Icing Inside the Refrigerator ? Is too much frost building up in your refrigerator despite the fact you regularly defrost it? Here, we explain the various possible causes for this issue and how you can fix it.
Why is the Inside of the Refrigerator Freezing?
The room is too warm
Pay careful attention to the temperature of the room where your appliance is located. Avoid putting your fridge in a south-facing room that gets too warm in summer. The heat could prevent your refrigerator from performing efficiently. If you have your fridge in the kitchen, we recommend you avoid placing it next to an oven or a radiator. The warm air you allow into your fridge each time you open it will cause additional frost to build up. Also check your refrigerator’s climate class rating. Class N fridges are not designed to operate in temperatures below 16°C or above 32°C.
The fridge is overfilled
If you fill your appliance up all in one go, such as when you return from grocery shopping for example, this will indirectly cause more frost to build up. We therefore recommend you fill your fridge in stages and check the guidance provided by your appliance’s manufacturer.
The door seal is worn
If the door seal is damaged or not sitting flat and flush when the door is closed, warm air in the room where the fridge is located could seep into its interior. If this happens, it will cause frost to build up. You can try cleaning the joint to see if it helps; though if it’s too worn, you’ll need to replace it.
The door is warped
If the seal is in good condition and properly positioned but doesn’t sit flush against the body of the fridge, the door itself may be warped. If this is the case, you will need to replace it.
The light switch is no longer working
If the switch for the light in your fridge is no longer working, the bulb will stay on all the time and generate heat inside the appliance when the door is closed. This will lead to frost building up and will cause the fridge to be at the wrong temperature. A simple way to check if this is happening or not is by placing a smartphone inside the refrigerator for a few seconds with its camcorder filming. If the resulting video reveals that the light is staying on, you will likely need to replace the door switch.
The defrost thermostat is defective or a thermal fuse has failed
On appliances fitted with frost-free technology, the thermal fuses (either with or without a thermostat) are special components that provide thermal protection by tripping if the defrost thermostat fails to work. If these fuses blow or fail, defrosting will not occur, and this will cause excess frost to build up. You can test these fuses by simply placing the two probes of a multimeter, in ohmmeter mode, on their terminals. If you don’t get a reading, the offending fuse(s) will probably need to be replaced.
The defrost heating element is faulty
Fridges fitted with frost-free technology feature a special defrost heating element that serves to melt away any ice that happens to form on the evaporator. If this component is defective, excess frost will build up. You can test the heating element using a multimeter in ohmmeter mode. Disconnect all the element’s connectors and place the meter’s probes on its two terminals. If it does not have continuity, it will need to be replaced.
The defrost timer is not working
The defrost timer enables the defrosting process on your fridge to be started automatically. If it’s defective, this could cause excess frost to build up. You can manually turn the timer yourself until the defrosting process begins, at which point you’ll hear a click. Wait to see if the heating element heats up, though make sure the appliance is sufficiently cold for this to happen. If the heating element does not heat up, either the timer or the element itself will likely be the issue.
The damper has stuck open
On fridge-freezers equipped with frost-free technology, each time the fridge compartment requests more cold, the fan on the freezer begins operating and the damper opens to allow cold air to diffuse into the refrigerator. Once the correct temperature has been reached, the damper closes again. If the damper sticks open for any reason, warm air from the refrigerator part of the appliance will find its way to the evaporator, causing excess frost to build up. If access permits, you can test the damper yourself. Remove any covers, etc., so you can test it visually, then turn the thermostat in the refrigerator to maximum and wait for the motor and the fan to begin operating. If the flap closes when you open the door and opens when you close it, everything is working as normal.
The sensors are damaged
The sensors on the fridge and freezer are used to take readings of the temperatures in the different compartments. They also serve to turn off the heating elements at the end of the defrost cycle (on frost-free appliances only). If any are defective, this can cause excess frost to build up. You can test them by using a multimeter in ohmmeter mode to measure what values they give.
The thermostat is faulty
If the thermostat is faulty, it will no longer be able to regulate the temperature in your fridge. This could cause your appliance to operate continually and become too cold. To check the fridge’s thermostat is working properly, place the end of the thermostatic sensor in a glass of very cold water with ice cubes in it, and adjust the thermostat setting using the dial. If you can’t get it to switch on, you will probably need to replace it. You can also check the thermostat by testing it for continuity when on or off using a multimeter in ohmmeter mode.
The compressor is defective
If the compressor is not working properly, it will struggle to circulate the coolant fluid, which could indirectly cause excess frost to build up. If the compressor is defective, you will need to get it replaced by a professional.
The coolant is no longer able to circulate
Oil from the motor can sometimes get into the coolant circuit, which may lead to a blockage forming. This could indirectly cause excess frost to build up. Excess frost can also build up if any coolant gas (in its liquid state) escapes from the cooling circuit. If the coolant is the source of the issue, you will need to call in a professional.
The circuit board is faulty
If the circuit board that regulates the temperature is faulty, the fridge will run non-stop and get too cold, which will cause frost to build up. If you have already checked all the things mentioned above and everything’s fine and in proper working order, you’ll need to start thinking in terms of replacing the circuit board. You can either do this yourself or call on the services of a manufacturer-approved engineer.