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Author Topic: GE Refrigerator Self Diagnostics  (Read 53644 times)

Offline barberofcivil

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GE Refrigerator Self Diagnostics
« on: November 24, 2008, 08:27:45 PM »

I have a GE side by side refrigerator about 3 years old.  I replaced the mainboard which failed about a month a go.  Now I'm getting a defrost problem but I want to check the self diagnostics.
In the fridge there are single digit displays for fridge & freezer with warmer/colder buttons.  I set both to 5 and hold all 4 for a few seconds and it enters diagnostics mode (it flashes to 0 0 to confirm). Now I can set a diagnostics test, but I don't know how to initiate it.  For other models it says to push the HOLD button, however there is no other buttons for mine except the 4 warmer/colder buttons.  Once I enter the test code, how do I initiate it?
(The fridge also has water/ice dispenser with 6 buttons, but none of these initiate it either)

Any help would be nice, thanks.

The coils are completely frosted up and its the second time its happened in the course of two weeks. From what I've read, it looks like either the thermosistor or defrost heater that may need replacing.

Model GSH22KGREBB

Offline Repair-man

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Re: GE Refrigerator Self Diagnostics
« Reply #1 on: November 25, 2008, 04:24:19 AM »
A technician can sit behind the fridge at that main board and tell you which components are open or not by OHMing them out.
Everything connects back here, part # WR55X10942

Instructions for self-test cycle can be found in the attachment at the bottom of this post.
« Last Edit: November 25, 2008, 04:27:00 AM by Repair-man »
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Offline barberofcivil

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Re: GE Refrigerator Self Diagnostics
« Reply #2 on: November 25, 2008, 07:16:48 AM »
Instructions for self-test cycle can be found in the attachment at the bottom of this post.

Thanks.  I do have that sheet.  However, it says to press the HOLD button to initiate the cycle.  The control panel for my fridge looks similar to the picture with the coder/warmer buttons for both fridge and freezer.  There is no HOLD button on this panel (ther is no HOLD button in the picture either).  Is it located elsewhere or are they referring to another button?  Following the instructions, the panel does eneter the self diagnostics mode and I can set the test code, just not initiate it.  It just eventually cancels out of the mode.

I'll likely defrost the fridge tonight and have a peek at the heating element.  Hopefully that is the issue.

Offline Repair-man

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Re: GE Refrigerator Self Diagnostics
« Reply #3 on: November 25, 2008, 09:04:58 AM »
Words have meaning. Please re-read the document, and you will see that there is  HOLD button only on 2-digit controls. For 3-digit controls, there is no mention of a HOLD button. Therefore you have a 3-digit control, right?
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Offline barberofcivil

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Re: GE Refrigerator Self Diagnostics
« Reply #4 on: November 25, 2008, 10:17:30 AM »
Words have meaning. Please re-read the document, and you will see that there is  HOLD button only on 2-digit controls. For 3-digit controls, there is no mention of a HOLD button. Therefore you have a 3-digit control, right?

The HOLD button is referred to for the single digit displays (which are the ones shown and similar to what I have, only a single digit for each of the freezer and fridge).  The issue I have is that there are no other buttons than the temperature adjustment buttons to use to initiate the tests.  Pushing any of the temperature adjust buttons just further changes the number (actually in diagnostics mode, the freezer number only allows 0 or 1 to be selected which helps confirm that I am in diagnostics mode.

Is it perhaps possible that the diagnostics mode is present as part of the board to be used in other models, but is disabled or unusable for this model?

