Question about Refrigerators

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General Electric Eterna series ESS25CGMC CC freezer coil keeps frosting over with ice crystals. Result is freezer stops freezing, refrig. stops cooling. I have defrosted it 2 times, and afterwards it works great for about 2 weeks, then it frosts over again! Internal Fan is running fine, I have cleaned compressor coils and fan is running fine there too! Door seals are in great shape and you can feel a definite vacuum on the doors seals when you open either door.

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  • jnwalker1954 Aug 24, 2010

    Omhs reading between blue wire and orange wire as indicated was 22.8 omhns....remove heater, gave 21.8 this suffice=ient for the proper operation of the unit? Or.....what do I check now. Thanks

  • jnwalker1954 Aug 24, 2010

    Thanks I have checked the continuity across the blue J9 wire(removed) and the orange wire on the J7 board 22.8 Ohmns.....also removde heater and checked it = 21.8 Ohmns. The heater coil looks all green and dirty however. Would you recommend just replacing both?
    Or is this a good reading? Definitely not an open circuit.....

  • jnwalker1954 Aug 28, 2010

    Thanks...I just replaced the heater and the little thermostat that mounts on the coils and everything is fine now! I figured for less than $80.00 might as well give it a shot. The heater looked pretty bad. It was all discolored and looked light it was just burned out.


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It sounds like your defrost element or the control is bad. To check the defrost coil you will need to unplug the frig and unload the freezer. If you have enough ice chests everything should be good for several hours. Remove the cover from the evaporator coil in the freezer. Usually below the coil is the defrost coil. It is a small heating element which turns on periodically by the thermostat to remove any moisture from the coil. It does this when the unit is not calling for cooling.

Remove at least one wire from the coil and check it with a DVM set to ohms. It should read low resistance but not no resistance and certainly not high resistance. If it checks bad you will need to install a new one.

If it checks good you will need to order a new thermostat control. This may be on the refrigerator side. All parts can be ordered from which also has very good people to help you determine the exact part you need as well as good how to videos.

This should get your unit working properly.

Thanks for using FixYa and for the great rating!!


Posted on Aug 24, 2010

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You have a problem with the defrost circuit of your refrigerator. The defrost circuit is periodically activated to defrost the evaporator coils. This circuit consists of the controller board, the defrost heater and defrost thermostat. The controller board is located in the back of the refrig just above the compressor behind an access panel on the right side. The defrost heater and thermostat is mounted on the coil. The heater and thermostat are connected in series so, if either component fails, the heater does not turn on. Most likely the problem is caused because of a break in the heater connection.

This can be checked with the freezer still cold and using an ohmmeter. To do this, unplug the refrigerator, and pull the access panel from the back of the machine. Behind the panel will be the control board. On the lower left side of the board should be a blue wire connected to the J9 connector. Remove the J9 connector and connect the blue wire and the orange wire on the J7 connector to the ohm meter (J7 is located on the bottom of the board). The meter should read around 30 ohms. If it reads infinity, then the heater/thermostat is opened.

To get to the heater/thermostat, you will need to empty the freezer and remove the entire back panel to access the coil. The heater will be mounted on the bottom of the coil. The heater is attached to the defrost thermostat through a wire and the thermostat is mounted on the top of the coil. Check for any visible breaks in the wiring. Most likely is that the heater is burned out. The heater and thermostat can be bought at any appliance supply house or online at

Let me know if something is not clear or if you need more help by leaving a comment. Thanks.

Posted on Aug 24, 2010

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  • Stephen Lam Aug 24, 2010

    23 ohms seems normal to me. With your refrigerator, you can put it into self diagnostic mode. What I want you to do is to put the refrigerator into diagnostic mode then turn on the defrost mode and see if the heater turns on.

    Plug the blue wire back into the control board, but leave the cover off. Plug your refrigerator back in.


    To enter Self Diagnostic mode, both temperature control panel displays must be illuminated. A display can be illuminated by pressing an adjacent temperature adjustment button. When both displays are illuminated, set the freezer and refrigerator temperature settings to 5. Simultaneously press and hold all 4 temperature adjustment buttons for approximately 3 seconds. A flashing 0 in the refrigerator and freezer displays will indicate that the refrigerator is in Self Diagnostic mode.

    Set the defrost mode Set the Freezer display to 1 and the Refrigerator Display to 4. This should turn on the heater if the thermostat is still cold.

    Set your meter to read AC voltage and check the voltage between the orange wire J7 and the defrost terminal J9 and verify that you see 120VAC.

    If get 120VAC then the heater needs to be replaced.

    If you don't then you need to run a self test on the module itself by set Set the Freezer display to 0 and the Refrigerator Display to 7 This will check the thermistors. Thermistor test results:

    • P = Pass

    • 0 = Failed

    • S = Short to 5 VDC

    • B = Bad amplifier

    If they show up as P then the problem might be with the main board or thermistors.

    If it finds anything else then the thermistor needs to be troubleshot.

    I will attach a link to a service manual

    Let me know if you need any additional help. Thanks

  • Stephen Lam Aug 24, 2010

    I just sent you instructions how to put your refrig in self diagnostic mode. Depending on that outcome will determine whether the heater needs to be replaced. Thanks.

  • jnwalker1954 Aug 24, 2010

    This Refrig does not have the control panel with tempurature control buttons that you refer to. There are no lights. It has 2 dials in the refrigerato sider. 1 for frige and 1 for freezer. The exterior of the freezer door has water / ice/ crushed ice, and water filter indicators only.

  • jnwalker1954 Aug 25, 2010

    Thanks great, But after reading the guide, I can tell you that this is not my refrigerator. I ahve the ESSX25XGMC CCmodel. So Like I was telling you, I do not have the electronic temp controls. I have the dials inside the refrige door at the top of the unit. Is there another publication on this unit. Can you even place it in diagnostic mode? Does it use the front dipensing panel to perform this diagnostic?? Any information is helpful. Thanks again!

  • Stephen Lam Aug 26, 2010

    Sorry for not getting back to you sooner. You won't be able to put your refrigerator into self diagnostic mode since it is not equiped with a display. If you want to check the defrost heater and thermostat, you can jumper the blue wire to a brown hot wire to see if the heater turn on.

    But before you try that, check the evaporator thermistor, to see if it is reading the temperature properly. To do this, remove the JI connector off the controller board and attach your ohm meter leads to J1 pin 4 and pin 5. If your evaporator is still ice covered, the ohm meter should read aroun 16.3k ohms. If it is off by more than 5% you will need to replace this thermistor.

    If the thermistor is ok, then replace the controller board.


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