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Tyler Z.
Tyler Z., Appliance Doc
Category: Appliance
Satisfied Customers: 58266
Experience:  7+ years being an appliance technician with factory training.
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After replacing the evaporator fan motor AND the motherboard,

Customer Question

After replacing the evaporator fan motor AND the motherboard, my GE Profile side by side still has a major problem. The coils behind the rear freezer panel ice up until the buildup starts impeding the evaporator fan. What is causing this?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Appliance
Expert:  Tyler Z. replied 1 year ago.
Hello, and thank you for using this service. I'll be helping you with your problem today.

This sounds like a common issue and it means that your unit is not longer defrosting in the freezer so the refrigerator is not able to steal air to cool down. You'll need to either unplug the unit for 24 hours or remove everything of the freezer and remove the lower back panel inside the freezer to defrost it with a hair dryer. Once all the frost is thawed out, the unit will start working again. To make sure the problem doesn't come back, you'll want to replace the defrost heater. GE's defrost heaters fail often because they are nothing more than a long glass light bulb. Order and replace the defrost heater at the bottom of all the frost and you should be good to go.

Now I did want to point out that there is one other possibility since you replaced the control board already which is the defrost sensor, but it rarely fails on this model and there is no way to test the heater for certain to know if it's good or not. The reason is because that the heater is glass and can get water inside of it when it fails so it will show good continuity even when it's bad sometimes. That's why the best course of action is to replace the heater since it's by far the most common problem.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.


Sounds like that could be the problem. Where do I order the defrost heater?

Expert:  Tyler Z. replied 1 year ago.
You can order it from Partselect.com or Repairclinic.com if you have a model number.

Tyler Z., Appliance Doc
Category: Appliance
Satisfied Customers: 58266
Experience: 7+ years being an appliance technician with factory training.
Tyler Z. and 7 other Appliance Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

OK, I ordered and replaced the defrost heater (new one is dual bulb, not single). Instructions say to "re-energize unit and test refrigerator operation". Plugged in, turned on, and seems to be cooling. However, I'm concerned that I won't know if it's building an iceberg in the evaporator again until the unit fails and stops cooling. Is there any way to know if the new defrost heater is working without pulling the entire back panel again to check for ice?

Expert:  Tyler Z. replied 1 year ago.
Nothing that will tell you if it's cycling through defrost properly on it's own, no. So just wait about a week and pull the back panel off. The coils should be lightly coated in frost but not packed with frost.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

AARRGHH! Horrible job getting that back panel off without ruining gasket, etc. but if that's the only way to check guess I'll just have to do it. The problem was clearly the defrost heater, because after running the unit for about a week, it was already severly iced up today when I pulled the panel. We don't live here full time so I'm concerned about putting any frozen food back in it until I can see that it's defrosting properly.


Thanks for your help, we're very rural, over 100 miles to nearest town with appliance repair and they won't even consider coming out here.

Expert:  Tyler Z. replied 1 year ago.
I hope everything works outs and glad you got the back panel off even if it was a bit difficult. Let me know if you need anything else.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Thanks, will do!

Expert:  Tyler Z. replied 1 year ago.
no problem, good luck.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Pulled the panel yesterday, and coils are frosty, but NO ice buildup! Yippee! Thanks for the help, think we've solved the problem.

Expert:  Tyler Z. replied 1 year ago.
awesome, I'm glad you got it working again.

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