The GE ClimateKeeper dual evaporator system is incorporated on some GE energy
star refrigerators including GE Profile refrigerators, GE Café refrigerators and
Monogram refrigerators. What this means is there is two evaporators rather than
one so the fresh food section and the freezer cool independently from one
another. Traditionally, refrigerators have one evaporator in the freezer so all
of the cold air for the fresh food section comes from the freezer. This is good
and works well but there are huge advantages to a dual evaporator system. Have
you ever said or heard someone say that their ice taste bad? This because
airflow from the fresh food section mixes with the air in the freezer causing
the ice to taste like food in the fresh food section. In other words, what you
taste is the onion from the fresh food section. Another good advantage is that
the humidity of the fresh food section is significantly higher. This allows
fresh produce and unsealed foods to stay fresh longer. Moisture sensitive foods
can be stored on open shelves without a lot of moisture loss.
Some of these refrigerators use a variable speed compressor. What this does is allow the compressor to slow down and speed up when the situation calls for it. This also gives it the energy star rating because this compressor uses far less energy.
Although some of the GE French door models are dual evaporator this page does not cover them.
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As we know in the GE ClimateKeeper dual evaporator system, the fresh food section and the freezer section cool independently from one another so when repairing them, we treat them as two separate refrigerators to a certain extent. On this page we will talk about what to do when the fresh food section will not cool.
If this is not what your refrigerator is doing here are other pages on GE ClimateKeeper refrigerator repair.
GE ClimateKeeper Refrigerator Not Cooling
GE ClimateKeeper Freezer Not Freezing
Now lets talk about what can cause only the fresh food section to stop cooling on a GE ClimateKeeper dual evaporator system. First,access the fresh food evaporator and fan motor. To do so, remove the bottom drawers including the custom cool drawer (if applicable). Then, there is a cover that you remove to access the fresh food evaporator and the fan. You have to remove the fan housing to access the evaporator. By the time you access the fan, it should be running and if not, read the section on fan not running. If the fan is running, see if the evaporator is covered with heavy frost and if so, read the section on defrost.
Fresh Food Evaporator Fan Motor Not
The first thing you should check if the fresh
food section is not cooling on a GE ClimateKeeper is the fresh food fan.
The main reason you should check the fan first is because if the fan isn’t
working, it can cause the freezer not to defrost as talked about in the next
section, therefore if you find the fan is not running there is no need to check
Locate the main board on the back of the refrigerator. Then locate the J2 connector on the board. Set your meter to read DC voltage. First check for fan motor supply voltage by testing between pins 3 and 8. You should have between 12-14 volts DC and if not replace the main board. Note that if you don’t have voltage here none of the fan motors on the refrigerator will work.
Next check for voltage on the fresh food evaporator motor by checking voltage
between the J2 pins 6 to pin 8. (Counting from left to right). You should see
9-13 volts DC if the fan motor is running or should be running. If you see
correct voltage but the fan isn’t running replace the fan motor. If you don’t
see the correct voltage replace the main board. Note that this is only if the
fan should be running however it should be running most of the time if the fresh
food section isn’t cooling but just to be sure you may want to repeat the test a
few different times.
On GE ClimateKeeper refrigerators not only does the freezer section have a
defrost cycle so does the fresh food section. Only the defrost cycle happens
much more often and is very different. If the fresh food section is not
defrosting, frost will build up on the fresh food evaporator. This will block
airflow; therefore, it will not cool. There are three things that can cause
this. One is the fan, which is talked about above, so if you haven’t done so
check it. The other two things that cause this are the evaporator thermistor and
the main board. What I recommend doing is to replace the evaporator thermistor
and if that doesn’t put it back to work, replace the main board. The reason I
say this is because the thermistor is what will typically cause the problem and
you cannot definitively test the thermistor without removing it. It is somewhat
of a difficult job to access the thermistor so if you go so far as to access it
you should replace it.
Replacing The Fresh Food Evaporator Thermistor On A GE ClimateKeeper
First, disconnect power to the refrigerator. To do so, remove the bottom drawers including the custom cool drawer (if applicable). Then there is a cover that you remove to access the fresh food evaporator. Then remove the screws that hold the fan housing in place, then pull the housing down and disconnect the fan to remove it. Once the evaporator is accessed, loosen the screws that hold the evaporator in place and gently lift the evaporator off of the screws and rotate it forward to access the back of the evaporator. Once done, you should see an aluminum block that houses the thermistor. Cut the wire that holds the block in place. Cut the wires as close to the block as you can to ensure you still have enough wire to replace it. Take a bell connector and fill it with RTV silicone then squeeze the connector with a wire crimpier. The silicone is to ensure that no moisture can get to the connection. Then insert the new thermistor in the block and add some silicone to hold the thermistor in the block. Finally, tie the block to the evaporator as it was with a new wire tie.
The main board monitors the temperature in the fresh food section, using reading it receives from the thermistor. If the thermistor is bad, the temperature will be off, either too cold or too warm. If the fresh food section isn’t cooling and you have confirmed that the fan is running and there isn’t a defrost problem go ahead and replaced the thermistor.
However if you want you can check the thermistor. See this page for more info
If you have check all of the components above and determine them to be in working order replace the main board.
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The most commonly used diagnostic tool is the ohmmeter check out this page.