Maybe your freezer isn’t freezing ice cubes properly, or ice and frost is accumulating inside, or the whole appliance is making a racket that you can hear from another room. Most of us have encountered freezer issues before. Here are some of the most common, along with some freezer troubleshooting tips to resolve them.
5 Common Problems of Freezer and How to Fix Them
1. Ice or Frost Buildup
Freezers have an auto-defrost feature to prevent the build up of frost inside the unit. If you notice significant amounts of frost or ice in the rear of the freezer, the problem could be a faulty defrost timer, thermostat, or defrost heater.
Resolve this by first manually turning the defrost timer clockwise. Wait an hour or two to confirm whether the frost is beginning to melt. If so, the defrost timer is the culprit. If not, you likely have a faulty defrost heater or thermostat. A technician can replace either of these.
If you notice a snow-like accumulation closer to the front of the unit, the problem is likely that the freezer isn’t quite cold enough. This could be because cool air is escaping through a gap in the door. Confirm that nothing inside the freezer is preventing the door from closing all the way. If there is no obstruction, check the rubber or silicone gasket around the outer edge. If a section of the gasket is coming away from the door, resecure it with adhesive. You may want to replace the entire gasket if it appears warped or brittle.
If the gasket and door seem to be fine, adjust the thermostat to increase the temperature of your freezer. Refer to your model’s manual and resist the urge to make your freezer too cold—then you’ll have a freezer over freezing your food, which isn’t ideal either.
2. Leaking Water
A freezer’s defrost mechanisms could also be responsible for small leaks as well. If you notice a puddle of water on the floor near the rear of the unit, the defrost drain could be choked with ice. With nowhere for the water to go, it trickles through small openings behind the freezer. Resolve this by clearing the ice from the drain or allowing the entire unit to fully defrost.
A leak could also be caused by a buildup of frost on the evaporative coils or by low temperatures and poor gaskets as described above. In other cases, the condensation pan in the back of the freezer may overflow if the pooling water following a defrost cycle cannot evaporate in time. Resolve this by avoiding excessive frost buildup and reducing the frequency of defrost cycles.
3. Insufficient Cooling
Most of the time, insufficient cooling is due to a thermostat that is set too high. Simply readjust to the recommended setting, which is usually around 0° F. If the temperature doesn’t change, you may need to replace your freezer’s thermostat or temperature sensor.
Also consider the placement of items inside the freezer. It shouldn’t be too full nor too empty, and items should be placed as near to the center of the unit as possible to avoid blocking any vents.
If the problem still persists, there may be a leak in the sealed system, requiring repair and the addition of freon. The evaporative coils may be covered in frost, or the internal circuitry could be malfunctioning. Contact your model’s manufacturer if it’s still under warranty.
4. Strange Noises
It’s normal for freezers to make a modest amount of noise. Icemakers, defrost cycles, and evaporative fans make all kinds of clicks, whirs, and trickles. If you’re confident that the noise your freezer is making is out of the ordinary and a sign of trouble, the problem is probably a faulty evaporative fan motor or other mechanical component.
5. Failure to Turn On
If your freezer fails to draw power entirely, check that the appliance is plugged in and that the circuit doesn’t need to be reset. If you’re sure the problem is with the appliance itself, there’s a flaw with the internal electronics that will require professional service.
Freezer and Refrigerator Warranty Coverage
While some upright freezer problems are easily resolved by a nonprofessional, others require the tools and know-how of an expert. Refrigerator and upright freezer repair can be pricey, but there are ways to protect your finances.
A home warranty on fridge freezers and other home appliances and systems can save you hundreds or even thousands of dollars in the long run. A warranty entails a monthly or yearly premium, but it spares you from fronting the cost of appliance repair or replacement when a problem arises.