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Freezer Not Freezing

The part(s) or condition(s) listed below for the symptom Freezer not freezing are ordered from most likely to least likely to occur. Check or test each item, starting with the items at the top of the page.

Most Frequent Causes for Freezer not freezing

For the most accurate results, enter your model number.


Cause 1Condenser Coils are Dirty

If the condenser coils are located within the freezer walls, the coils do not require cleaning. However, if the condenser coils can be readily accessed from behind or under the unit, you should clean them every 6-12 months. If the condenser coils are dirty, they won’t be able to dissipate heat effectively, greatly reducing the cooling capacity of the freezer. If the condenser coils are dirty or have not been cleaned in a while, clean them.

Cause 2Evaporator Fan Motor

The evaporator fan motor draws air over the evaporator coils and circulates it throughout the freezer. If the evaporator fan motor is not working, the freezer will not cool. On most refrigerators, the fan motor will not run when the door is open. To check the evaporator fan motor, open the freezer door and then manually activate the freezer door switch. If the door switch is activated, but the evaporator fan motor won’t run, replace the evaporator fan motor.

Parts
Cause 3Start Relay

The start relay provides power to the compressor. If the start relay isn’t working properly, the compressor may run intermittently or may not run at all. If the compressor won’t run, the freezer will not cool. To determine if the start relay is defective, unplug the freezer and remove the start relay from the compressor. Use a multimeter to test the start relay for continuity between the start and run terminals. If the start relay does not have continuity, or if it smells burnt, replace it.

Parts
Cause 4The Evaporator Coils are Frosted Over

The most common cause for this condition is a problem with the defrost system. The defrost heater turns on several times throughout the day to melt away any frost that may have accumulated on the freezer evaporator coils. If the defrost heater won’t turn on, frost will continue to accumulate on the evaporator coils, and the coils will eventually frost over. To determine if the defrost heater is at fault, use a multimeter to test the defrost heater for continuity. If the defrost heater does not have continuity, replace it.

Cause 5Condenser Fan Motor

The condenser fan motor draws air though the condenser and over the condenser coils. If the condenser fan motor is not working properly, it won’t draw air through the condenser, causing the refrigerator not to cool. If the condenser fan motor is not running, check the fan blades for obstructions. Next, ensure that the blades spin freely. If the fan blades do not spin freely, the fan motor bearings are worn out, and the fan motor should be replaced. If no obstructions are present, and the fan blades spin freely, use a multimeter to test the fan motor for continuity. If the condenser fan motor does not have continuity, replace it.

Parts
Cause 6Temperature Control Thermostat

The temperature control thermostat directs voltage to the compressor, evaporator fan motor, and condenser fan motor. If the thermostat is not working, the refrigerant system will not get power and the freezer will not cool. To determine if the thermostat is defective, rotate the thermostat from the lowest setting to the highest setting and listen for a “click.” If you hear a click, the thermostat is not likely defective. If you do not hear a click, use a multimeter to test the thermostat for continuity. If the temperature control thermostat does not have continuity, replace it.

Parts
Cause 7User Control and Display Board

The user control and display board might be defective. However, this is rarely the case. Control boards are often misdiagnosed—before replacing the control and display board, make sure you check more commonly defective parts. If you determine that all of the other components are working properly, replace the user control and display board.

Parts
Cause 8Main Control Board

Control boards are often misdiagnosed—before replacing the control board, first check more commonly defective parts. If you have determined that all of the other components are working properly, replace the main control board.

Parts
Cause 9Compressor

The compressor is a motor which compresses the refrigerant and circulates the refrigerant through the evaporator and condenser coils. If the compressor is not working, the refrigerator won’t cool. However, this is rarely the case. Before replacing the compressor, first check all of the more commonly defective parts. If you have determined that all of the other components are working properly, check the compressor. Use a multimeter to test the continuity between the electrical pins on the side of the compressor. If there is an open circuit, the compressor is defective. If the compressor is defective, it must be replaced by a licensed technician.

Parts
Cause 10Sealed System Leak

If the freezer only freezes the top shelf, there may be a sealed system leak in one of the shelves. Sealed system repairs are usually cost-prohibitive. If the sealed system is leaking, you will probably need to replace the freezer.