Chest Freezer Not Freezing At The Top – What To Do?

Disclosure: We may get commissions for purchases made through links in this post.

A chest freezer often goes unappreciated until it is not freezing correctly. There are many simple ways to resolve the issues that may cause your freezer not to freeze at the top. So, if your chest freezer malfunctions, you can easily have it functioning correctly in no time by executing some simple procedures. We have consulted experts in the repair and maintenance sector to help you solve the problem.

Your chest freezer may not be freezing at the top due to potential issues such as dirt on its condenser coil, frost on the evaporator coil, or malfunctions on some parts (e.g. the fan motor, thermostat, or start relay). Follow these basic steps to pinpoint your chest freezer issue:

  1. Check if the temperature control thermostat is set to an appropriate temperature.
  2. Check if the condenser coil is dirty.
  3. Check if the evaporator coil is frozen.
  4. Check if the evaporator fan motor is working correctly.
  5. Check if the start relay is working well.

Your chest freezer can malfunction for various reasons. Even though you may be able to locate and correct some of the faults, some may require the help of a certified expert. Keep reading to learn more on what to do if your chest freezer is not freezing at the top.

A chest freezer for shopping halls, Chest Freezer Not Freezing At The Top - What To Do?

Why Is My Freezer Not Freezing At The Top?

Your chest freezer is not freezing at the top due to the inability of the freezer to disperse heat effectively, thus, reducing its cooling capacity. Before troubleshooting the problem, you have to look into these underlying causes:

The Condenser Coil May Be Dirty

External air-cooled condenser used in refrigerator

Your freezer may not be freezing at the top because the condenser coil is dirty. This coil cools the refrigerant and expels heat out of the freezer continuously until the inside of the freezer reaches the appropriate temperature.

Dirt inhibits the effectiveness of the condenser coils. Dirt also increases wear and tear because it forces your freezer to work harder to release the heat.

There May Be Frost On The Evaporator Coil

The evaporator coil absorbs heat from the chest freezer and adds it to the refrigerant. The condenser coil then expels the heat. If the evaporator coil is frozen, warm air in the chest freezer will not pass over it, causing the freezer not to work correctly.

Your freezer has a defrost heater that melts any frost that accumulates on the evaporator coil. The heater may, however, not be working correctly, causing the evaporator coil to freeze.

Some Parts Of The Chest Freezer May Be Faulty

Your chest freezer will not freeze at the top if parts such as the evaporator fan, the start relay, or the thermostat are not working correctly, as the freezer will not absorb heat from the box.

The evaporator fan is responsible for drawing air over the evaporator coil and circulating it throughout the chest freezer.

When the fan is faulty, air neither moves nor flows over the evaporator coils. As a result, the freezer will not freeze at the top since warm air is not drawn from the box.

The temperature control thermostat maintains the desired temperature of your chest freezer by regulating the flow of electricity to the compressor.

When the thermostat is not working correctly, the freezer will not cool. Additionally, the thermostat settings may not be appropriate for freezing your food.

The start relay jumpstarts the compressor of your chest freezer. If the start relay is damaged, the compressor may not work, resulting in your chest freezer not freezing at the top.

How Do You Troubleshoot A Chest Freezer?

An empty chest freezer in supermarket

Your chest freezer should keep all the food stored in it frozen at all times. However, if it does not freeze at the top, you can follow these initial steps to determine the solution:

1. Check If The Temperature Control Thermostat Is Set To An Appropriate Temperature

For most chest freezer models, the thermostat is located on top of the chest freezer. In some models, it is located underneath the floor compartment or in the rear compartment.

Check the thermostat settings and adjust appropriately. Wait for a few minutes, then check if the freezer is freezing at the top. Alternatively, you can use a multimeter to confirm if the thermostat is conducting current.

Confirm that the freezer is connected to a power source and is receiving power. If the freezer is receiving power, the light comes on when you open the door.

2. Check For Dirt On The Condenser Coil

In modern chest freezers, the condenser coil is located underneath. You can, however, locate the coil in your freezer by checking the user manual.

Check if it is covered by dirt. Dirt reduces the effectiveness of the condenser coil to release heat; thus, the freezer might not be freezing at the top.

3. Check If The Evaporator Coil Is Frozen

The evaporator coil is connected to the condenser coil. Check if it is covered with frost, as this would make the freezer not freeze at the top. Also, check if the vents at the back of your freezer are not blocked, as this would hinder the free flow of air in your freezer.

4. Check If The Evaporator Fan Motor Is Working Correctly

You can check if your evaporator fan motor is working well by manually activating the door switch. If the fan does not run when the door switch is activated, it is most likely faulty.

Also, confirm that nothing is stuck on the condenser fan and that it spins freely to maintain the appropriate temperature in the freezer.

5. Check If The Start Relay Is Working Well

Remove the relay from the freezer to check if it is faulty. The relay is located at the lower bottom of the chest freezer, beneath the terminal cover. Test the relay terminals using a multitester.

If the start relay is damaged, the readings on the multitester will not be zero if tested upside down or infinity if tested right side up.

Final Troubleshooting Steps for A Chest Freezer Not Freezing At The Top

Once you have identified the root cause of your chest freezer problem, you can now prepare to do any of the following:

Clean The Condenser Coil With A Soft Brush And A Vacuum Cleaner

Cleaning the condenser coils with a soft brush and a vacuum cleaner will remove any dirt that may be clogging the coil, thus restoring the ability of the chest freezer to freeze at the top.

Clean the condenser coil often to ensure that it functions optimally. It would be most beneficial if you clean the coil every 6 months.

Ensure that you take care not to damage the coil when cleaning. If the coil breaks, the refrigerant will escape, and that will be quite costly to repair.

Defrost The Chest Freezer

If the evaporator coil is frozen, defrost the freezer manually. Defrosting the chest freezer may take a significant amount of time due to the number of steps involved.

For more information on how to defrost your chest freezer, check out our previous post on How To Quickly Defrost A Chest Freezer.

Replace The Faulty Parts

You need to replace the faulty parts of your chest freezer to restore it to optimal working condition. Ensure that you buy the make, model, and part number suitable for your chest freezer.

If the thermostat is faulty, replace it by following the simple guide in this video:

Replacing the start relay and the evaporator fan is a rather technical procedure. We recommend that you ask the experts or the manufacturer's recommended service location to replace the parts for you.

Do Chest Freezers Have A Reset Button?

Although some chest freezers have a reset button, most models don't. However, unplugging the chest freezer for 30 seconds or more and then plugging it back in will sometimes reset the freezer's control board.

How Do I Reset My Chest Freezer Compressor?

You can reset your chest freezer compressor by following these simple steps:

  1. Turn off and unplug the chest freezer.
  2. Follow the guidelines outlined in the user manual to turn off or set the controls inside the freezer to zero.
  3. Adjust the chest freezer controls to the desired settings. To do this, follow the user manual guidelines.
  4. Allow the chest freezer some time, say one day, to adjust to a stable temperature.

In Closing

You do not need to buy a new chest freezer just because it is not freezing at the top. You can troubleshoot and fix the problem by following the troubleshooting steps outlined in this post.

You can read the following articles to gain more insight into taking care of your chest freezer:

At What Temperature Should A Chest Freezer Be?

How Often To Defrost A Chest Freezer

Leave a Reply