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GSS20IETAWW General Electric Refrigerator - Instructions

All installation instructions for GSS20IETAWW parts

These instructions have been submitted by other PartSelect customers and can help guide you through the refrigerator repair with useful information like difficulty of repair, length of repair, tools needed, and more.

All Instructions for the GSS20IETAWW
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Plastic Auger blades broke in ice tray

  • Customer: Tim from Newport News VA
  • Difficulty: A Bit Difficult
  • Time to Complete: 30 - 60 mins
  • Tools Required: Pliers, Screw drivers
  • 335 of 341 people found this instruction helpful
I used a digital camera and photographed the assembled unit and the metal blades before I started the repair. Then, I removed the top screw on the clear shield. Flip over ice tray and removed two Phillips screws on bottom. Exterior plastic white cover comes off next. The cover sides have hard push-in white plastic tabs. Push them in; pry up top cover with small flathead screwdriver. Slide white top cover up and you will now see the metal blades and assembly. Auger is held in place with a metal c-clip and washer on the end. Use flat head screwdriver to pry off c-clip. Then you will see a nylon round slotted nut. The threads are reverse, use pliers and loosen nut. It is not that tight but pliers are needed. Then it all is loose and ready for removal. I slid all the blades off at one time and kept them stacked together. Slide out auger and clear flat shield cover. Install new auger, clear shield, and metal blade stack. When you put it all back together take a look at the long metal J-hook on the bottom make sure it is in the slot before you make everything tight. Failing to do this will prevent cubed ice from dispensing.
It is not that hard to do the repair it just takes some patience and paying attention to details.

Defrost Heater blows out, refrigerator frosts up, then stops cooling

  • Customer: Stuart from Lynchburg VA
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Time to Complete: 15 - 30 mins
  • Tools Required: Screw drivers
  • 336 of 358 people found this instruction helpful
Disclaimer - if you aren't confident about doing this repair, call a repair specialist in. Also, take care not to damage the freezer coils as they have refrigerant in them that I'm told is harmful if it leaks. It may also be under pressure. The instructions that follow won't require you to touch the coils. There is no need to unplug the refrigerator or disconnect the water supply to do this repair. The screw driver you will need is a phillips (the one withe the + head).

1st, take out your frozen food (which, if you need to do this repair may not be frozen) and put it in a cooler or the refrigerator.
2nd, remove the ice cube bucket and dump the ice cubes in the cooler to help keep the frozen food cool. Turn the ice cube maker off.
3rd, remove the freezer shelves.
4th, locate the panel covering the freezer coils. It's a panel at the back of the freezer. It hides the freezer coils and protects them from damage. It's held in place by two screws located at the top left and right corners of the panel.
5th, unscrew the screws holding the panel to the refrigerator.
6th, detach the clip at the top of the panel.
7th, remove the panel. You should see the coils now. The coils will be covered in frost if the defroster heater has failed. If the coils are not covered in frost, there may be another reason for the refrigerator failing to cool.
8th, even if the coils are covered in frost, you should also inspect the defroster heater at the bottom, underneath the coils. The business end of it is a long tube running horizontally between two wires. If it's black like a badly burned out light bulb, then it's failed. If the bulb appears fine, you may have a different reason for your refrigerator and freezer frosting up. We'll assume that the defroster heater has blown out, and proceed.
9th, place a towel at the bottom of the panel space, to soak up any water that melts and runs down. There is a drain under the coils. It collects water that melts during the defrost cycle, but I'd rather mop up the water instead of relying on the drain.
10th, use hot air blowing from the hair dryer to defrost the coils. Just play the air from the hair dryer over the coils, starting at the top, and working down. The frost will quickly melt and the water will be soaked up by the towels. If you want things to go faster, you can throw hot water on the coils to melt them faster, but that produces more water to mop up, and makes a big mess. It's also dangerous to have water lying around if you then decide to use the hair dryer to continue defrosting the coils.
11th. MOST IMPORTANT. Don't use your screwdriver or any other sharp object to pick away at the frost on the coils. If you damage the coils the refrigerant could leak out. I'm told that it's dangerous stuff. Furthermore, I expect that you'd have to buy a new refrigerator if you damaged the coils.
12th, once you've defrosted the coils, locate the defroster heater and bracket assembly again. It's held in place by two screws, and has two insulated wires running into it on either side. Unscrew the screws, disconnect the wires and remove the assembly. Throw it away - there are no useful parts in it.
13th, install the new defroster heater and bracket assembly by connecting the wires to it, mounting it back into its place, and rescrewing the screws.
14th, put the panel back in place, replace the clip, and screw the panel back in place.
15th, turn the ice cube maker back on and replace the ice cube bucket and shelves. Put your food back into the freezer.
16th, use the freezer and refrigerator as normal. If the defroster heater fails again (I'm on my third one in less than six years), you'll notice frost building up on the panel at the back of the freezer before your freezer and refrigerator stops cooling. The frost build up is your signal to defrost the freezer and buy another defroster heater and bracket assembly. I don't know why this part is so weak, and don't know any fix except to keep replacing it.

