KitchenAid Refrigerator Freezing Up? (just do this)
If you own a KitchenAid refrigerator and it’s freezing up, keep reading. In this article we’ll look at what causes the refrigerator to freeze up, how to fix it and how to prevent it from happening again.
What Causes A Refrigerator To Freeze Up?
There are a number of reasons the refrigerator could be freezing up, some are easier to fix than others. They include;
- Leaving The Refrigerator Door Open For Too Long
Every time the refrigerator door is left open, warm air enters the fridge. As this warm air meets the colder air inside the fridge, it condenses (usually against walls, floors and ceilings. This water then freezes due to the fridge thermostat registering warm air inside the fridge, which allows the damper to remain open for longer to send colder air into the fridge to lower the overall temperature.
- Refrigerator Door Seal Damaged
If the door(s) are fully closed, check the door seal or gasket as it’s sometimes called. If the seal has any damaged areas, warm air can enter via these gaps. If there is a buildup of dust or dirt at any point around the door seal, this can also allow warm air to enter the fridge.
- Insufficient Amount Of Food Stored Within The Fridge
If the contents of the fridge are too few, not enough cold air is absorbed which makes the fridge think it needs to produce more cold air to maintain current temperature levels. Adding more food can solve this issue.
- Poor Positioning Of Food In The Refrigerator
Keep items that are most likely to freeze (eggs, leafy greens, raw meat etc) away from likely cold spots to prevent them freezing from the damper or air vents and so on.
- Placing Hot Foods In The Refrigerator
You should always allow food to cool down before placing it in the refrigerator. Otherwise the warmth from the food condenses in the same way as the warm air from the open door. As the food is hotter than the outside air, placing warm food in a fridge causes more ice than the open doors will.
- Thermostat Set Too Low
Check the setting on the thermostat, if it’s set too low, the fridge will begin to freeze up inside. Turn the thermostat down by a few degrees and see if it makes any difference.
- Blocked Vents
If any food is stored too close to the vents it can cause the fridge to warm up slightly which conversely makes more ice build up inside due to a longer period of cold air blast to try to compensate for what the fridge sees as warm conditions. The vents need a 2 inch clearance at all times.
- Faulty Damper
The damper is basically a flap that opens and closes to allow more or less cold air into the fridge from the freezer. If the damper becomes faulty and sticks in the open position, the fridge will be constantly receiving cold air straight from the freezer. Which will eventually cause the fridge to freeze up.
- Faulty Thermistor
The thermistor sends temperature readings to the control board which then determines how much cold air is allowed into the fridge and for how long. If the thermistor develops a fault, it’s possible for the fridge to keep receiving cold air which will make the fridge freeze up.
- Faulty Defrost System
There are a few components within the defrost system and any one of them could develop a fault which could cause the fridge to freeze.
- Defrost Heater
The defrost heater is situated alongside the evaporator coils and works by heating up and melting any ice buildup around the coils. If this develops a fault, there is nothing to thaw the ice and prevent it building up so much as to spill over into the fridge.
- Defrost Thermostat
The defrost thermostat detects the temperature and sends messages to the control board which then decides when more cold air is needed. If this develops a fault it could go either way. Either there’s too much cold air entering the fridge or it becomes too hot due to not enough cold air.
- Defrost Timer
The defrost timer should kick in every 6 or 8 hours to initiate a high enough temperature to thaw any ice. If it fails the fridge could be stuck on a continuous cold temperature setting.
- Defrost Control Board
The defrost control board controls every function of the defrost process. If it develops a fault it will not send the correct message to the correct part to initiate a defrost.
- Dirty Coils
Both the evaporator and the condenser coils can become clogged and not work correctly. Disconnect the refrigerator from the power supply before attempting to clean the coils.
The condenser coils are located at the back of the fridge behind a panel that will need unscrewing. Remove as much dirt and dust from the coils without damaging the coils themselves.
