Question about GE Refrigerators

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Model GSS22JERFBB Freezer not auto defrosting causing refrigerator to not be cold. If I unplug over nite, works perfect for a couple of weeks and then goes out again.

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  • syharris2 Jul 14, 2010

    This info was on point and extremely helpful Thank you SLAMFIX!

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What is probally happening is that ice is building up on the evaporator coil in the freezer blocking air from circulating from the evaporator coil to the the refrigerator compartment. The defrost circuit is supposed to stop the compressor for about 30 minutes and allow power to go to the defrost heater via the defrost thermostat to melt any frost build up on the evaporator coil.

There could be three parts that could fail that would cause the defrost to stop working, the defrost timer/module, the defrost heater and the defrost thermostat.

The defrost circuit is controlled either by a mechanical timer or an electronic module. I think your model uses a module. It switches power from the compressor to the heater. It could be located either at the front bottom of the refrigerator or in the back of the machine. The heater and thermostat is attached to the evaporator coil. The evaporator coil is located at the back wall of the freezer behind the plastic panels.

I don't know if you are able to service the refrigerator yourself, if not, then call a service company and ask them to check the defrost circuit. If you are technical, then below should guide you to figuring out the problem.

To check to see if the problem is with the heater and thermostat, you will need an electrical meter. To check you will need to unplug the refrigerator, empty out the freezer and remove the panels to expose the evaporator coil. Then using a hair drier melt the ice off the coil. While you are doing this, the drip pan on the bottom of the refrig will need to be emptied periodically if you don't want water to pool beneath you. After the ice has melted, check the continuity of the heater with the meter in the ohms scale, if it is any more than a few ohms, then the problem is with the heater.

Hope this helps you.


Posted on Jul 09, 2010

  • 1 more comment 
  • syharris2 Jul 09, 2010

    Is it possible for you to confirm the defrost for my model? Based on my model, can you confirm exactly where the module is if that is the control mechanism? Is it in the front or back? It will make it easier for me to trouble shoot. I'm technical as I manage electronic technology, trouble shoot massive computer/data base issues, build computers but I've not worked with refridgerators before. With your guidance though, I may have some success.



    Your Comment......

    The defrost circuit is controlled either by a mechanical timer or an electronic module. I think your model uses a module. It switches power from the compressor to the heater. It could be located either at the front bottom of the refrigerator or in the back of the machine.

  • Stephen Lam Jul 09, 2010

    I checked the model number that you supplied GSS22JERFBB with partselect.com and a diagram shows the main control board is mounted on the back of the refrigerator. You can confirm this by removing the access panel from the back of the refrigerator and look where the wires are attached to the compressor and tracing them to the control board. From this board you should be able to trace the wires to the heater circuit. When you locate them, you can verify if the problem is the board or the heater/thermostat.



    To do this, unplug the refrigerator while the freezer is still cold, (below 30 degrees F) then remove the wires that connect to the defrost heater from the module. Then ohm out the two defrost wires. If the ohm reading is below 30 ohms then the defrost heater and thermostat is good. If it reads infinity, then the problem is with the heater/defrost thermostat. From the partselect.com site you can order the heater/defrost thermostat. Let me know if you need more info. Thanks.



  • Stephen Lam Jul 14, 2010

    Glad that I was able to help you. What did you discover was the problem?

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