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Freezer not freezing

Discussion in 'Garage / Workshop' started by JML50, Aug 10, 2011.

  1. Aug 10, 2011 at 7:36 AM
    #1
    JML50

    JML50 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    I'm having some issues with my freezer and i have no clue how to fix it or what is wrong. It's a standard fridge with freezer on top and the freezer portion seems to not be freezing. It's colder than the fridge portion but not getting ice cold. I have moved the thermostat to make it colder but it seems to be staying the same temp. Everything in there freezes but not like it used to. The ice cream is soft and the ice cubes aren't completely frozen. I pulled it out from the wall and took off the back cover and vacuumed the lint and dust. The fan is blowing in the back but none of the coils were cold...is that a problem? Any suggestions on what might be the problem? It's a Frigidaire if it makes any difference. Thanks
     
  2. Aug 10, 2011 at 7:39 AM
    #2
    mjp2

    mjp2 Living vicariously though myself Moderator

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    Do you have ice/frost buildup in the inside back of the freezer where the air comes in to pass over the coils? You may have to remove the panel from the back wall of the freezer to see what's going on.

    Likely you have ice building up on the coils. It's a sign that your defrost system is shot.
     
  3. Aug 10, 2011 at 8:09 AM
    #3
    puckstopper55

    puckstopper55 Well-Known Member

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    This ^^^, but it can be caused by a bad auto defrost thermostat. This is EXACTLY what happened to my freezer. I took the back panel off and the fins were a solid block of ice.

    The auto-defrost feature is supposed to take care of this by shutting off the cooling compressor and actually turning on a heater coil that melts any frost off of the fins. When the defrost thermostat goes bad, it never turns on the heater coils, ice builds up, and you get your situation.

    To test if the defrost system is bad, take the back panel off. Under the fridge, there is usaully a round knob that will allow you to turn it in 1 direction only. Turn the fridge on (by setting the temp to coldest) and then turn that knob. When the fridge turns off, you are now in defrost mode. Listen to your freezer and see if you hear hissing, or popping noises. This is the defrost coils melting the ice. If you dont hear anything, put your hand near a heat coil and see if you feel any heat. This will tell you if your defrost system is bad.

    If it is, you need to see if its the heater coil, or the defrost thermostat. Look for something that is round, and about 1" thick (see my second pic). Look for "the bulge". This is a sign that its the thermostat. DO NOT TRY AND SQUEEZE IT BACK TOGETHER. I did and got shocked. If its the thermostat, the good thing is, if you have basic electronic skills, this is easily fixable. Just find a replacement thermostat, splice it in, and your all set. I have attached some pics.

    These pics are after I used a hot air gun to defrost the coils (be very careful, I started to melt the side of the freezer), and a close up of the auto-defrost thermostat. You will see that the top half started to bulge and separated from the bottom half.

    The bad news ... I let mine go for too long and it actually pushed the motor that blows air to the fridge out of balance. It made the loudest noise I have ever heard, and couldnt be fixed. To replace it would cost $300, so I said the hell with it, and bought a new fridge. PM me with any questions.

    freezer1.jpg
    freezer2.jpg
     
  4. Aug 11, 2011 at 8:23 AM
    #4
    JML50

    JML50 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Well i just had someone look at it's the evaporator. Apparently its supposed to have a light frost on the whole thing, but mine has hard frost on the pipe and about 1" up from the bottom. It either has a leak, which can be refilled and possibly leak back down, or there is a clog in the line, which can be cut and replaced but not worth the price and labor. So i think a new fridge is in the future.
     
  5. Aug 11, 2011 at 11:58 AM
    #5
    puckstopper55

    puckstopper55 Well-Known Member

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    did you make sure the auto-defrost was working?
     
  6. Aug 11, 2011 at 12:18 PM
    #6
    senor taco

    senor taco ROLLIN ON RUST

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    Oh yeah if you only have frost at the capillary tube coming into the evap most likely do have a leak in the system for top mount freezer probly not worth fixing.
     
  7. Aug 11, 2011 at 12:25 PM
    #7
    senor taco

    senor taco ROLLIN ON RUST

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    I highly doubt that your problem is an evaporator leak most likely its a defrost tstat or timer. try defrosting the entire evaporator and if your unit start scooling fine you know you have a defrost issue
     
  8. Aug 11, 2011 at 4:46 PM
    #8
    puckstopper55

    puckstopper55 Well-Known Member

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    Exactly what I said. Lol
     
  9. Aug 24, 2011 at 11:00 AM
    #9
    aficianado

    aficianado Well-Known Member

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    mine was as you described. my ice cream started getting soft.

    sometimes..poof it started to work. so i called a repair man. i have a simple fridge. he changed the tstat and was done. he said he guessed..with these simple fridges it is most likely the tstat, with the timer being a close second choice. it cost me $85. i watched him do it and slapped myself in the forehead. the parts are simply plugged in. it was STUPID EASY!!!
     
  10. Aug 24, 2011 at 11:48 AM
    #10
    mjp2

    mjp2 Living vicariously though myself Moderator

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    I replaced my fridge about a week and a half ago with a nice Samsung model. Nice upgrade with tons more storage space, quick-freeze setting which dropped the freezer temp to -2 F in an hour, etc. Anyway, I got the free delivery/removal from Sears.

    When the guy showed up and saw what he was taking away he said, "Another Frigidaire? We've been hauling away a lot of these. Freezer stopped freezing, right?"

    Apparently they now have a reputation for failure just after the 1 year warranty is up. Ah well. I ended up with a nice upgrade and a lesson on how refrigerators work.
     
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