The evaporator coils will be located inside the fringe at the back behind an unscrewable plastic panel. This might prove too difficult to remove if it’s frozen as it is delicate and can break if too much pressure is exerted on it. Allow the refrigerator to fully defrost before attempting to remove the evaporator’s plastic panel.
You might not need to remove it as once the ice has thawed from the evaporator coil, the problem is solved. All you need to do from now on is not allow warm air from entering the fridge so much.
KitchenAid Ice Maker Freezing Up
If the ice maker on your KitchenAid refrigerator is freezing up check the following;
- Ice Fill Tube
If the ice fill tube is frozen, no water can enter the ice maker, this will cause the ice maker to freeze up. Thaw the ice fill tube to prevent any further ice buildups.
- Water Filter
If the water filter becomes clogged, it will not allow enough water to pass through into the ice maker. The refrigerator will continue to cool causing the ice maker to freeze up as there is insufficient water to absorb the cold. Change the water filter or check if it is fitted correctly to solve this problem.
- Water Inlet Valve
If the water inlet valve becomes faulty it could send too much water into the ice maker which will cause it to overflow and freeze. This will freeze up the ice maker and prevent it from operating correctly. Check the solenoid on the water inlet filter and the screen filter too if either is found to be faulty either replace the water inlet valve or clean and replace the screen filter.
- Ice Maker
It could be the actual ice maker itself that is faulty. It’s possible that the ice maker has a leak. To check this, pour water into the ice maker and look for leaks. If water is leaking from the ice maker it will freeze all around which will cause the ice maker to cease functioning. If it is leaking, replace the ice maker with a new unit.
- Freezer Temperature
The temperature that the freezer is set to will determine how fast or slow the ice maker can make ice. If it’s set too low the ice maker will make ice too fast. Check and adjust the freezer temperature setting.
KitchenAid Freezer Freezing Up
If the freezer on your KitchenAid refrigerator is freezing up it could be one of the following that is causing it to produce too much ice;
- Poorly Fitting Or Damaged Door Seal
If the door seal is not fitted correctly or if it has any damage, the door cannot prevent warm air from entering the freezer and causing condensation which in turn, becomes an ice buildup. Repair or replace any damaged or ill fitting door seals.
- Freezer Door Open Slightly
Leaving the freezer door just slightly ajar can cause the freezer to detect the warmer temperature caused by the warm air entering from outside. Keep the door shut as much as possible and make sure there are no obstacles preventing the freezer door from closing fully.
- Blocked Freezer Drain
If the drain is blocked with either ice or debris, the water cannot drain away and will overflow into the freezer instead. Where it will ice up and cause further problems with ice buildup. Check the drain and defrost or unblock any blockages.
- Blocked Vents
The vents are there to allow a steady flow of air through the freezer. If they become blocked no air or not enough air can flow through the appliance which can cause a temperature, moisture and frost buildup.
- Food Too Warm When Placed In The Freezer
Never place warm food in the freezer because it causes the warm air to condense and turn to ice.
How To Reset A KitchenAid Refrigerator
To reset a KitchenAid refrigerator just disconnect the power supply for 10 to 15 minutes and then reconnect the supply. The refrigerator has now been reset. For more information on how to reset any KitchenAid refrigerator follow this link.
Before tackling any internal repairs on your KitchenAid refrigerator check to see if your appliance is still under warranty. If it is and you start dismantling parts, you could void your warranty. Also only ever tamper with electrical appliances if you are confident and competent. Otherwise you could seriously damage your appliance and your health.
Frequently Asked Questions
The most common cause of frost buildup in a KitchenAid refrigerator is having the doors left open for long periods of time. This allows warm air to enter the fridge which condenses into water and eventually freezes. Open the refrigerator once and remove everything you need to prepare your meal, then close the door thus preventing warm air from entering.
KitchenAid refrigerators defrost every 8 to 12 hours depending on the model.
To reset your KitchenAid refrigerator, remove the power supply for at least 10 minutes. After 10 to 15 minutes, reconnect the power supply, the fridge should now be reset.