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Author Topic: GE Fridge Continuously Runs  (Read 259 times)

Offline AAccount

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  • Member Since: Aug 2020
  • Posts: 3
GE Fridge Continuously Runs
« on: August 17, 2020, 10:09:50 PM »

I have a GSS25SGSCSS fridge bought new in 2005. Replaced the condenser fan last month. 6 hours after the repair, the fridge runs continuously without stopping for a break.

What I've tried to fix the new problem:
  • Checked the continuity of the defrost heater: ok.
  • Checked all 4 thermistor sensors resistances: all 4 ok.
  • Stuck my cell phone camera at an angle I could see the evaporator fan working: ok.

When I changed the condenser fan however, I couldn't get it back into the holding bracket. Instead I'm holding it in place with zip ties and duct tape.

That was all a month ago. Yesterday I plugged in the fridge and it seemed to run and turn off in a 1.5:1 on:off ratio. After ~8 hours of usage, it refused to stop like last month.

Other details: the evaporator fan used to make a horrible racketing noise. It doesn't anymore, and going by the 3rd bullet point above, appears to be spinning fine. I've previously pulled it out and spun it by hand and there was no extra resistance.

Offline manden

  • Technician
  • Member Since: Oct 2011
  • Posts: 348
Re: GE Fridge Continuously Runs
« Reply #1 on: August 18, 2020, 07:51:51 AM »
Have you removed the cover in the freezer and checked the evaporator coils.

If the compressor is running and there is no frost or frost in just one area (usually where the freon enters the coils)n then it is a sealed system problem and probably not worth fixing as you need a pro and it will be expensive.

Offline AAccount

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  • Member Since: Aug 2020
  • Posts: 3
Re: GE Fridge Continuously Runs
« Reply #2 on: August 18, 2020, 06:28:59 PM »
I'm guessing the evaporator is in ok shape. Here's why:

Over the last few days, I've been measuring the resistances of the 4 temperature sensors to try and guess what the fridge is thinking. The temperature probes can be measured from the motherboard without opening the fridge or freezer.

Copied and pasted out of the manual:
Celcius KOhms
-25   65
-20   48.4
-15   36.4
-10   27.6
-5   21
0   16.3
5   12.7
10   10

Sensors are located: fridge top; fridge bottom; freezer bottom; evaporator.
Here are the values I've gotten under various conditions:
  • Wouldn't stop Sunday night: 14.72; 14.40, 40.6, 68
  • (unplugged for the night)
  • Coldness setting 3 stopped after running for 3 hours: 14.6; 15.1; 59.5; 58
  • Coldness setting 3, started after stopping: 13.4; 14.3; 28.8; 38.9
  • (unplugged for the night)
Yesterday 11pm, I tried removing the damper assembly to check if it works properly. It does, but I didn't put it back in.
  • Coldness setting 5, stopped running after 2 hours: 22.5; 16.3; 35.8; 44.5.
  • (unplugged for the night)
  • Coldness setting 3, stopped running after 2 hours: 20.8; 15.3; 34.5; 47
Seeing as the evaporator thermistor is always below -20C, I'm assuming the evaporator is ok? (I've been outside in winter -20 and that seemed pretty cold to me.) Sensor #1 reading colder than usual over the last few days is probably because the damper is close to it.

My latest conclusion is that sensor #2 is what's keeping the fridge running. If I compare the "can't stop running" measurements to the ones where it just stopped, that seems to be the only one out of line. Is it possible the evaporator fan is in bad condition and just stops working/intermittently cuts out after prolonged use, but is ok when the fridge is unplugged for the night?

I'm also open to doing other tests.

Offline DaleCaskanette

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  • Member Since: Dec 2013
  • Posts: 265
  • Country: ca
Re: GE Fridge Continuously Runs
« Reply #3 on: August 18, 2020, 09:11:06 PM »
Why do you shut it off  It takes about 24 hours for a fridge to become stable

Offline AAccount

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  • Member Since: Aug 2020
  • Posts: 3
Re: GE Fridge Continuously Runs
« Reply #4 on: August 18, 2020, 09:19:01 PM »
Oh really? I didn't know that. Is normal for it to be running possibly 90-95% of the time until that initial 24 hours have passed?

If it's really just a case of what you mentioned, then when I did the initial condensor fan repair, it took at least 6 hours because the fridge is so poorly designed that you need to know the 1 correct magic way of sliding the fan back in. I couldn't figure it out so I positioned it correctly using duct tape and zip ties. I'm 99% it's positioned correctly because I can feel the heat coming from under it when it runs.

Is it possible this whole ordeal is just me getting panicky and jumping to conclusions seeing the fridge run for 4 straight hours, the midnight after the condensor fan repair job? Started the job ~2. Finished ~8. Fridge turned on and off as usual until midnight, then went continuously. I stayed up until 4am to monitor then got too tired.

Offline Dash

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  • Member Since: Sep 2015
  • Posts: 64
Re: GE Fridge Continuously Runs
« Reply #5 on: August 30, 2020, 06:01:51 PM »
I agree with Dale and Mandan, set the refrigerator controls at their midpoint and do NOT turn it off.  Let it run a minimum of 24 hours.  Next, do not turn off the refrig, but remove the freezer back panel while it is running to expose the evaporator (cooling tubes).  There should be an even coating of frost on all tubes.  The refrigerator must be running when you observe the evaporator.