Freestanding Freezer: Frost inside

Some frost inside the freezer is normal, because each time you open the freezer door or lid, warm, moist air enters the freezer and forms frost. But if excessive frost forms quickly inside the freezer, it could be that a damaged lid or door seal is constantly allowing warm, moist air into the cabinet, resulting in excessive frost. Check the door or lid seal and replace the seal if damaged.

A crack in the plastic liner inside the freezer cabinet can also allow warm air into the freezer and cause frost. Check the inner liner and repair any cracks using a liner repair kit.

If you see frost on the evaporator cover in the back of the freezer and the freezer isn't cooling well, then a failure in the automatic defrost system could be causing the frost. If the defrost heating element that melts frost off the evaporator fins fails, frost will cake up on the evaporator and interfere with airflow and cooling in the freezer. A failed defrost bi-metal won't allow current to reach the heater so a failed defrost bi-metal will also cause frost on the evaporator and inhibit cooling in the freezer. A failed defrost timer won't advance into the automatic defrost mode so the defrost heating element would never turn on to melt frost off the evaporator. Check the defrost system if you see frost only on the evaporator cover.

freestanding freezer

These repairs may help solve your freestanding freezer problem

Replace the freezer door or lid gasket

Replace the freezer door or lid gasket

The door seal attaches to the door panel of an upright freezer and the lid seal mounts to the lid of a chest freezer. The seal prevents air from entering or escaping the freezer when the door or lid is shut. A damaged seal lets warm, moist air into the freezer when the door or lid is closed, causing excessive frost and cooling problems. Replace the door seal if it's damaged or torn.

February 1, 2015
By Lyle Weischwill
How to replace a freezer lid gasket

If the inside of your freezer is too frosty, the lid gasket that keeps out moisture might be torn or worn out. This step-by-step repair guide shows how to replace a freezer lid gasket in just 5 steps.

Repair difficulty
Time required
 30 minutes or less
Read more
Replace the freezer defrost bi-metal

Replace the freezer defrost bi-metal

The freezer defrost sensor-also known as the defrost bi-metal or defrost termination thermostat-is next to the evaporator. It trips when the evaporator temperature gets too high, to protect the evaporator from overheating. When it trips, the defrost bi-metal shuts off the defrost heater. A defective defrost bi-metal prevents the defrost heater from working, causing frost to build up on the evaporator, causing a warmer freezer interior. Replace the defrost sensor if it prevents the defrost heater from working.

February 20, 2015
By Lyle Weischwill
How to replace a freezer defrost thermostat

If your upright freezer isn't cooling and its interior back wall is covered with frost, the defrost thermostat could be the problem. This repair guide and video show how to replace a freezer defrost thermostat with step-by-step instructions.

Repair difficulty
Time required
 45 minutes or less
Read more
Replace the freezer defrost heating element

Replace the freezer defrost heating element

The defrost heating element melts frost from the evaporator fins to improve cooling. If the defrost heating element fails, excessive frost covers the evaporator fins. Replace the defrost heating element if it's damaged or not heating.

February 20, 2015
By Lyle Weischwill
How to replace a freezer defrost heater

When a freezer isn't cold and has a frosty buildup on the evaporator fins, it could mean the defrost heater is broken. This step-by-step repair guide and video show how to replace a freezer defrost heater.

Repair difficulty
Time required
 45 minutes or less
Read more
Replace the freezer electronic control board

Replace the freezer electronic control board

The electronic control board-also called the main control board or the power control board (PCB)-manages the compressor and the defrost cycle. The control board activates the compressor to keep the freezer cold and runs the fans. The electronic control board monitors temperature sensors to control freezer temperature and the defrost cycle. Replace the electronic control board if it's not working properly.

February 20, 2015
By Lyle Weischwill
How to replace a freezer electronic control board

If your freezer isn't cold and you don't hear the fans or compressor running, the electronic control board could be the problem. This step-by-step repair guide and video show how to replace a freezer electronic control board.

Repair difficulty
Time required
 45 minutes or less
Read more
Replace the freezer defrost timer

Replace the freezer defrost timer

The defrost timer controls the intervals between defrost cycles and limits the length of the cycle. During the defrost session, the timer activates the defrost heating element and prevents the compressor from running, so frost melts from the evaporator fins. Replace the defrost timer if it doesn't control the defrost heater and compressor properly.

Symptoms common to all freestanding freezers

Choose a symptom to see related freezer repairs.

Main causes: lack of power, control system failure, broken compressor start relay, locked up compressor, compressor motor failure
Main causes: burned out light bulb, bad door or lid switch, faulty LED light board, wiring failure, control system failure
Main causes: lack of power, bad compressor, refrigerant leak, bad thermistor, defrost system failure, dirty condenser coils, control failure
Main causes: excessive frost, bad defrost heater, bad defrost bi-metal, control system failure, low refrigerant charge, compressor problems
Main causes: damaged door or lid gasket, cracked cabinet liner, bad defrost bi-metal thermostat, broken defrost heater, bad defrost timer
Main causes: compressor failure, no refrigerant, faulty sensor, control failure, broken defrost heater, bad defrost bi-metal thermostat
Main causes: dirty condenser coils, condenser fan failure, dirty bottom front grill, leaky door or lid gasket
Main causes: leaky door or lid gasket, broken defrost heater, bad defrost bi-metal thermostat, defrost control failure, faulty compressor
Articles and videos common to all freestanding freezers

Use the advice and tips in these articles and videos to get the most out of your freezer.

March 2, 2015
How to defrost a freestanding freezer
By Sears PartsDirect staff

Learn how to safely defrost a Kenmore freezer.

January 27, 2015
Freezer energy savings tips
By Sears PartsDirect staff

See how you can reduce the energy consumption of a freezer.

November 1, 2014
Freezer common questions
By Sears PartsDirect staff

Benefit from other people's experience by checking on these frequently asked questions about freezers.