Chest Freezer Not Freezing: A Quick Troubleshooting Guide

September 6, 2023
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Troubleshooting Your Chest Freezer

Is your chest freezer not freezing? Don't fret! Here's a simple guide to help you troubleshoot your appliance:

Check the Power Supply

First, ensure your freezer is plugged into a working outlet. If it's plugged in and not running, check the circuit breaker or fuse box for any tripped breakers. Reset the breaker or GFCI outlet by pushing its reset button, if needed. To confirm the outlet has electricity, plug in a different item, like a lamp, to verify a proper connection.

Inspect the Door Seals and the Lid Gasket

Next, check the door seals and lid gaskets for any signs of wear or damage. Close the freezer door and visually inspect the gasket for proper alignment. If it's misaligned, clean it and remove anything obstructing a good seal. Perform the dollar bill test by placing a bill between the door seal and the freezer. If it slides out easily, the gasket may need to be replaced.

Learn how to test your door seal with a dollar bill.

Test Freezer Temperature Settings

Lastly, check your freezer's temperature settings. It's possible that the thermostat is set too high, reducing its ability to generate cold air. Adjust the freezer temperature control thermostat to a colder setting and wait several hours to see if it starts freezing. If it still doesn't work, you might need to replace the thermostat.

Identifying Common Problems

Compressor Issues

Your compressor plays a key role in keeping your chest freezer cold. If it's faulty, your freezer won't freeze properly. You can check the compressor by listening for a humming noise, which indicates it's running. If it's silent, test the compressor start relay using a multimeter. If the relay is bad, replace it to get your chest freezer working again.

Fan Motor Malfunction

A faulty condenser fan can also cause issues with your chest freezer. Confirm that the fan is running when the compressor is on. If it isn't, your freezer temperatures may rise. To fix this, replace the defective fan motor or consult a technician for help.

Faulty Thermostat

A defective thermostat can lead to your chest freezer not freezing. To test the thermostat, turn it to its coldest setting and see if the compressor kicks in. If this doesn't work, use a multimeter to test its function. Replace the thermostat if it's not functioning properly.

Defrost Heater Problems

Defrost issues can prevent air from circulating, causing your freezer to not freeze. If you suspect a frost buildup, defrost your chest freezer and check if it reaches the required temperature afterward. Inspect the defrost heater for signs of damage or malfunction, and replace it if needed to avoid future frost buildup.

Defrost and inspect your freezer's defrost heater for a frost-free future.

Maintaining and Cleaning Your Chest Freezer

To keep your chest freezer running well, regular maintenance and cleaning are vital. Here's how you can maintain and clean your chest freezer, focusing on the condenser coils, evaporator fan, and frost buildup:

Cleaning the Condenser Coils

Your freezer's condenser coils can gather dust and debris, reducing efficiency. Keep them clean by following these steps:

  • Unplug your freezer and move it away from the wall.
  • Locate the condenser coils, usually found on the back or bottom of the appliance.
  • Use a brush or vacuum to gently remove dust and dirt.
  • Check for any damage or signs of wear on the coils.
  • Plug your freezer back in and slide it back into place.

Checking the Evaporator Fan

The evaporator fan helps maintain proper airflow, ensuring your freezer stays cold. Here's how you can check its condition:

  • Open the freezer door compartment and locate the evaporator fan motor. It might be behind a panel.
  • Inspect the fan for signs of wear, excess noise, or inability to spin.
  • If the fan isn't functioning well, consider replacing the motor.

Dealing with Frost Buildup

Frost buildup in your freezer can limit cooling efficiency. Here's how to address the issue:

  • Remove all food and unplug your freezer.
  • According to Remove and Replace, leave the freezer door open for a couple of days to defrost the frost buildup.
  • Consider using a fan or dehumidifier to speed up the process.
  • Wipe down the interior using a solution of warm water and vinegar, baking soda, or mild detergent.
  • Once defrosted, plug your freezer back in and reload your food items.

