How It Works: Freezer


Freezer not cold enough or not working at all? This video provides information on how a freezer works and offers troubleshooting tips to assist you in diagnosing and repair.

Here is a list of the most commonly replaced parts associated with each freezer symptom:

Freezer not cooling: evaporator fan motor, start relay, condenser fan motor
Freezer not working, making a clicking sound: start relay, compressor
Freezer runs all the time: temperature control thermostat, fan motor, defrost timer
Freezer defrost drain problems: drain strap
Freezer coils frosting up: defrost timer, defrost heater assembly, thermostat, gasket
Freezer only freezes top shelf: door gasket

All of the information provided in this freezer troubleshooting video is applicable to the following brands: Amana, Bosch, Frigidaire, GE, Kenmore, LG, Maytag, Samsung, Whirlpool
1Maintenance tips for your freezer
Maintenance tips for your freezer
Standalone, chest or upright freezers operate like a refrigerator’s freezer and enable families to purchase food in bulk at a savings. Proper maintenance will reduce energy consumption and keep the unit operating efficiently.
2Review your freezer owner’s manual for care instructions.
Review your freezer owner’s manual for care instructions.
3Avoid placing a freezer in a garage or space where the temperatures are likely to drop below the freezing mark.
Avoid placing a freezer in a garage or space where the temperatures are likely to drop below the freezing mark.
4Periodically check the freezer’s thermostat.
Periodically check the freezer’s thermostat.
To perform optimally, a freezer thermostat should be set at zero degrees Fahrenheit (-18 degrees Celsius). If your model does not have a thermostat, use a thermometer to check the temperature. Adjust the freezer control as needed.
5Keep the interior clean.
Keep the interior clean.
Use a damp rag and a small amount of dish detergent to clean the interior. For spills and stickiness in the interior and on the gasket (door seal), try a spray cleaner like Goo Gone. You can get rid of freezer odor by using a deodorizer. We like this one – Fridge Aid, a recyclable and biodegradable, high-absorbency paper honeycomb filter. According to the manufacturer, it’s laboratory-tested to be 50 times more powerful than baking soda in absorbing powerful food odors.
6Check the door gasket (seal) for wear.
Check the door gasket (seal) for wear.
The gasket keeps cool air inside of the freezer and warm air outside of it. A worn and torn gasket requires the freezer to use more energy to do its job. Fortunately, replacing a gasket is inexpensive and easy.
7Additional maintenance and care tips for chest freezers:
1. Defrost. Chest freezers do not defrost automatically. Manually defrost your chest freezer every six to 12 months or whenever half an inch (or about one centimeter) of frost has accumulated on the freezer walls. How to defrost a chest freezer: • Relocate all food from the freezer. • Unplug the unit (or turn off the thermostat). • After all of the frost has melted, uncover the drain plug (present in most models) and drain the water. • When the freezer is dry, power the unit back on. • Return the food when the freezer has reached its set operating temperature – zero degrees Fahrenheit (approximately -18 degrees Celsius).
8Additional maintenance and care tips for upright freezers:
Automatic defrost models: 1. Clean the defrost pan: Most upright freezers have a self-defrosting feature. Every eight to 12 hours, the freezer melts frost that accumulates on the coils. The water drains into a shallow pan located at the bottom of the freezer. There’s no need to empty the pan, as the water will evaporate naturally. However, you’ll need to check and clean the pan periodically. Use warm water and dish detergent to clean the pan. This will prevent odors and curb mold growth. Most models enable you to easily detach the lower grill and slide out the pan. Refer to your owner’s manual for cleaning instructions specifically for your model. 2. Clean off the condenser coils and cooling fan once per year. These important components attract dust and dirt. Layers of dust and lint buildup require the unit to work harder. To clean the coils: • Unplug the freezer, use a long-handle bristle brush – coupled with your vacuum cleaner – to remove lint, dirt, pet fur and other debris from the condenser coils and then restore power to the freezer. Note that for models with condenser coils located inside of the freezer walls: Since the coils release the heat through the walls, it’s wise to position the freezer with plenty of space around it so the heat can dissipate efficiently. Manual defrost models: 1. When frost has accumulated on the inside walls to a thickness of half an inch (or about one centimeter) or so, remove the food from the freezer, turn off the thermostat or unplug the unit and allow all of the frost to melt naturally. Do not scrape off the ice, as you can puncture a refrigerant line. Once the frost has melted completely, turn the freezer back on, wait for it to reach its operating temperature and restock it with food.

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