Question about Refrigerators

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Just bought a house with this make refridgerateor, 3yr old. I heard loud sounds from the fridge / freezer for about three days, and today it died. Can this be fixed or do i cut my losses and buy another. I don't want to patch a lemon.

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  • llester642 Jul 08, 2010

    My expert was able to explain to a novice what diagnositic issues could be wrong & helped me locate the malfunctioning parts, and provided a cost analysis of each repair. I would not have been comfortable with repair or replacement of such a high dollar item without his help. Thank you so much!

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  • Master
  • 6,784 Answers

HI. I need to know where the sounds are originating from. Is it coming from the freezer area, behind the freezer concealment panel behind the shelves?

Are the sounds coming from the compressor unit?

Was it a pinging noise or plastic type grinding noise?

Posted on Jul 08, 2010

  • 5 more comments 
  • Michael Masters
    Michael Masters Jul 08, 2010

    I will also need your entire model number, as well.

    Thanks...


  • llester642 Jul 08, 2010

    The noise was a motor type 'wooing' no grinding. It was behind the freezer area, however the entire fridge is no longer functioning. The model is GE GSS23WSTA SS.

  • Michael Masters
    Michael Masters Jul 08, 2010

    OK, sounds like the condenser fan has failed, or the blades are damaged. This issue may have caused the compressor to fail, as well.

    So basically, this unit is not running at all. No compressor action or cooling of any kind, correct?


  • Michael Masters
    Michael Masters Jul 08, 2010

    When you stated "it was behind the freezer area", are you referring to the inside section of the freezer, behind the shelves or are you referring to the outside rear compressor area?

  • Michael Masters
    Michael Masters Jul 08, 2010

    If you are not hearing the compressor cycle on and off in intervals and there is no air flow present inside the unit, this will confirm that there has been a severe malfunction within the units assembly. You will need to check the following areas for faults:

    1. Compressor- Make sure this unit is functioning. if it is not cycling as designed, this will be the culprit. If it is cycling but very hot to the touch when operating, check the condenser coils for debris and clean them if necessary.
    2. Compressor start relay - This is the main on/off switch that is attached to the side of the compressor. This relay, when energized by the main control board, starts the compressor. if the relay has failed, it will not start the compressor, thus, rendering the unit inoperable. Pull the relay off and shack it. If it rattles, replace it.
    3. Evaporator fan - This is a very important part of the evaporator core. This is the principal air mover of the unit. If this fan fails, the inside freezer and refrigerator will not cool, at all. You will need to remove all the freezer shelves and content to access this unit. It is concealed behind a panel inside the back section of the freezer compartment. Once the concealment panel is removed, you will expose the core and fan. the fan can be tested with a multimeter for proper continuity. You can also jump the terminals with a jumper wire to see if it is still in working order. An external power source will be needed for this test. if the fan fails the test, replace the fan motor.
    4. Condenser fan - This is also a very important fan. This fan is mounted near the condenser coils and can fail. You can test it in the same manner as the evaporator fan. replace the condenser fan if it proves to be damaged.
    5. Main PCB(Printed Circuit Board)- This is basically your main power controller. This board routes power to all the fans and compressor unit located in the assembly. it also routes power to the lights and ice maker/dispenser, as well. This will be the most expensive repair, in this case. If all the above areas prove to be functional, the main PCB will be the culprit. You can easily locate this board. It is usually mounted on a bracket, near the compressor platform, or behind a concealment panel on the rear of the unit. Once you have gained access, visibly, inspect the board for burn markings at the relay mounts and jumpers. check the entire circuit board for discolorations like brown marks or black burn marks at the plug-in connectors. If this refrigerator is totally dead, this will be the cause.


    You will find the culprit in one or all of the areas stated above.


    Standing by.....




  • llester642 Jul 08, 2010

    I have looked and based on the information provided, either the compressor or its relay is the cause. In your opinion, will the cost be worth maintenancing this fridge or should a newer and more reliable model be a better investment?

  • Michael Masters
    Michael Masters Jul 08, 2010

    Ok The compressor kit will cost you around $247.88. The capacitor and start overload ptc(relay) will cost $99.48. This will total to approximately $347.36. This would be for the complete rebuild of the compressor assembly itself. In my opinion, i would defiantly go with a more reliable unit. I would indeed purchase another unit, in this case.With that said; If the start relay(overload PTC) proves to be the lone culprit, it would make sense to repair. I would test the relay and compressor before purchasing the parts. Lets say it turns out that the compressor and relay are ok, but the main circuit board was the culprit. This would cost you another $148.49 added on to the $347.36 you have already spent on rebuilding the compressor assembly. This could get very expensive. It might be more cost affective to just cut your losses and purchase a new unit or a more reliable used unit, at the least.

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