7 Common Freezer Problems (& How to Fix Them)
The Freezer, Key to Modern Life as We Know It
Your freezer holds the staples and goodies you’ve come to depend on, from quick meals to tasty treats to ice cubes for refreshing drinks. So when something goes wrong with your freezer, it can significantly impact your household’s ability to function. Not to mention your mood. Most people will experience at some point one or more of the common freezer problems we describe in this article. Be prepared, as they say in the Scouts. With luck, you’ll never have to deal with any of these seven freezer nuisances. But in case you do, here’s what you need to know.
1) The freezer is leaking water onto the floor.
Water where it doesn’t belong is never a good sign. If a puddle forms in front of your freezer, check the following:
- Ice buildup may line the back or bottom wall of the freezer. If so, melting ice may be responsible for the leak. Scrape off the ice and see if that solves the problem.
- Is your freezer door sealed when shut? A gap in the seal will allow moisture inside the freezer to escape, causing water to pool on the floor. Check the freezer door seal and replace it if necessary.
- When you overstuff the freezer, the door may not close tight, allowing warm air to enter and melting ice inside. Try removing a few things from the freezer to see if that helps. Start with the Costco-sized bag of chocolate-covered “whatevers” you bought two summers ago.
- The last item on the checklist is the freezer’s defrost drain, which clears water from the freezer during the defrost cycle. If the drain is blocked, the water has nowhere to go except down the fridge’s interior and onto the floor. If you can’t clear the drain blockage on your own, it’s time to call us at West Coast Chief.
2) The freezer is making strange noises.
Hissing noises indicate a coolant leak, which can damage the freezer. Other strange noises could point to a problem with the compressor, which circulates coolant throughout the freezer. In any case, you should call a technician as soon as possible to perform a repair.
3) The freezer is frosting up on the inside.
Older freezers don’t have automatic defrost modes. They require periodic manual defrosting. Some of us remember manual defrosting as part of the ordinary kitchen routine. However, few of those freezer dinosaurs survive in America today. They were struck by the meteor known as the 21st century. So let’s assume that your freezer comes with a manual defrost cycle, like 99.9% of freezers in metropolitan Los Angeles. If your freezer is frosting up inside, the seal on the freezer door may be damaged, or the door isn’t sealing correctly (again, too much stuff packed within?). Yet another possibility is a malfunctioning self-defrost mechanism. It may be able to remove some but not all of the frost, in which case frost will steadily accumulate. You can manually defrost your freezer, turn it on again, and check if the defrost feature starts to function as designed after a reset. Is this likely to work? No, but it has worked in some instances. In the more likely scenario that frost returns with the vigor of a Siberian winter, call us to repair the freezer.
4) The freezer is too cold.
- The evaporator coils may have frozen over, preventing cold air from circulating and causing food to spoil. Try thawing the coils with a hairdryer set to “no heat.”
- While you’re at it, check the thermostat setting.
- If the thermostat setting is correct, the coils are clear, the freezer door keeps a tight seal, and the problem persists, call us for service.
5) The freezer is too warm.
- Make sure that nothing is blocking the vents. A package of ground beef wedged in front of the vents will prevent cold air from circulating, making the freezer work overtime and jacking up your energy bill.
- Check the door seal for damage. A damaged or loose seal will allow warm air to enter the freezer.
- The problem may lie with the thermostat. Try resetting it. If the freezer still fails to cool, call us.
6. The freezer stops working altogether.
Panic time. You may have to purchase a new major appliance, and the budget’s tight. If your fridge or freezer’s approaching the 10-year mark, it may be time for a replacement. There’s no getting around the fact that appliances wear out with age, just like cars. On many of our service calls, we discover that the appliance is perfectly fine; the outlet it draws power from is not. Here, you’ll need an electrician and not an appliance technician. And while you’re waiting for the electrician to arrive, you can plug the fridge into another kitchen outlet. Do NOT use a light extension cord or plug to do this! But freezer failure is real, and apart from appliance age, there could be several reasons for it.
- The thermostat is broken.
- The freezer isn’t level.
- A gasket is loose or needs replacing.
- The freezer is too full, preventing air from circulating.
- Compressor failure.
Any of these problems can cause freezer failure. Some are easier to fix than others. But don’t despair; our appliance technicians can handle any repair, big or small.
7. The compressor is always running.
Your freezer should be off more than it’s on. Most of the time, it should be silent, and if it isn’t, Houston, you have a problem. Whenever the temperature in the freezer rises above the set temperature, the compressor kicks on to cool it. The compressor should shut down after a cooling cycle, and if it doesn’t:
- Check for a blockage of the freezer vents.
- Look for ice buildup on the coils.
- Make sure nothing is blocking the freezer door.
- Inspect the door seal for damage.
- Test the thermostat settings.
Call us if you’ve checked all of these things and the compressor is still running. Other potential problems include:
- A broken thermostat
- Low coolant levels
- A bad relay switch
- Compressor failure
Bear in mind that if your freezer is brand new, the compressor will run continuously for about 24 hours until it reaches the set temperature.
For Fast & Reliable Freezer Repair, Call West Coast Chief
No matter the problem with your freezer, we’ll diagnose it fast and fix it on the spot if we stock the parts for your brand. And we stock the parts for popular major brands in our local warehouse; we’ll come prepared. All technicians at West Coast Chief are highly trained and experienced. They’re appliance repair professionals, not some random handyman. When you call us for freezer repair, we’ll:
- Troubleshoot the problem
- Make the repair
- Test the freezer to make sure it’s working as designed before we leave
- Give you maintenance tips to keep your freezer running
Call us before noon for same-day repair.
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