. This in turn removes heat from the refrigerant so it can run its cycle again, and through pressure changes, cool the evap coil.

    5 - With a heat pump, the reversing valve reverses the flow of refrigerant in the condenser and evaporator coils.
    In AC mode, the evaporator coils get cold, and the condenser coils get hot. But in heat mode, the evaporator gets very hot, and the condenser very cold.

    Now, whichever coil is getting cold will freeze up if there is inadequate air flow across the coil, as the refrigerant in it is far below freezing, and there is not enough airflow to keep the humidity in the air from freezing on the coil.

    Things that can cause poor airflow are,

    1 - Dirty/clogged coils
    2 - dirty/clogged filter (will only effect evaporator coil)
    3 - Closed/blocked vents (will only effect evaporator coil)
    4 - Malfunctioning or dirty fan

    Low refrigerant will also cause a coil to freeze up, reduce efficiency and cause the system to run for long periods of time. Not to mention, shortening the life of the unit.

    With a heat pump, in heat mode only, the condenser (outdoor) coil will routinely begin to freeze up in cold temperatures. This is due to the fact that the refrigerant is below freezing, and the cold outdoor ambient temp is not warm enough to keep the condensation in the air from freezing on the coil.

    Note, a properly working AC should never freeze up.

    A heat pump is equipped with defrost controls to prevent ice buildup.
    Some are controlled by timers, some by temp.

    When a HP is going into defrost mode, the condenser fan shuts down, the reversing valve reverses the flow of refrigerant and the once cold condenser coil now gets very hot, defrosting the coil. (Many people have said this process sounds like the unit is coming apart, or about to explode and are frightened by the "smoke" which is really just steam from melting ice that comes off the unit.)

    During defrost mode, the secondary or "auxiliary" heat comes on to ensure that you are still getting warm air from the vents. (Again, this can be electric heat strips or a dual fuel system)

    If you are experiencing cold air from the vents during defrost, that means your auxiliary heat is malfunctioning.

    The auxiliary heat is used for three purposes.

    1 - during defrost mode to maintain warm airflow (automatic)
    2 - when the HP cannot maintain the set temp due to extreme outdoor temps. It comes on when the indoor temp drops several degrees below the set temp on the thermostat (automatic)
    3 - For emergency heat source when the HP is not working. (Manual)

    To recap....

    Iced up coils?

    Poor airflow
    low refrigerant
    Malfunctioning fan
    failing defrost system

    There are two things that can be done in a pinch to help de-ice frozen coils. This may get you by until the repairman can get there, or you can fix the system if you are a do-it-yourselfer.

    HPs frozen outdoor coil in heat mode, not going into defrost?

    Cover most of the vents, and turn the system onto cooling mode until the outdoor coil is thawed. then uncover vents and return to heat, or emergency heat. (this usually takes 15 min or less)

    Frozen coils in AC mode with a heat pump?
    Turn the system to heat with the thermostat on just high enough to get the system to come on. (again, usually takes 15 min or less to thaw.)

    AC only, with frozen evap coils? (this can sometimes be seen frozen all the way outside to the compressor on the copper lines.)

    Turn the system off, and the fan switch from "auto" to on".
    This will usually defrost the coils within 1 to 2 hours.
    (If your system has the furnace in line before the evap coil, turn the system to heat, and the furnace will defrost the coil within minutes.)

    on Dec 25, 2008 | Carrier XHB123D X/Y Series Heat/Cool Air...

    1 Answer


    Possible causes - Faulty Evaporative Emission (EVAP) Purge Solenoid Control
    - Evaporative Emission (EVAP) Purge Solenoid Control harness is open or shorted
    - Evaporative Emission (EVAP) Purge Solenoid Control circuit poor electrical connection

    Apr 01, 2013 | 1999 Jeep Cherokee 4WD

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    Error code e3

    This often happens when the evaporator freezes up. The freezing temp is not normal and the frost sensor causes an error code. You should open the unit and clean the evap and condensor thoroughly. Let it thaw out if its frozen with ice. Drain the unit. Clean the evap thoroughly. Reasemble and run in fan mode to let the unit dry out. This should fix it 90% of the time. Rarely there will be an actual problem with the sensor in the rear of the unit, you can check the wires leading to the sensor when you have it open for cleaning - sometimes they will be broken when you remove and replace the filter.

    Jul 30, 2012 | Windchaser PAC9 Air Conditioner

    1 Answer

    A/c unit frozen up

    Hello, the AC will freeze up either due to low airflow such as a dirty filter, dirty evaporator coil, weak blower motor or a low refrigerant charge.

    Jul 19, 2012 | Carrier Heating & Cooling

    1 Answer

    The air unit is frezzing up and the air is never under 70 degress in the house! whats making it keep frezzing up?

    Hi, when the unit freezes up, it is either low on freon, a plugged a/c filter, or the evaporator coil is dirty and will need to be cleaned. When the evap. coil freezes up, the blower motor can't blow air through the coil. Check the filter, and behind the filter to see if the coil is dirty, just remove the screws to excess the evap. coil on this unit. Make sure the blower motor is running up to speed also. You will know. If the coil is dirty, try and clean it the best you can and replace the filter. If it continues to ice, you will need to have the freon level checked> These are the # 1 causes of coils icing up. Please let me know how it turns out.
    A/C, Heating, & Refrigeration, Contractor

    Aug 17, 2010 | Intertherm P3RA-048K Air Conditioner

    2 Answers

    Air conditioner is freezing up

    Three most common things that cause an a/c to freeze up.

    1. Plugged/dirty filters
    2. Blower motor not running
    3. or there is a leak in you refrigerant system and you are now low on charge

    Oct 07, 2009 | Heating & Cooling

    1 Answer

    What causes my evaporator to freeze up

    This can be caused by a few things.Check for a clean air filter. If the filter is dirty the air flow is slowed and lets ice form and over time the coils freeze over. The next thing to look for is a dirty evap coil. Same thing. if the coils are dirty the air flow is restricted and causing freeze ups. if this all looks ok then its time to call in the pro's. For environmental purposes all HVAC techs are citified to handel freon in the correct way. They will check the system for leaks and repair them followed by a freon recharge.

    May 11, 2009 | Heating & Cooling

    1 Answer

    Freezer wont cool

    This problem could be cause by a few things. Can you tell me if your condenser is clean? If it is dirty, the heat cannot be rejected. Will you feel the large copper line going to the compressor and tell me if it is cold to the touch? If it is not col and your compressor is running you may be low on refrigerant. Also, is the evaporator frozen over? If your evaporator is frozen over you might be low on refrigerant, or you evap fans may be out.

    Feb 15, 2009 | Traulsen Freezer G22013 Freezer, Reach-in,...

    1 Answer

    There is very very little air coming out of the unit. Not strong at all.

    Could be a stopped up air filter, dirty evap coil or your blower wheel is dirty and or freezing up. See if the larger refrigerant line is freezing up where it leaves the evaporator coil going to the outside unit

    Jul 06, 2008 | Heating & Cooling

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