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repairman4734
repairman4734, Home Appliance Technician
Category: Appliance
Satisfied Customers: 1414
Experience:  38 years in self-employed major appliance & refrigeration service. Have 2 licenses to do refrig.
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My GE refrigerator model PSH23SGPABS wont maintain cold temps

Customer Question

My GE refrigerator model PSH23SGPABS won't maintain cold temps in freezer or fridge. Freezer set for 0, is currently at 9. Fridge set for 37, is currently at 39 but has been as high as 45. Fan in freezer seems to be operating OK. I can feel cold air blowing. No fan is running in fridge. When I hold the door button in, the light goes out but no fan starts. I can see the fan in the bottom of the fridge behind the crisper. It turns freely but doesn't run. I think there is another fan in the fridge but I don't know where. The compressor is running constantly. The motherboard was replaced about two years ago by a GE tech.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Appliance
Expert:  Jason replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for using Just Answer. I will be glad to assist you in your answer. Think about safety when doing repairs, electric, water, gas, ect.

Pull the unit out, unplug the unit, and remove the lower back cover. Look at the round condensing coil on the right side, and see if it is plugged with dirt. If so, blow out the coil, until clean. Plug unit back in, make sure the compressor come on, and the fan as well beside it. If all check ok, this should get you going again. Please let me know if I can assist you further. Please give me a great rating for answering your question...thanks

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

I will do as you suggest. I am not confident this will solve the problem because it seemed to begin not cooling well suddenly. I would think dust and dirt would make the problem happen over a period of time. Stick around for the next installment.

Expert:  Jason replied 1 year ago.
No, we are not talking about the same thing here. The coil that I am referring to is the coil in the freezer section, not the coil beside the compressor. This coil inside the freezer needs to be viewed to see what the frost pattern is, if there is one at all. If you can view this coil, this will verify what I am thinking, or not....thanks
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

That isn't what you said in your first response. I took the lower panel off and found only a moderate amount of dust on the coil next to the compressor. The fan was operating. The compressor is quite warm almost hot. I don't know if that is normal or because it has been operating for a long time.

 

I vacuumed the coil and plugged the unit back in. It started and the fan came on in the freezer. I will remove the panel in the back of the freezer in a few minutes to see what the frost pattern is.

 

OK. I took the back panel in the freezer off. There is moderate frost on the coils. It took about 10 minutes to remove the panel with the door open and the compressor running. I have attached a photo of the coils. I have an infrared thermometer. The freezer coils are at about 9 degrees f and the refrigerator is about 44. The display says the freezer is at zero and the fridge says it is at 44.Freezer Coils

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

I replied by editing my last response.


 

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Relist: Other.
Looks like Jason is offline. My fridge is apart and I need the next step. Please take a look at my last response. If you need it again, please ask.
Expert:  repairman4734 replied 1 year ago.
Hi, my name is Farrell & I will be helping you with your problem today. Thanks for your question, it is appreciated. Everything your frig. does, is controlled by the main control board, located in the backside of the frig. just above and to the right of the compressor housing. What has happened to your frig. is the defrost system has failed. There are 3 main parts that will need to be replaced, in order to get your frig. back in to working order again.
WR50X10028 defrost termination thermo. $13.39 located on top of the evaporator/cooling coils.
WR51X10042 Heater assy. $70.92 located at the bottom of evaporator
WR49X10138 main board $222.99 on the outside of back wall
All of these parts are available at sears parts and servicenters. Or;

http://www.repairclinic.com/PartDetail/Defrost-Thermostat/WR50X10068/1170024?modelNumber=PSH23SGPABS

http://www.repairclinic.com/PartDetail/Main-Control-Board/WR49X10152/1266021?modelNumber=PSH23SGPABS

http://www.repairclinic.com/PartDetail/Defrost-Heater-Assembly/WR51X10042/914080?modelNumber=PSH23SGPABS

