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Not defrosting Upper part of condenser coil is freezing up.

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Unplug the unit then take garden hose and wash the coil out good let set for a couple of hours plug in and run the unit,should resolve your problem

Posted on Jun 05, 2010

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My Refrigerator freezer is not freezing or cold like it should be. The condenser coils are freezing up even after defrosting and cleaning. Can you help me?


Sounds like you're low on refrigerant. Very soon it will not cool at all unless you fix the leak and recharge. This is a professional job, not DIY.

Feb 13, 2015 | Refrigerators

Tip

Why your unit is freezing up.


To understand why your AC or heat pump is freezing up, it helps to know how your system works.

There are 7 major parts to an AC system, 9 with a heat pump.

1 - Condenser/heat pump (The outdoor unit)
2 - Air Handler (the indoor unit unless the system is a package unit, then all is outside in one system. The air handler is usually found under the home, in an attic, or in a closet.)

In the condenser are the following major parts.

3 - Compressor
4 - Condenser coil
5 - Condenser fan
6 - (HPs only) reversing valve

In the air handler are the following major parts.

7 - Blower motor
8 - Evaporator coil
9 - (HPs only) electric heat strips

Some systems known as "dual fuel systems" use another heat source in place of the heat strips, usually a gas furnace. I will address gas furnaces in another post.

When an air conditioner is operating properly several things are taking place.

1 - The compressor is compressing or "pumping" refrigerant through the system.

2 - through changes in pressure, the refrigerant makes the evaporator coil get very cold, and the condenser coil gets very hot.

3 - The blower motor/fan circulates air across the evaporator coils, as the room temperature air (Also known as "indoor ambient") goes through the cold coil, it exits, cooled approximately 15 to 20 degrees cooler than when it entered. (In a ducted system, the blower is also the fan that circulates the air throughout the home.)

4 - The condenser fan circulates air across the condenser coils. As the outdoor air goes through the condenser coil, it removes heat from the coils that are very hot. This in turn removes heat from the refrigerant so it can run its cycle again, and through pressure changes, cool the evap coil.

5 - With a heat pump, the reversing valve reverses the flow of refrigerant in the condenser and evaporator coils.
In AC mode, the evaporator coils get cold, and the condenser coils get hot. But in heat mode, the evaporator gets very hot, and the condenser very cold.

Now, whichever coil is getting cold will freeze up if there is inadequate air flow across the coil, as the refrigerant in it is far below freezing, and there is not enough airflow to keep the humidity in the air from freezing on the coil.

Things that can cause poor airflow are,

1 - Dirty/clogged coils
2 - dirty/clogged filter (will only effect evaporator coil)
3 - Closed/blocked vents (will only effect evaporator coil)
4 - Malfunctioning or dirty fan

Low refrigerant will also cause a coil to freeze up, reduce efficiency and cause the system to run for long periods of time. Not to mention, shortening the life of the unit.

With a heat pump, in heat mode only, the condenser (outdoor) coil will routinely begin to freeze up in cold temperatures. This is due to the fact that the refrigerant is below freezing, and the cold outdoor ambient temp is not warm enough to keep the condensation in the air from freezing on the coil.

Note, a properly working AC should never freeze up.

A heat pump is equipped with defrost controls to prevent ice buildup.
Some are controlled by timers, some by temp.

When a HP is going into defrost mode, the condenser fan shuts down, the reversing valve reverses the flow of refrigerant and the once cold condenser coil now gets very hot, defrosting the coil. (Many people have said this process sounds like the unit is coming apart, or about to explode and are frightened by the "smoke" which is really just steam from melting ice that comes off the unit.)

During defrost mode, the secondary or "auxiliary" heat comes on to ensure that you are still getting warm air from the vents. (Again, this can be electric heat strips or a dual fuel system)

If you are experiencing cold air from the vents during defrost, that means your auxiliary heat is malfunctioning.

