Tip & How-To about Refrigerators

Refridgerator warm and freezer is icy cold

Frost free fridge freezers are very popular and auto defrosting fridges are a great convenience. In a frost free appliance the cold air is blown round the freezer using a fan. On modern refrigeration the evaporator (which is the plate that gets cold) is hidden behind the plastic wall inside at the back of the food shelves. When working correctly you can usually see small beads of ice randomly scattered on the back wall unless it's in a defrost cycle when you may see water.
Heater inside Believe it or not most modern refrigeration has a heater inside. This heater is used to defrost the appliance automatically. During the defrosting cycle the ice on the back wall melts and runs down the back wall into a channel. It is then directed through a hole out through to the back and runs into the evaporator tray. The evaporator tray is on top of the compressor which gets pretty hot and evaporates this water into the air.
Because the evaporator is behind a back panel the cold air has to be blown around the compartment with a fan motor. The defrost cycle also needs sensors and a timer and combined with several sensors throughout and PCBs to control everything the result is there is a lot more to go wrong than there used to be in old-fashioned conventional fridges. However, they are still fairly reliable.
Common problems with frost free fridge freezers If the door is left open for too long (especially in humid conditions) the evaporator freezes over and the unit will not keep the food cold. This problem (unlike the older machines) has a greater impact because you can't see the amount of ice built up around the back of the panel hiding the evaporator. In many frost free fridges the ice can form all the way round the fan and cause it to run slowly or even seize up. Prior to seizing up the fan may catch on the ice and make a high pitched noise. This will of course result in the fridge or freezer not getting cold. If you hear a strange noise from your frost free fridge freezer which sounds like something is catching on a rotating fan it could be due to ice forming around it.
If it stops working due to ice forming behind the evaporator and round the fan then defrosting the unit manually can fix it but it involves unplugging the unit for at least take 12 hours or so. You may not see much frost as it would be behind the back wall or behind the fan unit. You can't really use a hair dryer on modern units because they may have a thermal fuse which protects the defrost cycle. Also, even just getting to the evaporator to defrost it can be a mammoth task especially with some of the new American-style fridges. If a fault re-occurs later it could be due to faulty sensor but if the fault was only due to the door been left open for a few hours accidentally then a total defrost could work.
Whilst we are on with American style frost free fridge freezer's, because the door's are so big and can store so much, the opportunity to overload them is greater. This too causes warm air to pass into the unit and frost it up. Remember a frost free unit will not cope with too much ice on the evaporator so greater care must be taken to use it correctly and check the door seal's regularly.
Water or sheet of ice inside fridge
If your fridge has two sloping channels at the back wall and a hole in the middle this is designed to channel the water created on the defrost cycle through to the back of the unit where it runs onto an evaporator tray. This tray sits on top of the compressor and gets quite hot. The water simply evaporates. Sometimes this hole gets clogged up and prevents the water running out to this tray. The result is that water runs into be base of the unit. Very often the appliance will come with small tool for cleaning out this hole, but if not you can improvise.
If the water in the base of the unit is frozen solid it could be that the unit has malfunctioned and is over freezing. The blockage preventing the water running through to the evaporator tray could actually be solid ice.
Summary
It's common knowledge that most people rarely read the instruction book supplied with their new appliance. This is particularly true with something like a fridge or freezer. It's easy to imagine most people thinking you only need to plug it in, leave it plugged in, and fill it with food - what's to know?
I would advise anyone with a modern refrigeration appliance, especially the American-style fridge freezers, to carefully read the instruction book. Modern frost-free refrigeration units work very differently to a conventional fridge or freezer. It's even important to learn how to stack them properly otherwise you can prevent the air from circulating inside and cause warm spots.
You would be surprised at what you can learn from reading the instruction book.
Many User instruction manuals can be downloaded here. The page concentrates on washing machine manuals but links to appliance manufacturer sites where users such manuals for fridges, freezers and other appliances should also be available.

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My Model #gts22wcp fridge stopped getting cold. freeezer works great. Only blows cold air into fridge if freezer door is open.


Possibly a problem with the defrost system. If the cooling coils behind the freezer wall start to build up too much frost or snow, the air flow to the refrigerator section gets blocked first. So the freezer still works but the fresh food section starts to get warm . As the frost continues to build up, in time the freezer section will only get as cold as the fresh food section should. There are 3 main parts to the defrost system. You could have a burned out defrost heater, a bad defrost timer, or a bad defrost termination thermostat. The heater is located directly under the cooling coils in the freezer. The termination thermostat is a silver round disk clipped to the top of the same cooling coils, and the timer in located in the control panel in the fresh food section.

Apr 02, 2016 | GE Refrigerators

1 Answer

refrigerator doesn t get cold


If your refrigerator is frost free and been running for a year or two then here is the solution.
Why would you need to defrost a frost-free freezer? Because they do sometimes get frosted up! This is especially common if the door gets left open for long periods without being noticed, then shut again, thereby trapping lots of moist air in the freezer, which can only come out as frost. The problem is that if their defrosting cycles don't manage to cure their problems they get frosted up at the back, out of sight. If your freezer seems to be struggling to keep things frozen but is otherwise working normally you should consider defrosting it before concluding it is broken.

I have found the best way to defrost my not quite frost free fridge-freezer is to empty the freezer compartment contents into the fridge and switch it off overnight, leaving the fridge door shut and the freezer door open. By stacking all the frozen food together as tightly as possible, ideally wrapped in something to help insulate them (such as newspapers) they stay cold for a long time. In the morning I get in my scruffy clothes and wipe up the puddles caused by the visible frost in the freezer and any puddles formed underneath the appliance. However this is only half the story. To ensure all the frosting has been removed from the hidden parts of the appliance I get my hair dryer and blast warm air into all appropriate crevices from inside the appliance and from behind it.

Mar 07, 2014 | LG Refrigerators

1 Answer

Electrolux frost free fridge freezer. Warm fridge and ice in the frost free freezer?


Hi,

Check out these tips...they can help you figure out what is going wrong with your refrigerator and why it is not cooling

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heatman101

Dec 22, 2010 | Heating & Cooling

1 Answer

Fridge Icing up on N1B Candy frost free fridge freezer


How to check everything
http://www.acmehowto.com/howto/appliance/refrigerator/refrigerator.php
If the evaporator coils behind the back panel of the freezer are icing up because of auto defrost failure that will stop the circulation of cold air and eventually affect the freezer too.

check defrost timer, defrost heater, defrost thermostat. In most newer models the timer has been replaced by an electronic control board. If the heater and thermostat are ok it’ll be the control.

You can turn the defrost timer till it clicks and everything shuts down. The heater should now come on. If it does, replace the timer. If it doesn't, check the heater and defrost thermostat. Turn the timer again till everything starts back up to end the defrost cycle.


Your evaporator coils frost up in normal use and every eight hours or so the entire unit shuts down and the defrost heater comes on to melt the frost. This cycle last about 20 minutes. The melted frost drips into a drain pan and through a drain tube to the drain tray under the freezer/refrigerator where it's evaporated by the condenser fan.

Sep 02, 2009 | Refrigerators

1 Answer

freezer cold but not fridge


too much ice bulid up will stop enough cold air being blown into the fridge.Try turning it off letting all ice melt then turn it back on again and set thermostat at a lower temp.There may be ice you can't see.

Aug 05, 2008 | Whirlpool 21.0 cu. ft. Top Freezer...

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