There are several components common to a self-contained freezer or to one that’s attached to the refrigerator, which will affect performance. Educating yourself on what could go wrong internally will help you to troubleshoot why your freezer stops freezing.
It’s easy to assume the worst, but that’s not always the case when a freezer stops freezing. In fact, it is interesting how often there’s a simple explanation and solution. It is a frustrating problem, but often one that is easily addressed.
Dirty Condenser Coils
As surprising as it may seem, dirt is often the culprit that causes appliances to stop operating properly. Dusty, dirty condenser coils will negatively affect your freezer’s performance. Refrigerant is transformed to liquid by the condenser. Dirty condenser coils interrupt the transfer of heat that is required to sufficiently cool the refrigerator/freezer through this cooling process.
If your freezer isn’t freezing, check the condenser coils first. Unplug the refrigerator and locate the coils. This may require you to remove the grille on the refrigerator. Check the manufacturer’s instructions to locate the position of the condenser coils. Use a refrigerator coil brush to remove dust and dirt that has accumulated there and that is inhibiting the transfer of heat. A vacuum cleaner with a brush attachment may also prove helpful.
Faulty Evaporator Fan
The evaporator fan circulates air inside the freezer. If the fan is compromised and malfunctions, then the freezer will fail to perform properly. A faulty evaporator fan is more difficult to address than dirty condenser coils. A professional technician can safely remove the panel covering the fan and determine if it can be fixed or should be replaced.
Most modern refrigerators are manufactured with an automatic defrost function. The defrost cycle is characterized by a tube that transports (drains) water to the drain pan located beneath the refrigerator. A clog in the drain tube or a damaged tube, could result in the appearance of water beneath the refrigerator. Another sign is ice build-up on the floor of the freezer.
The drain’s accessibility depends on the refrigerator/freezer model. Review the parts and their locations in the manufacturer’s manual. Even if the drain is accessible, it may be wise to call in a professional to remove a clog in the line or to replace the drain tube.
The Sound of Silence is a Good Thing
The hum of a working freezer isn’t distracting, but one that is noisy and produces a clicking or knocking sound may be the first indication that the freezer isn’t freezing. This often means that the compressor’s start/relay has failed; part of the controller is the start/relay which powers the compressor. Without the operation of the compressor, the freezer will fail to properly function. Alternatively, the compressor may have overheated. Call in a professional to check for signs of overheating. It may be worth replacing the compressor if the freezer is under manufacturer’s warranty.
Replacing appliances or their components is costly, but what’s the alternative to a freezer that won’t freeze?
A home warranty plan offered by FPL Home* can help homeowners cover the cost to repair or replace major appliances and home systems that breakdown due to normal wear and tear. To learn more about covering your major appliances, call 844-965-1133.
** Appliances Warranty Plus and Home Warranty Plus are brand names of the service plans and are not warranties.