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Why is my GE side by side refrigerator intermittently gettining -20F

I have a GE side by side gshs6lgbbhss initially it started getting too warm so I replaced thermistors three of them. After installing them this was not the issue so ordered aftermarket evaporator motor and replaced. That fixed the issue of not staying cold, but it seems now the freezer section gets intermittently -10 to -20 degrees F below zero. It gets too cold now and when it does you can definitely hear MAJOR fan noise. I replaced the main board with a factory original thinking this would solve my issue. Upon removing the old board I did not see any irregularities with capacitors, transistors, resistors, or burnt sections I had read somewhere that if the evaporator fan motor went it would damage the board and to replace both so that the new board would not have the same fate. After a few days it started doing it again. getting too cold in the freezer. When it does this I usually open the freezer door let it get back to zero or 10F and slam the door shut to stop the fan noise it makes when it gets that cold. Interestingingly, it doesn’t do it all the time in fact it’s running quite fine right now, but it’s so annoying when it does! The fresh food side of the refrigerator has no issues just the freezer.

Any ideas? The thermistors I replaced were also after market ones. The brand I used was Blue Star brand from Amazon for the evaporator motor and thermistors. I would greatly appreciate any thoughts and suggestions as to my issue. I mean it works just not up to freezer specs!

Thank you for you valued time and interest in helping me with this issue.

Just a side note I have cleaned the condenser coils and have not replaced the condenser motor because it does appear to be working. Before replacing anything I cleaned the condenser coils and noticed there was fluid in the drip pan, so I ordered an aftermarket replacement condenser motor which I never replaced due to the fact that after replacing the evaporator motor there was no more fluid in drip pan and motor appears to be working.

Thanks again!

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Bit confused by your terminology.

Does after market evaporator motor = evaporator fan motor or do you mean the compressor?

Does condenser motor = condenser fan motor? The condenser fan is used to cool the condenser if it is too hot as this reduces the efficiency of the cooling system and you’re more likely to have “too warm” problems and not “too cold” problems

What is the temperature in the refrigerator compartment like when the freezer compartment is too cold?

It could be a sticking damper that is preventing the cold air getting into the refrigerator compartment from the freezer compartment and therefore the freezer gets colder.

Alternatively it may be that if the temp in the refrigerator compartment is too warm (or the control board “thinks” that it is then the compressor will keep operating so that the cold being produced by the evap unit in the freezer can be blown into the refrigerator compartment by the evap fan, to cool it down. By doing this the freezer compartment will also get colder as well.

I realize that you said that you replaced all three of the temperature sensors but did you also check the wiring connections between the temperature sensor - part #233 freezer section diagram and the temperature sensors part #236 & #237 - fresh food section and the control board in case there is a loose or faulty connection?

Here’s a link to the mini service manual that is used for your model refrigerator, that may help as it shows the resistance values of the temperature sensors at the different temperatures, the wiring runs in the cabinet and the circuit diagram.

Hopefully a start

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Yes, aftermarket evaporator fan motor=evaporator fan motor. What I was meaning to say was that I did not use factory parts for the evaporator fan motor or the thermistors I replaced, #236, 237 fresh food side and 233 freezer. There is a 4th but that comes with the evaporator fan motor which was replaced. Like I attempted to say when the freezer gets 10 or 20 degrees F below zero. The fresh food side of the fridge reads between 37-42 F, which is perfect no issues there. Do you think it's still a damper sticking in the freezer section? I am perplexed at what could be the issue. Do you think the defrost thermostat or assembly can be a cause? I will look into the info you provided via link as well. Thank you!


@Vincent Duque

The damper sticking would be more if the refrigerator was getting warm rather than holding good temp.

If the refrigerator temp is OK and yet the compressor is still running then the control board thinks that something is too warm still and the freezer will get colder because that's where the evaporator unit is.

Being intermittent makes it harder to track down.

If you are using the temperature readings as being displayed by the control panel, I'm wondering if you should place an appropriate thermometer in the freezer compartment (and maybe the refrigerator compartment) and then check what it shows when the control panel shows -10F (and 37-42F) just in case there is a problem with what is being displayed which may not be what it actually is, (give or take a few degrees between thermometers that is).


I did forget to mention, I have been using different thermometers for the freezer and fridge sections and sometimes they match up and others they do not. The freezer section when it gets either -10 or -20 below zero F. The display reads zero. The fresh food section is the most consistent at displaying the actual physical temp. The other day I had to unplug the refrigerator to reset because it was staying at -20 F for a while and when I plugged power back the displays changed to the accurate reads for both.

I called PartsPro to try and get a part for my ongoing issues not sure which part? and the person on the line suggested I try a capacitor start switch. I don't think that might be it, because like I said it works just not 100% for the freezer section. What do you think?

Thanks again for all you help. I really do appreciate it!


@Vincent Duque

Are the thermometers that you're using battery powered at all?

I've come across battery models where the battery was low and this gave erratic readings. Just a though if this is the case.

The start capacitor would affect the cooling only because the compressor wouldn't start when it should so the problem would be too warm and not too cold.

I've never come across one sticking operated which I suppose might keep the compressor on when it shouldn't be on.

Even so if the freezer is too cold why not the refrigerator and if the damper is sticking closed why isn't the refrigerator too warm then?


One is a digital cell powered and the other is self contained dial thermometer. I used two different ones in same location to rule out error. The third being the LCD temperature control panel in front of fridge that displays temperature for freezer and fridge sections.

I noticed when my 3 year old left the fridge milk door open for 10 min. That the temperature did not change on the LCD temperature reading outside the fridge by the water dispenser. It got as high as 60 and it still said 37 on the front display. I am guessing that if I unplugged the power the temp would register then. Is this normal?

One last question, on my model fridge is the evaporator fan motor suppose to turn on / run when the freezer door is open? I read somewhere that it should only go on / run if you push the door switch down, as if the door was closed. I ask because it does run (evaporator fan motor) when the door is open.



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Vincent Duque sarà eternamente grato.
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