The refrigerator made continous "whooing" sounds that increased and decreased in pitch. Sounded like a ghost. Would keep us up at night. Also noticed that the heater was not heating under the evaporator coils.

  • Customer: John from Holly Springs NC
  • Difficulty: Really easy
  • Time to Complete: Less than 15 mins
  • Tools Required: Nutdriver
  • 337 of 372 people found this instruction helpful
After checking the stories, the consensus of opinion was to change the mother board. I had a tremendous help from Tom Paone at quality@applianceeducator.com. He also told me to change the motherboard but to make sure that the coils were totally defrosted before starting up the refrigerator after changing the board.

Took off three nuts around the board at the back of the unit. Removed the input wires and you have to push in the plastic tabs holding the board in. Then just put the new board in place and push till the tabs click. Re-install the wires and put the cover back on.

Really simple task,

It is now a week since doing this and the unit is working perfectly. No soulds and good nights sleep. The ghost has moved on.

Ice box and freezer would not get cold,the back wall of the freezer was covered with ice

  • Customer: Greg from Aledo TX
  • Difficulty: Really easy
  • Time to Complete: 1- 2 hours
  • Tools Required: Nutdriver, Pliers, Screw drivers
  • 309 of 332 people found this instruction helpful
1. I had to defrost the ice off of the back wall of the freezer with a blowdryer.
2. Removed the four 1/4'' screws and removed the back panel.
3. Defrosted all of the ice off the coils and heater.
4. I replaced the defrost thermostat and heater by following the directions that came with them. The directions are very clear and easy to follow. I had a single element heater, and the replacement was a double element, the directions even explained how to rearrange the wires to make it work. The whole job only really consisted of cutting two wires that are color coded on the thermostat and resplicing the new ones in. I used scotch locks and electrical tape for the splices. The element had connectors on it so I just removed two screws, unplugged two wires and plugged them on the new one.
The greatest thing about this repair was that I troubleshot the problem using the PartSelect website, ordered the parts and they arrived at my house in less than 24 hours.
Thank You.

Fridge too warm, evaporator icing up

  • Customer: Gerald from San Clemente CA
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Time to Complete: 15 - 30 mins
  • Tools Required: Screw drivers
  • 234 of 271 people found this instruction helpful
After replacing the defrost heater, main board and thermistor I still had the same problem. Called a repair guy and he (with the help of GE on the phone) diagnosed that the temperature sensor was bad. So I ordered from partselect and installed it and it fixed the problem. Been good for a couple months (knocking on wood). To install I had to cut the 2 wires to the old sensor, crimp the 2 new wires on and snap the new sensor to the clip on the evaporator. Very easy. Make sure you seal the ends of the wire crimps so moisture doesn't get in and corrode the connection.

flap to ice dispenser would not close

  • Customer: Bill from Cleveland Heights OH
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Time to Complete: 15 - 30 mins
  • Tools Required: Screw drivers
  • 212 of 232 people found this instruction helpful
The flap to the ice dispenser would not close, which allowed the ice dispenser to frost up, freezing the water dispenser.