These parts are available online at repairclinic.com
I have suggested 2 different locations for you to choose from. Again, it will take all three of these parts to fix your frig. You will need to be sure the frig. is unplugged before servicing. Also, be sure the evap. coild are clean and clear. Let me know how you come out on this. I am here, if you have further questions. Have a good evening, and thanks. Smile
Expert:  Jason replied 1 year ago.
Sorry about getting your response mixed. I had to run, my son was in an accident. Great job on cleaning the condenser coils. The cooling coil in the freezer is not fully frosted in the pic you sent. Monitor that, and see if the coil frost on thru. The coils should be completely frost thru. If they do not, there is a Freon issue which will need to be repaired. This will have to be done by a certified technician. Please refer to your owners manual to see if there is still a warranty on the compressor components. If so, call the repair# XXXXX the manual. If the coil does frost thru, then that is good!.....Reassemble the unit, and see if the temps drop down to 0/38 in the morning. I hope this information helps. Please respond back if you need further assistance. If I have answered your question, please leave me a great rating for doing so. Again, sorry about the confusion and leaving so suddenly.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Sorry about your son being in an accident. I hope he is OK.


 


In your absence, I put my problem out to any available technician. Repairman4734 aka Farrell responded. He says the problem is the defrost system has failed. There are 3 main parts that will need to be replaced, in order to get your frig. back in to working order again.
WR50X10028 defrost termination thermo. $13.39 located on top of the evaporator/cooling coils.
WR51X10042 Heater assy. $70.92 located at the bottom of evaporator
WR49X10138 main board $222.99 on the outside of back wall.


 


You seem to indicate the problem might be with the sealed system either a Freon leak or the compressor.


 


I am not sure which way to go because I am confused. Please respond.


 


Thanks

Expert:  Jason replied 1 year ago.

A defrost issue indicates that that coil would be very heavily frosted over. The panel would have be frosted over as well. The pic you displayed should a partially frosted coil. Partially frosted indicates a Freon issue, unless it frosted on thru after the pic was taken. If so, Freon is good. Defrost issue just means that the coil never defrosted. which yours has according to the pic. Please let me know if you need more assistance...thanks

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

I have no confidence it will be at 0/38 in the morning. I just looked at the freezer coils and they are fully frosted. I will attach a picture. Can I leave the panel off over night and see the frost level in the morning? When you say frosted on thru do you mean fully frosted like it is in this picture? Looking closely to the picture, I see the top coil is not frosted. The lack of cooling symptom is the same as two years ago when the GE tech replaced the motherboard. Why shouldn't I assume the problem is the same as two years ago?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

I feel I am not getting a clear answer. I don't want to throw money at this problem. Farrell says it is the motherboard and you say it is the compressor or Freon. Both are expensive and, at this point I don't know which way to go.


 


The symptoms are the same as when the motherboard failed two years ago. The repair tech said the motherboard goes into "limp mode" when it fails which results in inadequate temperatures. It seems to me the motherboard has failed again. But, I would rather not spend several hundred dollars until I am more confident this is the problem. Do you agree the motherboard is the likely problem or are you still thinking it is Freon or the compressor?

Expert:  repairman4734 replied 1 year ago.
Good Morning, ok, lets go back to original post of yours. I read it, and my first comments to you would have been, open the freezer door, do you hear a fan running? Then I would ask you to take a flashlite, and look at the back wall and also feel it. Is there a buildup of white ice on the surface. If the answer is yes to both of these questions, then I would ask you to remove any food from the freezer, including the racks. Now remove the back wall, are the coils loaded up with ice top to bottom. I would have then explained to you how the frig. functions, and that you would need to get the parts I listed above, to get your frig. back into working order. And most times I would also tell you where these parts are located and how to make the repair. Always, and finally, telling you that I am here for you if you have any further questions. And that is what I am telling you now, I am here, if you will direct your questions to me. Thanks. Have a good day.
Expert:  repairman4734 replied 1 year ago.
Morning, just had another thot for you. If you decide to get the parts and you go to repair clinic, they have a 100% buy back policy. In other words, if you put the parts in and it doesn't work, send them back, and you're not out anything. Just a thot, hope it helps. Farrell
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I took the panel off in the freezer and the upper coils were not frosted but the lower coils were. After letting it run for an hour with the door closed, all of the coils are evenly frosted but the freezer is at about 9 degrees. When the motherboard (control board) failed two years ago, the same symptoms were present. At the time, the GE tech said this particular board had a limp mode that caused it to operate in a partial function manner. What he said is the freezer and the fridge operate but not as cold as they should. Apparently, this alerts the homeowner there is a problem but doesn't shut the unit down completely so all of the frozen and fresh food is not lost immediately.

