GE Refrigerator Fan Motor Diagnostics

This GE refrigerator fan motor guide is for GE’s electronic refrigerators made after 2002. Including top-freezers, bottom-freezers, and side-by-side models.

This page will walk you through refrigerator fan motor diagnostics for GE electronic refrigerators. The main board controls the fan motors on these refrigerators. This makes them more difficult to check but with the help of this page it is easy. On GE electronic refrigerators the main board is located on the back of the refrigerator. There is an access panel either on the bottom right or the top left of the back of the refrigerator.

Note that not all GE refrigerators made after 2002 are electronic models so if there isn’t a main board, your refrigerator isn’t an electronic refrigerator and this page doesn’t apply to your refrigerator. However, if you have an electronic board and the fan motor isn’t running this page will help.




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Note that if you at anytime determine that the main board is bad look closely at the board for any burnt resistors. If you see a burnt resistor replace the fan that isn’t working along with the board because the fan most likely caused the board to go bad. So if you only replace the main board the fan will cause the new board to go bad as well. That being said, (brunt resistor or not) the safest route is to replace both the fan and the board.

Main board replacement tip-Step #2 on the installation instructions says to eliminate thermistor jumper wire, read that step carefully. It is only necessary on bottom freezers and encoder models. There is a list of serial number prefixes. What this means is that if your refrigerator is an encoder model and the first three letters of the serial number begin with one of the listed prefixes, then you have to cut out the jumper as described. An encoder model is a model with turn-dial controls rather than push button or digital.



Below is a picture of a main board for a GE electronic refrigerator. It shows the location of the J2 plug where testing for fan motors is done. Note that the location of the J2 plug may vary depending on the year the refrigerator was made. Also the board may be turned sideways.

All test on this page are done with the power on and all plugs connected. Be careful! Appliance-repair-it.com is not responsible for any damage or injuries! See disclaimer



Evaporator Fan
(The fan inside the freezer)

If the evaporator fan isn’t running, the fan or the main board could be the problem. The section of the refrigerator fan motor diagnostics page will describe how to find out if you need to change the fan, main board or both.

First thing you should do is open the door of the refrigerator for more than three minutes. After three minutes the refrigerator will enter a liner protection mode, which will turn the fan on. If the fan doesn’t come on you will need to determine if the fan or the board is bad. Leave the door open to ensure the fan should be running during testing. Also leave all plugs connected even the J2 plug at which you will be testing. To test this, locate the main board on the back of the refrigerator. On that board there is plug marked J2, this is where testing for the fan is done. Set your meter to read DC voltage and place your black (common) lead on J2-pin 3 (third pin from left) and your red lead on J2 pin 8 and you should get 12-14 VDC and if you don’t replace the main board.

Next leave your black lead on the same wire and test to pin 4 this pin should read 12 VDC. Note that if the refrigerator isn’t in liner protection mode you may get 8VDC and on some models you may even get 4VDC, this just means that the fan is on low or medium speed mode at the time of testing.

If the voltage is correct and the fan isn’t running replace the refrigerator fan motor. If the voltage isn’t correct replace the board. This refrigerator fan motor can be purchased at AppliancePartsPros.com As well as the board.



Condenser Fan
(The fan beside the compressor)


The condenser fan is the fan located near the compressor and it should be running anytime the compressor is running. This section of the refrigerator fan motor diagnostics guide will discuss how to test the condenser fan on GE electronic refrigerators. If the compressor is running but the fan isn’t more than likely the fan is bad but it could be the board. Leave all plugs connected even the J2 plug at which you will be testing.

To test this, locate the main board on the back of the refrigerator. On that board there is a plug marked J2, this is where testing for the fan is done. Set your meter to read DC voltage and place your black (common) lead on J2-pin 3 (third pin from left) and your red lead on J2 pin 8 you should get 12-14 VDC and if you don’t replace the main board.

Next, leave your black lead on the same wire and test to pin 5 this pin should read 12 VDC, 8VDC, or 4VDC. Note that you should only get 4VDC if your refrigerator has a variable speed compressor.

If the voltage is correct and the fan isn’t running replace the fan. If the voltage isn’t correct replace the board. This refrigerator fan motor can be purchased at AppliancePartsPros.com As well as the board.



Fresh Food Fan

(fan inside fresh food section)


Some GE electronic refrigerators have a fresh food refrigerator fan motor and if the fresh food fan isn’t operating the efficiency of the refrigerator will suffer. The fresh food fan is located inside the air duct in the back top of the fresh food section. To access the fan you will have to remove all the shelves in the fresh food section and remove the air-duct in the back of the refrigerator. Once done you should be able to remove the duct that holds the fresh food fan. Note that while you are there, check to make sure the damper inside that duct is closed. It should be closed being that the door has been opened for more than three minutes while you removed the duct. If it isn’t closed replace it. It will come with the entire duct, which includes the fan. If the fan will not run, the problem could be the fan or the main board.


Leave all plugs connected even the J2 plug at which you will be testing. To test this, locate the main board on the back of the refrigerator. On that board there is a plug marked J2 this is where testing for the fan is done. Set your meter to read DC voltage and place your black (common) lead on J2-pin 3 (third pin from left) and your red lead on J2 pin 8 and you should get 12-14 VDC and if you don’t replace the main board.

Next test between pin 6 and pin 8. You should get at least 8 volts DC. If voltage is present but the fan isn’t running replace the fan and if there isn’t voltage replace the board. This refrigerator fan motor can be purchased at AppliancePartsPros.com As well as the board.



Fresh Food Evaporator For Dual Evaporator Models
(not talked about in the video)

Some GE side-by-side refrigerators utilize a dual evaporator system. This is sometimes called the climateKeeper system. On these models there is an evaporator fan for the fresh food section. This is not the same as the fresh food fan talked about above. Testing for this fan is done on the same pins but the voltage will be different. Follow the instructions below for testing this fan motor. If you have a dual evaporator model and you need to check the fresh food evaporator fan please refer to this page.

Fresh Food Not Cooling On GE Dual Evaporator Refrigerators

Noisy Fan Motor

This section of the GE refrigerator fan motor page talks about noisy fan motors on GE electronic refrigerators. Typically if the fan motors on these refrigerators are noisy it is because the main board is bad. A bad main board can cause the fan to rapidly change speeds, cause the fan to groan, or make it sound like the fan is straining. Rapid speed changes are a dead give away for the main board being bad. The fans do change speeds but the speed should gradually change. But a bad fan motor or the main board can cause the other two noises. The main board is most likely but can be hard to determine. Return From GE Refrigerator Fan Motor Diagnostics

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