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Common Freezer Problems

Ashwini Kulkarni Sule Jun 23, 2019
The freezer is one of the most extensively used household devices. It is prone to many technical problems. This piece lists some common problems and their solutions.
The freezer allows us to store large quantities of food for future use. Meat, vegetables, fruits, and canned food can all be stored in a freezer for a very long time. Due to an increased reliability on the device, we tend to dump large amounts of food in the freezer.
Sale season or hunting trips are particularly the times when we need more space to store additional food. The increased and consistent use makes the device vulnerable to many problems. Oftentimes, careless handling and wearing out of parts are some common reasons for issues with the device.

What you should do if your freezer:

Does not run and the light does not glow

First, check if the refrigerator is plugged in. Many homeowners forget to plug their freezer in when they move it to a new location. If it is plugged in, check for a blown fuse or a circuit trip. Also, test the power outlet voltage.
Inspect the electrical cord for any cracks or damage. If you are using an extension cord, remove it, and plug the freezer cord directly into the switchboard.

Does not run but the light glows

Check the thermostat's temperature setting. Also, check the condenser coils and clean them if they are clogged with dust. Unplug the freezer and wait for a couple of hours before plugging it again.
If you can hear it running or whining, perhaps the compressor is being overheated. Test various components such as the temperature control knob, evaporator fan, defrost timer, compressor relay, overload protector, and compressor motor.

Runs but the light does not glow

This is the most common of all issues, and a simple one to solve. Simply replace the bulb or check for the door switch.

Does not cool enough

Check the thermostat's temperature setting. Make sure your freezer is not too stuffed and that there is enough space for air flow. Check for the restriction of airflow in the vents. Clean the coils of the condenser if found clogged.
Also, look for a clogged drain tube and for any leaks in the refrigerant. Test various components such as the temperature control knob, evaporator fan, defrost timer, and door switch.

Cools too much

If the freezer is too cold, it is an indication that there is some problem with the temperature controls. Try adjusting the temperature controls and settings.

Runs continuously

It could be time to defrost the device. If that does not solve the problem, try cleaning condenser coils and door seals.

Starts and stops frequently

If the start and stop cycle of the device is too short, then there might be some problem with the voltage. So, check the outlet for voltage and also test other components like the condenser fan, compressor relay, overload protector, and compressor motor.

Does not defrost automatically

Check the defrost timer, defrost heater, and defrost thermostat. There could be a problem with any of these components.


Inspect for spoiled food, and clean the interiors of the freezer with a solution of baking soda and water or vinegar. Also, clean the door seals.
Minor issues with the freezer can be solved at home with the help of the user's manual. However, if none of the troubleshooting tips given in the manual work, then do not attempt to fix the problem yourself. In that case, always call a professional repair person.
Issues with the freezer can be minimized by proper handling. Do not overload it with food, and make sure you undertake routine maintenance to increase its life.