Common Motherboard Problems GE refrigerators

This page outlines common motherboard problems on GE electronic refrigerators. In 2000, GE started making electronic refrigerators, which have one motherboard that controls all functions of the refrigerator. The motherboard (also known as main board) controls everything so, theoretically everything that fails on a GE electronic refrigerator can be caused by the motherboard. The trick is to determine if the problem is the board or something else. With the expense of these boards there is no need to replace one unnecessarily. Below are some symptoms that are commonly caused by a faulty motherboard on these types of refrigerators.




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Refrigerator not cooling both fans running compressor off



If the compressor is off and both fans are running then the problem is the motherboard, compressor start-relay or compressor. More often than not, it is the motherboard. Unplug the refrigerator and remove the start relay and shake it. If it rattles it is bad and if not you can be reasonably sure it is not bad. If the start relay isn’t bad, remove the motherboard and look on the backside of the board. When the board fails in this way it is very common to see a burn or bad solder joint behind the compressor relay. If this is the case you know for sure the board is bad. You can repair the solder joint if you are handy with a solder gun; however, this will not repair the problem every time. Sometimes the relay itself is bad or it is taken too much heat to last very long. Although I have repaired bad solder joints a time or two, the best route is to replace the board. If the board doesn’t have a brunt solder joint go ahead and replace the board.



Side Note
The solder joint failure used to be one of the most common motherboard problems although I rarely see this now it is worth looking into.

Also see Electronic Board Repair

Refrigerator not cooling evaporator fan not running



This is one of the most common motherboard problems and sometimes it requires you to replace the board and the fan to repair the problem.

Note that the safest route is to replace the board and the fan because of the chance that the fan can blow out your new board.

What can happen is moisture will sometimes invade the evaporator fan and/or the evaporator thermistor and cause the board to short-out. Often when this happens the resistor shown in the picture below will burn out. If this resistor is burnt you must replace the board and the fan. Note that if the resistor isn’t burnt, the fan could still cause this problem. This page shows a motherboard test that can be performed to diagnose this problem. GE Refrigerator Fan diagnostics


Motherboard burnt resistor

Refrigerator Not Cooling And Making A Constant Clicking Noise

This is a motherboard problem that we see from time to time. This will be very easy to identify, all you have to do is make sure the clicking noise is coming from the main board and you know the board is bad.

Intermitting cooling-ice melting/ refreezing- wide temperature variation

These types of problems are common motherboard problems. The motherboard monitors thermistors to determine cooling and defrost actions. Faulty thermistors can also cause these types of problems and this page will help with thermistor diagnostics.
How To Check GE Refrigerator Thermistors

If all thermistors check within range replace the main board. A faulty evaporator fan can cause this so again, the safest route is to replace both the fan and the board. A bad resistor or capacitor (on the board) causing the voltage to drop across the low voltage side of the board can also cause this. If this is the case you will have to replace the board.

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Defrost Cycle Too Long/ Ice Melts Then Refreezes

Lately we have been seeing faulty main boards cause the defrost cycle to stay on too long. When this happens it causes the same problem I talk about above. This will cause the ice in the ice melt then refreeze. When this happens the ice will clump up and jam the dispenser.



When you attempt to use the ice and/or water dispenser the refrigerator lights dim, and the fans stop.

This is one of the most common motherboard problems on GE refrigerators, which can also lead to intermitting cooling-ice melting/ refreezing- wide temperature variation type of problems (talked about above). A bad resistor or capacitor causing the voltage to drop across the low voltage side of the board is what causes this problem. If this is the case replace the board.

Refrigerator Defrost Problem

Motherboards can be purchased from this trusted appliance parts company. Appliancepartspros.com

Like I said before, the main board controls everything the refrigerator does and this includes the defrost cycle. It controls when a defrost cycle occurs and how long it last. So motherboard problems can cause a defrost problem. However, I actually haven’t seen this but a few times and I work on GE electronic refrigerators all the time. I am not saying it isn’t the problem, just that you need to eliminate the other three possibilities first. Here is a link to a page dedicated to refrigerator defrost problems. On this page it shows a motherboard test that can be performed to diagnose this type of problem. GE Refrigerator Defrost Problem

Fan Motor Noisy/Fan Motor Rapidly Changing Speeds

Often a bad motherboard will cause the evaporator fan to make a whining noise. Most of the time this noise is intermitting but will happen often. The repair is to replace the board.

It is normal for the fan to change speeds but the main board is designed to change fan motor speed gradually. Normally it will take one minute for the fan to change from slow to high speed and vice versa. If the fan is rapidly changing speeds the main board is bad and needs replacing.

Motherboards can be purchased from this trusted appliance parts company. Appliancepartspros.com

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Shawn

  • Appliance repair since 1996
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