It seems to be a rule in appliances that when they break down, they do so in the most inconvenient time. Not that any time is good for an appliance to malfunction, much less a freezer. But, when your freezer is full of meat and it’s the middle of a hot summer and you’re up to your neck in deadlines at work, it’s barely even manageable. During times like this, troubleshoot the problem to determine what needs repairing. You could be able to fix it yourself. If you cannot, you will save time and money knowing the right solution. Call Quality Apliance Repair of Midland MI |QAR today!
How Freezers Work
Whether you have a refrigerator/freezer combination or a chest-style freezer, regardless of optional lights, ice makers or other features, the cooling system of any freezer works the same. The freezer compressor squeezes a refrigerant, usually freon, then transfers it to the condenser. Inside the condenser coils, the refrigerant changes from vapor to liquid as the heat in the refrigerant is expelled. This is the heat you feel blowing near the freezer when it is in a cooling cycle. Next, the now-cooler refrigerant flows through an expansion valve and into the evaporator. There, the refrigerant absorbs heat inside the warming freezer and cools the contents even as the refrigerant turns back into a warm vapor. Finally, the now-warm refrigerant returns to the compressor to restart the cycle.
Testing Your Freezer
Even perfectly working freezers are not going to maintain frozen food if the door is left even slightly ajar, such as when an item sticks out enough to press on the door. Also, using a freezer to cool hot items or opening the freezer often will affect the temperature inside. Another typical reason you might think the freezer is running but not freezing is improperly packing the contents. Situated behind a vent inside your freezer, usually in the rear, the evaporator fan circulates cool air. Pull the contents away from this fan vent and leave room around items so air can reach every point in the freezer. After you have done this, place a thermometer inside the freezer and check it after an hour or two. The temperature should read about zero degrees Fahrenheit.
Freezer Door Seals
The seal around the freezer door could be another problem when your freezer is running but not freezing. Test your freezer’s door seal by inserting a dollar bill between the door and freezer. Close the freezer door and see if you can pull out the dollar bill. If you could, something is interfering with the seal. A door that is dirty simply needs cleaning. If it is heavily damaged, replace it. There are various seals, so follow the installation instructions from the manufacturers website. If your freezer isn’t level, it may also prevent a proper seal. Use a carpenter’s level to determine when the door is plumb, straight up and down or level and adjust the legs as necessary.
Some Simple Repairs
If you are in luck, the temperature setting in your freezer was merely accidentally raised and the repair is pretty simple. There are a few other things to check when your freezer is running but is not cooling. Pull the freezer out and look for dust, debris or ice that could be smothering the coils. As chest-style freezers make use of internal coils, this applies to upright models or refrigerator/freezer combinations. A hair dryer melts ice quickly and a vacuum or soft cloth makes quick work of dust. With the freezer unplugged, locate the motor under the freezer and clean it. Defrost the freezer if it is clogged with ice. If you notice water pooling on the floor when the freezer is running, but not freezing, check the drain tube in the freezer’s floor or underneath the vegetable drawers in the refrigerator compartment. Insert a turkey baster of bleach water into the tube to clean it, or run a length of smaller tubing through it to push out the clog. Also, check for enough clearance around your freezer and make sure it doesn’t sit in a sunny, hot and humid location or in an unheated area.
Internal component repairs are typically not DIY friendly. The cooling system involves dangerous parts and attempting to service them yourself could lead to injury.