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You say the defrost heater is working, but does it switch off at the end of the defrost cycle?
A refrigerator is a closed box and the only water vapour to condense and freeze to produce ice should be from the food and the opening of the door. Remember the days before auto defrost when a fridge in good order needed defrosting only a couple or three of times each year? That is a normal ice build up.
A freezer needed less deicing than that.
Excessive ice signals the possibility of an insulation failure (search for cold areas on the outer casing) a bad door seal, an auto defrost malfunction or possibly a general decline in the efficiency of the cooling system due to a worn compressor or lack of refrigerant - an ice build up in the freezer only means the temperature is below freezing, you didn't mention what the freezer temperature actually is but I wager it is far above the minus 18 - 27 degrees C of an efficient freezer.
One method of judging the efficiency of a refrigeration system - the purpose of which is to move heat from the inside of the cabinet to the outside where it is dispersed by the condenser which will naturally become quite warm. If the condenser isn't as warm or even almost hot as usual while the compressor is running then it isn't efficiently moving heat from inside the cabinet.
Generally a lack of efficiency tends towards longer than usual compressor cycling and even constant running.
Noise can come from these areas: The inside of the freezerSelf-defrosting refrigerators use a circulating
fan to move the air through the freezer and refrigerator compartments.
This fan runs whenever the unit is cooling. The fan is located in the
freezer, as follows:If the freezer is on top, the fan is on the back wall,
near the top or bottom, in the center of the freezer. If the freezer is on the bottom, the fan is on the
back wall, near the top of the freezer. If the freezer is on the left, the fan is on the back
wall, halfway up or near the top.Over time, the fan may become noisy--usually
making a chirping or squealing sound, though it may make a loud groaning
noise instead. To find out if the fan is causing the noise, just
open the freezer door and push in any fan/light switches. If the noise
is louder when the door is open, the evaporator fan motor is the cause.
You can't lubricate or repair this motor. You must replace it.
The outside back of the refrigeratorThere are three components on the outside back of
the refrigerator that may become noisy: the compressor, the condenser
fan motor (if self-defrosting), or the defrost timer (if
self-defrosting). The compressor is a football-sized case with no
apparent moving parts. You can see it on the outside of the refrigerator
at the back near the bottom. It is usually black and has black or
copper-colored tubes and various colored wires attached to it. If the
compressor is the device making noise, there is probably no repair that
will reduce the noise. You will have to replace it--which can be quite
costly. If the condenser fan is making noise, there may be a
build-up of lint or other debris on the fan blade. The fan is located
near the back of the machine, sometimes behind a thin panel. To clean
it, first unplug the refrigerator, remove the thin panel, and use a soft
bristle brush to clean it. If there is no lint build-up or debris on
the blade, you will have to replace the motor.The defrost timer is often located at the bottom of
the refrigerator, near the front and behind the kick plate.
Occasionally the electric motor inside the timer may become noisy. The
timer must be replaced to solve this problem.
The bottom of the refrigeratorNoises detected at the bottom of the refrigerator
almost always originate from the back of the refrigerator. However,
sometimes the drain pan under the refrigerator will rattle. You may
need to tape the pan in place to stop a rattle. Also see the “Outside
back of the refrigerator.”
two options...one drain hole blocked in freezer,clean with copper wire/bleach to clear gunge.
two outside temp too cold i.e. unit in garage/outhouse( too cold for compressor )
also check seal to doors.air leaks...
Refrigerators are designed for indoor use only. The lowest temperature they will perform normally is 55 degrees.
As the temperature drops below that it degades to the point of not working at all.
P.S. If you move it inside, give it a 24 hour warm up period. The oil in the compressor will be too thick, and can even ruin itself trying.
on most units they have two controls refrigerator control is electric t-stat that runs compressor freezer control think of it as a door colder freezer door is barely open warmer freezer door all the way open all cooling coils are in the freezer and a fan moves the air to refrigerater side possible problem fan not running door freezer control all the way closed light switch broken light staying on door gasket not sealing tight find door switch press verify light shuts off and fan starts look for torn or damaged door gasket can look from outside with light and see if gasket contacts case on all four sides freezer is cold enough so compressor is ok hope this helps good luck ron
on most units they have two controls refrigerator control is electric t-stat that runs compressor freezer control think of it as a door colder freezer door is barely open warmer freezer door all the way open all cooling coils are in the freezer and a fan moves the air to refrigerater side possible problem fan not running
door freezer control all the way closed
light switch broken light staying on door gasket not sealing tight find door switch press verify light shuts off and fan starts
look for torn or damaged door gasket can look from outside with light and see if gasket contacts case on all four sides
freezer is cold enough so compressor is ok hopr this helps good luck ron
turn the unit on and hear if the compressor is running
if it is and the coils or walls get hot , the unit is operating
That leaves a problem thermostat or program control board as the possible failure points , unless the seal has again come out at the bottom and the door is not sealing properly
f the refrigerator isn't cool, you need to answer some questions, then see if the compressor is running.
First, answer these questions:
Is the refrigerator completely dead? If so, see “It's stopped completely.”
Is the thermostat knob turned to the proper setting? If not, reset it.
Next, see if the compressor motor is running
The compressor is a football-sized case with no apparent moving parts. It's on the outside of the refrigerator at the back near the bottom. If it is humming or making a continuous noise and your refrigerator is still not cooling, there may be a more serious problem with one or more of several different components, we recommend contacting a qualified appliance repair technician for further help.
If the compressor is not running but you do have power to the refrigerator, there may be a problem with one or more of these: