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Fridge's Freezer Not Cold Enough? All the Easy Fixes You Need to Know

Fridge's Freezer Not Cold Enough? All the Easy Fixes You Need to Know


You open your freezer looking to grab a sweet treat or some ice for a drink only to find everything is warm and melted. There are a few common issues that can arise to keep your freezer from cooling properly. Our friends at Sears PartsDirect have some common fixes to get your appliance running smoothly in no time.

Potential Fixes

Replace the Defrost Sensor

A defrost sensor, or defrost bi-metal termination thermostat, will trip when it detects that the temperature of the evaporator is reaching a level that may cause it to overheat. Once it trips, the power to the defrost heater shuts down. Frost can collect on the evaporator fins if the defrost sensor isn't working correctly, causing the freezer to lose cooling power. Get a volt/ohm meter to check for sensor continuity, and replace theis part if no continuity is shown around 0 degrees Fahrenheit.

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Defrost Sensor

Condenser Coils

Clean the Condenser Coils

Dirty refrigerator coils can inhibit the ability for the freezer to run efficiently. Get your owner's manual, and follow its directions for cleaning the condenser coils. Make sure to unplug the fridge before cleaning the coils. Typically, they're located behind the bottom front grill. A coil brush will allow you to clean out these components thoroughly.


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Replace the Condenser Fan

A refrigerator's condenser fan is located next to the compressor and blows air across the condenser coils, cooling hot refrigerant that comes from the compressor. A faulty fan increases the cabinet temperature, which also can overheat the compressor. This causes the compressor to eventually breakdown if the condenser fan isn't fixed.

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Condenser Fan

Defrost Heater

Repair the Defrost System

Your fridge's defrost system melts the frost buildup off of the evaporator to improve heat exchange. Defrosting occurs by stopping the compressor, turning on the defrost heat element and the frost melts into a drip tray below the evaporator. It finally moves into the drain pan next to the compressor in the machine compartment. This water should evaporate prior to the next defrost cycle. Diagnose where in this process the issue is happening and remedy that problem.


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Replace the Compressor's Start Relay

A compressor's start relay is what makes your appliance run efficiently. This component energizes the start windings of a compressor motor during an initial startup. The PTC (positive temperature coefficient) start relay shuts down voltage to the start windings after the compressor starts, allowing it to run using the motor's run windings. If a broken start relay is the culprit, replace it so the compressor can have necessary voltage to operate properly. You should also check the start relay's wiring. Wiring failure could be the root cause of the start relay's issues. If you fix the wiring, that might help cure the problem.


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compressor start relay

Evaporator Fan

Replace the Evaporator Fan

The evaporator fan is on the evaporator assembly and moves air across the fins and through the cabinet for cooling purposes. Without this part working, your fridge won't have the ability to cool itself properly. Replace the fan immediately if you notice issues.


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Replace the Temperature Control Board

This part helps control the compressor and other main components of a refrigerator. It's found next to the compressor in the machine compartment, which is behind a panel on the back of your fridge. Run a diagnostic test to see if the temperature control board is not working properly. Consult your owner's manual or tech sheet for further instructions.  

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Temperature Control Board

Temperature Control Thermostat

Replace the Temperature Control Thermostat

Also known as the cold control or cold-control thermostat, this part is found in the control housing and features a sensor tube attached to it. The senor detects the temperature inside the fridge, helping control the temperature in cabinet and turning the compressor on or off based on the temperature level. Replace this part when it no longer senses temperature or won't cycle the compressor properly.


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Replace the Thermistor

A thermistor monitors temperature changes, sending signals to the control board. This key component gives temperature information to the thermostat, meaning a broken a faulty thermistor will give incorrect readings. It also won't allow the freezer to stay at your desired temperature settings.

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Refrigerator Thermistor

refrigerator defrost timer

Replace the Defrost Timer

Your fridge's defrost timer controls the intervals between automatic defrost cycles. It makes sure the compressor is off before turning on the defrost heater temporarily to melt frost off the evaporator fins, allowing an efficient exchange of heat. Once the defrost cycle ends, the timer turns off the defrost heater to continue regular cooling. When this part isn't working properly, the defrost heater will run constantly or not run at all.

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Adjust the Freezer Door

If the freezer door hinge has been bent or dented, it may cause the door to sag. This compromises the seal, allowing warm air into the freezer. This moist air may cause excessive frost to form on the drain tube causing it to freeze. Adjust or replace the hinges so the door shuts and seals properly.


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Freezer Door

Refrigerator Compressor

Replace the Refrigerator Compressor

A compressor is one of the most vital parts in your fridge, moving refrigerant throughout the entire appliance's system. If it looks like the compressor looks okay but isn't starting, replace the start device and/or overload. If it's locked up or runs without compressing refrigerant, then the entire part needs to be replaced. In this case, it's recommended that you call a service technician because the job will require the recovery and recharge of refrigerant.

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