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Jon
Jon, Appliance Technician
Category: Appliance
Satisfied Customers: 3482
Experience:  Appliance Service Technician with 10+ years experience.
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GE Profile Side-by-side built-in refrigerator (PSB48LSRABV)

Customer Question

GE Profile Side-by-side built-in refrigerator (PSB48LSRABV) freezer too warm (set point 0 degrees, actual temp varies from 10 - 30 degrees). Freezer door closed, compartment about 3/4 full of frozen food. Fresh compartment temperature is fine (37 degrees +- 1 degree).

This morning the actual freezer temperature was 21 degrees with compressor running at reduced speed. Line current was 0.8A. Using test mode put sealed system to 100% run time. The compressor speed increased and line current went to 1.5A. After 1 hour the temperature dropped to 15 degrees.

Already checked:
Door seals good
Condenser clean
Sensor self-test all pass
Fan speed test OK
Defrost heaters test OK
Feel movement of 3-way valve on power-up

I'm willing and capable of replacing anything electronic but don't have any sealed system experience. Does a 6 degree temperature drop in one hour indicate that the freon-related stuff is OK? Are there any other tests I should do before replacing the Power Control Board?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Appliance
Expert:  Bryan replied 1 year ago.

Hello, Thank you for using this service, I will be helping you with your problem today

were you able to check the frost pattern on the evaporator coils?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Relist: Other.
Responded with boilerplate question that indicated either my question was not carefully read or that expert was not familiar with this refrigerator.
Expert:  Jon replied 1 year ago.
Hello Ray,

My name is XXXXX XXXXX I am an authorized GE service tech and I can help you today if you still need it?

I have read your description above and am very familiar with you ref. The increase in temp is definitely the major concern here. We just need to start checking a few components to find out why it is happening.

And one of those components we will need to check is the frost pattern on the evaporator. Just like the previous expert had hinted towards. If there is a poor frost pattern on the evaporator then we can assume there is some sort of sealed systems leak or issue that is affecting the temp. But if the frost pattern is normal and complete then we need to start looking at other components like air flow and defrost system.

So if you would still like some help with this problem please get back to me here and I will help you more and together we can find the problem with the ref. And depending on what we find I can walk you through the repair.

Thanks. Hopefully talk with you soon and I look forward to helping you solve this problem in a quick and cheap manner.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Hi Jon,


 


Thanks for your intro and reply.


 


I have a copy of the tech service guide for this unit and reviewed the procedure for accessing the freezer evaporator before submitting my question to JA. There are three pages of disassembly instructions before a visual inspection of the evaporator is possible. By the time *I* get through all the steps the whole unit will probably be at room temperature and the frost will be long gone 8^).


 


Is the frost pattern the *only* way to diagnose my problem, or just the best way?


 


BTW, the current freezer temperature is 9 degrees and the compressor is running at <100% (line current = 1.2A). It appears that when the freezer is successfully cooling toward the setpoint (0 degrees) that it's loosing about 2 degrees per hour. If this is an acceptable cooling rate then it looks like it's been operating normally since my 100% run time test and refrigerator reset earlier this morning.


 


I appreciate your help!


 


Ray


 

Expert:  Jon replied 1 year ago.
Hey Ray,

Thank you for the quick response.

The compressor will cool more when running at 100%. Which is why it is cooler when running this way. But if the compressor was left to run at full 100% longterm it would damage the compressor and other major sealed system components. So you don't want to let it continually run like that.

And yes, for your problem the best way to determine what is the issue we will need for you to check the frost pattern on the evaporator. I know it seems complicated on paper but that is with all explainations and wording. It is not too bad of job to gain access to the evaporator. And believe me, if there is no frost pattern by the time you get to the evaporator to check then that too will give us some other areas to check. And would be a good indication for what is happening.

But before you do anything try this and tell me what you hear.

Open the freezer door and listen for the evaporator fan motor and look into the back of the freezer section towards the back wall. Do you see any ice forming on the back evaporator cover? Do you see any frosty spots with ice building up at all? And please keep in mind that you may need to remove some food just for now for a minute or two to get a better look at the back of the freezer.

Please let me know if you hear the evaporator fan motor running and if you see ice forming or not?

Thanks.
Expert:  Jon replied 1 year ago.
With your model built in ref there was common problem with the defrost heater for the evaporator some time ago. And it failed often which would cause an excess of ice to build up on the evaporator. Which if left unattended to could lead to poor ref and freezer temps.

So if you open the door to the freezer section and look up do you see any spots of ice or water that have built up around the fan or ice maker?

And finally, have you had water that was dripping down from the top of the freezer section? or at one point in time did you have icicles forming from the ice maker or top of the freezer section?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

1. Just to be clear, I used the "100% Run Time" test this morning as described in my original question. After the test timed out (1 hour) I did a "Refrigerator Reset" after which the compressor ran at a slower speed as indicated by the line current and noise level. It has continued to operate at less than 100% speed throughout the morning. I assume that the compressor has been operating continuously since it has not yet reached it's freezer set point temperature.


 


2. When the freezer door is open the freezer evaporator fan shuts off. According to the manual this is by design. I did test the fan using "Fan Speed Test" where each evaporator fan runs for 5 seconds and they both worked fine (see "already checked" in my original question).


