Refrigerating food is one of the main functions of a refrigerator and it’s a big problem if it fails at that. It’s also a problem if your refrigerator starts freezing stuff that requires normal refrigeration. If you have similar problems with your refrigerator, then you can search for “refrigerator repair near me” and hire pros to fix it for you. For now, let’s figure out why your refrigerator is freezing everything.
- Wrong temperature setting – To keep the food inside your refrigerator fresh for a long time while consuming less power, it’s important to set it at the right temperature. Usually, that temperature is around 38 to 40 degrees. If the temperature is set at much lower temperatures, the refrigerator works extra hard, and things may start to freeze. If that’s the case, it’s best to check the temperature setting and turn it back up to the optimal level.
Sometimes you or someone else in your family may change the temperature setting by mistake. If you have an old unit with those dial controls for temperature settings, it’s possible that when you pushed an item inside the refrigerator, it hit the dial the wrong way. On the other hand, if you have modern units with digital touch controls, your kids may have changed the setting while tinkering around with it.
- Damaged thermostat – If you’ve adjusted the temperature of your fridge to the optimal level and it still continues to freeze the food, you may have a faulty thermostat. The thermostat controls the refrigeration cycle of the unit and kicks the compressor and other parts into action when the temperature inside goes beyond the set level.
When the thermostat is damaged or fails to do its job, it may fail to trigger the refrigeration cycle or keep it on all the time. When the refrigeration cycle fails to kick in, the food inside the fridge starts going bad and if it keeps going all the time, it may freeze everything inside. In the latter case, your refrigerator also consumes a lot of power and that should be reflected in your next month’s energy bill.
To fix this issue, the thermostat needs to be identified, diagnosed, and replaced if necessary. Depending on your refrigerator, the thermostat may be located at the bottom or at the back. Check your user manual to locate the position of the thermostat. After you locate the thermostat, remove the panel and check it with a multimeter. If it turns out faulty, you should replace it with the same model.
- Faulty control board – Control boards are the brain of the refrigerator. They are connected to many sensors inside the refrigerator including the thermostat. They take information from all kinds of sensors and trigger components to do what they are supposed to. For instance, it detects whether the refrigerator doors are open and turns on the light. It also detects the temperature of the fridge with the thermostat and triggers the refrigeration cycle.
Basically, the main control board of the fridge does anything and everything. That’s why it’s very difficult to diagnose whether the freezing problem is caused by the main control board or something else. You need a lot of expertise and sometimes special equipment to isolate the problem so that you’re sure that the fault lies with the control board. Regular DIY knowledge isn’t going to cut it and that’s why you’ll need the help of a professional.
- Clogged air vents – Your refrigerator needs to be cool at all times. Even with the help of advanced tech, it’s difficult to maintain optimal temperatures inside the fridge. That’s where the legacy technology of air vents comes in. They are responsible for circulating the cold air inside the fridge uniformly and keeping everything at a similar temperature.
When these vents are blocked by food, beverage, jars, or other items, certain items would be exposed to more cold air over a longer period of time. Fortunately, this issue can be easily fixed with a quick diagnosis and rearranging items in the refrigerator. Locate the vents inside the refrigerator and move items that are blocking those vents. For instance, if the bottom shelf is stuffed with too many items and hinders airflow, you may need to transfer some of it to the upper shelves.
- Leaky door seal – There are two large seals on your refrigerator. There’s a seal on the refrigerator door and another one on the freezer door. They keep cold air inside and make the refrigerator efficient. If one of those seals is leaking out cold air, the refrigerator would work harder to keep things cool and would enter a constant refrigeration cycle. When that happens, items that are closest to the vents are exposed to very cold air and may start to freeze.
The easiest solution to this problem is to replace those leaky seals. Use a dollar bill and keep it halfway between the refrigerator or freezer door and shut the door. Now pull out the bill. If you feel significant resistance on the bill, then the seals are perfectly functional. You need to repeat this process at several parts of the seal to make sure that cold air is not leaking out.
If the dollar bill slides out easily during any of those tests, then the seal has weakened and needs to be replaced. You can easily visit the fridge manufacturer’s website and order a replacement seal for the door. You just need to pry out the old seal and slowly push the new one tight into the grooved slot. After that, perform the dollar bill check again to make sure the new seal is working properly.
There may be one or more component failures when your refrigerator starts freezing everything. From damaged thermostats to faulty control boards, the problems are endless. Sometimes it can also happen when you don’t clean the condenser coils or the air vents on your fridge get blocked. Either way, it’s best to search for “refrigerator repair near me” and hire a certified technician to fix your refrigerator.