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Thread: Update to howling noise from GE Profile Refrigerator

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    sticky is offline New Member
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    Update to howling noise from GE Profile Refrigerator

    My refrigerator is a GE Profile GSH25JFRFBB side-by-side unit. It's a little more than a year old.

    There is a low pitched howling/humming noise coming from the freezer compartment. The noise is not constant but cycles on and off every 15 minutes. It will make the noise for a period of time then suddenly stop then resume again after several minutes.

    The only way to permanently stop the noise is to turn the freezer thermostat control to off and leave it there. Alternatively, if I turn it to off, wait a few seconds, then turn it on again the noise stops for a few minutes (even though the air is circulating) but eventually it starts again.

    I've listened to the fan circulating the air between the freezer and the refrigerator sides but that does not appear to be the problem.

    Could this be a defective thermostat, timer or something else?

    Thanks for any input.

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    It probably is the fan. My mom had a similar problem. The fan was in the lower part of the freezer and circulated cold air throughout the machine. I took the shroud apart and removed the motor. It's one of those open type, fractional horsepower - called a shaded pole motor. The bearings were dry. oillite bearings in a felt like holder. Also one of the screws were loose making the fan blade strike every once in a while the inside of the ducting. I re-assembled everything after lubing with a very light machine oil - WD-40 will not work here and there was no noise.

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    Arrow Electronically controlled

    Quote Originally Posted by sticky
    GE Profile refrigerator [model] GSH25JFRFBB

    There is a low pitched howling/humming noise coming from the freezer compartment... I've listened to the fan circulating the air between the freezer and the refrigerator sides but that does not appear to be the problem.
    Your fridge is one of GE's electronically controlled models. It uses a multi-speed DC motor (see the following link) in the freezer compartment which is controlled by the electronic control. Such a motor could possibly make sounds on one of the speeds but not on the others.

    LINK > GSH25JFRFBB Evaporator Fan Motor

    if I turn it to off, wait a few seconds, then turn it on again the noise stops for a few minutes (even though the air is circulating) but eventually it starts again.
    You should not stop a refrigerator and immediately restart it!

    The compressor needs time for the refrigerant pressures in the system to equalize before it will be able to run again. Forcing it to start up too soon could cause damage to it. That is an expensive ($$$+) repair. After being turned off, a refrigerator should be left stand 10-15 minutes before restarting.

    BTW. The electronic control will vary the speed of the evaporator motor upon various conditions. What you're doing is likely one of them.

    Could this be a defective thermostat, timer or something else?
    Thermostats do not usually make any sound except for maybe a clicking sound as they switch (in the case of a mechanical thermostat). A defrost timer's motor might make a humming sound while in operation or a clicking sound as its switches open and close. Your model however is electronically controlled and has neither of those things. The only other thing in the freezer compartment on your model which I can see making any kind of sound is maybe an icemaker.

    JFYI

    Dan O.
    www.Appliance411.com
    The Appliance Information Site

    =D~~~~~~

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    sticky is offline New Member
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    Update to howling noise from GE Profile Refrigerator

    Did more research in my problem and found more info from the following page: A-1Appliance.com :: View topic - GE Side by Side Refrigerator Howls

    This led me to suspect that replacing the evaporator fan won't fix the noise and that the control board is the culprit.

    I called GE for info since the post states that certain models and SN's had a free replacement part for the defective control boards. Unfortunately my SN didn't qualify since it was manufactured one month before the start date of the replacement program (April 2005). I was offered the replacment part for 50% off GE's price ($56) with free shipping. I accepted the offer and am waiting for the part to be delivered.

    I hope this solves the noise problem. From what I've read, it's an easier fix to replace the control board than the fan. If the control board replacement doesn't work, I'll buy the fan next. Either way, it's cheaper than paying a repair tech to come to the house in my part of the US.

    Keep you posted.

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    Dan O.'s Avatar
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    Thumbs up Fixed

    Quote Originally Posted by sticky
    Control board was delivered overnight FEDEX. Installed same day (easy install). No noise for last 48 hours.

    PROBLEM SOLVED (defective control board).
    Glad to hear it, thanks for the follow up.

    Those 'motherboards' are a real headache to diagnose which is one reason I usually suggest consumers try to stay away for electronically controlled appliances.