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Re: GE Refrigerator Self Diagnostics
« Reply #5 on: November 25, 2008, 01:02:48 PM »
Self Diagnostics
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.
To perform a self diagnostic test, locate the test in Table 2, Diagnostic Tests.
For temperature control panels with single-digit displays, the COLDER temperature adjustment button will increment the numbers up and the WARMER temperature adjustment button will increment the numbers down. Use the freezer temperature adjustment buttons to enter the test code number in the freezer display. Use the refrigerator temperature adjustment buttons to enter the test code number in
the refrigerator display. When a test code has been entered, the displays will flash to confirm the test.
Press the HOLD button for 3 seconds to begin the test.
For temperature control panels with 3-digit displays, the COLDER temperature adjustment button will increment the numbers down and the WARMER temperature adjustment button will increment the numbers up. Use the freezer temperature adjustment buttons to enter the test code number in the freezer display. Use the refrigerator temperature adjustment buttons to enter the test code number in Table 1. Failure Causes
Freezer Compartment Fresh Food Compartment
Above 15o
Fahrenheit
High-resistance freezer thermistor
Low resistance evaporator thermistor
Condensor fan failure
Evaporator fan failure
Defrost heater stuck on
Door switch failure
Main control board faulty
Harness faulty
Dispenser flap open
Door gasket leak
Door ajar
Sealed system failure
Above 50o
Fahrenheit
High-resistance fresh food
compartment thermistor
Damper closed
Fresh food fan failure
Evaporator fan failure
Door switch failure
Main control board faulty
Harness faulty
Door gasket leak
Door ajar
Cycle Normal
(between 14o and -14o Fahrenheit)
Cycle Normal
(between 49o and 33o Fahrenheit)
Below -15o
Fahrenheit
Damper stuck closed
Low-resistance in freezer thermistor
circuit
Main control board faulty
Fresh food compartment fan failure
Harness faulty
Below 32o
Fahrenheit
Damper stuck open
Low-resistance fresh food
compartment sensor circuit
Main control board faulty
Ambient temperature below 60o
Harness faulty
34
the refrigerator display. When a test code has been entered, the displays will flash to confirm the test
code. Press any button other than a temperature adjust button to begin the test.
When testing has been completed, do one of the following things:
Enter code 1 5 to completely reset the system.
Enter code 1 6 to exit diagnostic mode. The temperature control panel is reset automatically.
Unplug the refrigerator for at least 10 seconds. Test mode will terminate when the refrigerator is
plugged back in.
Test mode will terminate automatically after 15 minutes of inactivity.

Quote
I'll likely defrost the fridge tonight and have a peek at the heating element.  Hopefully that is the issue.
If you defrost everything before you check the heater and bimetal for continuity, you may not get a proper reading from the defrost thermostat if you thaw too much. This device opens at 43 degrees. Better to remove the back panel in the freezer and disconnect the small harness going to the heater and thermostat (in series) so you can check continuity first. Then you may defrost as necessary to maintain cooling until you get the correct parts.
« Last Edit: November 25, 2008, 01:24:55 PM by Repair-man »
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Offline barberofcivil

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Re: GE Refrigerator Self Diagnostics
« Reply #6 on: November 25, 2008, 02:21:33 PM »
I have read and understand all this, but here is where the process fails for me:
Press the HOLD button for 3 seconds to begin the test.
...
Press any button other than a temperature adjust button to begin the test.
There is no "HOLD" button or any buttons other than the temperature adjust buttons.
I can enter the mode by pressing and holding all 4 buttons, display flashes as noted.
I can adjust the numbers using the warmer/colder buttons to set test numbers (freezer digit is actually limited to being only 0 or 1)
At this point I have no buttons to push that initiate the selected test, it just sits there for a minute or so, then exits the mode and reverts back to the fridge/freezer settings.
I have tried every silly thing possible. Holding the warm/cold buttons. Pushing the door light activition swith (not likely but I had to try).  Pushing/holding any and all of the buttons on the water/ice dispenser.  At this point I seem completely out of options unless there is a hidden button or I am missing something.  By the sounds of it, I may not be able to run the self diagnostics, I'll just have to do checks via the other routes.

Thanks for your help though.

For the continuity checks do I check across the pins for voltage or for resistance?  I woul assume resistance which would indicate a burnt out element.

Offline Repair-man

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Re: GE Refrigerator Self Diagnostics
« Reply #7 on: November 25, 2008, 05:20:13 PM »
Resistance indicates a good component. Zero resistance is an open circuit.
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Offline barberofcivil

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Re: GE Refrigerator Self Diagnostics
« Reply #8 on: November 25, 2008, 07:56:17 PM »
Resistance indicates a good component. Zero resistance is an open circuit.

The only problem I have is that I am unsure how to force it in to defrost mode without the self diagnostics.

I removed the defrost element and it looks like it could possibly be burnt out as it's not clean and there is some glass discoloraion, but I am really unsure what a good/bad one should look like.

Offline JWWebster

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Re: GE Refrigerator Self Diagnostics
« Reply #9 on: November 25, 2008, 10:12:07 PM »
touch your 2 leads together and note the reading. That is continuity. check the glass heater tubes in the same manor.
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Offline barberofcivil

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Re: GE Refrigerator Self Diagnostics
« Reply #10 on: November 26, 2008, 07:21:28 AM »
touch your 2 leads together and note the reading. That is continuity. check the glass heater tubes in the same manor.

