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Evaporator fan only working after giving it a spin

Hello there.

I'm having an issue which is pretty much described in the title. I'm having an issue with my evaporator fan.

After much investigation about why the freezer was working fine but the fridge was pretty warm, I found out that the evaporator fan only start spinning after I manually give it a little spin myself. And since I cannot be bothered to kick-start it every few hours myself, I was hoping if you could help me with this.

Maybe the fan motor needs a bit of oil? Do I need to change a part? Any advices is appreciated.

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Hi @plucknet ,

What is the model number of the refrigerator?

Have you checked the voltage supply to the fan and is it the correct voltage?

Usually the fan motor has the voltage specifications printed on it so that is what it needs to operate.

Be safety aware if you go to measure it. You haven’t stated the model number and some fans are operated at mains supply voltage

Giving it a spin to start makes it appear that there isn't enough power to initially overcome the inertia to start but once it is moving there is enough to maintain momentum.

If the power is OK it may be a faulty fan

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Hi @lmorsi

You have to remove the evaporator cover panel, inside at the back of the freezer compartment to get to the evaporator fan. Access is through the front of the freezer compartment

Here’s a link that may help.

Click on the Freezer liner parts diagram. Part #11 is the panel and part #26 is the evaporator fan motor.

If the fan is not operating at all: (remember both doors need to be closed for fan to operate unless you manually operate the door switch of the open door),

Disconnect the fan from the wiring harness and use an Ohmmeter to test the fan motor winding for continuity. Don’t know what the resistance should read but usually they are in the vicinity of 25-100 Ohms and certainly not open circuit. Remember to disconnect the power from the refrigerator when using an Ohmmeter.

If the fan motor winding test OK then reconnect power to the refrigerator and test for voltage at the fan motor harness plug. If there is no voltage on the fan motor, unfortunately there is no wiring diagram but check the control board for the same coloured wires. Although if it is only a two wire fan connection then the black wire will be the neutral wire (L2 in USA parlance) AC connection and will be multipled to other AC powered components e.g. lights etc, so look for the other colour only at the control board. Use the Ohmmeter to verify that there is continuity of the wire from the control board to the fan motor plug as it may go through other connectors and not be a direct link. If the wire tests OK then check if power is on the wire at the control board.

Hopefully a start and apologies if you already know how to use a DMM (digital multimeter) to perform tests safely etc.

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Thanks so much. When I took the cover off to replace the fan motor, I found a big ball of ice to the right of the fan. Any thoughts on this?

https://photos.app.goo.gl/XmiKS8mYngM3XT...

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@lmorsi

A big ball of ice is a defrost problem.

Either a faulty defrost heater, blocked drain from below the evaporator unit to the evaporator pan under the compartments, faulty power supply (wiring) to the defrost heater from the control board, a faulty defrost thermostat or worst case a faulty control board.

Disconnect the power to the refrigerator and disconnect the defrost heater from the wiring harness and use a DMM to measure its resistance to make sure that it is not open circuit.

The parts are shown in the link I provided before.

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Replacing the evaporator fan motor fixed this for me -- apparently nothing wrong with the defrost system in my case. It may be that the particular location and form of my ice was not typical. It had only formed around the spot where warm air and condensation came down from the refrigerator above. The evaporator itself was free of ice and frost. Just thought I'd update in case it helps anyone else's troubleshooting.

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I have the same issue with a GE profile with bottom freezer. As soon as I manually start the evaporator fan (by spinning the blades) the temps for freezer and fridge adjust correctly. In a few hours the temps rise and I repeat the spinning of the fan. Does this mean I need a new evaporator fan?

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Replacing the motor worked for me. After letting that ball of ice melt, I put it back together to see if it would work correctly (just in the interest of being sure what actually fixed it), but the symptoms returned. I took it apart again 2 days ago, replaced the motor, and now it's all good. My motor was $45, but we'll worth it. Thanks to everyone for all the help.

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I wouldn’t bother checking power - that it runs once spin started - power is fine. Little fans like this almost always have sleeve bearings and they eventually dry up. You can relube the sleeves, but it’s a short term answer. The fans usually aren’t expensive ~$12-$20, so I’d get a new one to solve the issue for many years.

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Yes get a new fan . the ice build up is from freezing up from no fan running

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I'm having the same problem with my Whirlpool GB2FHDXWS06. Any idea what the easiest way to access for testing would be? It's in the back of the bottom freezer. Here's the label on it, which I captured with my phone:

Block Image

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