With proper maintenance and cleaning, you can prolong your chest freezer's lifespan and ensure it remains cold and efficient. Don't forget to address the condenser coils, evaporator fan, and frost buildup at least twice a year.

Solutions and Repairs

We have identified three common solutions for fixing a chest freezer that is not freezing:

Adjusting the Freezer Temperature

First, check the Freezer temperature control setting. Make sure it's set to the recommended level for proper freezing. If necessary, adjust the thermostat to a colder setting.

Don't let incorrect temperature settings spoil your fridge's efficiency.

Replacing the Door Seal

A damaged or worn freezer door seal can cause your chest freezer to lose its cooling capacity. Perform the dollar bill test to verify the freezer door gasket's effectiveness. Place a dollar bill between the freezer door gasket and the lid gasket, then close the lid. If the bill slips out easily or falls, it's time to replace the freezer door seal.

  1. Unplug the chest freezer.
  2. Remove the damaged freezer door seal.
  3. Clean the area where the old gasket was attached.
  4. Install the new freezer door seal, following the manufacturer's instructions.
  5. Plug the chest freezer back in and monitor the performance.

Replacing the Compressor Start Relay

A faulty compressor start relay can cause your chest freezer to stop freezing. To replace the start relay, follow these steps:

  1. Unplug the chest freezer.
  2. Locate the start relay, usually found near the compressor.
  3. Disconnect the wires and remove the old start relay.
  4. Install the new compressor start relay, following the manufacturer's instructions.
  5. Reconnect the wires and plug the chest freezer back in.
  6. Allow some time for the chest freezer to reach the proper temperature and observe its performance.

By taking these steps, you can resolve the most common issues related to your chest freezer not freezing.

When to Call an Appliance Repair Pro

It's crucial to know when you need the help of an expert appliance repair technician for your chest freezer. Even though you can often solve simple issues on your own, some cases require the skills of a trained appliance repair technician.

If you've checked for common issues like the door seal, power supply, and thermostat but your chest freezer still isn't freezing, then it's time to call a pro. Persistent rattling noises or any other strange sounds are also signs that you need expert help.

An appliance repair technician can properly diagnose any worn-out parts that may be causing the problem. They have the tools, knowledge, and experience to quickly fix the issues and save you the time and effort you'd spend on a DIY repair.

Remember, seeking help from a professional appliance repair technician will ensure your chest freezer is fixed safely and efficiently. Don't hesitate to call an expert when needed.

Frequently Asked Questions

What can cause a chest freezer to stop working?

Several factors can cause your chest freezer to stop working, including:

  • Incorrect temperature control settings;
  • Frost buildup;
  • Blocked vents;
  • Dirty condenser coils, and
  • Faulty defrost thermostat or other components

Check these areas to troubleshoot your chest freezer and get it working again.

Do chest freezers have a reset?

Chest freezers usually don't have a reset button. However, you can try resetting your freezer by unplugging it, waiting for a few minutes, then plugging it back in. This can help clear up any issues and reset the freezer's internal components.

How do you clean the condenser coils in a chest freezer?

To clean the condenser coils on a chest freezer, follow these steps:

  1. Unplug your freezer.
  2. Locate the condenser coils (usually on the back or beneath the freezer).
  3. Use a brush or vacuum cleaner to remove dirt and dust from the coils.
  4. Give the coils a gentle wipe with a damp cloth, then allow them to fully dry before turning the freezer back on.

Cleaning the condenser coils regularly helps your chest freezer maintain its efficiency and prevent performance issues.

Frank Salvatore

Hey there - I'm Frank Salvatore. I created this site as a comprehensive kitchen resource. You'll find everything you need to know about everything in your kitchen. From appliances to utensils and layout - it is covered on this site!

About Me
Frank Salvatore
I created this site as a comprehensive kitchen resource. You'll find everything you need to know about everything in your kitchen. From appliances to utensils and layout - it is covered on this site!
Learn More About Me
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