Every refrigerator that have a freezer will cause ice building up . But , there are components inside the refrigerator that will prevent ice building up . However , Failure of these components may cause ice building up . But , There are few occasions that ice build up may occur and kept building up due to other unexpected reasons .However ,Most of the time fixing refrigerator ice buildup can be a easy task .Do you have a refrigerator that build up ice in the freezer compartment ?. But , every other component such as de-frost timer , heater , thermostat works fine ? . Here is how to locate your problem and fix it . We will show you how unusual components inside the freezer that may cause the problem.
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The Causes of Refrigerator freezer ice building up
First ,Lets look into the common causes of ice building up in the freezer compartment of the refrigerator . Here are the most common causes of ice build up and how to fix it . But , If you have a fridge that all these components working fine , Skip to the The unusual case of Refrigerator freezer ice building up section.
Bad Defrost Timer
8 out of 10 times this is the reason behind ice build-up in the freezer cabin in your refrigerator . This timer have two states one is cooling mode and the other is defrost mode . This timer will work continuously switching one mode after another . Thus , When one mode is on the other mode is off . [ Here is more on how de-frost timer work and how to check it] .
How defrost timer cause ice build-up – If the defrost timer not working which will cause the timer to stuck in a one mode . Most likely to be in the cooling mode (Because most of the time the timer is on the cooling mode (6+ hours )) . Therefore , Causing the fridge to be continuously cool .As a result, , ice will build up top of another .Since , The heaters only works on de-frost mode , there is no way to melt the ice build-up.
Fix – [ Check the defrost timer ] and if its bad , Replace it.
This is the main component of the de-frost mode of a refrigerator .This heating tubing situated alongside the freezer evaporator tubing touching the aluminum fins . The ice will build-up in top of the evaporator tubing and the aluminum fins of it . Since, The heater elements tubing touches the fins of the evaporator , Once in the de-frost mode heat of the heater element will melt almost every ice on the evaporator. which will flow through the drain and collected at the bottom water collector of the refrigerator.
How heater can cause ice build-up – Even if the de-frost timer works , bad or burned heating element will cause the ice to be left . Therefore, No melting of ice .yes , In the de-frost mode the cooling components will not work , which will cause the temperature inside freezer to increase .But , This temperature increase is not enough to melt the build-up ice.Also the defrost mode will only remain shot amount of time.
Fix – [ Check the Heater ] and if its bad , Replace it.
This is less likely a main cause of ice build up in a refrigerator .Because , If defrost system works fine there is very less chance malfunctioning thermostat can cause ice-build up . Worst case scenario malfunctioning thermostat can cause compressor to be always on during the cooling circle. Yes , This can cause more ice build-up . But , good functioning defrost system can melt this ice buildup . But , If you have poor functioning defrost elements (bad timer or bad heater) , bad thermostat can cause ice build up in the freezer compartment.
Fix – [ Check the thermostat ] and if its bad , Replace it.
Bad Thermal Fuse
The thermal fuse inside the freezer is a safety device designed to prevent overheating of the heater element of the refrigerator . This fuse will blow at a set temperature . Cutting the power to the heater . However , If for some reason heater starts to continuously work or overheat. Thermal fuse and thermal switch both comes in a single package .If one goes bad , you have to replace the whole unit.
How a bad thermal fuse can cause ice build-up – If the fuse is blown , there is no power to the heater .No power means no heat to melt the ice build-up in the evaporator.
Fix – [ Check the Thermal Fuse ] and if its bad , Replace it.
Clogged Freezer Drain
There is a drain below the evaporator assembly to drain the melted ice to the water collector tank at the back of the fridge or the refrigerator .However , If you have ice build-up in the bottom of the evaporator and freezer compartment clogged drain may be the reason behind it.
How a clogged drain can cause ice build-up – If the freezer drain is clogged there is no place to melting ice to flow but collect inside the freezer compartment .which will become ice during the cooling circle.
Fix – Melt the ice , clean the drain .If there is a drain filter at the bottom of the refrigerator (above the water collector tank ) remove it and clean it . pour some warm water from freezer compartment and check whether the water is coming to the water collector tank.
Bad freezer Fan
The fan inside the freezer is responsible for creating the air flow throughout the refrigerator .It helps the dissipation of cold generated at the evaporator tubing.Thus , Preventing ice build up to a some degree. Without it the cold generated at evaporator tubing has no way to go .
Fix – check If the air flow happening inside the freezer during the cooling circle . If not [ Here is how to check and fix it ]
The Unusual Case of Refrigerator freezer ice building up
If every above component works , What could be the cause of ice build up in the freezer ? . Here is how to find out .
Step 1 – Switch off the refrigerator . Melt the remaining ice using a hair dryer or using warm water . Make sure to remove the water inside the water collector during the process.
Step 2 – Remove the freezer front plate . Melt if there any ice behind it hair dryer or using warm water .
Step 3 – Remove the freezer back plate (If there is any) . Melt if there is any ice using hair dryer or using warm water . Melt the ice in the evaporator and other piping system in the freezer.
Step 4 – put back the freezer together and power up the refrigerator .let it run for about three or four days.
Step 5 – caught the refrigerator while it is on a defrost circle (refrigerator is very silent during this circle) . wait until the defrost circle is over (refrigerator starts to make sounds again due to compressor working) .
Step 5.1 – If you cant caught the freezer in the defrost mode force it to the defrost mode as mentioned in this article . Then, Let it be on that mode for about 20 minutes .
Step 6 – Turn off the refrigerator and take apart the front and back plates of the freezer compartment to access to the evaporator .Inspect where the ice is left after the defrost circle.
Step 7 – If there is no Ice. Then, continue from above Step 4 .
Step 8 – Where the ice left will show you what is the cause of the ice build up . Take an action to prevent ice build up on that components by replacing or removing them.
Fixing Refrigerator ice buildup – The back story
We had received a LG GR-282MVF refrigerator from a client . He is complaining about the ice building up in the freezer compartment . He had been tried to get it repaired by several technicians . Several parts had been replaced including defrost timer . But , the problem still persist . We have taken apart the freezer and checked every component .
✓ The timer works fine.
✓ Cooling and defrost circles works properly.
✓ Freezer fan works properly.
✓ Thermal fuse and Thermal switch works properly.
✓ Heater works properly.
✓ Thermostat works fine.
Everything seems to work fine . Using the above steps we were able to pinpoint the cause of ice build up in the freezer compartment.
So , what was the cause of ice build up in this case , A regiform part that supports the evaporator assembly . But , It was there before right ? .Why all of a sudden ?.
Here is the reason – This refrigerator is 10+ years old and the regiform part is aged . So , It lost it’s bonding between form balls . This means that water can easily move inside the form . Therefore , Causing it to soak in water . As cooling circle continues these water inside the form get freeze . Eventually , form will become a giant ice cube . The defrost circle is not enough to melt this giant ice cube . So , it grow during the cooling circle .
The fix in this case is obvious , remove or replace the regiform part . We tried to find the replacement part (part No – 303B in the LG GR-282MVF service Manual ) . But , they doesn’t have this part . Although this part is a evaporator support part , It’s not essential .Therefore , we decided to remove it and put back the refrigerator .After few month we got the feedback . The owner said everything works fine no ice build up.
Most of the time there may be one or more causes to the ice build up in the freezer of a refrigerator .Bad thermostat , bad defrost timer , bad thermal fuse , clogged freezer drain and malfunctioning fan .But , There also unusual causes that can cause ice building up . No matter what cause the ice build up , the most important thing is how to locate the cause of the problem .Open minded approach is what you need .