Refridge/Freezer not working, no frost, still defrost??


Old 06-04-15, 06:11 AM
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Refridge/Freezer not working, no frost, still defrost??

In the place that I'm renting, they provide a fridge/freezer for me.
It's 136 L total (101 fridge and 35L freezer). About 3 weeks ago I noticed that
the food in the freezer was not frozen anymore. It was melting and getting soggy. The freezer is divided by a shelf in the middle. If I put stuff on the bottom shelf, it would freeze like normal but anything on the shelf would not freeze.

The owner told me that I should try and unplug the fridge and leave the doors open overnight and let it melt. Let what melt? Ice? When i look in the freezer, there is no ice or frost build up anywhere. Is there ice or frost build up INSIDE the freezer behind the walls that I cannot see? Could that be it? I checked as best as I could with a flashlight and can't see any signs of ice or frost build up.

So anyways, I unplugged it and left the doors open for about 6 hours. After checking, it was dry inside and no puddles of water anywhere. I decided to plug it back in, and put a couple ice packs in there, one on the shelf and one below the shelf. After about 12 hours, i checked and the ice pack below the shelf was frozen again (like before) but the ice pack above the shelf was completely unfrozen.

When i told the owner he told me that I was supposed to leave it unplugged for overnight (6 hours was not enough i guess?). So now I'm doing it again and this time going to leave it unplugged with doors open for 12+ hours and then plug it back in again tomorrow and try.

What bugs me is that I think the result will be the SAME. The bottom part will freeze but the top part won't. I don't see anything that needs to be defrosted and there is no ice or melted ice / water anywhere. I don't think unplugging it for 6 hours (room temp is about 25 C now) or for 12 hours is going to make a difference. Am i wrong? Or am I right that this is most likely a defective fridge and needs to get repaired or replaced?

How long does defrosting need to go for? And if there's no ice or frost to melt, is it even something I need to do?


Note: this is not a new fridge, it's most likely a few years old at least 5 to 7 years old maybe more. The fridge section seems to have worked fine albeit still thought it was a tad warmish to me and not as cool as I'd like....even with the setting switched to high/max. The freezer section was definitely most noticeable part not functioning as it shouldn't matter if item is placed on the shelf or under it, it should all freeze. He also suggested that it was because I had crammed in the tiny 35 L freezer section too full. Really? I never heard of a freezer that doesn't work because you put too much stuff in it? Any help would be appreciated.
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Old 06-04-15, 06:16 AM
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I think that the results will be the same as well. What make & model is the fridge?
Old 06-04-15, 06:22 AM
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LG R-B14
Thanks for the quick reply.
Old 06-04-15, 06:26 AM
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I was trying to do a search on the net as to how long defrosting a freezer should take and all the results were showing me things like ice and frost build up in the freezer that need to melt, and that's when I thought, 'hmm? but i don't have any frost or ice whatsoever.' unless its behind the walls of the freezer that I can't see. Even still, i figured 6 hours would be more than enough time for it to melt but there was no sign of water or anything that had melted even after 6 hours.
Old 06-04-15, 09:02 AM
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We have had similar trouble with a brand new GE fridge/freezer so your troubles are not unfamiliar. Although I am not an appliance pro, two things come to mind. First is that if the freezer is packed so tight/full that airflow within the freezer is not occuring, you will get cold and warm spots. making sure not to block any fans or vents is important. Second, There are fans within the freezer case that you don't see. It is their job to circulate the cold/cooling air so that the walls of the freezer get cold and share the cold with all of the products within. If these fans fail and do not move the air, you will get cold and warm spots.

With all of that said, it can take more than 6 hours to melt ice. Consider that the freezer cabinet is insulated to make it more efficient. The places you are defrosting are not readily exposed to warm air so more than 6 hours for a good chunk of ice to melt is not unrealistic. As for seeing puddles, there is often a drip pan somwhere in the lower portion of the appliance frame that will catch the moisture and allow it to evaporate without harming your floors.

If it were my fridge, the answer of allowing it to warm or melt overnight would not really be acceptable. That is a treatment for a symptom but not a cure. If allowing it to warm and having any internal ice melt fixes the problem, you are back at the beginnig of the cycle waiting for it to freeze over again. Ours took about 2 weeks to fail after each "repair". I am now in my second week waiting to see if the most recent fix is for real. My house AC stopped working because of a problem that cause the entire coil to freeze over. They could not work on it until it defrosted but then a repair was made. It took more than just defrosting it to make things right. Freezers are not meant to require defrosting (for ice you can't even see) so asking you to do that is not a repair.

Good luck with your landlord.

- Peter
Old 06-04-15, 08:34 PM
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The only mention I can find of an LG R-B14 is in Australia. Usually I can link to foreign appliances but the model number you left doesn't appear. Is that the complete model number ?

A frost free refrigerator is designed to self defrost itself. That process uses a heating element and the coil unthaws in under a half hour. Your unit could have a self defrost problem. A manual defrost can take up to 24 hours.

You aren't going to see any ice buildup. You would need to remove the cold coil cover to check.

Does your fridge run all the time ? If yes maybe the coils and fan underneath need to be cleaned.

As mentioned previously mentioned..... you could have a problem with the evaporator (cold coil) fan. You should feel air blowing thru the fridge and freezer when the door button is held in.
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