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Bob L Your  Appl Pal
Bob L Your Appl Pal, Home Appliance Tech
Category: Appliance
Satisfied Customers: 7389
Experience:  23 Years Major Appliance Repair
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GE Side by Side Fridge Model PSC23NSWA SS, Serial LM428200.

Customer Question

GE Side by Side Fridge Model PSC23NSWA SS, Serial LM428200. In service from "new" (builder furnished) 2+ years. Just past extended warranty. Recent ice dispensing problem, ice production fine. Problem manifests mostly when dispensing crushed ice. Ice seems to jam within or freeze to metal parts of rotating vs stationary dispenser mechanism elements at door end of bin. In Arizona and we don't over air condition, room temperature now about 85 deg-F. So after removing bin and completely cleaning out and drying several times, AND after lowering freezer temperature to -6 deg-F (which helped a bit), tendency to jam still persists. My take: Something going on or worn out with dispenser mechanism, OR drive motor failing, or overload sensor prematurely commanding switch-off. Doesn’t seem to be auger drag in bin problem because when bin is emptied, dispenser mechanism remains jamed. Need to know what is most common failure mode here and how to diagnose in order to self repair and or sequence parts replacement for least probable $$$ outlay. Note, GE web site and/or phone help not forthcoming in this regard. And YOU must have direct experience with solving this particular problem. Appreciatively, Bob.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Appliance
Expert:  Bob L Your Appl Pal replied 3 years ago.
Bob...More than likely your problem is the ice door is not sealing properly..Which will cause warm air to circulate into the ice bin..Which in turn will melt the ice then refreeze..The fix is a matter of replacing the ice door.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Okay. What part of the bin assembly is the ice door? And how do I check its function? Can you attach an exploded parts illustration
Expert:  Bob L Your Appl Pal replied 3 years ago.
The ice door is #62.Check to make sure the seal around the door is not dried out or broken..Also make sure the door closes each time the ice dispenser is used....CLICK HERE FOR PART
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Yeah. The little gravity actuated hinged flap at the end of the chute in the freezer door. That seems to be 1) free, 2) the sound it makes on closing is reassuring, 3) it was closed when I inspected it and 4) when I put a towel around my face to seal off the room light from the top of the chute, I did not see any light emanating up from the bottom. Also, the rubber seems supple. BUT, now that I am aware,I will keep my eye on it. And if it seems to hang open, then I will release the $38. Otherwise, we will need to proceed to Step 2. Appreciate the clue, and don't worry, I won't stiff you if you stick with me on this.
Expert:  Bob L Your Appl Pal replied 3 years ago.
Keep a eye on it...It is the most likely cause very common..IF not then the temperature inside the freezer is not staying at the set level...Only way to tell would be to monitor the freezer with a thermometer..
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Deal. Give me a day or so here. Washed out bin is now drying out, and produced ice bagged (but I don't put it back in the bin) -- the ice being hard and not clumped. Also, ice cream became harder than hell when I lowered the freezer temp. So for now I'm believing the digital display.
Expert:  Bob L Your Appl Pal replied 3 years ago.
Ok now problem..Let me know how it goes..Thanks Bob
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Here's a photo of the jam. The stationary and rotating rake teeth wobble and wedge. The flap door seems reliable and the compartment very cold.
/Users/Customer/Desktop/DSCN0001.JPG
Expert:  Bob L Your Appl Pal replied 3 years ago.
The file does not load..You would have to use the paper clip at the top menu..Then download from your file source to the message reply box..
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
graphic
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Had to go over to the dark side (Windoze) of my computer to upload pic. Just Answer needs to fix this for Mac users. We don't see the paper clip.

From my perspective, the wobbly crusher elements promote wedging of the cubes and cube segments.

Meanwhile, I'm still testing the door. Seems to always shut solid, but I'm keeping my eye on it. And I will go to the hardware store to get a thermometer today or tomorrow.
Expert:  Bob L Your Appl Pal replied 3 years ago.
If it is not freezing up then i would replace the ice maker bin/Auger..
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
The auger? Why? Looks indestructible. Or maybe I don't understand what that includes.
Expert:  Bob L Your Appl Pal replied 3 years ago.
By looking at your picture..The choppers look a bit out of alignment..
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Okay. Temperature in the chute 1" below the ice bin (measured by a colored alcohol liquid fridge/freezer thermometer in place for about a half hour) reads -6 deg-F. Built in freezer temperature display (behind fridge compartment door) says -5 deg-F. So, the ice dispenser outlet door flap that we have been carefully watching and which always closes, can't be leaking room air.

Also, "cubes" no problem. It's just the crushed ice process that causes a jamb of the dispensing mechanism. And on this point, I agree that the wobbly "choppers", stationary and rotating, look suspicious. BUT, what does GE say about this? Maybe that's the way they're designed. Also note, there is no axial play in the drive shaft.

So, "choppers" or motor? Or what else is there? And how is the motor tested? That needs to be eliminated. Also, can the choppers simply wear out, i.e., loose their edge? What is your experience here?

