Most Common Freezer Problems

Here are the top five most common freezer problems and freezer repairs that All Austin Repairs experts see over and over again and the likely culprits behind them.

Freezer problems: My freezer won’t run

Replace the electronic controles — but first check if the power light indicator and freezer light are working. If not, power might not be flowing to the product. Make sure to set appliance controls properly:

— Newer appliances have a showroom or demo mode used on the sales floor to highlight features without running the cooling system. Most of the time, the instructions on how to place the appliance into and out of demo mode will be listed in the owner’s manual in the “Setting the Appliance’s Controls” section.

— The other setting to check is that the freezer was set to off or power off. Make sure the appliance controls are set to 0°F (-18°C) for the freezer and 37°F (3°C) for the refrigerator. Mechanical controls should be set to the midpoint settings. Refer to the owner’s manual for specific instructions on adjusting the appliance’s set temperature.

Make sure the appliance has power going to it. This can be done by verifying interior lighting or checking if the user interface display is on or if the appliance can dispense water or ice. If there’s no power going to the appliance, check to see if the outlet is good by plugging in something else, like a hairdryer or lamp. If that device also doesn’t work, then the outlet doesn’t have power going to it. Look for a tripped circuit breaker or tripped GFI outlet. A licensed electrician should be contacted for more serious electrical problems.

If there’s power going to the outlet, there may be an issue with the main control or user interface boards, or the temperature-monitoring devices such as the sensors, or the thermostat might be bad. Further troubleshooting will be needed to pinpoint and resolve the issue.

Freezer problems: Freezer is making strange noises

Replace the evaporator fan motor. Keep in mind, though, that not all freezers will make exactly the same sound when this happens. Reasons why freezer is making noizes:

— Clicking sounds from the ice maker as it harvests a batch of ice

— Sizzling sounds as the appliance goes through a defrost cycle

— Gurgling sounds as water drains off the evaporative coil during the defrost cycle

— Swishing or whirring sounds as a multiple-speed fan ramps up to high speed

The key question to ask yourself is if there are any other issues going on with the appliance. Is the ice maker working? Does the freezer maintain your desired temperature? Does it dispense water and ice? If everything is working, then the noise is probably just the appliance going through its normal operation. Diagnosing a noise complaint can be very difficult. What sounds like humming on one day might sound like buzzing on another. Loudness is often relative; so what is considered loud at nighttime might be quiet during the day. Also, different conditions will cause the appliance to sound differently. Always refer to the owner’s manual for specific details regarding normal operating sounds. If the appliance has another issue besides the strange noise, then resolving that issue will more than likely also resolve the noise complaint.

There’s frost buildup in the freezer

Replace the defrost heater. Depending on where the frost is forming, it could be due to many correctable conditions.

— Frost forming around the freezer door’s gaskets indicates the door was not fully closed. Look for any packaging or items that might prevent the gaskets from sealing properly: food packages sticking out too far, a drawer that’s not fully sealing, an ice container not locked down or items left on top of the appliance.

— The freezer temperature may be set too low if the frost is light, snowy and seems to be everywhere. If the set temperatures of the appliance are too low, there isn’t a chance to remove the moisture from the air as the appliance cools. The moisture will turn to “snow” before the appliance starts the next cooling cycle. Make sure the freezer temperature is around 0°F (-18°C) and the refrigerator is around 37°F (3°C).

— The freezer door might have been left open if the frost is everywhere and is hard and icy. At first, the frost will form closer to the door area but will eventually cover the entire interior. In most cases, correcting the issue that caused the frost buildup and allowing the freezer to go through a couple of defrost cycles will clear up the excessive frost, and the appliance will be back to normal.

— Frost building up solely on the back of the freezer section, where the evaporator coil is located, indicates an issue with the defrost cycle. Depending on the appliance, this could be either a defective heater, bimetal, defrost sensor, defrost timer or control board.

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