How To Fix An Upright Freezer

a freezer full of frost
  • 2 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 50
What You'll Need
Vacuum cleaner
What You'll Need
Vacuum cleaner

If your stored food is coming out defrosted, it may be time to fix your upright freezer. An upright freezer is a great addition to a home, especially for people looking to save money by purchasing bulk frozen food items. However, a poor or inoperative unit poses not only financial distress but can create quite a mess as well. Follow some simple suggestions to make sure you put the fix on your upright freezer.

Step 1 – Quick Troubleshooting

First, determine the problem. It may be simple, like the light staying on when the door closes or a need for defrosting. Many cooling problems for freezers come from faulty door gaskets or doors that no longer seat properly and do not close correctly. Once you’ve determined the cause of the malfunction, then proceed seeking its solution.

Step 2 – Where’s the Juice?

If your upright freezer is not running, first check your power connection. Anything can happen to dislodge a power cord or trip a circuit breaker. Ensure that the cord is firmly plugged into the wall outlet, especially after a power outage like during a storm.

Also, check to see if the circuit breaker switch has been tripped. Check to see if there are any tears in the cord or an improper or loose connection to the unit that may be tripping the breaker.

Step 3 - Defrost the Freezer

If the freezer isn’t getting cold enough, try defrosting the unit. Units not supplied with an automatic defrost unit need occasional defrosting to maintain proper temperatures. Also, check to make sure the temperature is correct.

Furthermore, check to see if the door has been properly closed or closes properly. Sometimes a carelessly stored item keeps a freezer door from closing properly, affecting the overall operation.

Step 4 – Reset the Thermostat

You may need to reset the thermostat if the freezer runs too warm or too cold. Sometimes the thermostat needs to be calibrated because you have it set for a particular temperature that isn’t reached. If resetting the thermostat doesn’t work, replace it.

Step 5 – Test the Timer

If your unit is accompanied by an automatic defrost, check to see if the timer is working correctly. Turn the dial until you hear a clicking sound. If the unit is not defrosting correctly, and when you turn the dial either the fan or compressor kicks off, then replace the timer component.

Step 6 – Clean the Coils

Try cleaning the condenser coils at the rear of the upright freezer unit. Sometimes dirty coils cause a freezer to not operate correctly.

Make sure to pull the freezer away from the wall. Always unplug the power cord before cleaning. Remove any protective panel and use a vacuum with a narrow extension attachment to suck out any dust and debris. Replace the protective cover. Allow the freezer ample time to properly reach its operating temperature. Cleaning the coils should be part of any periodic maintenance.

Remember to follow the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance instructions which may prevent the need for any repairs.