What to Do If Your Freezer’s Not Working but Your Fridge Is

freezer with ice and dripping

Freezer failure is a common scenario that is likely to occur with modern refrigerators. We'll look at an LG model in this example. Although the LG fridge is one of the most reliable options in the market, it's still susceptible to freezer failure problems.

When a freezer fails while the refrigerator is still on, there are a few possible causes and several potential solutions.

Condenser Coils Are Dirty

The condenser coil should be located within the freezer box. The coil is responsible for cooling your freezer. Although the condenser coil does not need cleaning, if it gets overly dirty, it may affect the way your freezer cools.

To avoid such a situation, you may want to clean your condenser coils once per year or every six months. You should be able to access the coils from behind or beneath the unit.

For the LG refrigerator in question, the coils are beneath and should be easy to access by removing the freezer compartment.

freezer condenser coils

Evaporator Fan Motor

The other potential cause of failed freezer is the evaporator fan. This fan is responsible for drawing air over the condenser coils. When you notice that your freezer is failing, check to see if the fan is running.

If you hear the sound of the fan, you should not be worried much. In most freezers, the fan won't work when the door is open. Try opening the door and closing it to see if the fan responds appropriately. If it is spoiled, replace the fan, and everything should go back to normal.

Start Relay

The compressor of your refrigerator runs based on the start relay functions. If the start relay fails, the compressor may fail to run or may run inconsistently.

To determine if your start relay is the problem, unplug the freezer from power and remove the start relay from the compressor. Use a multimeter to test the start relay to see if it is working appropriately. If it smells burnt or lacks continuity when tested, you will have to replace it.

The Evaporator Coils Are Frosted Over

frozen pipes

The most common cause of freezer problems in the refrigerator is a faulty defroster. The defroster is supposed to turn on several times during the day, to melt any ice that accumulates over the evaporator coil.

If the defroster fails, frost will accumulate over the evaporator coils. Eventually, the coils will freeze and stop functioning.

To solve this problem, test the defrost heater using a multimeter. If there is continuity, the defroster is okay and there is no need to replace it. If it has a problem, get it replaced to resolve the issue.

Main Control Board

The control boards may have a problem that leads to failure in the functioning of the freezer. When you are experiencing cooling problems, check the commonly affected parts of the refrigerator before moving to the board.

It is sometimes difficult to diagnose the control board for defects. For this reason, it is recommended that you check all the other parts that may cause the issues before you replace the control board.

Temperature Control Sensor

The temperature control sensor is a key part of the refrigerator. The LG refrigerator mentioned in this case has two thermostats. These sensors are responsible for sending temperature signals that allow the refrigerator to start and stop the compressor.

One of the sensors is from the freezer. The other is for the refrigerator. If the sensor for the freezer is messed up, you'll probably have a problem with the freezer.

You can use a multimeter to test the sensors to see if they are working. Another way to determine if the sensors are working is by listening to the sound of the thermostat. If the thermostat makes a clicking sound, chances are that it is working fine.

This sound indicates that the temperature sensors work when required, and cooling should happen accordingly.

Frequently Asked Questions About Freezer and Refrigerator Malfunctions

frosted freezer

Refrigirator mulfuncions come in different dimensions. As we have seen, there are instances where the freezer may fail while the refrigerator itself is still functioning.

With diverse issues resulting from refrigerators, those who experience freezer and refrigerator issues have many questions that need to be answered. In this section, we look at some of the frequently asked questions about refrigerators and freezer issues.

These questions should help you to better understand the functioning of refrigerators and potentially solve associated issues.

How Do You Tell If Your Freezer Is Broken?

There are a few major signs to watch out for that can help you detect if your freezer has a problem. If you detect any of the following signs, chances are that your freezer or refrigerator has a problem that should be resolved faster.

It's Not Cold Enough

You should feel a blast of cold air on your body when you open the fridge or freezer. If you do not feel a cool environment in the refrigerator, chances are that you have a broken refrigerator that needs to be fixed.

Your Food Is Spoiling Quickly

The other warning sign that should act as a red flag is when foods are getting spoiled faster. When food goes bad at a very fast rate, chances are that your fridge is no longer cooling as expected.

There's Condensation

Although sometimes condensation may seem like a sign of a cold fridge, it is actually a sign that your fridge or freezer is broken. If you keep finding blocks of ice in your freezer or refrigerator, get it checked. There is a high probability that it is broken.

The Motor Is Hot

The other most important factor you want to consider is the motor. Look at the temperature of the motor to see whether it is within normalcy.

The motor could be warm under normal circumstances but should never get hot. If you notice that it is getting overly hot, chances are that your refrigerator has a problem.

