Freezer Not Freezing

Photo of a small freezer not freezing

In this article we will talk about a freezer that is not freezing. Specifically we will talk about a manual defrost freezer that is not freezing. If you have an automatic defrost freezer that is not freezing properly, the troubleshooting procedure is exactly the same as a refrigerator that is not cooling.

People choose manual defrost freezers for a couple of reasons. The number one reason is that they are usually less expensive to purchase. And although a lot of people are unaware of this fact, food in a manual defrost freezer actually last longer when compared to an automatic defrost freezer. That's because the temperature in an automatic defrost freezer fluctuates. Whereas the temperature inside a manual defrost freezer is more stable. The temperature in an automatic defrost freezer can easily fluctuate between zero and 30 degrees. Whereas the temperature in a manual defrost freezer stays a lot closer to 0 degrees, the ideal temperature for home freezers.

A very high percentage of the time the problem with a manual defrost freezer is that the tubing inside the walls of the freezer has rusted and the freezer has lost all or some of it's refrigerant. If the freezer has lost all of its refrigerant, the compressor will be running indicating that the cold control is good, and there will not be any frost on the shelving.

Most of the shelving on manual defrost freezers is actually part of the evaporator. Although there can be some shelves in between that are not part of the evaporator. But usually on smaller freezers, all of the shelving is part of the evaporator. When a manual defrost freezer starts to lose some of its refrigerant, some of the shelves will not freeze food and there will not be any frost on them. When you see this it's time to purchase a new freezer. That's because the cost of repairing a freezer that is low on refrigerant if done correctly is very high. If you do not fix the leak, the expensive refrigerant will leak out. You can always add a little bit of refrigerant to get you through a short amount of time, but inevitably that refrigerant will leak out not to mention the fact that you will have no confidence in the freezer.

To review, on a normally functioning manual defrost upright freezer, all of the shelves that are part of the evaporator will be completely frosted over. If you open the freezer door and one of the shelves is only half frosted you are low on refrigerant.