This was a simple fix. The solenoid had stopped working, so it would not automatically close the door flap. I read some posts on this site that suggest that you had to remove the trim around the entire dispenser to get at the solenoid. My fridge may be a newer model, but in any event it was much easier than that. Just below the touch pad for choosing water, ice, or crushed ice (above where the ice/water dispenses) there are three very small holes spaced about an inch a part. After unplugging the fridge, I stuck a small philips-head screw driver in each, freeing spring clips. That allowed the touch pad to come off. I then removed four screws to remove a plastic piece covering the chute, giving me access to the flap and solenoid. I just unplugged the solenoid from the circuit board on the back of the touch pad and then removed three screws to remove the old solenoid. I replaced it with the new solenoid and plugged it into the circuit board. The touch pad then snapped back into place.

The hardest part was figuring out how to get at the solenoid. After I found that pushing the clips in those three holes allowed me to remove the touch pad, it could not be any easier.

Our Ice Damper was warped, which let warm air into the freezer and caused frost to form. Also, our ice and water dispensers stopped working.

  • Customer: ALBERT from RALEIGH NC
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Time to Complete: Less than 15 mins
  • Tools Required: Nutdriver, Pliers, Screw drivers
  • 173 of 193 people found this instruction helpful
Swapping out the ice dispenser damper door was pretty easy- just used a combination of screwdrivers to remove the dispenser assembly, popped the old damper off, put the new damper on. Replacing the control board was only a bit more complicated- unplugged the fridge, removed the control board metal cover (beware the somewhat sharp edges), unhooked all the cables from the board, used needle-nose pliers to pinch each plastic spacer/fastener as to not damage them while removing the old board, mounted the new board where the old board was, and plugged in all the cables (they were all different enough from each other that I didn't have any trouble figuring out where they were supposed to connect). I now have my fridge plugged into a surge protector- hopefully that will protect this new board I've installed. Thanks a bunch,PartSelect.

Freezer wouldn't maintain temperature ... got warm.

  • Customer: Mike from Scottsdale AZ
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Time to Complete: 15 - 30 mins
  • Tools Required: Nutdriver, Screw drivers
  • 118 of 131 people found this instruction helpful
The freezer in my side-by-side kept warming up -- often 20 degrees or more, which of course caused the fresh food side to warm up also. I do a lot of jump-in-with-both-feet home repairs, but never on a large appliance. Not having an ohmmeter, which cost about $100 for a reliable one, I took the symptoms to the internet. Countless self-help sites and U-Tube videos later, I was positive it was one of two possible problems, either the defrost thermostat was broken and the defroster wasn't coming out of its cycle or the temperature sensor wasn't reading the correct temp and thus kicking in the fan motor when needed. Fortunately I found both parts easily on PartSelect.com and the total cost for both, including shipping, was $30, less than 1/3 of the cost of an ohmmeter. Not knowing for sure which part it was that was bad, I ordered both, figuring, since I had to pull out the panel anyway, I might just as well replace them both ... the price was right. (In retrospect I should have order 4 Temperature Sensors as my fridge has two in both the freezer side and the Fresh Food side. Any one of them being bad could have caused the same problem. Fortunately, I was lucky because it was either ONLY the Defrost Thermostat or I just happened to pick the right Sensor, but the repair worked.)

