Question about GE (PSS26MSRSS) Side by Side Refrigerator

1 Answer

First the fridge side was not cooling well for the last week. now the freezer is getting warmer. both are turned onto highest setting. The back of the the frezzer wall has frost build up. before this happend for what seems many years the fan speed would cycle from high to low with a frequency of high to low in 2-4 seconds and visa-versa. sounds liek a ghost howling. now when the fan is running it is one constant lower speed

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  • chunter2312 Apr 24, 2010

    ok, i pulled the back freezer cover and it is definatly antartica,,,all froze over. i'll ohm out the parts you mentioned. i assume i need to let it thaw out or can i sugically remoe the peices with a heater and check them.?

  • chunter2312 Apr 24, 2010

    ok. will thaw 'r out and did into tomorrow and let you know! thanks!

  • chunter2312 Apr 24, 2010

    i thawed the coil out with a hair dryer. the thermostat had water in the cap liner which froze and was pushing the potted guts out of the metal housing about 1/2 way. pushed it back together, cranked it back up and will let it run tonight to keep the fridge items cold. will ohm the heater and tstat tomorrow morn.



    the fan has been a nusiance since the unit was about 18 months old, (just out of warranty). it sometimes starts to hit someting ( its shroud??) make a clicking racket. i stuffed some folded newspaer to wedge the cover on either side then it it ususally quits for a while. have to adjust the paper to either side everyonce in a while. its like the shaft for the fan blade is not being held dead center in a bearing or something....

  • chunter2312 Apr 24, 2010

    wouldn't call it a wobble because it sort of gradually moves to a bad spot and is stable ( and noisy). when I shift the cover to silence it with he paperwedge it goes a way for a long time but can eventyually come back. maybe the paper is growng depending on the temp or humidity or something. Anyway i will look at it closer since we're into it and report back....



    thanks to all!

  • chunter2312 Apr 24, 2010

    the tstat potting material was intact, not like something fried inside it then meleted/bulged it, it was being jacked out of the metal case by the freeze thaw cycle and water getting under it. when i squeezed them back together some water undernieth the plastic squirted out... ill change it anyway, and ohm the heater. sure do appreciate all the help and inputs!

  • chunter2312 Apr 24, 2010

    ok, checked heater for continuity. 23 ohms. the plastic pieces on ends of glass tube slid off freely and it was easy to see the heater coil was not broken (open). thermostat is closed when cold (0 ohms). traced the tstat wires and it looks like they are in series with the heater coil. So if they are both closed then whatever tells the thing to come on and heat (the circuit board) must not be doing its job. I wondered about the tstat bulged out and if it being spaced away from the tube clip would effect performance due to lack of a heat sync.. but it seems the logic would be that the circuit comes on, flowing through the tstat and heater coil, and heats to defrost. Then once the heating is done (timing on board) or the tstat temp is reached (and it breaks the heater circuit) or both(??) that would kick in the cooling cycle again. the point being the circuit looks to be closed (OK?) but if it is freezing over then the heater must not be coming on so that would seem to point at the board. i will watch it a few days or so and see if it freezes up again then probably try the board unless I am missing something in the logic of how the 3 items work together. there is problably more to it with the thermistors, etc. but a fun investigation all the while.



    Anyhow thanks for the help and will let ya know how it goes!



    Cheers,

  • chunter2312 Apr 24, 2010

    obtw... could not see any issue with the fan. it is a pretty flemsy design but i guess it doesn't need to be built like a tank. played around to find that noise and best i can tell maybe a piece of ice grew up near the orifice and the fan would begin to make contact??? not to worried about that. is sounds real good now,,,

  • chunter2312 Apr 24, 2010

    Good point on the tstat. will go ahead with it now since they are cheep and nothing is put back in yet. looks like the wires need to be cut to put the new one in. should they be soldered back or is wire nuts or tape ok?

  • chunter2312 Apr 24, 2010

    ok then. changing tstat and will keep you posted. MANY THANKS!!

  • chunter2312 Apr 24, 2010

    put the new tsat in and pulled the other one apart to where it was bulged, then pulled a little further. looks like the bulge pulled out far enough to break the wire connections inside, between the potting and on top the hard parts down deep. when i squashed it back together it probably recconected so it ohm'd ok. photo attached.

    i think that got it.... Thanks much FixAllPhil

  • chunter2312 Apr 24, 2010

    Thank you FixAllPhil! Excellent advice and instruction.

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  • 949 Answers

The not cooling well is due to defrost issue.

All the cooling for both sections takes place behind the back wall of the freezer on the evaporator coils. The fan you hear inside moves air from these coils to the freezer and refrigerator.

Every 8 -10 hours a heater is activated to remove the frost from these coils, without this defrost cycle the frost would become so thick no air could flow and cooling would decrease in the fresh food side first then the freezer and only be cool in the very bottom back of the freezer.

One of three components has failed I will list the 3 in the order of most likely to least likely.

- Heater part number WR51X10042 which is located behind the back panel on the bottom of the evaporator coils, it can be checked with an ohmmeter, it should read under 100 ohms. Runs about $65.00

- Bi Metal this is clipped to the top of the evaporator coils and looks like a cylinder about the diameter of a quarter with two wires from it. Part number WR50X10068 is and can be checked with an ohmmeter it should be 0 ohms cold. It runs about $10.00

- Mother Board is located on the back of the refrigerator behind a panel in the lower right looking from the back. It cannot be checked without a special equipment and is part number WR55X10942, it runs about $155.00.

Let me know if you need more information.

Posted on Apr 24, 2010

  • 6 more comments 
  • Philip Apr 24, 2010

    You can use hot water to help unthaw it to get to the components. Be sure to unplug the frig before getting too deep.

  • Philip Apr 24, 2010

    If you do use a heater be careful not to melt the plastic liner (side walls)

  • Philip Apr 24, 2010

    I did a little research on the motor issue you had too, it appears that one is a variable speed motor, so it will change its 'tune' with different cooling needs, you could replace it if the noise is louder than it was since new but changing speed for it is normal.

  • Philip Apr 24, 2010

    If the thermostat was bulged out that is the part that has failed, but it would be good to test the heater but replace the thermostat for sure.

    If that fan is wobbling, check to see if it is the mount that it sits in or the shaft bearing itself. If the shaft wobbles in the motor than the motor needs replaced to stop the noise.


  • Philip Apr 24, 2010

    Sounds good, looking forward to hearing you have a working frig again!

  • Philip Apr 24, 2010

    You are correct in your theory of operation. The control sends current through the thermostat and heat element which are in series.

    The thermistors are there to sense the temperatures of the evaporator and air to let the control know how often to go into cooling and defrost modes and how fast to run the fan motor. If these were to fail the control has a default defrost time that will take over so the only 3 components that would cause as much frost build up as you had would be the control, the thermostat and the heater.

    I agree with you that the heater is fine. I would not go as far as replacing the control without replacing the thermostat first. The bulging of the component with water in it concerns me. Even if it has a good ohm reading (0) under the load of a few amps could be enough to open the circuit.

    Just my thoughts... let me know how it comes out


  • Philip Apr 24, 2010

    Wire nuts can be used ceramic ones are the best. If you use wire nuts with metal inserts be sure to tape the ends good to help from moisture entering the electrical connection.

  • Philip Apr 24, 2010

    Glad I could help out, you did all the work!

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