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Question DetailsAsked on 5/30/2013

My freezer is not freezing properly

Whirlpool Gold refrigerator / freezer

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1 Answer


I assume it is not under warranty, or you would have called for warranty service ? If under warranty, some brands also cover a certain $ amount of food that went bad due to thawing.

Also, if you lost frozen food or had to pay for temporary storage, depending on amount of loss versus your deductible, your homeowner's insurance may cover part of that loss.

OK - now on to the problem. I presume from your question that the lower portion is chilling to about 38-40 degrees OK ? If not, follow checklist anyway - you may discover problem along the way.

1) If your reefer has separate reefer and freezer controls, be sure it has not been bumped and moved to a warmer settting (usually inside top front of reefer section, in front of light). If single control, reefer should be at 38-40 F. If dual controls, reefer should run at 40 F, freezer at 0 F. Knobs do NOT have temperature, only typically 1-10 settings opr just a cooler turn direction arrow - use thermometer to find actual temperature. You can get a cheap kitchen metal probe type thermometer if you don't have one, for about $5-8 - also useful for checking interior temperatures when cooking.

2) check for ice buildup or frozen food items blocking the back wall of the freezer portion. There are usually vents at the bottom back of the freezer portion on one or both sides. There is also usually a cover or "bulge" in the center from bottom to top - usually an air vent at bottom, always to top - these should have about 1 inch clear space in front of all, and the top one should be able to direct airflow across the top of the food, as this is your primary cold air source for the freezer, so the cold air has to be able to circulate from this grating or grill.

3) check for anything that is poking out and keeping the door open a bit, or a damaged door seal. If so, you should be able to feel cold air pouring out if you run your hand around the perimeter of the freezer door, and door will not resist a bit (from seal magnets) when you pull on it.

4) When you open freezer door and leave it standing open for a couple of minutes, does the freezer fan in the back (usually covered by the "bulge", occasionally mounted on the back of the reefer, but you should be able to hear it run softly) come on ? You should be able to feel air coming out of the top vent at the back when it is running. This is not the louder, slightly chugging sound from the compressor at the lower back of the reefer I am talking about, though it will come on also - this will be a soft fan or whirring sound. If not, the freezer fan might be burned out - about $100-125 item to replace (about $75 of that labor/visit charge).

5) If the freezer unit fan comes on, and there is cold air coming out but it is not down to freezing, your coils may be clogged. If you have not cleaned them in the past year or so (more often if you have a cat or dog), you need to. See owners manual (probably on web if you don't have paper copy), and there are lots of web videos on cleaning the coils. UNPLUG unit before cleaning - for electrical safety, but also if you hit the relay or fan while energized you can damage them. You need to gently brush off the looped cooling coils (usually under the reefer, sometimes on back), the cooling fan (usually back bottom corner underneath) and the motor/compressor unit so they are dust free, and generally clean out all the lint in the back and underneath. You have to remove the back cover (usually cardboard held on with a half dozen or so screws or bolts) to reach the back and the fan, compressor. A soft long-handled coil brush or a rag on a thin stick will work along with a vacuum cleaner - what works best is a shop vac collecting the dust as you blow it out with front and back with a compressed air nozzle connected to an air compressor.

6) If those steps don't do it, possibly a thermostat failure. Call an appliance repairman unless unit is so old you plan on replacing it anyway. Thermostat replacement probably about $150-200.

7) If no noticeable cooling at all in reefer OR freezer or reefer cannot easily get down to 38 F, then possibly partial compressor failure or some coolant leaked out. This is likely not the case, but if so can run about half the cost of a new reefer.

Answered 7 years ago by LCD

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