The repair was easy: Unplug the power. A Nut Driver removed the four screws holding on the panel in the back of the freezer. A screw driver removes the one screw holding the lamp cover in place. Remove the light bulbs, pull off the panel and right above the freezer coils you'll see both parts -- plain as day. (If your coils are clogged with ice, you will probably need de-ice first.) Cut the wires to both parts as close to the parts as you can to leave as much wire exposed as possible. Strip the ends of all four wires about 1/2 inch and also on the new parts. Match up the wires in the fridge to the wires on the parts and twist the ends together (Note: both wires on the Sensor are white so they match up either way, but the two wire on the thermostat will need to match up orange to orange and pink to pink.) I used silicone filled wire nuts, which you can buy at any hardware store or use your own wing nuts and fill them with silicone or shoe goo which works just as well ... anything to keep the moisture out and prevent the wires ends from corroding. Tuck the wires up and replace the panel, light bulbs and light cover That's it. Very easy. By far the hardest part was wedging my wide body into the narrow freezer compartment. Some one-handed work added a little extra time to the project.

In my case the freezer fan didn't kick in for about twenty minutes after I plugged it back in, but I assume that it either begins in the defrost mode or it takes that long for it to reset itself ... either way the repair worked great.

my refigerator was warm but the freezer was cold and working correcttly

  • Customer: michele from North Smithfield RI
  • Difficulty: Really easy
  • Time to Complete: 15 - 30 mins
  • Tools Required: Pliers
  • 107 of 125 people found this instruction helpful
I went to a GE repair center to explain my problem, the service center reccomended that I have a techinician come out o look at it. $75.00 for the visit and what ever labor and materials wuld cost.

I went on line to see if there were others having this same problem and found that there were many with the same problem.

After reading some of the ways that people found out what was wrong ...it became a matter of three components, the timer, heater or thermostat.

I tried the most common component and the less expensive one first , the thermostat switch I installed it very easily snipping two wires and attaching the news using wire nuts I used the diagram on this website to pinpoint the component and there has not been a problem since.

Refrigerator wouldn't cool, constant clicking noise

  • Customer: Alejandro from New York NY
  • Difficulty: Really easy
  • Time to Complete: Less than 15 mins
  • Tools Required: Screw drivers
  • 95 of 99 people found this instruction helpful
Unplug refrigerator. First I removed 3 screws to remove cover for Board ASM Main located on back of refrigerator then loosen Board by pressing on each of 4 plastic pins then unscrew ground wire (green) then transfer all plugs from old Board to new Board, put back new board through pins, screw back ground wire then put back cover then plug back refrigerator, took 5 minutes

Evaporator motor sounded like wind in the trees howling

  • Customer: DOUG from MARYSVILLE OH
  • Difficulty: A Bit Difficult
  • Time to Complete: 30 - 60 mins
  • Tools Required: Nutdriver, Screw drivers
  • 63 of 67 people found this instruction helpful
I had to remove all of the shelves.....part of the ice maker.....the rear cover over the freezer coils.....There were two wires that came from the back of the freezer that were also incorporated with the fan motor plug from the factory....This caused me to cut all of the wires from the new motor and soider them to the existing plug and shrink wrap the connections. If GE would have supplied two new ends I could have cut only those wires added the ends and inserted them into the new motor plug thus eliminating an extra hour and a soildering iron,,,,In my case not a big deal however not a project for those who have trouble with repairs using these type of tools.

Flapper Door Stuck Open Allowing Ice Tube To Frost Shut

  • Customer: Joe from Maryville TN
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Time to Complete: 30 - 60 mins
  • Tools Required: Screw drivers, Wrench set
  • 59 of 63 people found this instruction helpful
I read in a previous post how to do the job from outside fridge which saved me lots of time. No need to remove inner door lining. Here is my procedure:
1.Turned off power. 2.Snapped off outside trim ring. 3.Located three small holes inside lip just above ice tube. The center hole was not used. 4.Pushed rather firmly up through two remaining holes with small Allen wrench to release front control panel. 5.Removed (3) wire connectors from printed circuit board. Firmly pull/pry them straight out as lifting on retaining clip will break it off. I broke one & had to elect. tape it back in place later although I doubt it would have ever come off. 6.Release secondary panel by removing (4) screws. The problem was obvious as the solenoid had broken the crank arm off the flapper rod & trapped it open 7.Replaced solenoid, crank arm with flapper attached, spring & micro switch. Switch was okay but I changed anyway. 8.Cleaned all areas with 1/10 bleach water to sanitize. 9.Re-installed evrything in reverse order & all is okay. Thanks to someone for telling about those two small holes. Made job easy versus a very hard one.

