Troubleshooting Your Freezer When Something Goes Wrong
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Troubleshooting Your Freezer When Something Goes Wrong

Is your freezer broken? It's easy to take your freezer for granted. You fill it with ice, frozen treats, meat, and other food that you want to store for a long time. When your freezer stops working correctly, you need to take swift action to get it fixed. Freezer problems can be hard to diagnose because there are so many components in use. Follow this troubleshooting guide to narrow down the cause of your malfunction.

Freezer is Not Freezing

Won't Freeze

If your freezer is not freezing but the temperature inside is cold, first check your freezer door. Make sure there are no objects keeping the door open.

Old freezers may have a worn-out door seal. You can test it by sticking a dollar bill in the door and closing the door. If you can easily pull out the dollar bill, the seal is not very good, and it is probably letting cold air out of your freezer. Broken seals and gaskets can be replaced.

If it's not the door, then it might be the position of the items inside the freezer. If you have covered up the evaporator fan, which is usually located at the back of the freezer, it can't circulate the cold air to every part of the interior.

Next, check the evaporator fan itself. If it is not spinning, you may need to clean ice buildup off the blades, replace broken blades, or replace a broken fan motor.

If your freezer is not working at all, you should first check the power light indicator. If the power light is not on, then there is no power going to your freezer. You can check your outlet by plugging something else into the outlet to see if it works, or you can check if the breaker is tripped.

Ice has Built Up Inside the Freezer

Ice has Built Up Inside the Freezer

First, make sure the door closes properly.

Next, check the freezer's temperature settings. Too low of a temperature can result in light frost that looks like snow. Your freezer temperature should be somewhere around 0°F. Checking your freezer's thermostat periodically throughout the year is one aspect of good freezer maintenance.

If the ice is built up mainly in the back of the freezer where the evaporator coil is located, you could have a faulty heater, defrost sensor, or defrost timer.

Water is Leaking from the Freezer

Water is Leaking from the Freezer

If there is water on the floor near the back of the freezer, you could have a frozen defrost drain. You can try to clear the ice from the drain, but you may need to fully defrost the freezer.

Sometimes, the condensation pan overflows. If this is the case, you can try reducing the number of defrost cycles on your unit.

Water leaks can also come from ice buildup on the evaporator coils.

Related Questions

How can you test if your freezer is working properly?

Use the coin test. Fill a container with water and place it in the freezer. Once the water has frozen, place a coin on top of the ice. If your freezer is working properly, the coin should remain on top of the ice. If the freezer has times when it isn't freezing, the ice will thaw a little and the coin will drop. Then, the ice will probably freeze again, suspending the coin in the middle of the ice.

What happens if your freezer is too empty?

If you don't have many items in your freezer, the cold air will rush out whenever you open the door, and it will take longer to lower the interior temperature again. More items in the freezer helps retain the cold, but don't pack it too full, or you'll have problems with poor air circulation.