Also FYI, this is Arizona. Pretty dry even during the monsoon. RH indoors here is 48%. Besides this thing worked for 2-1/2 years.
Expert:  Bob L Your Appl Pal replied 3 years ago.
IF the motor is rotating ..Then you can eliminate the motor..As far as the choppers.lt depends upon how badly worn they are...Open the door ..Hold the door switch in..Then press the ice option..Inspect the augers rotation at that point..
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Don't need to do that as the augur drive from the input end to the choppers is solid per manual operation. But I can rarely free a jam this way as I don't have the strength, and don't want to apply a tool. Also, the cubes dispense fine, and even the crushed for a minute or so until a jam occurs.

Sounds like choppers need replacing. What's the simplest vs lowest cost way to do this. I've looked into how to release the chopper housing from the bin, but the instructions I can find on-line vary as they are anecdotal "user" contributed and not from any GE manual. Butter knife blades bending back the retaining tabs don't seem to really loosen the thing. And I don't like to use excessive force unless I really know what I'm doing.

So, I need parts to order and good instructions. Then we're basically done -- except I may recall you if something doesn't fit or I need more instruction detail. I gave you all the model and serial info at the top. Thanks, Bob
Expert:  Bob L Your Appl Pal replied 3 years ago.
Remove #329...Push tabs in on each side of #325...Remove clip at #321..Disassemble the choppers blades..Reinstall in reverse order..

graphic
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Tabs on each side of 325 are EXTREMELY stiff. Butter knives help to keep them pried in/released, but 325 doesn't seem to want to release/budge from 352 regardless. What else here? Also augur/shaft (350) is still installed because retainers 321/326 don't become assessable until 325 is pulled up and out of 352, at least half way. Will the auger shaft tilt up that far? Or does 355 need to be pulled off first? AND, what is the KIT PART NUMBER for the rotary and stationary chopper set plus 337 & 335 washers and 320 bushing? Does the kit come with better instructions? More importantly, is a kit actually available? FINALLY, have YOU actually done this???
Expert:  Bob L Your Appl Pal replied 3 years ago.
Yes have done this many times..Not a simple replacement..I would recommend replacing the complete bin with auger..Or bring it to a local appliance repair shop..
Expert:  Bob L Your Appl Pal replied 3 years ago.
Click on the link for a video which will give you a better idea of how it will come apart..CLICK HERE
Expert:  Bob L Your Appl Pal replied 3 years ago.
The complete ice bin can be purchased or you can easily purchase the parts separately..CLICK HERE FOR PARTS Also once you use the accept option ,please stop by and leave some feedback for my time helping you on your repair..Thanks Bob
Bob L Your Appl Pal, Home Appliance Tech
Category: Appliance
Satisfied Customers: 7389
Experience: 23 Years Major Appliance Repair
Bob L Your Appl Pal and 5 other Appliance Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Okay. The video is only marginally helpful -- like to see this guy (or you) wrestle with my unit. Plus he didn't get into the crusher business.

Re the parts. Not all of the little ones are available from that vendor. For instance the stationary crusher blade sub assembly, #342, is missing.

BotXXXXX XXXXXne, I just gave up here and ordered the complete bin unit while you were preparing the last two "answers", including the very unnecessary cosmetic shroud.

I'll give you an E for effort. You did call my attention to the dispenser door flap thing, even though that wasn't it and I had already indicated that the compartment was very cold, later verified.

So I'm reluctantly releasing the $$$. BUT, if it turns out it's the drive motor, I'm coming back to haunt you. Also, you could do with a better picture.
Expert:  Bob L Your Appl Pal replied 3 years ago.
By looking at all of the diagrams and video..You should be able to disassemble the ice maker /auger..That is where the "Tech" in appliance tech comes in..Unfortunately not every repair is going to be by the book(more so on this one) you have to adjust in the repair procedure for any thing that comes along...As far as what the actual problem is(Auger or motor)..That is something that you would have needed to check as iam not there in front of the unit..Glad you did replace the complete unit..Most likely made your life much easyier..Thanks Bob
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Autopsy:

It was NOT the "choppers". The center slot on the stainless steel "blade" part 356 that rotationally engages the drive flats on the chopper end of the augur/drive rod AND axially abuts the face flat between the drive rod flatted to round transition was worn/rounded out, allowing the chopper stack to loosen and wobble AND the 357 part to rotate freely and slide axially between the auger end and the 345 cover (didn't know this part was driven). The parts that needed to be ordered were principally 356 and also 357 as it is hard not to break 357 when disengaging 356 (and 357 is cheap enough). Also, to remove the 325 housing from the 352 bin, once the tabs are released (one at a time) with a knife, it helps to bop the adjacent ear of the 345 face plate up with a hammer as this subassembly is still very tight fitting.

IMHO, you should have been aware of this failure mode as the design seems to be defective here -- too much torque applied bearing load on the very short 356 part slot. Also, too little detailed information throughout our exchange.
Expert:  Bob L Your Appl Pal replied 3 years ago.
I did...".I would recommend replacing the complete bin with auger.." Not really worth the aggravation as most likely you will have problems again..Thing is all the parts wear together..Thanks Bob
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
I am refurbishing the failed bin and putting it away a a spare. It only has to last 1/6 the time of the newly installed new replacement to break even.
Expert:  Bob L Your Appl Pal replied 3 years ago.
That right there is a great idea..

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