The auxiliary heat is used for three purposes.

1 - during defrost mode to maintain warm airflow (automatic)
2 - when the HP cannot maintain the set temp due to extreme outdoor temps. It comes on when the indoor temp drops several degrees below the set temp on the thermostat (automatic)
3 - For emergency heat source when the HP is not working. (Manual)

To recap....

Iced up coils?

Poor airflow
low refrigerant
Malfunctioning fan
failing defrost system


There are two things that can be done in a pinch to help de-ice frozen coils. This may get you by until the repairman can get there, or you can fix the system if you are a do-it-yourselfer.

HPs frozen outdoor coil in heat mode, not going into defrost?

Cover most of the vents, and turn the system onto cooling mode until the outdoor coil is thawed. then uncover vents and return to heat, or emergency heat. (this usually takes 15 min or less)

Frozen coils in AC mode with a heat pump?
Turn the system to heat with the thermostat on just high enough to get the system to come on. (again, usually takes 15 min or less to thaw.)

AC only, with frozen evap coils? (this can sometimes be seen frozen all the way outside to the compressor on the copper lines.)

Turn the system off, and the fan switch from "auto" to on".
This will usually defrost the coils within 1 to 2 hours.
(If your system has the furnace in line before the evap coil, turn the system to heat, and the furnace will defrost the coil within minutes.)



on Dec 25, 2008 | Carrier XHB123D X/Y Series Heat/Cool Air...

1 Answer

The fan on my GT345 chest freezer runs constantly. Is this correct ?


Depends are you referring to the condenser fan or the evaporation fan? If it's the condenser fan you may have an issue with debris in the condenser coil not letting enough air flow to cool down so it will stay on to keep from burning up compressor.If it's inside the evaporator coil then it may be low on refrigerant possibly freezing up the evap coil making it run then kick into defrost run kick into defrost etc... hope this helps

Aug 12, 2014 | Freezers

2 Answers

Freezer side not freezing


Check for ice / frosting inside the freezer .... If present you probably have a defrost problem.... This causes the freezer coil to ice up and block the air flow ... the causes could be a bad defrost heater , defrost timer, defrost sensors, or control board. Also make sure that the condenser coil is clean. remove ALL dust with a vacuum and a coil brush .the coil is located either on the bottom or on the back side of the unit... You didn't give the Make and model #

Apr 04, 2014 | Freezers

1 Answer

Why is my condenser freezing up, but my frig isn't cooling right? could it be the thermostat? Or is the condenser flooded?


when the evap ( the coil inside the freezer freezes up it blocks the coil causing no cold air to flow to the fresh food side. . the thermo is ok but the aditive defrost control or the heater or defrost terminator is or has failed .. mm ( you do have a defrost problem .. mm

Aug 16, 2010 | Maytag MSD2756G Side by Side Refrigerator

1 Answer

Vacuum condenser message and freezer coils freezing up


You have a blockage in the coils you will have to call a tech out to have it looked atunless you have all the tools to fix it, could be a defrost unit going bad, however when the coils are freezing it means it's going to be a big job. And depending on make and modle may not be worth fixing.

Aug 06, 2009 | Refrigerators

1 Answer

Frige light on not cooling,freezer fan working but not freezing


Hello there. Let me see if I can assist you.

A refrigerator or freezer that is cooling, but cooling poorly, may have a problem in one of several areas:

Evaporator coils
Condenser
Poor cooling is often the result of a heavy frost build-up on the evaporator coils or a condenser that is clogged with dust, lint, and dirt.

Evaporator coils Poor cooling is often the result of a heavy frost build-up on the evaporator coils. You can't see these coils without removing a panel on the inside of your freezer. A sure sign that there is a build-up is the presence of any frost or ice build-up on the inside walls, floor, or ceiling of the freezer. Such a frost build-up usually indicates a problem in the self-defrosting system or damaged door gaskets.