 


3. The freezer evaporator is located in the freezer ceiling, not the back. Looking into the ice bucket door I see no frost or ice buildup on the ceiling or back wall.


 


4. The defrost heaters test OK (see "already checked" in my original question). This test is done by cycling the heaters on and measuring line current draw.


 


5. There has been no dripping water or icicles formed in the freezer section.


 


Thanks!

Expert:  Jon replied 1 year ago.
Just wanted to be sure that you weren't running the compressor at full 100% al the time.

I know you had done the checks through the diagnostics but wanted to be sure that you tested them with a meter for yourself. Sometimes when checking the components through the diagnostics in the machines main computer it can give you false readings. Which again, happens a lot. Especially if it is the computer that has failed in the fist place.

I am aware that the evaporator is on the top of the machine. And it actually goes through the top of the machine to which the compressor and condenser coils are located. I want to be sure that you have removed the ice maker and evaporator fan cover and fan to check the frost pattern on the evaporator. For this model that is the only way to accurately check the pattern.

I know it will be a process but will need to be done to accurately diagnose the machine. If you dont want to do that then I would tell you that I am not 100% sure but your problem is related to the sealed system and would most likely be the compressor since it runs better at full 100% run time. But that doesnt mean that there is not a leak in either the condenser or evaporator. Nor does it mean that there may not be a blockage as well.

Fact being, that the evaporator needs to be checked and so does the fan.

So open the freezer door and push in the freezer door switch and tell if you hear the evap fan motor running? If not, then good, you may only need a fan motor. Most likely not, but worth the time checking since you are there already.

If the fan runs as normally, then remove the food from the freezer and put in a cooler if you can. Then remove the ice maker and fan motor cover and fan motor itself to give you access to the evaporator. Just like it explains in the service manual that you have. And yes, I know it will take a while, but again, needs to be done here to accurately know what is the problem with your machine.

So please do that and get back to me here and let me know what you have found.

As a side note, if this machine is older then 8 years, then it may not be worth it for you to do this in-depth checking procedure. the parts are quite expensive and will not pay for you to replace if not covered under warranty or if the machine is that old. For if it is then the ref will definitely display other problems shortly after the repair. And I would hate to see you spend more then $800-$1200 to fix this machine to only have it start to break again in a year or so.
Jon, Appliance Technician
Category: Appliance
Satisfied Customers: 3482
Experience: Appliance Service Technician with 10+ years experience.
Jon and 3 other Appliance Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Jon replied 1 year ago.
Ray,

Please let me know now if you are unwilling to check the evaporator now so that we can stop waisting time. It looks like it will need to be done.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Jon,


 


First of all, thank you for sticking with the diagnostic process. As you can tell it's a learning experience for me.


 


I closed the DC freezer door switch and the evaporator fan runs fine after the designed 10 second delay. BTW, I've checked heater and motor winding resistances as well as voltages, so I'm not just relying on the built in diagnostics. I appreciate your observation that information can be reported incorrectly.


 


The unit was built in August 2006, so it's getting a little long in the tooth. The good news is that it's still covered by GE's sealed system parts warranty, so it would only be the labor charge to keep it alive.


 


I'm going to go ahead and check the evaporator as soon as I find a place for the frozen food. I'll be back to you later on.


 


Ray


 

Expert:  Jon replied 1 year ago.
You are very welcome.

If it is under warranty that is great , certainly would be cheaper that way.

In that case I would call GE for service and have them come out to check it. And you will only have to pay the labor. Which for a job like his would be about 3-4 hours. And could be a labor charge of any where from $100-$150 per hour. Definitely cheaper then a new machine.

Do you need GE's warranty number? Or do you have any other questions for me?

If not, please remember to rate my performance positively with ok service or better so that way I can get credit for helping you. And if you have any other questions jut get back to me here and I will help you more for no additional charge.


Thanks.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Jon,


 


Upon further review I should probably get an expert in here. If you have the GE warranty number handy I'll give them a call.


 


Thanks again for all of the information and great advice!


 


Ray


 

Expert:  Bryan replied 1 year ago.
Jon is off line, heres the contact info. G.E. 1-866-530-7025 you can also schedule on line if you wish. http://repair.geappliances.com/?gclid=CI7sl9f34bYCFcfd4Aod4AsA_A Have a great night. Bryan
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Bryan,


 


Thanks for your help too!


 


Ray

Expert:  Bryan replied 1 year ago.
No Problem. Well wishes. Bryan
Expert:  Jon replied 1 year ago.

Ray,

 

Thank you for the positive rating. It is greatly appreciated.

 

I dont know why I hadn't seen your last message about the GE factory service warranty number until now. But it looks like Bryan jumped in and gave it to you.Thanks Bryan.

If the numbers Bryan directed you to don't work for your area here is a number that should. 1-800-432-2737

 

It is definitely going to be a good idea to let a GE authorized servicer look at the machine. This way they will be able to better tell what is wrong with the machine. And since it is under warranty it will not cost anything to get them out to look for you. And after they give you their labor estimate for the job you can decide if you want the job done or not?

 

Should you have any other questions please feel free to get back to me here and I will help you more for no additional charge.

 

Thanks again. And please let me know how everything turns out for you.

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