Freezer Not Freezing

Freezer Not Freezing – What Causes a Fridge Not to Freeze?

What Causes a Fridge Not to Freeze?

If you’ve ever experienced a fridge that doesn’t freeze your food, then you know the frustration that comes with it. A refrigerator that doesn’t keep things cold enough can lead to spoilage, waste, and expensive repairs. In this article, we’ll explore the common reasons why a fridge may fail to freeze and what you can do to troubleshoot and fix the problem.

How Does the Freezer of My Fridge Work?

When we think of our fridge, the first thing that comes to mind is often the freezer compartment. It’s where we store our ice cream, frozen vegetables, and meats, and it’s a crucial part of our daily lives. But have you ever stopped to wonder how the freezer in your fridge actually works? In this article, we’ll explore the inner workings of your fridge’s freezer and explain the science behind it.

Understanding the Basics of Refrigeration

Before we dive into the specifics of the freezer, it’s important to understand the basics of refrigeration. At its core, refrigeration is the process of removing heat from an enclosed space. This is achieved through a cycle of compression and expansion of a refrigerant gas, which absorbs and releases heat as it changes states.

Components of a Refrigeration System

A typical refrigeration system consists of four main components: the compressor, the condenser, the expansion valve, and the evaporator. The compressor is responsible for compressing the refrigerant gas, which increases its temperature and pressure. The hot, high-pressure gas then flows to the condenser, where it is cooled and condensed into a liquid. The liquid refrigerant then flows through the expansion valve, where it undergoes a sudden drop in pressure, causing it to expand and evaporate. This evaporation process absorbs heat, cooling the refrigerant gas, which then flows to the evaporator.

The Freezer Compartment

Now that we understand the basics of refrigeration, let’s take a closer look at the freezer compartment of your fridge. The freezer works by taking advantage of the fact that the evaporator coils are located inside the freezer compartment. As the liquid refrigerant flows through the evaporator coils, it absorbs heat from the air inside the freezer, cooling it down.

How the Freezer Maintains a Cold Temperature

To maintain a constant cold temperature in the freezer, the refrigeration system continuously circulates the refrigerant gas. As the refrigerant gas absorbs heat from the air inside the freezer, it becomes warmer and flows back to the compressor to be compressed and heated up again. This cycle repeats, keeping the temperature inside the freezer constant.

Frost Build-Up

One common issue with freezers is frost build-up. Frost can form on the evaporator coils over time, reducing their ability to absorb heat and causing the freezer to work less efficiently. To prevent frost build-up, most modern freezers have automatic defrost systems that periodically heat up the evaporator coils to melt any accumulated frost.

Reasons Why Your Fridge May Not Be Freezing

1. Dirty Condenser Coils

The condenser coils are responsible for releasing heat from the fridge’s refrigerant. Over time, these coils can become covered in dust and debris, which can make it difficult for the fridge to expel heat properly. This can cause the fridge to work harder than it should and may lead to inadequate cooling. Cleaning the condenser coils regularly can help prevent this problem.

2. Malfunctioning Evaporator Fan

The evaporator fan is responsible for circulating the cold air from the evaporator throughout the fridge. If this fan isn’t working correctly, then cold air may not be distributed evenly, leading to areas of the fridge that are too warm. Replacing the fan motor or blade can fix this issue.

3. Faulty Thermostat

The thermostat is responsible for regulating the temperature inside the fridge. If the thermostat is malfunctioning, then it may not be sending the correct signals to the compressor or evaporator fan, leading to temperature fluctuations. Replacing the thermostat can solve this problem.

4. Low Refrigerant Levels

If the refrigerant levels are low, then the fridge may not be able to cool properly. This could be due to a leak in the system or an improper charge. An HVAC technician can test the refrigerant levels and add more if necessary.

5. Clogged Capillary Tube

The capillary tube is responsible for regulating the flow of refrigerant through the system. If this tube becomes clogged with debris or ice, then the flow of refrigerant may be restricted, leading to inadequate cooling. Cleaning or replacing the capillary tube can solve this problem.

Troubleshooting Tips

If your fridge isn’t freezing properly, there are a few things you can try before calling in a professional.

  • Check the temperature settings to ensure they are at the correct level.
  • Clean the condenser coils to ensure proper heat dissipation.
  • Make sure the evaporator fan is working correctly.
  • Check for any leaks in the refrigerant system.
  • Defrost the fridge if ice has built up on the evaporator coils.


A fridge that doesn’t freeze can be a frustrating problem to deal with, but with the right troubleshooting steps, it can often be resolved. Checking the temperature settings, ensuring proper air circulation, and examining the components can all help identify the cause of the issue. However, if none of these steps work, it’s best to call in a professional technician to avoid causing further damage.


  1. Why is my fridge running but not cooling? If your fridge is running but not cooling, it could be due to a variety of issues, including a faulty compressor or evaporator fan, a clogged capillary tube, or low refrigerant levels.
  2. Can I fix a fridge that’s not freezing on my own? While there are some troubleshooting steps you can take on your own, it’s often best to call in a professional technician to avoid causing further damage to the fridge.
  3. How often should I clean the condenser coils on my fridge? It’s recommended to clean the condenser coils on your fridge at least once every six months to ensure proper cooling and prevent energy waste.
  4. How can I prevent my fridge from not freezing in the future? Regular maintenance, such as cleaning the condenser coils and checking the temperature settings, can help prevent issues with a fridge not freezing in the future.
  5. How long should a fridge last before needing repairs? The lifespan of a fridge can vary depending on usage and maintenance, but on average, a well-maintained fridge can last between 10-15 years before needing significant repairs.