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Freezer Troubleshooting & Repair
What Is Wrong With Your Freezer?
It doesn't work at all
Does the light inside the freezer work? Or, can you hear a fan, motor, or other sound coming from the appliance? If so, the freezer is still working. Go to the specific problem you are having with the appliance. If not, try adjusting the thermostat to a colder setting. If your freezer still doesn't work, read on.
The problem with your refrigerator can be difficult to pinpoint without a clear indication of a specific defective component. At this point, we recommend that you see help from a qualified appliance repair technician.
It's not cooling
If the freezer seems to be doing nothing, see the "It doesn't work at all" section,above. Otherwise, check these:
You can't service these yourself. You need to contact a qualified appliance repair technician.
If the compressor isn't running but you do have power to the freezer, there may be a problem in one or more of these areas:
For information about these components, read about freezers in the How Things Work section of our website.
It cools poorly or it's all iced up
If your freezer cools but doesn't get cold enough, it may have a problem in one of several areas. To better understand the proper operation of a freezer,read about freezers in the How Things Work section of our website.
In a self-defrosting freezer, poor cooling often results from a heavy frost build-up on the evaporator coils. You can't see these coils without removing a panel inside your freezer. But if you see any frost or ice build-up on the inside walls, ceiling,or floor of your freezer, it's a sure sign of frost build-up.And that's a sign of a problem with the self-defrosting system.
Freezers should self-defrost three to four times in 24 hours.But if a component in the self-defrosting system fails, the freezercontinues to try to cool, instead. Eventually, so much frost buildsup on the evaporator coils that the circulating fan can't drawair over the coils. There's still some cooling because the coilsare frozen. But with no air flow over the coils, the cooling isquite limited and the freezer isn't as cold as it needs to be.
An easy (though often inconvenient) test of whether the problemis with the self-defrosting system is to remove all of the perishablefood from the freezer, turn the thermostat to Off, and leave thedoor open for 24 to 48 hours. (Keep several towels handy in casethe melting frost and ice overflows the drip pan). This "manually"defrosts the freezer. When the frost and ice build-up has completelymelted away, turn the thermostat back to a normal setting. Ifthe freezer then cools properly, it indicates a problem with oneof these components in the self-defrosting system:
Noise can come from these areas:The inside of the freezer
The outside back of the freezer
The bottom of the freezer
Your self-defrosting freezer uses a circulating fan to move the air throughout the freezer. It runs whenever the freezer is cooling and the door is closed. The fan is located in the freezer section, as follows:
Over time, the fan may become noisy—chirping, squealing, or even groaning. To determine whether the fan is causing the noise, open the freezer door and hold in the door switch. If the noise is louder when the door is open, the evaporator fan motor is the noisemaker. These motors can't be serviced. You need to replace it.
This area has one component — or two, if it's a self-defrosting freezer:
Noises here are almostalways actually coming from the back of the freezer, see the "Theoutside back of the freezer" section, above.
It doesn't cycle off
The thermostat cycles the freezer on and off. The cooling system runs as long as thetemperature inside the freezer is higher than the set temperature.If the temperature inside the freezer is cold enough, but thethermostat doesn't cycle off, the thermostat may be defective.If so, you need to replace it.
Work on these areas of an appliance may require help from an appliance repair person or other qualified technician.
Warning! To avoid personal injury or even death, always disconnect your appliance from its power source — that is, unplug it or break the connection at the circuit breaker or fuse box — before you do any troubleshooting or repair work on your appliance. Also, because some components may have sharp edges, use caution while working on your appliance.