Having your Frigidaire refrigerator freezing up can be a major inconvenience. A too cold freezer can cause food to freeze solid, ruin produce, and make it difficult to access your frozen foods. In this comprehensive guide, we will cover the common causes of a Frigidaire refrigerator freezing up and detail step-by-step instructions for how to fix the issue.
Common Causes of a Frigidaire Freezer Freezing Up
There are a few common problems that can lead to your Frigidaire freezer becoming too cold and freezing contents:
- Thermostat malfunction – If the thermostat is set too low or fails, it will continue cooling the freezer despite reaching the target temperature. This continual cooling can lead to freezing.
- Condenser coil dust buildup – Dust on the condenser coils prevents proper airflow and refrigerant circulation, forcing the freezer to run longer to maintain the set temperature.
- Condenser fan failure – The condenser fan circulates air over the coils for heat dissipation. If it fails, the freezer will over-cool.
- Refrigerant leak – A leak in the sealed system causes insufficient refrigerant, making the freezer run longer to attempt to cool down.
- Door seal damage – Any warping or cracks in the door gaskets allow cold air to escape continuously, meaning the freezer must run excessively to maintain its temperature.
- Clogged freezer drain tube – If the drain tube is clogged, ice can build up and begin to freeze contents.
- Frozen evaporator coils – Ice buildup on the coils blocks airflow and prevents proper refrigerant circulation.
Now that we’ve covered some of the most common issues let’s go through each step-by-step process for inspecting and resolving them when your Frigidaire freezer freezes up.
Before troubleshooting issues, a reset can sometimes resolve minor glitches in your Frigidaire refrigerator.
1. Adjusting the Temperature Controls
- The first thing to check if your Frigidaire refrigerator is freezing up is the temperature control settings. Here’s how to adjust them properly:
- Locate the temperature control panel outside the freezer or inside the fridge compartment. It may look like a dial, slider, or digital panel.
- If it is set to the coldest setting, adjust it incrementally until the freezer maintains a temperature around 0°F (-18°C).
- Allow a few hours for the temperature to stabilize before checking for adjustments.
- If adjusting the control panel does not resolve to freeze, continue on to further troubleshooting steps.
2. Checking the Condenser Coils
A restricted condenser coil is one of the most common causes of freezing issues in Frigidaire refrigerators. Follow these instructions:
- Unplug the refrigerator or turn off the power at the circuit breaker.
- Remove the access panel at the lower rear of the unit. Screws or clips may hold it.
- Use a flashlight to locate the condenser coils behind the compressor.
- Check for thick dust buildup on the coils and clean with a brush or vacuum if necessary.
- Ensure adequate ventilation is around the coils and they are not jammed with debris.
- Replace the access panel and restore power after cleaning. Monitor freezer temperature.
3. Cleaning the Condenser Fan
If the condenser fan is clogged, it cannot properly circulate air:
- Unplug the refrigerator or turn off the power.
- Remove the access panel. Locate the fan on the rear coil compartment.
- Clean any dust or debris from the fan blades, housing, and motor with a brush.
- Spin the fan blade manually to ensure it rotates freely.
- The fan must be replaced if it is obstructed or does not spin.
- Replace the access panel and power it on to verify normal operation.
4. Inspecting the Door Seals
Faulty door seals allow cold air to leak out, leading to continual freezing as the fridge struggles to maintain its temperature.
- Inspect gaskets around both fridge and freezer doors.
- Look for cracks, tearing, gaps, brittleness, discoloration, or obstruction, preventing a tight seal.
- Press firmly around the door gaskets to feel for areas with loose seals or gaps.
- The gaskets must be replaced if any faulty seals are found. Contact Frigidaire customer service for replacement parts.
- After replacing door gaskets, monitor freezer temperature for normal operation.
5. Defrosting the Evaporator Coils
If ice builds up on the evaporator coils, it will need to be fully melted and drained:
- Unplug the refrigerator and remove all food from the freezer.
- Remove the access panel to reach the evaporator coils near the rear wall.
- Melt any ice with a hair dryer on the defrost setting. This may take 30 minutes or longer.
- Check that the drain tube is clear and water can flow freely into the pan beneath the compressor.
- Use towels to soak up defrosted ice and water from the bottom of the freezer.
- Replace the access panel and plug the refrigerator back in once fully defrosted.
6. Replacing a Faulty Thermostat
If adjusting the temperature setting fails to stop freezing, the thermostat may need replacing:
- Unplug the refrigerator and open the control panel cover.
- Disconnect the wiring harness from the old thermostat and remove the mounting screws.
- Install a new thermostat with screws and reconnect the wiring harness.
- Set the temperature to around 1°F (-17°C) and power on the refrigerator.
- Allow 24 hours to stabilize before adjusting temperature gradually as needed.
- A larger refrigerant or system issue may occur if the new thermostat fails to regulate temperature. Contact Frigidaire customer service.
FAQs and Troubleshooting Tips
Q: Why does my Frigidaire freezer periodically freeze up after working fine for a while?
- This intermittent freezing is likely due to a defrost issue. Try manually defrosting the evaporator coils and ensuring the defrost timer is working properly. If the problem persists, the defrost thermostat or heater may need replacing.
Q: There is an ice buildup on the back wall of my freezer. How can I fully defrost and clean this?
- Turn the freezer off and unplug it. Keep the door open to allow the ice to thaw. Place towels inside to absorb melting ice. Use a plastic scraper to chip off large pieces. Do not use anything sharp that could damage the freezer walls.
Q: My freezer door was left open for a while, and now everything is frozen solid. What should I do?
- You must unplug the freezer and use a hair dryer on a defrost setting to loosen any rock-hard ice buildup. Remove food packages and place them in the sink to thaw under lukewarm water if needed. Dry with towels before returning food to the freezer.
Q: The condenser coils are dusty, but I can’t access them. What next steps should I take?
- For condenser coils that are not accessible, try vacuuming out the ventilation grill at the front or underneath the freezer. You may need to detach the grille for better access. Move the fridge from the wall to clean dust and debris from hard-to-reach areas.
Q: The door gaskets look fine. Could faulty seals still be causing the freezing?
- Small gaps or loss of magnetism in the seals can allow cold air leakage and freezing, even if no cracks are visible. Try the dollar bill test by closing it in the door and pulling. If it slides out easily, the seals may need replacing.
Q: If adjusting the temperature setting doesn’t help, what should my next troubleshooting step be?
- If adjusting the temperature control panel has no effect on freezing, the thermostat is likely faulty and requires replacement. Thermostats often fail in older models. Follow the steps to remove and install a new thermostat.
Persistent freezing in your Frigidaire refrigerator can definitely be frustrating. But in many cases, this issue can be resolved with some DIY troubleshooting techniques. Common problems like condenser coil dust, defrosting the evaporator, and inspecting door seals are repairs you can tackle on your own before calling a technician. If adjusting settings and components fails to stop the freezing, then a thermostat replacement may be needed. Use this guide to diagnose and remedy freezing in your Frigidaire refrigerator methodically. Proper maintenance and operation will maximize its efficiency and lifespan.