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Thread: [FIXED] GE Side by Side frig compressor not engaging - New Control Board needed?

  1. #1

    Question [FIXED] GE Side by Side frig compressor not engaging - New Control Board needed?

    Model Number: GSS22WGPJ WW
    Brand: GE
    Age: 6-10 years

    In operation about 7 years

    Issue: In late March 2012 ice would no longer dispense. All other frig features would work okay.
    Note: When the ice/water dispenser switch was pressed the light just above the glass
    would also be very dull in intensity.

    Resolution Attempted: Ordered an Ice Dispenser Motor part WR60X10258 and installed it.
    No change with the above symptoms. Left new motor installed. Decided to ignore issue for now.

    Issue: May 30 2012 the compressor would not engage anymore. Up until then cooling was
    good in both the refrigerator and the freezer sides. Inside lights and control panels were
    lighting up okay. Now there is a rhymic clicking or "clunking" sound (sort of like a dull snapping
    of the fingers) repeating non-stop about every 1.5 seconds. This sounds to me like the refrigerator
    is trying to engage the compressor, but without success.

    Resolution Attempted: I let the "clunking" noise continue for about an hour longer (meanwhile the
    ice cream is melting), then I turned off the power to the refrigerator for about 30 min., then
    reengaged power. Waited for about 10 minutes. Same results - no cooling/compressor.

    All I can think of replacing now is the main controller board (Part GE WR55X10942).
    What do you think?

    F.Y.I.
    The freezer door has the electrical wiring going into it through the top hinge tubing.
    The water line enters enters into the door through the bottom hinge tubing. Why is this information
    being provided? Because this change is the design from earlier models eliminates possible corrosion
    of the wires by a leaking water line.
    An Inquiring Mind,
    Roy Lacy

  2. #2
    Admin/Technician Doc Ryan's Avatar
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    Roy,

    Thanks for all of the detailed information. The main control board on these refrigerators controls almost all of the functions of the refrigerator (ice/water dispenser, compressor, fans, ect). If the constant clicking noise that you are hearing every few seconds is coming from the main control board, then the main control board is bad and it will need to be replaced. I wrote an article about this particular problem, you can read that here: GE Refrigerator Clicking Noise. To verify that the control board is not working properly, you could do a voltage test at the compressor to see if the control board is sending 120v to the compressor. But from your description, it sounds like a typical GE control board failure.

    I was going to tell you to check the wiring at the bottom of the door, so thanks for letting me know that yours comes out the top. I have still seen some newer models still come out of the bottom of the door. The two problems could be related the main control board failing. Often we see customers tell us that another function on the refrigerator was acting funny, before the control board made the refrigerator stop cooling.

    This is the main control board for your model refrigerator:

    Main Control Board - Part # PD00000994 (mfg # WR55X10942)
    Ryan
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  3. #3
    Thanks for the quick response to my inquiry. The clicking noise is definitely coming from the
    controller board. I was able to measure the voltage directly at the compressor. The voltage reading
    I got was odd, to say the least. Syncronized with each click the voltage meter (analog) spiked up to
    about 25 vac and then immediately back down to 0, and so on...

    I also measured the power going
    into what is a fan blowing into a porous ridgid clyndrical type housing. The wires were the same
    guage (16 awg) and color as into the compressor. Exact same volage reading as above.

    What if the evaporator motor has caused this controler board to go out? Wouldn't a replacement
    controller board also be damaged?

    Although I did find the compressor unit, what does the
    evaporator motor look like? Or am I talking about the same thing?
    An Inquiring Mind,
    Roy Lacy

  4. #4
    Admin/Technician Doc Ryan's Avatar
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    There is probably a failed relay on the control board, and the clicking that you hear is the relay trying to engage. The condenser fan motor (fan next to the compressor) probably operates off of the same power that is sent to the compressor. You might even be able to see the wiring spliced going from the compressor over to the fan motor. It is possible that a failed component caused the control board to fail. In most cases, replacing just the control board usually takes care of the problem.

    The evaporator motor is in the freezer section. It circulates the cold air around the refrigerator.
    Ryan
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  5. #5
    I received the main control board for the frig two days ago. One hour later the frig was again
    running. I let it run empty for about 3 hours then put some ice packs into the freezer as a test.
    Yesterday I added a small amount of food and lowered the temp in the frig one notch.
    The ice dispenser is also again working. Today (44 hours later) food was again loaded into the
    freezer and refrigerator compartments.

    It took me about one half an hour to remove and replace the main control board. The only extra
    effort was to change out the ground wire connector to match the connector on my model of frig.

    Special Note: I handled the new control board at all times grounded by wearing a grounding wrist
    strap that was connected to a true ground. The ground point was the frig chassis while it was
    plugged into the wall power recepticle. The power to the recepticle was disengaged at the breaker
    box. If the frig is unplugged (as many techs recommend) you lose the true ground.
    An Inquiring Mind,
    Roy Lacy

  6. #6
    Admin/Technician Doc Ryan's Avatar
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    Roy, great to hear everything is working well on your refrigerator again. Anytime you are working with electronics (especially control boards) it is a good idea to make sure you are grounded to what you are working on. Using a grounding wrist strap is ideal, and you should use one whenever possible. I was taught that if you don't have one, even holding one hand on the metal frame while you handle the electrical component in the other hand will work ok too. I had never heard of leaving the appliance plugged in, but the breaker shut off to keep the appliance grounded through the outlet. Thanks for the idea!

    PS: I am sending you and email too.
    Ryan
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