I am guessing the culprit is the control board again based on the symptoms. I don't mind replacing it and I know how. I just got confused last night when Jason said the problem was the compressor or a lack of Freon and you said it was the thermo, the defrost heater and the control board. I think the defrost process is working OK. There is not an accumulation of ice on the back panel in the freezer. There is good airflow in the freezer and the ice maker is making ice. Another symptom is no fans are ever running in the fresh food section. When the Turbo Cool button is pressed, the manual says the fan(s) should turn on to high speed and stay that way for 8 hours. This doesn't happen. This leads me to the control board because there are two fans and neither runs.

Thanks for the advice about the parts buy back policy. That helps.
Expert:  repairman4734 replied 1 year ago.
Hi, thanks for your reply back, sounds like you are really on top of your problem. Just curious, I think you said there is no fan sound in the freezer. When you removed the back panel, at the top of the evaporator is a fan, and it s/b running. As I stated earlier, everything this frig. does, including the components, is controlled by the main control board. One other thing I might suggest, if you haven't done so, get yourself a surge protector that you can plug into wall behind the frig, and then plug frig. into that. If you do replace the board, the condenser fan next to the compressor, the fan in the freezer, and the fan at bottom of frig. should all be running. Be sure and wait at least 20 minutes before plugging back in. One other note on surge protector. If you get a lot of power outages, their can be line surges, the protector does help. Its not totally foolproof, but it does help. Thanks, Farrell
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The freezer fan is running. I read somewhere it has several speeds depending on what the needs are. Currently, my freezer fan operates at only one speed. I like your surge suppressor idea. I'll put one in the circuit. I also think the location of the control board is a problem as it is located in a "hot zone" near the compressor. Heat will kill electronic components. I might look at adding some sort of heat shield or external cooling fan. I have several PC CPU fans available that might help.

Why should I wait 20 minutes before plugging back in? Is that to allow the pressure in the compressor to normalize to reduce the strain on the compressor motor?

I ordered the control board from the source you suggested. I see I can get my money back if it doesn't solve the problem except for shipping.

Thanks for your help. I think the solution is near.
Expert:  repairman4734 replied 1 year ago.
Hi, thanks for your reply. Concerning location of control board. It is pretty well insulated from heat problems, but I do see your point. Yes, you are right, on the 20 minutes, its to let the hi and lo side pressures equalize out. If this doesn't happen, it will stall the compressor out at startup. I will be in and out today, but I do check my messages quite often, and am here if you need more help. Have a good day
Expert:  Jason replied 1 year ago.
I just got out of the hospital to view what was going with your question. I agree, if the frost pattern frosted thru, it is not a Freon, which it looked like from the posted pic. I agree that the main control board needs replaced. This board is a common problem on this unit. Sorry, I away to deserve a bad rating. I wish you well, and hope the board repairs the issue. You are in good hands with repairman. Thank you again
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi Jason,
Sorry you are having personal problems. I assume your kid is in the hospital from the accident. I hope he recovers soon. I have three daughters and two sons-in-law. They are spread all over the world including Africa. So far no mishaps but I worry. Please give your son my best wishes for a speedy recovery.

I ordered the board yesterday. It is scheduled to arrive tomorrow. As luck would have it, beginning this morning, the temps in both compartments have dropped to normal. I think I'll hang on to the new board for awhile and see what happens.

Thanks for getting back to me.

Bryan
Expert:  repairman4734 replied 1 year ago.
Good Morning, please let me know how you come out on your frig. If all goes well, if you got the part from repair clinic, you will be able to return it. Have a good day. Smile
repairman4734, Home Appliance Technician
Category: Appliance
Satisfied Customers: 1414
Experience: 38 years in self-employed major appliance & refrigeration service. Have 2 licenses to do refrig.
repairman4734 and 5 other Appliance Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  repairman4734 replied 1 year ago.
Hi, thanks for letting me help you, it is appreciated.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Changed out main board. Everything works normally. Thanks.
Expert:  repairman4734 replied 1 year ago.
Hi, thanks for your reply back.

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