Common Freezer Problems

Household freezers are a great way to store a large amount of food for future use, allowing people to make large purchases of meat or vegetables when on sale and use them later, to store food from the garden for winter, and to store meat from hunting.


Some common freezer problems can be solved fairly easily, but others require professional service.

If the freezer is not running at all, check the fuse or circuit breaker. Freezers require a great deal of electricity. Something else running in the vicinity at the same time can trigger a safety stop.


If the freezer is not cooling as well as it should, listen to hear if the compressor motor is humming or making a steady noise as it should be.


If the compressor is working, the thermostat may need replacing.

Evaporator Coils

The freezer also may not cool properly when the evaporator coil freezes over due to dust and dirt. This requires unplugging the freezer for a manual defrosting. If you want to clean the coil, you'll need to open a panel at the back, which should be diagrammed in your owner's manual.


Ice build-up inside the freezer indicates a malfunctioning automatic defroster.

Continuous Running

If the freezer runs continuously, the thermostat may be defective, the level of refrigerant may be low, or the freezer may be too close to a wall. This leaves the condenser coil unable to radiate heat away from the appliance.


If the freezer is noisy, it may be simply that the appliance is not level, or much worse, that the compressor may be failing.

About the Author

Shelley Moore is a journalist and award-winning short-story writer. She specializes in writing about personal development, health, careers and personal finance. Moore has been published in "Family Circle" magazine and the "Milwaukee Sentinel" newspaper, along with numerous other national and regional magazines, daily and weekly newspapers and corporate publications. She has a Bachelor of Science in psychology.