GE gsl25jfphbs "trips" out; starts working when rep lugged


Refrigerator & Freezer Repair

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I have a GE gsl25jfphbs that is acting funny. Have done quite a bit of research but don't see anybody

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Old 02-20-2012, 07:30 PM
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Default GE gsl25jfphbs "trips" out; starts working when rep lugged
Model Number: gsl25jfphbs   Brand: GE   Age: 5 - 10 years   

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I have a GE gsl25jfphbs that is acting funny. Have done quite a bit of research but don't see anybody with this problem.

The water and ice dispenser stopped working first, intermittently. This lasted for maybe two months. Then this last weekend we found that the fridge and freezer had stopped cooling. Lights all still work. So I pulled the fridge out. First cleaned out the dust and cobwebs (we are new to this house but apparently the previous owners never cleaned back there).

Then I took the main board cover off. I do have voltage between j11 and the 9 pin of the bottom connector. Nothing on the board looks blackened but a few of the chips have a little "melted" look to them (probably it is just a conformal coating, tough to tell).

Then I unplugged the fridge. Took off the bottom cover. Popped the overload cover off of the compressor. Changed the battery in my multimeter (no joke). Plugged the fridge back in and it immediately took off. Apparently it needed my multimeter to have a new battery. Water and ice both work. Fridge and freezer cooled right back down.

This drama has repeated a few times over the last few days. Every time, I pull it out, unplug it, replug it and it takes right back off. Of course nobody shows a functional schematic for this thing which makes it really tough for an amateur like me to visualize what the heck is going on.

Any ideas out there on this one?

Thanks in advance...

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Old 02-21-2012, 03:16 AM
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Either it is hanging up in defrost, or you have a bad motherboard in the back.
I would first pull the motherboard (AP4436216) and check the solder joints behind the big power relay. If ok, you might have a bad evaporator thermistor, a white, narrow object clipped to the top of the evaporator.
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Old 02-21-2012, 07:02 AM
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When the dispenser didnít work did the lights on the dispenser dim
and the refrigerator seem to temporary cut off when you attempted to use the dispenser. If so this is an indication that low voltage part of the main board is failing. This can eventually lead to cooling problems as you describe. I think you have a main board problem.

Common Motherboard Problems GE refrigerators

If you didnít experience the light dimming issue your problem still points to the main board you may have a loose solder joint as richappy suggested.

If this solder joint is bad the fans will still run and on the other hand if you have the first problem I describe most of the time the compressor will still run but the fans will be off.

Lately we have been seeing these refrigerators hang in defrost as richappy mention. GE has a service bulletin that suggests replacing the main board and the evaporator thermistor.

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Old 02-21-2012, 06:48 PM
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Default Did some more work...

Thanks for the quick, informative replies!

I did some more work after I got home tonight. Unplugged fridge, took motherboard off and looked at both sides closely. See attached pictures. There are no loose solders or clearly "burned" spots that I can see. However, the more I look at it, some of the board and several of the chips have a melted look to them. I tried to take the pictures in a light that showed this off. Maybe you guys who have seen many of these boards can tell me if this is abnormal looking.

I tried testing the freezer thermistors using the method shown on applianceman's page. I had them in ice water for five plus minutes. But my crappy craftsman meter was showing around 8k ohms on both. I think it might be the meter though as it has read voltages funny for a while now (17V for a car battery, for example). I will be looking for a new meter after I finish this post.

Regardless the thermistor is cheap so I will probably just replace it. Although I did pop the cover off inside the freezer and the coils are not iced up much at all so I think it is working ok. I will note that these thermistors appear to be the old type itch the rounded heads (and the fridge dates to 2004 so these are apparently questionable from the factory, if I remember what I read right).

To answer your other questions, I did not experience lights dimming that I can remember. The dispensers work for a while and then it seems like they stop, and soon after the unit will not cool. This is a permanent thing (nothing runs, no fans, nothing) until I reboot the unit (it does not "cut out") Unplug, replug, and it works again. The compressor rattles to life and the fan spins right up.

So I am guessing a bad board and I should replace the evap thermistor while I am at it? Two questions. Do I have to clip and re-solder the wires when I install the new one? Should I electric tape or heat shrink the joint?

Sorry for writing a damn book but thought more info would help. Sorry also that I didn't find your linked page before, very informative.
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Old 02-21-2012, 07:47 PM
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Originally Posted by bchain View Post
Do I have to clip and re-solder the wires when I install the new one? Should I electric tape or heat shrink the joint?
Are you talking about the thermistor or the board? If you are talking about the board it is just plug and play. But read instruction carefully some models do require an extra step or two.

If you were talking about the thermistor the best way to splice these is with a bell connector. Reason being is because you can fill the connector up with silicone, insert the wire then squeeze the connection. This makes for a sealed connection that no moisture can get to. The only problem is you do have to have the tool to squeeze the connector on. I show how this is done at the very end of the video I made on the thermistor page you were looking at. Here is a link

Testing A Refrigerator Thermistor On A GE Refrigerator

The problem you describe is a little odd to me but when you said the dispenser didnít work before the refrigerator when out I thought for sure you had the low voltage problem (indicated by the light dimming). In any case I do think the problem is the board but you are right the thermistor is cheap and worth trying first.

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Old 02-22-2012, 05:52 PM
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Default Update

Ok, I have a new multimeter on order (a 40 dollar wonder instead of a 20 dollar wonder this time, really would like a fluke but can't justify one). Once I have that I will re test all of the thermistors and then order a board with the appropriate number of thermistors (at least one for the evap thermistor). I can afford to do this the slow way since I can get the fridge to work by unplugging/replugging.

Also saw your video, the "bell" connectors appear to be 3m scotchlok connectors? So I am looking for some of those and also a pair of squeeze pliers. Might be handy to have if they are only a few bucks.

Thanks again for all of the help. I will update this post once I have the parts installed so that the fix is on the record.
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Old 02-25-2012, 12:03 PM
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Default Update

Got the new multimeter. Checked all three thermistors using ice water. Ohms at j1 were between 8 and 11k. Will order three new thermistors and probably just get the board while I am at it. Hate the expense but it sure beats a new fridge. Will let you know if this fixes it.
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Old 03-04-2012, 05:09 PM
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Default Works!

Put the new parts in Friday. Used regular wire nuts for the thermistors but squirted them full of silicone per your video. Also made sure they pointed up in all three locations so water wouldn't try to pool in them. Probably the amateur way to do that but it was cheap, and if I wanted it perfect I suppose I should have gotten a pro to do it!

Also put in the new board. With the new and old boards side by side, it was very easy to see that the processor chips in the old board were a bit melted.

Fridge and dispensers have run great since Friday. Thanks much to both of you for all the help!
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Old 03-05-2012, 05:21 PM
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I have spliced thermistors with wire nuts when I was out of bell connectors and I did the same thing with the silicone. I havenít had any trouble out of the refrigerator since so I donít think it is bad to do it this way it is just not quite as good as the bell connectors.

Good Job on the repair!!
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