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Refrigerator light quit working and bulb is OK. Freezer light is OK. Model GD5SHAXNQ00

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My Whirlpool refrigerator model GD5SHAXNQ00 had the same problem. First the fridge light began flickering, and then went out completely (but the bulb worked in other appliances) and a crackling sound (arcing) came from the main control circuit board 2252189, meaning the gap in the fused wire was still small enough to spark. If that happens, put a piece of painter's masking tape over the press-in switch on the compartment wall inside the fridge door to keep the bulb in the OFF position and stop this arcing, otherwise the whole circuit board may fail. You should now have a fridge that still cools but temporarily has no light. Your freezer compartment light will probably still be good, but if not, tape that door switch (it's located on the ceiling of the compartment) in the OFF position as well.
Board 2252189 is now replaced by W10135090 which you will probably find cheapest on EBay for about $150. Most other sellers want in excess of $200. According to Whirlpool, W10135090 also replaces boards 2304095, 1394052, 2255239, 2304056, AH2180152, EA2180152 and PS2180152.
To access the main circuit board you must unplug the power cord to the fridge and take off the cardboard panel at the bottom of the back of the appliance (4 or 5 screws, 1/4" hex head). The board box is tucked against the side wall near the compressor. Undo the two screws that hold the board box in place and carefully lift it out. Ease off any cable clips on the harness and press out the plastic clips that hold the lid of the box. You will now be able to unplug the cables that attach to the board by pressing their plug clips inward and pulling up on the plugs. There is a plastic retaining peg sticking through a slot in the circuit board. Press the peg aside and lift that side of the board slightly upwards first and then angle it out of the box.
Replacement is the reverse. Note that the cable plugs should all have their retaining clips facing inwards into the box, and you should hear a firm snap as the plugs attach to the board. When the box and cardboard cover are reinstalled, don't forget to remove the tape from the fridge door switch before you plug in the main power cord.
You may have noticed a dark spot in the box where the circuit on the board was arcing right underneath the failed area. Look at the back of the old board with a magnifying glass and you will see the burned area. You may be able to find an electronics technician who can repair this.
I took my board to a local TV/DVD repairman with lots of experience in circuit board repair for video equipment and appliances. He cleaned and re-soldered a small wire across the burned out circuit and replaced a tiny transistor adjacent to it with a better one. This involved breaking out the dead transistor, measuring the voltages of identical transistors close by on the board, and then soldering in the three wires of the new transistor.
The cost was just $20. This repair can provide you with a backup board if your new one happens to fail. And if your repairman is nearby, you may be able to get the work done quickly enough (mine took just 25 minutes on his workbench) to get your original board back in before the fridge warms up. That is a big saving over a brand new board. My shop was Art's TV Repair located at 537 East Venice Avenue, Venice, Florida 34285.

Posted on Dec 14, 2013

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Check your door switch. This is the only thing left it could be.

Posted on Jul 30, 2009

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