    LINK > GE Refrigerator Main Control (aka 'Mother') Board

    JMO

    Dan O.
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    Post Ge refrigerator howling noise

    I just thought I would submit this update since it seems some were posted in 2007. Mine is a GE side by side, model GSH25JSRFSS. According to GE it is 3 years old , but we moved into a new home just over 2 years ago.
    Ours started this howling about a week ago, which has been best descibed as someone blowing over a glass bottle. I "Googled" GE refrigerator howling noise, and there are several links, including this forum. Dan O's answer seems to be the opinion of the majority of other posts too. The control board.
    I called GE today and was told maybe it's not full enough, maybe the damper, maybe something.....then I mentioned the internet . I was transferred to Customer Relations and they will send out a Tech. I asked why should I pay a tech if I can replace the board myself, as others have done. He said the tech would have to confirm the problem. $84.00 for the service call, but if it is the "main board" I will not be charged. I'll let you know.

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    Thumbs down GE Customer Relations

    Quote Originally Posted by Dennis J

    ...then I mentioned the internet. I was transferred to Customer Relations...
    The mother board failure was covered by one of GE's 'silent recalls' (sometimes called a 'field rework program') where there is a known problem/defect but GE doesn't make that knowledge public, I guess hoping no one will find out so they (GE) don't need to deal with it at their expense. They only inform their own technicians whom might encounter it in the field. (BTW. Actual "recalls" only occur for safety related problems, not for performance issues.)

    Even when people call GE customer service about it they frequently act(?) dumb as to the possible cause and consumers actually have to find out for them self about the repair program to bring it to GE's attention before GE will even acknowledge it. There are a lot of other complaints about GE's latest electronically controlled refrigerator models (as well as other GE products) as can see seen at the following link:

    LINK > Bring Good Things to Life?

    Check out some of the images in the picture gallery.

    JFYI

    Dan O.
    www.Appliance411.com
    The Appliance Information Site

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    GE refrigerator howling noise

    Exactly right again Dan. Tech came out and removed my water service station in the freezer door. He hooked up a laptop computer to a connection similar to what they do with cars now, and ran a test. The board was bad and he replaced it free of charge under a GE authorized extented warranty for that part. That information comes up when he put the part number in the computer. Thanks for all the help and information. This really helps guys like me that are not mechanically inclined. Everyone laughs because I have tools that are 40 years old and still brand new.

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    Dan O.'s Avatar
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    Thumbs up

    Quote Originally Posted by Dennis J

    The board was bad and he replaced it free of charge under a GE authorized extented warranty for that part.
    Glad to hear it. Thanks for the follow up.

    Dan O.
    www.Appliance411.com
    The Appliance Information Site

    =D~~~~~~

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    Soxfan is offline New Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan O.
    The mother board failure was covered by one of GE's 'silent recalls' (sometimes called a 'field rework program') where there is a known problem/defect but GE doesn't make that knowledge public, I guess hoping no one will find out so they (GE) don't need to deal with it at their expense. They only inform their own technicians whom might encounter it in the field. (BTW. Actual "recalls" only occur for safety related problems, not for performance issues.)

    Even when people call GE customer service about it they frequently act(?) dumb as to the possible cause and consumers actually have to find out for them self about the repair program to bring it to GE's attention before GE will even acknowledge it.
    Thank god for this thread (and about a zillion others). Ive had this Howling problem for about 7 months and I couldnt take it anymore. I called the 1-800 number above from the lawsuit page and they told me it would either be free or 100.00 service charge and the board for free. I said "Cool, lets do it".
    Well, the GE repair guy came today, and completely acted like I was a child and really didnt know what I was talking about. I explained to him that this "Howling" noise was a wide problem with these models and he said, " nah, not to my knowledge and ive been doing this for over 20 years". Kept telling me it was the evaporator, blah blah. He couldnt get his phone to work, so I also mentioned the Class action suit, he said nope, that happened in 95-96 and had nothing to do with this. Unreal right? gets better,
    He gets ahold of his ppl and they tell him that yes, it is covered. He gets off the phone and tells me, "well Im glad you mentioned that, i would not have known", but in an arrogant way. The entire time he was telling me that it was my choice to haver it replaced, most people arent bothered by the "howling", and he kept repeating that.
    it got pretty tense in a quiet house. He replaced it, now....NO HOWLING. amazing.
    Thanks again guys, I hope someone else doesnt put up with this kind of Service.
    -Sox
    Last edited by Dan O.; 10-22-2008 at 12:18 PM. Reason: quote formatting

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