Repeatedly stick in defrost, raising temps in fridge and freezer for hours at a time, some times for days. Repair tech was called out twice to look into this problem, but the temps returned to normal both times before he arrived, therefore, he never could diagnose the problem with a certainity as wh

  • Customer: Jerry from Otisco IN
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Time to Complete: Less than 15 mins
  • Tools Required: Screw drivers
  • 58 of 62 people found this instruction helpful
The main board is easy to get to behind the access plate. You will find seven different wire harness plugs, six which are white, that are impossible to remove without breaking the retaining clips which hold them in place....but that's OK.....you are throwing away the old board anyway, so nothing lost. The plugs will snap back into each of their respective terminal locations without a problem. Be sure to treat the four white, plastic pins that hold the board in place delicately....you will not want to mess those little dudes up!

The back of my freezer section was covered with ice.

  • Customer: Brian from Cary NC
  • Difficulty: Really easy
  • Time to Complete: 15 - 30 mins
  • Tools Required: Nutdriver, Screw drivers
  • 54 of 57 people found this instruction helpful
1. Important: First you will need to prepare for water from melted ice. Plug the drain hole in the bottom rear of the freezer. Have plenty of rags near by. A pan or small bucket is helpful.

2. Unplug refrigerator

3. Remove (4) screws (2) w/screwdriver and (2) w/nut driver. You can remove the light cover to get it out of the way but you don't have to.

4. Remove the evaporator cover (The rear wall)

5. Melt and remove any ice build up. Remember those rags?

6. Remove (2) screws from the heater bracket

7. Remove the failed heater. My old heater was a single element. The new heater was a dual element. This made no difference.

8. Disconnect (2) wires.

9. Re-route and reconnect (2) wires. The wires were re-routed because the new heater has both wires on the same side. Not a problem.

10. Install new heater on the bracket (2) screws

11. Replace cover (4) screws

12. Power up the refrigerator

My refrigerator began to overheat and the everything was thawing!!

  • Customer: Jeffrey from Tampa FL
  • Difficulty: Really easy
  • Time to Complete: 15 - 30 mins
  • Tools Required: Nutdriver, Screw drivers
  • 58 of 69 people found this instruction helpful
My refrigerator began to overheat and the everything was thawing!! The condenser fan motor had seized and I thought this is something even I can replace.

I did a Google search on the refrigerator model number. The link to your site looked promising and I clicked on it. I was taken to your web page for my refrigerator and I clicked on the schematic for the condenser assembly.

The schematic had the parts I needed labeled clearly so this layman could be sure to get the right ones.

I ordered the parts at 12:45PM Monday and selected overnight shipping. The parts arrived at 8:35AM Tuesday (Thank you FedEx). I installed the parts and my refrigerator is up and running again.

To get to the condenser fan motor I took off the back panel on the fridge that covers the condenser, fan and coil. The fan/motor assembly is attached to a bracket I removed with two screws. Pulled the bracket assembly out of the back of the fridge, removed the fan blade and then the motor, and put the new motor on the bracket and stuck the new fan blade on the motor spindle. The trickiest part was getting the complete assembly back in. Just went slowly and took my time. Reconnected the wires, no problems. I took pictures of everything that I disassembled BEFORE I disassembled it in case I wasn't sure how something went back in but this job was so simple I didn't need the pictures.

I’m not sure how I could improve on this except maybe you could ship a refrigerator technician, too, to do the install.

Thank you PartSelect everything worked out better than I could have hoped and I saved $220.00 compared to what a repair service was quoting.
All Instructions for the GSS20IETAWW
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