freezer not as cold as it used to be

hjihjiJuly 7, 2012

We have a six year old Frigidaire side by side fridge/freezer (with water/ice in door and icemaker). Over the last few days the freezer is warmer than it used to be. Things are starting to be less "frozen" than before (like ice cream is softer now). The refrigerator side still seems fine, temperature-wise, which seems odd to me.

About 12 hours ago I turned down the temperature a notch on the freezer control, and that might help the problem, although it hasn't helped yet.

My main concern is that "something" changed that caused this to happen, and I'd like to hear ideas on what that might be, and suggestions to reverse the situation, if at all possible. For what it's worth, it is warm here, but not all that warm. Our kitchen has remained at a comfortable temperature.

Thanks.

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maire_cate

Have you cleaned the condenser coils lately?

    Bookmark   July 7, 2012 at 1:42PM
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jerry_nj

I second the clean (vacuum, best on my refrig if I also use a narrow "rat tail" brush).

Still, if the refrigerator part seems normal, the "problem" may be simply the allocation of cold air to the freezer part, or too much (crowded) stuff in the freezer. I don't know how others work, but my experience is the temperature in the freeze is controlled by the % of cooling sent there, not by the temperature in the freezer. Of course if one turns down the temperature in the refrigerator section and all else remains the same, the freezer temperature should go lower too.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2012 at 5:03PM
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hjihji

Thanks for the suggestions. I cleaned off the coils. They were covered in dust, but it didn't seem excessive.

As of a couple of hours later, the freezer is still not very cold.

My wife thinks that the fridge part is warmer than it used to be as well, so maybe the compressor is going, or maybe some computer board has stopped working.

If it's not colder by tomorrow, I'll call the appliance repair place when it opens.

Thanks for your help.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2012 at 4:02PM
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dadoes

Trouble with the defrost system can also cause cooling problems. The evaporator coil (in the freezer section) gets clogged with frost/ice which interferes with airflow. Failure points can be the heating element, defrost timer or control board, and the thermostat or thermistor that controls duration of the defrost period.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2012 at 4:29PM
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hjihji

Here's a picture of the condenser coils. There is a little bit of ice buildup, but only near where the coils begin.

Any thoughts on this?

    Bookmark   July 8, 2012 at 6:08PM
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dadoes

This pic is when the unit has running for some period of time? Assuming so, appears to be a refrigerant problem. There should be light frosting well onto the coils.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2012 at 6:17PM
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hjihji

Yes, the fridge has been running continuously. For the past several hours or day it's even been turned to the coldest setting.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2012 at 6:26PM
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sjerin

I had bad luck with a 5-year-old GE which did the same; the repairman ran out of ideas and we had to toss it. Such a wasteful shame. I hope your story turns out much better!

    Bookmark   July 8, 2012 at 6:45PM
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