No reading through the element.   
Looks like I should replace it.


GE Defrost Heater Kit Part # WR51X10101 


From what I've read, I should replace the thermistor at the same time?


GE Defrost Limiter Thermostat Part # WR50X10068

Offline JWWebster

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Re: GE Refrigerator Self Diagnostics
« Reply #11 on: November 26, 2008, 09:15:28 AM »
everything is kinda difficult to get to so it's best to change it while in there.
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Offline Repair-man

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Re: GE Refrigerator Self Diagnostics
« Reply #12 on: November 26, 2008, 09:31:29 AM »
You can easily test the thermister with your OHM meter, either where it unplugs, or from the main board harness.  The tech sheet has the specs.
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Offline Nugget

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Re: GE Refrigerator Self Diagnostics
« Reply #13 on: December 13, 2009, 07:12:12 PM »
Hello,
I'm having the same problem finding the "HOLD" button to initiate diagnostics! It enters the modes exactly as described in the manual (and this post), however there is no way to initiate the tests (that I can find) and the system times out and goes back into regular operating mode after a minute or so. Any help would greatly be appreciated!!!!
Regards!
Nugget

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About the icons: The beer is tip link, if a tech saves ya some money buy em a 6 pack. The small green square=personal message. The green dot is a link to my web page on appliance repair

Offline gvndual

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Re: GE Refrigerator Self Diagnostics
« Reply #15 on: July 16, 2015, 06:55:26 PM »
I just found this, and though the thread is old, the topic is not.  The "Hold" button is the "Lock" button that says "Hold for 3 secs" on the lower right corner of the panel (not pictured in the diagnosis document).  I just tried it, and it worked perfectly, confirming that my freezer thermistor was bad (something I was already pretty sure about after checking the pins with an ohmmeter, but it was still cool to see the fridge confirm it!).

Offline dave-0

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Re: GE Refrigerator Self Diagnostics
« Reply #16 on: July 23, 2015, 11:33:55 PM »
Mine doesn't have a hold button or a lock button. To the left of the temperature buttons there is a button for the icemaker and to the right of the temperature buttons there is a 'turbocool' button and that's it. I tried the turbocool button but that didn't do it. Anyone have anymore ideas? I know the fridge can go into diagnostic mode because we've done it in the past but I can't remember if there was another step. The manual omits that part, it goes right from setting the number of the test to a chart of the tests and their numbers.

Offline dab147315

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Re: GE Refrigerator Self Diagnostics
« Reply #17 on: July 24, 2015, 08:40:56 AM »
If it is able to go into a diagnostic mode and you have a pad like this one.Here is a video.Also when you get to the defrost mode make sure you toggle it back out of defrost before continuing.Note this diagnostic aid or tool was used in this video because that refrigerator was not capable of putting it in a diagnostic mode. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9h7YzcLpOx8&feature=em-share_video_user

Offline dave-0

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Re: GE Refrigerator Self Diagnostics
« Reply #18 on: July 24, 2015, 12:47:55 PM »
Thanks! In the video, the repairman uses the fridge temperature button to go to the number of the test and then he presses another button to start the test. On my fridge, I don't have that button. I'll attach a photo of mine.

This is the instruction from my manual:

The temperature display must be in an active mode before entering the self-diagnosis test. If the display is
blank, press any temperature button once, then release it. The display will show actual temperatures.
Enter the diagnostic mode by pressing both the freezer temperature (COLDER and WARMER) pads and
the refrigerator temperature (COLDER and WARMER) pads simultaneously. All four pads must be held for
approximately 3 seconds. Blinking "00"s in both the freezer and refrigerator sections of the display indicate
the refrigerator has entered the test mode. Remove fi ngers within 5 seconds and press any pad to lock-in
the test mode. The blinking "00"s will change over to solid (non-blinking) "0"s when the test mode is lockedin.
Failure to lock-in the test mode within 30 seconds will time out the test and return the refrigerator to the
normal cooling mode.

After this is a chart showing the numbers for the tests.

I can get to the part where the display blinks 00 but then I don't know what to do and it goes back into normal mode.

Offline physans

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Re: GE Refrigerator Self Diagnostics
« Reply #19 on: January 19, 2018, 12:27:15 PM »
Registered just to share what I discovered:

IF YOU DON'T HAVE A HOLD BUTTON:

press the WATER button twice, after you have press all 4 buttons on '5' '5' temp settings, then choosing your mode.  It works, and will run the diagnostics!