It's Loud

Most modern refrigerators run quietly without making noise. The only sound you may hear is probably the occasional clicking of the thermostat. However, if you start hearing the loud sound of the running motor, you should try to find out what the issue could be.

With that said, some old refrigerators make considerable noise. Do not be in a rush to diagnose your fridge if the noise it produces is within the range of other similar devices.

There's Water on Your Floor

If the refrigerator is not working well, you constantly encounter water spillover on your floors. You may not spot any water in the fridge since it tends to drain out. Having wet floors around the fridge should be a warning sign.

What to Do If Freezer Is Not Freezing?

open freezer

The refrigerator-freezer should be working as long as the fridge part is still functional. The problem is that if the fridge is working but the freezer has stopped working, you may have trouble finding the cause.

When your freezer is not freezing, start by checking the seals. The seals are located on the door of your freezer. They cover the foam in a bid to ensure that there is sufficient insulation.

The other trick you may want to try is to move things around. Moving items around in your freezer may seem insignificant, but it is one of the proven ways of removing freezer issues. Moving things around will get your freezer working well.

How Do I Reset My Freezer?

The other solution you may want to try when your freezer has gone bad is resetting it. Resetting the freezer simply means, changing the settings that may be messing with its functioning. There are a few steps that you can follow that will help you reset your freezer to normalcy.

To reset your freezer or refrigerator, check to see if it has a reset button. Some models have a reset button that is usually located next to the power button at the back of the appliance.

If the refrigerator lacks a reset button or if the reset button does not seem to work, you may want to try resetting the hard way. To reset the system, turn off the refrigerator and freezer from power and unplug the appliance from power entirely.

Now, turn off the refrigerator or freezer using the control panel. Hold the power button for about 10 seconds, allowing the device to drain all the charge.

Now plug the appliances back to power again and turn the fridge and freezer back on. Set your preferred temperatures, and your systems will be working just fine.

How Do I Clean My Freezer Coils?

One of the ways of dealing with a broken freezer is by cleaning the freezer coils. Freezer coils are usually located at the back of the freezer or your refrigerator.

When the condenser is clogged in dirt or frozen, you can be sure that cooling will not be effective. Thankfully you can clean the grills.

To clean the grills, you will need a special coil cleaning brush that can be purchased from a local store. You will also need a vacuum to blow the dirt off your coils. Be careful not to bend or mess up with the coils during the cleaning process.

Can a Power Outage Damage a Freezer?

Yes, there are circumstances where power surges resulting from power outage will lead to refrigerator or freezer damages. However, this is a rare situation.

Most modern refrigerators have power protection fuses that guard against a power surge.

If you have a fridge that does not have internal power protection mechanisms, you want to use a power guard externally. Most people use fused extensions or GFI extensions that can take control where there is power overload.

For a fridge or freezer to get damaged by power, there should be a huge surge abruptly. This is often caused by lightning events and other similar occurrences.

How Long Do Refrigerators Usually Last?

The lifespan of a refrigerator depends on how it is used. By design, most refrigerators and freezers are supposed to have a lifespan of between 12 and 20 years.

However, there are appliances that live well over the estimated time, while others may get damaged very early. The lifespan of an average fridge and freezer is 16 years.

If your fridge serves you for ten years, you should be happy with it. While most appliances may serve up to 20 years, they may start experiencing power inefficiencies.

What Causes Fridge Compressor Failure?

The fridge compressor is the key component of the appliance. It is the compressor that contains the refrigerant. Without the compressor and refrigerant, there is no guarantee of a cooling effect for your appliance.

There are many causes of compressor failure, but the most common is too little or too much refrigerant. You should never let the level of a refrigerant drop too low.

At the same time, you should not add too much refrigerant. Little refrigerant may create too much pressure or strain the system leading to compressor failure. It is, therefore, necessary to ensure that refrigerant levels are well maintained to avoid issues.

How Long Do Refrigerator Compressors Last?

The lifespan of the compressor could be influenced by how you take care of your appliances. The plan for replacing the compressor should start eight to ten years after use.

If the compressor is well maintained, you have a good chance that it may serve you even beyond ten years. For this reason. always ensure that the refrigerant is well filled at all times. Treating your appliance with care will give you a long lifespan.

When the compressor fails, you have the option of replacing it. Replacing the compressor will cost you much less money as compared to buying a new fridge entirely.

Bottom Line

If you are having a problem with your freezer, chances are that you have a faulty part. In most cases, it is something that can be repaired without necessarily having to visit a technician.

However, in some situations, you may need to involve a technician. Check your refrigerator for any of the above issues and try to deal with them as described. If the system does not get resolved, let it be.

For more about this topic, check out this DIY forum thread: LG LFC20760ST Freezer not working but the Fridge is