The refrigerator is supposed to self-defrost approximately four times in every 24 hour period. If one of the components in the self-defrosting system fails, the refrigerator continues to try to cool. Eventually, though, so much frost builds up on the evaporator coils that the circulating fan can't draw air over the coils. There may still be a small amount of cooling because the coils are icy, but with no air flow over the coils, cooling in the refrigerator compartment is quite limited.

Here's an inexpensive, though inconvenient, way to determine if the problem is with the self-defrosting system. Remove all of the perishable food from the refrigerator and freezer, turn the thermostat in the refrigerator to Off, and leave the doors open for 24 to 48 hours. (Be sure to have several towels ready in case the melting frost and ice causes the drip pan to overflow). This allows the refrigerator to defrost "manually." When the frost and ice build-up has completely melted away, turn the thermostat back to a normal setting. If the refrigerator then cools properly, it indicates a problem with one of three components in the self-defrosting system:

  • The defrost timer

  • The defrost thermostat (also called the bi-metal switch)

  • The defrost heater

If it still does not cool properly, there may be a problem with the refrigerant level or the compressor. You may need to consult with a qualified appliance repair technician to further diagnose the problem

Condenser Self-defrosting refrigerators all have a set of coils and a cooling fan, usually under the refrigerator, that need to be cleaned regularly. If these coils get coated with dust, dirt or lint, the refrigerator may not cool properly. The coils may appear to be a thin, black, wide radiator-like device behind the lower kick-panel. To clean them, disconnect the refrigerator from the power source, use a refrigerator condenser brush (see the Appliance Accessories section) and your vacuum cleaner to clean the coils of any lint, pet hair, etc. You may not be able to get to all of the condenser from the front, it may be necessary to clean the remainder of the condenser from the rear of the refrigerator.

May 27, 2009 | Refrigerators

2 Answers

P1 code displayed in LED


Condenser coils do not freeze, it is the evaporator coils that freeze. If it is icing up then the setting is too low for the area it is in, basically the humidistat will never be satisfied so it will run continually and end up freezing the evap coils, the coils could also freeze if the filter is dirty or there is an air flow problem.

Apr 13, 2009 | Dehumidifiers

2 Answers

Subzero 550 coils


I had same problem very recently.  The problem with both the refrigerator and freezer on the 550 is that the drain line that takes condensation and water from the defrost cycle to the drain pan freezes up. Sub Zero parts suppliers will sell you a fix-it kit which I used for the refrigerator.  The kit is simply a heater wire that you plug into one of the existing circuits and runs down the length of the drain pipe to keep it from freezing up.  When my freezer started doing the same thing I ordered the kit for the freezer but the wire was too fat for the drain pipe so a Sub Zero rep gave me a better and more elegant solution.  You need a length of bare 12 guage copper wire, about 24 inches.  Run it through the drain pipe with about 6 inches exposed at each end.  On the underside of the fridge, wrap the end of the copper wire a few times around the black heater coil that you will see running back and forth.  At the upper end, wrap the copper wire around the black heater coil that defrosts the freezer coil.  The heat generated by the two coil will simply conduct heat through the copper wire and keep your drain line from freezing up.  There is a 90 degree bend in the drain line which makes it difficult to feed the copper wire through.  I suggest using guitar string or picture hanging wire as a snake.  Feed that through first, then us it to pull the copper wire through.  Good Luck!

Aug 10, 2008 | Sub-Zero Bottom Freezer Refrigerator

1 Answer

Samsung RB2055Sl Top refrigerator couling coil freezing up every 2 or 3 weeks


The problem is freeze up. Bad door gasket or too much window shopping are the biggest issues. Could be low gas. Either take off the back freezer panel and defrost or unplug for 2 days to defrost fully. Oh, and clean the condenser coil. Then, let's see what the unit does.

Nov 27, 2007 | Samsung RS2630SH Side by Side Refrigerator

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